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Thomas Friedman at Greenbuild 2011: Work within the Political and Economic Constraints

Thomas Friedman keynoted at the 2011 Greenbuild Conference and Expo in Toronto, Ontario. He was joined by USGBC chairman Rick Fedrizzi, CaGBC president Thomas Mueller, Kohler CEO David Kohler, journalist/author Cokie Roberts, and Diesel Canada CEO Joie Adler. Friedman's message to the audience included a specific course of action to halt damaging geopolitical trends and to put the world on a more sustainable path.

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Best of Greenbuild 2011 Education Sessions - Editor's Picks

There are 15 tracks of breakout sessions at Greenbuild 2011, each with 7 sessions. That's over 100 choices, not counting workshops, master speakers, plenary sessions and film festivals. One person can attend a mere 7 sessions in 2 days. Denis Du Bois lists the options that appeal to him this year.

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Greenbuild 2011 News Gateway

The Greenbuild Conference and Expo is in Toronto for 2011. The theme is "NEXT." Here's your gateway to our coverage and content related to this annual event of the United States Green Building Council.

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Greenbuild 2011 International Summit: We Have Much to Learn from Each Other

The 2011 International Summit at Greenbuild in Toronto conveyed an international message with voices from around the world.

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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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Interface Founder Ray Anderson Leaves an Inspiring Life Story

Ray C. Anderson lost a 20-month battle with cancer. But he won a 17-year campaign to change the way corporations view their role in sustainability.

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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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Greenbuild Photo Gallery

Snapshots from Greenbuild 2010 in Chicago, IL.

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@Greenbuild 2010 Live! Un-Official Twitter List

Will you be tweeting live from Greenbuild 2010 in Chicago? Get on The List! Are you sitting it out this year? Follow Greenbuild events on Twitter all in one place -- right here!

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Greenbuild 2010 Education Sessions

These are our top choices for each of the time slots on the 2010 schedule of Greenbuild education sessions.

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Greenbuild 2010 is in Chicago

The USGBC Greenbuild 2010 International Conference & Expo was in Chicago November 16 through 19. This web page is your gateway to Energy Priorities content (and others') about Greenbuild 2010.

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USGBC Targeted in Class-Action Lawsuit

ed+c Magazine reported that the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and its founders have been named as defendants in a class action lawsuit filed in federal court.

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Back to School for Energy Efficiency

It's back to school for those left unemployed by the recession, and lots of people are signing up for green job training. Plus: Schools are turning out one textbook case after another of energy efficient buildings. And some buildings are so intelligent, they're teaching themselves how to be more energy efficient.

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Learning the Lessons of Energy Efficiency

Contributor Katy Campbell says there are plenty of fantastic examples of schools that are ploughing ahead with major energy efficiency initiatives. And more good news… increasing energy efficiency in schools, as in most other buildings, is actually pretty easy!

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The Most High-Tech Green Buildings

Forbes has gathered ten buildings it considers to be the most high-tech in the world. The photos are worth the trip.

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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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Continuous Commissioning - Energy:Minute

Continuous commissioning goes by many names. It's a way of making sure building systems are running at peak efficiency. Learn about it, in a minute. (podcast)

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Federal Buildings Go Green with $4 Billion in Recovery Act Funds

The GSA says it reached the milestone this month of investing $4 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds for energy efficiency in federal buildings nationwide.

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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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AMB Leases Warehouse Roof to Energy Utility

Southern California Edison has announced three large installations of utility-owned solar on buildings. The latest of those is a warehouse owned by AMB Property Corporation. Denis Du Bois interviews Aaron Binkley, LEED AP, AMB's Director of Sustainability Programs. He's a registered architect and AMB's resident expert on energy, sustainability, and green building.

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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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Zero Energy Buildings - "Zero" of What? - Energy:Minute

"Zero energy" is a term we'll see applied to more and more buildings. It means the building produces as much energy on site as it uses. But that's not the whole story. There are many variations. Learn what they mean, in a minute.

