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Sustainable Cities: There's an App for That!

Sustainable urban development is a new way of thinking for American cities. Technology is emerging to help planners, architects and residents make the transition -- and address the converging pressures of rapid growth and decaying infrastructure. The question isn't whether to use technology to make cities more sustainable, it's how best to use it. Three experts on sustainably built cities discuss the answers with Denis Du Bois.

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Book Review: Enchantment - The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions

Guy Kawasaki, author of the New York Times bestseller, talks to Denis Du Bois about how to make energy efficient appliances as "enchanting" as Apple's iPad.

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Greenbuild 2010 - "Generation Green"

When it comes to buildings, Chicago has already done "tallest, biggest, and longest." Now Chicago wants to be the "greenest". We'll find out how they're raising the bar for all the other cities aiming for that same distinction.

Plus: From America's biggest green-building expo, do-it-yourself 3D energy & carbon modeling -- dark sunglasses for buildings -- and devices that charge themselves up -- all in this edition of Energy Priorities. (podcast)(transcript)(photos)

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Sustaindinavia: Copenhagen's Integrated Approach to Energy

Sustainable cities -- every mayor wants one. They attract green businesses, and the career-minded people who want to work there. Just proclaiming a community "green," though, isn't nearly enough. Forward-thinking cities are walking the talk. We went looking for examples in Copenhagen, Denmark. The secret to their success is integrating energy production right into the city. Learn how Copenhagen stopped worrying about the garbage and started becoming a carbon-neutral city.

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The Smart Grid Wants You - Building Priorities Briefing

The smart grid wants you! But what does it take to be a participant in the smart grid? What's in it for you? If the smart grid is so smart, why does it need buildings to integrate with it? And what about the people who are paying for the smart grid -- yeah, all of us -- what do we get out of it? Denis Du Bois interviews two pioneering experts at the building-to-grid frontier, at ConnectivityWeek 2010. (podcast)

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Keeping a Watchful Eye over Energy Use - Building Priorities Briefing

Thanks to new laws, buyers and tenants of large buildings in some areas are entitled to know a building's energy score before they complete their purchase or lease. How long before the U.S. catches up to Europe, where buildings will be labeled according to their energy consumption? Is simply reporting a score meaningful, if there aren't also requirements to improve energy efficiency? Can cities achieve their carbon-related goals without imposing both kinds of rules on businesses? Denis Du Bois interviews Phil Bomrad, Director, Building Technologies, Siemens. (podcast)

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New Models for Rooftop Solar Power - Building Priorities Briefing

Southern California Edison has launched one of the most ambitious solar initiatives yet. It involves using the roofs of commercial buildings to develop renewable energy resources. Building owners get paid to host the solar arrays on their rooftops, and the utility takes all the risk. Where else is this kind of program happening? Why would a building owner choose this over the other alternatives for rooftop solar? In this month's briefing Denis Du Bois and guest co-host Stephen Lacey decipher the impact for owners, tenants, and solar companies. Denis interviews the corporate sustainability executive for AMB Property Corporation, who just joined SCE's new program. (podcast)

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Zero Energy Buildings, Blocks, and Cities - Building Priorities Briefing

Imagine a building so energy efficient that it can generate what power it needs with the solar modules on its own roof -- a net zero energy building. It's not a pipe dream. We've been building them in the United States for a decade. The U.S. Department of Energy wants the "ZEB" to be the standard for new buildings. Why is it important to match renewable energy output with the demand for power on a building-by-building basis? And after ten years of zero-energy design, why do we only have eight buildings to show for it? In this month's briefing Denis Du Bois talks with David Orr, who designed and built the largest zero-energy building in the U.S. If you think that's cool, wait until you hear what Orr is doing for an encore.

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Revealing Ratings to Validate Value of Energy Efficient Space - Building Priorities Briefing

What do Seattle, Austin and New York have in common? They've all enacted regulations to expose energy-wasting buildings. Owners of large buildings will have to disclose their energy scores to prospective buyers, tenants and lenders. Similar laws have been passed in three states -- and more are on the way. In this month's briefing we explore what's driving these mandates, and how they affect building owners and tenants. Some building owners are making improvements now, to raise their energy scores before they're made public. What's the business case? We'll learn about that, as well as where are the best places to look for low-cost and no-cost ways to boost a building's efficiency score. (podcast) (transcript)

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How Green Are the 2010 Winter Olympics? - Building Priorities Briefing

The 2010 Games are being dubbed the "Sustainable Olympics," but is Vancouver BC setting any world records? In this month's Briefing we examine some lessons from the global spectacle. First we look at the venues that Canada constructed for the upcoming Winter Games, to see if they win any green medals. Seven years after winning the bid, we find Canadians are not entirely happy about the upcoming games. Green business guru Martin Westerman shares his thoughts about how to really make the games green. (podcast)

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Greenbuild 2009: Model to Building to Grid - Building Priorities Briefing

In this final Briefing of 2009: The New York Times building uses an approach called "total light management" to shave 70 percent off its lighting energy use. We'll hear how they decided on that approach, how it works, and how it's working. Plus: Denis Du Bois interviews Siemens on the building-to-smart-grid interface, and Autodesk on how building information modeling could accelerate the certification process for green buildings. (podcast)