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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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Energy Star: The Business Case

Many building owners have been benchmarking their portfolios for years. And they're making improvements, to raise their energy scores even where they're not made public by new disclosure regulations. What's the business case for a landlord to make buildings more efficient, when it's not yet required by law, and doesn't directly save them money? Denis Du Bois interviews Jack Beuttell, Global Sustainability Manager for Hines, a real estate investment, development and management firm.

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The 5 Layers of Energy Efficiency Opportunities in Commercial Buildings

Whether the law mandates energy benchmarking and disclosure, or the market demands more energy efficient buildings, the result is that owners make improvements that reduce energy waste. But where do they begin? How do they know it'll work? And how do they pay for it? Denis Du Bois interviews Ash Awad, Vice President of Energy for McKinstry, a firm that designs, builds, operates and maintains commercial buildings nationwide.

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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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Green Buildings of Vancouver's 2010 Winter Olympics

VANOC ordered Olympic host cities to build 9 venues from the ground up, and renovate several existing arenas. All of the new venues will be certified green buildings. VANOC's Vice President of Corporate Sustainability tells us about the green construction projects. Then we're joined by Stephen Lacey, host of "Inside Renewable Energy." Stephen gives us his take on the energy systems in the Olympic Village and beyond.

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Interview: David Helliwell, Co-Founder, Pulse Energy

Pulse Energy in Vancouver is making it possible for you to watch real-time energy consumption at the 2010 Winter Olympic venues in Vancouver. Denis Du Bois talks with the company's co-founder, David Helliwell.

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Olympic Venues to Display Energy Consumption in Real Time

BC Hydro and the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) launched an online energy tracker that will publicly monitor real-time energy consumption of 2010 Winter Games sites within the cities of Vancouver and Richmond, the Resort Municipality of Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb.

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Building Information Modeling (BIM) - Energy:Minute

Building Information Modeling is a computer-based simulation of a construction project, linked with a database of information about the project. (podcast) (transcript)

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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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New York Times Building Reduces Lighting Energy by 70 Percent

The New York Times building uses an approach called "total light management" to shave 70 percent off its lighting energy use. Here's how they decided on that approach, how it works, and how it's working. Denis Du Bois interviews Glenn Hughes about the project.

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Will Smart Buildings Mind-Meld with the Smart Grid?

In the realm of intelligent buildings, there's a lot of talk about the smart grid, B2G, and "convergence." Denis Du Bois interviews Siemens, a major player in both sectors. Is there a roadmap for this convergence, or will it be a pile-up?

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Total Light Management Combines Strategies to Shave Energy Use

Lighting is one of the easiest sources of energy efficiency in a commercial building. It's also an important source of points for LEED certification. Denis Du Bois takes a look at Lutron's Quantum system for "total light management" in commercial buildings.

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Intelligent Power Loads Provide Flexibility and Energy Efficiency

Convia takes a different approach to lighting controls. Denis Du Bois talks with Convia at Greenbuild 2009.

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Will BIM Help Owners Manage Buildings more Efficiently?

Designers are using Building Information Modeling to predict how a building will perform with various design alternatives. Will BIM accelerate the LEED certification process and make buildings greener -- and more marketable? Denis Du Bois interviews Erin Rae Hoffer, AIA, LEED AP, Autodesk, about the relationship between BIM and LEED certification.

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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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Empire State Building: Monumental Energy Retrofit

The Empire State Building plans to trim 38 percent from its monumental $11 million annual energy bill with an energy efficiency retrofit. Clay Nesler of Johnson Controls joins Denis Du Bois for an interview about the project.

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Tubular Daylighting Offers Consistent, Natural Office Light

Sophisticated lenses and controllable dimming work together to deliver a simple result: daylight to work by. Denis Du Bois looks at the Solatube 750DS.

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Heat-Activated Tinting Could Solve a Daylighting Dilemma

Nanotechnology makes it possible to apply a film on office windows that blocks sunlight when it's hot outside. Denis Du Bois saw Ravenbrick's demo and interviewed the company's CEO.

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Daylighting for Commercial Buildings

Natural daylight has been steadily regaining popularity for about 25 years, ever since the first studies showed that people have a positive psychological reaction to it. (podcast)

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Need Daylight Deep in Buildings? Tube It In

GREENBUILD-- Tubular daylighting devices were on display by a few vendors at Greenbuild 2009. Solatube International gave Denis Du Bois a demo of their flagship product, the 750DS. It has features that gather sunlight very efficiently, and give commercial building occupants the ability to control how much of it is delivered.

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Commercial LED Lighting in a Nutshell

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are the next major step in energy-efficient lighting technology.

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Al Gore: Political Will is a Renewable Resource

GREENBUILD-- Al Gore's speech in Phoenix on Wednesday underscored the context in which the green building movement is gaining traction. He called on Americans to find the political will to "pull the common thread" and unravel three crises at once.

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GE Module Coming in 2010 Makes LED Luminaires Upgradeable and Adjustable

GREENBUILD-- LEDs are everywhere at Greenbuild 2009. GE is showing some upcoming products that help designers earn LEED credits with light-emitting diode (LED) luminaires.

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Greenbuild 2009 Brings Sustainability to "Main Street" in Phoenix

GREENBUILD 2009 in Phoenix AZ ended today. This article serves as your gateway to our coverage of Greenbuild 2009.

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Radical Industrialist Shares Insights with CEO Roundtable

GREENBUILD-- Ray Anderson is an entertaining Southerner and a poignant speaker. He is arguably the most popular corporate chairman-environmentalist. Anderson greened the carpet company he founded, Interface, and was named one of Time's Heroes of the Environment. Now he travels and speaks to business leaders about his experiences. Anderson spoke at a United States Green Building Council Executive Luncheon on Wednesday.

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Green Real Estate Survey Results: Energy Efficiency Retrofits Gain Ground in Recession

GREENBUILD 2009 -- NREI and USGBC announced the results of the 2009 Green Building Survey: "Doubling Down on Green: Why Sustainability Endures in the Face of a Recession."

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Empire State Building to be a Replicable Model for Energy Efficiency Retrofits

GREENBUILD -- Retrofitting the 78-year-old Empire State Building is a major undertaking. Clay Nesler is part of a team of experts responsible for the project. What exactly does his team expect to achieve, and at what cost?

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Twitterers List for Greenbuild 2009

GREENBUILD 2009 -- This year, hundreds of people were Tweeting from #Greenbuild. We compiled a list in collaboration with Johnson Controls.

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Greenbuild is Ready for 20,000+ Architects, Builders and Owners

GREENBUILD -- The huge conference and expo about sustainable building in North America starts tomorrow morning. Over 24,000 attendees are pre-registered. One issue can be credited with the record attendance at Greenbuild during an economic downturn...

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Greenbuild 2009: Which Education Sessions To See

Greenbuild is the big North American conference and expo for green-building professionals. Attendees are invited to register for education sessions in advance. Here's our list of recommendations.

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Vancouver LEED Neighborhood Handed Over to Olympic Organizers

The City of Vancouver staged a ceremonial handover of the Olympic Village to the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games (VANOC) on Wednesday.

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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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AHR Expo: More Attention to Sustainability at 2010 Heating & Cooling Conference

AHR Expo 2010 and ASHRAE Winter Conference promise to focus more on sustainability through sessions and special exhibit areas.

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ASHRAE Makes Green IT Handbook Searchable

ASHRAE's Datacom Series on data center design and operation has been compiled into one searchable CD. The Datacom Series provides guidance on ways to plan, build and monitor data centers in ways that are both energy efficient and cost effective.

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Green Building: Will somebody please change the channel?

Green building remains an underinvested segment of the cleantech landscape, with precious few venture funded success stories. Last week’s West Coast Green tradeshow – despite being a lively and well-attended event -- provided an object lesson in why this will likely continue to be the case for some time.

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Commercial Buildings To Benefit from California's $3.1 Billion Budget for Energy Efficiency Programs

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently established energy efficiency programs for 2010 through 2012, approving a three-year budget of $3.1 billion for four investor-owned utilities. More than $1 billion of that budget will go toward commercial buildings and industrial facilities. CPUC says this is the largest commitment ever made by a state to energy efficiency.