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Greenbuild 2009: Energy is the Monumental Issue - Building Priorities Briefing

GREENBUILD 2009-- The Empire State Building plans to trim 38 percent from its monumental $11 million annual energy bill with an energy efficiency retrofit. This month JCI's Clay Nesler joins Denis Du Bois in an interview at the Greenbuild 2009 Conference and Expo. The Energy Minute is about daylighting, and the final segment is about interesting products at Greenbuild. This is the first of two Briefings from Greenbuild. (podcast) (transcript)

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Metro to Greenbuild 2009 - Building Priorities Briefing

Don't rent a car in Phoenix for the Greenbuild 2009 Conference and Expo. The Phoenix Convention Center and several of the Greenbuild hotels are along the city's light rail line. Here's how to get from the airport to Greenbuild and most of the associated hotels and activities. (video podcast)

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Green Events: Setting the Standards and Looking Ahead - Building Priorities Briefing

Even if your company is environmentally responsible, planning your annual meeting or sales conference pressures you to make compromises. Experts at GMIC, USGBC and the 2010 Olympic Committee share the philosophies that guide them through those decisions. If you've heard enough ideas like compostable utensils and web conferencing, this month's briefing will give you some fresh new perspectives to consider. (podcast)

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Van Jones on the Green Recovery - Building Priorities Briefing

In this month's briefing: Denis Du Bois grabs his ever-ready shovel -- and microphone -- and digs into the subject of the green recovery. Interview with Van Jones, the founder and president of Green for All, recipient of several awards for leadership in human rights, and author of the book "The Green Collar Economy." (podcast)

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Greenbuild 2008 - Building Priorities Briefing

GREENBUILD 2008 -- In this month's special-edition briefing: the Greenbuild Int'l Conference and Expo is the world's biggest event on sustainability in the built environment. Global economic conditions and the elections made this a very interesting year for the conference. (podcast) (photos)

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Sustainable Urban Development - Building Priorities Briefing

Denis Du Bois briefs us on his trip to Canada where he spent two days exploring sustainable building and urban design strategies at Dockside Green, the University of British Columbia, and the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver BC. (podcast) (photos)

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Smart Buildings: Interview with Jim Sinopoli - Building Priorities Briefing

The technologies that make a building "smart" come at a cost, and as much as we hear about saving energy to save the planet, building owners still manage by financial metrics. Jim Sinopoli led the Smart Buildings track at ConnectivityWeek 2008, including a session on the ROI of enterprise energy management. This interview between Denis Du Bois and Jim Sinopoli is the second in a series of podcasts from the ConnectivityWeek 2008 conference. (podcast)

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Wireless Smart Buildings: Interview with Bob Heile, ZigBee Alliance - Building Priorities Briefing

Denis Du Bois interviewed ZigBee Alliance Chairman Bob Heile at ConnectivityWeek 2008. ZigBee is an open protocol for wireless communications for building-automation sensors and controls. The Alliance is a group of vendors who align themselves with the ZigBee protocol. Heile led a track at ConnectivityWeek -- one session was on ZigBee in commercial buildings, and another was on the role of ZigBee in smart energy.

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Three Buildings Net Zero Energy - Building Priorities Briefing

We explore three commercial buildings without power bills, and contrast the many meanings of "zero" in energy and carbon. First, a commercial building proven to be zero energy -- and then some. In the first 12 months after construction, this building produced more energy than it consumed. Then we learn about two more buildings presented in the ZEB session at Globe last month. The Energy Minute is about the meaning of zero: What should be counted when designating a building "net zero energy" or "zero carbon"? In the Program Notes we have photos and links to more information for those of you who are researching the net-zero option for your own buildings. (podcast) (photo)

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Energy Independence at the Office and at Home - Building Priorities Briefing

Energy independence comes in many forms. We look at a commercial office example and a residential example that demonstrate how solar helps owners to be self-sufficient in ways that match their values. The California Healthcare Foundation covered the roof of their newly renovated offices with solar panels. Going solar is consistent with their mission to improve the health of Californians. Borrego Solar co-founder Chris Anderson built a new home for himself and went off-grid. He wants to show Northeasterners that a home can be energy independent and comfortable at the same time. Renewable energy isn't the only green-building feature of these two projects. (podcast) (photos)

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Cohousing: Green Building Trend and Opportunity - Building Priorities Briefing

This month we explore the cohousing trend in residential green building. We start with an audio tour of a cohousing community now under construction in New Hampshire. The sustainable housing development uses wood pellet boilers to provide heat and hot water, so the Energy Minute is about using biomass as a heating fuel. In the third half of the show we hear about what opportunities the cohousing trend creates for builders and developers. (podcast) (photos)

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Open Networks for Building Control Systems - Building Priorities Briefing

This is the premier edition of the new Building Priorities Briefing. This month we'll see what decisions went into the design of a new mixed-use campus to reduce their costs throughout the building lifecycle. The Energy Minute this month is about open versus proprietary networking methods for building controls. And Denis Du Bois interviews the consultant who designed the networked controls system for the Albert L. Schultz Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto, CA. (podcast)

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What Is the Building Priorities Briefing?

A valuable new audio series from Energy Priorities magazine keeps commercial building owners, developers and managers up to date with green building.

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