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Energy Systems for the 2010 Winter Olympics

A digital "book" promotes the sustainable energy concepts implemented in the Olympic Village in Vancouver BC Canada. Chapter 5 of "The Challenge Series" is worthwhile reading for those interested in the energy aspects of green buildings.

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Energy Audit Shows DOE How to Get Its Own House in Order

Energy auditors found temperature "setback controls" lacking, broken or unused in roughly two out of three buildings sampled, including some of DOE's newest buildings at the Oak Ridge National Lab.

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Project Management Software Tackles Tracking LEED v3 Credits

For architects and builders, tracking LEED credits requires software functionality similar to that required for more traditional construction project management. Consequently, a few leading vendors have re-purposed their technology to make this possible; others have customers who have developed their own work-arounds.

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Mary Ann Piette Interview

Mary Ann Piette tells Denis Du Bois about her work as Research Director of the Demand Response Research Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. (podcast)

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Face to Face: Robert Poor, Creator of ZigBee

ZigBee originator, Ember co-founder, and ConnectivityWeek speaker Robert Poor, interviewed via web video link by Denis Du Bois. (video)

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Face to Face: Anto Budiardjo, CEO, Clasma

Anto Budiardjo, President and CEO of Clasma Events, founder of the ConnectivityWeek conference, interviewed via web video link by Denis Du Bois, Editor of Energy Priorities Magazine. (video)

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ConnectivityWeek 2009 Connects Thought Leaders in Energy and IT

What started as BuilConn several years ago has become a multi-conference about the convergence of energy and IT. ConnectivityWeek 2009 was held in Santa Clara, CA. Energy Priorities brings you the highlights of Bob Metcalfe's keynote, a speed tour of the expo, a summary of business opportunities identified, and a new place to look up all the acronyms. Plus interviews with visionaries in IT, smart energy, venture investment, and demand response.

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ConnectivityWeek 2009: Speed Tour of the Expo

The ConnectivityWeek 2009 Expo is an interesting collection of exhibitors. The idea of this tour is to quickly convey the basic offerings at these exhibits and how they might relate to managing energy consumption in your commercial spaces. At its core, the conference is about connectivity in buildings. I talked with most of the vendors with products in the intelligent-building category.

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ConnectivityWeek 2009: Industry Leaders Outline Energy Business Opportunities

ConnectivityWeek 2009, a conference about the convergence of energy and IT, is off to a great start. I couldn't resist the session titled "Business Opportunities in the Energy-Focused Marketplace." It did not disappoint.

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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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Split Incentive and the Green Lease

Net leases create a "split incentive" when it comes to making energy-efficiency improvements to commercial buildings. A "green lease" includes terms that share the benefits of lower utility bills. (podcast)

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Introducing Organic Vinyl (Healthy Buildings News)

PVC products will soon carry the USDA "Organic" label, reports a green building magazine today, due to a loophole in the labeling law.

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Echelon Launches New Platform for Smart Building Networks

Smart grid player Echelon Corporation has announced a next-generation platform of control networks and products designed to make it more cost effective to build energy-aware networks and devices into buildings.

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Book Review: "Getting Green Done" by Auden Schendler

Hard truths from the front lines of the sustainability revolution: My two-sentence review of Auden Schendler's forthcoming "Getting Green Done" plus an examination of the author's opinions.

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Who Needs CO2 Caps when Shame Will Do?

A group of investors today named a builder and eight other companies to a "Climate Watch List," citing concerns that the firms are lagging behind their industry peers and are potentially undermining their long-term competitiveness in responding to the business challenges from global climate change.

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Buildings Benefit from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 includes $16.8 billion for the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The funding is a nearly tenfold increase for EERE, which received just $1.7 billion in fiscal year 2008.

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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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Consumer Electronics Show 2009: What I Hope To See at CES

The Consumer Electronics Show is January 8-11, 2009 in the capitol of energy decadence: Las Vegas. Will we see products aimed at helping consumers reduce their energy bills and carbon footprints?

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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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Greenbuild 2008 "Revolutionary Green"

Index to Energy Priorities Magazine's day-by-day coverage of the Greenbuild 2008 Conference and Expo in Boston. The big annual conference on green building opened in Boston November 19, with 30,000 attendees. Interest in green real estate is at an all-time high. Does green building pay off? We examine that question throughtout Greenbuild. This article is your gateway to Energy Priorities Magazine's articles and podcast.

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Emerging Climate Change Regulations Impact Real Estate Valuations

GREENBUILD 2008 -- We asked Betsy Boyle, the Manager of the Real Estate Program at Ceres, to share her thoughts with us about the outlook for green buildings in a weakened, carbon-constrained economy. How will the current economic downturn and a price on carbon affect the value of green commercial real estate? What stands in the way of having more LEED or Energy Star buildings, and how important is certification?

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Top 3 Energy Products for Green Building

GREENBUILD 2008 -- An annual feature of the conference is the announcement of the Top-10 Green Building Products by BuildingGreen. This year, the company has listed materials, paints, finishes, and even rainwater storage tanks, but it has also named three energy-related products.

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VC Calls Green Building Technologies "Bright Spot" in Economy

GREENBUILD 2008 -- Nancy Floyd, founder of cleantech venture capital firm Nth Power, today said the building market is at the tipping point and ripe for disruption. Venture capitalists have not paid attention to the green building market's potential, but they should: "Green building is the bright spot in this recession."

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USGBC Leadership Award Recipients Named at Greenbuild 2008

GREENBUILD 2008 -- The USGBC has named the recipients of its 2008 Leadership Awards to recognize companies and individuals who signify vision, leadership and commitment to the evolution of green building design and construction.

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Greenbuild 2008: Keynote with Archbishop Desmond Tutu

GREENBUILD 2008 -- Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate and revered advocate against poverty and human rights abuses, is this year's keynote speaker at Greenbuild 2008, Boston.

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Greenbuild 2008: Green Outlook for Sustainable Buildings in 2009

GREENBUILD 2008 -- The big annual conference on green building opens in Boston November 19, with 30,000 attendees. Interest in green real estate is at an all-time high. Does it pay off? We'll be examining that question throughtout Greenbuild. Today: In a meeting prior to the opening of the conference, McGraw-Hill Construction released the results of three major studies of the financial benefits of sustainable building. Here are some highlights from the reports.

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LEED 2009: Rating System Is Shifting its Focus to Energy and Carbon for Commercial Buildings

Members of the U.S. Green Building Council are voting on whether to approve LEED 2009, the latest evolution of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building certification system. The update includes a series of technical changes focused on improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.

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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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Reuse: Seventies Furniture Goes to UW

University of Washington staff have moved into the former Safeco headquarters tower in Seattle. Safeco donated 74,000 pieces of office furniture and fixtures that will be reused, instead of recycled.

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Vancouver 2010 Olympic Village

In 2010 the Winter Olympics will come to Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. The athletes will live in an all-new, sustainable urban neighborhood. Denis DuBois toured the site, now under construction, with the man in charge of Olympic Village development and the surrounding neighborhood known as Southeast False Creek. (photos)

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Dockside Green

Dockside Green has gained international acclaim as a mixed-use sustainable development that is achieving LEED Platinum ratings and winning exceptions to local building regulations in return for its innovative solutions. Denis Du Bois toured the site with its visionary leader, Joe Van Belleghem. (photos)

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Data Center Energy: Reduction Is Not Really the Priority

White papers are pouring out of vendors in the information technology space as they shift their marketing positions to "green" as fast as they can. Many have locked onto an imagined want in data centers to reduce energy consumption from equipment and cooling. Energy efficiency is out of line with the business goals of most IT departments.

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Urban Sustainability in British Columbia Canada

Denis Du Bois is in Victoria and Vancouver BC this week to explore sustainable building and urban strategies. Follow him at energypriorities.com, or on Twitter (cleantech).

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Machine-to-Machine: Singularity or Savior? (SNS)

M2M is the basis of advanced building-control systems, industrial machinery, Google News, and Wall Street trading. Is it dangerous?

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Beijing Olympic Village Certified Green; Vancouver Seeks Twin Golds for 2010

In Beijing China, 17,000 athletes from around the world are staying at a LEED Gold Olympic Village, their temporary home for the 2008 Olympic Games. The U.S. Green Building Council announced this week that the Village has been awarded LEED Gold certification under a pilot LEED for Neighborhood Development certification program.

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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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China: New Great Walls - Construction for the Beijing Olympics (NG)

Beijing is building up for the Olympics, spending $40 billion to impress the world -- and pushing commercial architecture to its limits. National Geographic's May 2008 special-edition issue, "China, Inside the Dragon," features dozens of articles, most of them short, all of them about China.

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The Meaning of Zero Energy and Carbon Neutral Buildings

Energy Minute: As we go from discussing energy efficient buildings, to zero-energy and zero-carbon buildings, the definitions steadily become less clear. What exactly to the terms "Zero Energy" and "Carbon Neutral" mean when applied to buildings? (podcast)

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Beijing Construction to be Halted ahead of China Olympic Games (NY Times)

How will Beijing stage "green games" in one of the world's most polluted cities? By placing all sources of pollution on hold for two months. If the plan fails, the International Olympic Committee's president says smog could postpone some outdoor events.

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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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Sentient Building Marks Major Advance in Artificial Intelligence: Exclusive Interview

CHICAGO, April 1, 2008 -- Remember the turn of the 21st century, when intelligent buildings were at the bleeding edge of technology? Now, artificial intelligence is out of the lab and headed for a building near you. Buildings have literally taken on a life of their own and today, the first of April, the first sentient building opened in Chicago Illinois. Denis Du Bois interviews Cornice Leed, the brains of the new Gore Tower office building in the Windy City. (podcast) (transcript)

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Biomass for Central Heat

Energy Minute: Biomass is slowly gaining popularity for space heat -- in part because it's a renewable energy source, and in part because it's less expensive to operate than a conventional furnace. (podcast)

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ConnectivityWeek 2008 Promises "Energy Revolution" for Buildings

Energy is the theme of the upcoming ConnectivityWeek conference -- specifically the energy we use in buildings, and how we can leverage things like renewables, distributed energy, demand response, and information to help solve energy-related problems. Denis Du Bois interviews Anto Budiardjo, president and CEO of Clasma Events, about the "energy revolution" that will change the way buildings are designed and built. (podcast)

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Book Review: Emerald Architecture

Emerald Architecture is a beautifully produced compilation of the green building case studies issued in GreenSource Magazine through the end of 2007.

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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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Home Savvi Connects Homeowners with Green Building Resources

Seattle Home Show 2008 -- This is the place where Puget Sound-area homeowners and exhibitors gather twice a year. If you're thinking of building or remodeling, you'd come here to find contractors, retailers, designers -- and if you're an exhibitor here, you'll meet thousands of homeowners in a few short days... but what about the rest of the year? Home Savvi is using technology to bring homeowners together with the green building information, products and services they need, online. Denis Du Bois interviews Villette Nolon, CEO and co-founder of Home Savvi, at the 64th Annual Seattle Home Show. (podcast) (screen shots)

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Mayor Marks Kyoto Anniversary with Home Show Tour

Seattle Home Show -- Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels commemorated the anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol on opening day of the 64th Annual Seattle Home Show with a short speech and a tour of energy-efficiency and renewable-energy exhibits here.

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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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Networked Building Controls: Open or Proprietary?

Energy Minute: Systems in a facility can be networked so they can interoperate. Just stringing a wire between a security system and a lighting controller isn't enough. Your choices will affect the life cycle cost of your building or campus.

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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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Data Center Energy: Information Resources Emerge

Data center managers are increasingly concerned about the energy footprint of their operations. Power consumption, cooling demand, and physical space are at or near maxed-out levels. Several resources are emerging to provide information about shrinking the footprint and reducing the energy-related risks in data centers.

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Greenbuild 2007 Expo Audio Tour

GREENBUILD-- Hear from 7 exhibitors in 12 minutes in this whirlwind audio tour of the expo hall. Denis Du Bois hand-picks energy-related vendors and brings you an audio summary of what they have to say. Denis does the walking, interviews the top people in each booth and edits their message down to its essence; you just sit back and enjoy. (podcast)

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Greenbuild 2007 Round-Up

GREENBUILD-- This page is your gateway to everything we publish about the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo 2007 at the new McCormick Place West in Chicago. Don't miss stories and photos of Bill Clinton's keynote address, Autodesk's amazing software concept, the exciting atmosphere, the insightful education sessions, and an audio tour of the huge expo hall. It was a great conference -- come along for the read! (photo)

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The Business Case for Green Office Buildings

GREENBUILD-- Does it cost more to build green? What's the return on investment? I took a front-row seat at "A Business Case for Sustainably Designed Commercial Office Buildings," a Greenbuild education session with John Gattuso of Liberty Property Trust and three of his architects, to find out. Gattuso divulged some cold, hard, and rather surprising financial results in what turned out to be a very valuable session.

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Green Building Standards Pass up Golden Opportunities

GREENBUILD-- Every building is different, and the US Green Building Council is working hard to establish LEED standards that apply fairly to all kinds of buildings. Would a more fluid, flexible system be more effective at encouraging green building?

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Autodesk Sustainability Analysis Dashboard Wows Greenbuild Attendees

GREENBUILD-- What we saw at Greenbuild 2007 could reconceptualize the way architects design buildings. When you see the photos, you'll agree. Autodesk terms it a "research project" for now. Will it be a real product, when, and in what form? EP talked with Autodesk VP Phil Bernstein about the company's sustainability analysis dashboard.

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Greenbuild 2007 Gets Even More Jam-Packed

GREENBUILD-- The tally on the white board in the press room is up to 20,500 attendees at Greenbuild 2007. There are still more people in line to get in.

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Greenbuild 2007 Is Standing Room Only

GREENBUILD-- Put 18,000 architects, builders and vendors in one building, when you were expecting fewer than 10,000, and you get...

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Greenbuild 2007: Bill Clinton Urges Mobilization on "Staggering Economic Opportunity"

GREENBUILD-- President Bill Clinton, speaking to a packed auditorium of 8,000 attendees at the oversold Greenbuild 2007 conference in Chicago, gave the audience a call to action: Prove to the world that solving the climate problem is the biggest opportunity for economic and social mobilization since World War II.

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BetterBricks Seattle Award Winners 2007: Congratulations

A quick note to congratulate the Seattle winners and finalists in the third annual BetterBricks Awards.

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Green Design in Google SketchUp Highlighted

A couple of weeks ago, the authors of the Sketchup Blog decided to run a friendly competition. They asked readers to submit examples of sustainable work they've done in SketchUp. Six projects were selected -- "They were the most compelling, and most complete, that we received," writes blog author Aidan Chopra.

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DR-Expo 2007 Moves Demand Response to Forefront of America's Energy Sustainability Agenda

As American businesses wrestle with sustainability and the prospect of even higher energy costs, competitive energy suppliers and members of the building automation industry are coming together at DR Expo 2007 to collaborate on ways to fast-track energy demand response solutions.

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Marketing Intelligence: The Challenges of Selling Smart Meters in the US

One of the promises of a "smart grid" is to bring the advantages of data and communications networks to the infrastructure that delivers electricity to our businesses and homes. That would make it possible to fully deploy ideas like demand response and real-time pricing -- ideas that depend on having intelligence at both ends of the wire -- sophisticated systems at the utility end; and at the customer's site, smart energy meters. Why is the United States so far behind Europe in deploying advanced metering infrastructures? What will it take to accelerate adoption? Denis Du Bois interviews Jeff Lund, a VP in the Networked Energy Services division at Echelon. (podcast) (transcript)

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Lighting Boost, No Power Needed (Lighting Design Lab News)

Before investing in lighting upgrades, consider spending some money on paint. Lighting Design Lab, a nationally recognized research facility in Seattle, has done some research into how a room's surfaces affect the quality of light.

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Data Centers Suck Down Energy, Mostly for AC (Seattle P-I)

In follow-up to my earlier article "How Green is Your IT?" here's an AP article on cooling data centers.

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What Is Green IT? Part 2: Converging with the Shadow Network

How do you define "Green IT?" Growth is driving global trends in resource depletion, air and water pollution, energy consumption, and climate change. A third of U.S. energy consumption comes from commercial buildings. Businesses are automating those buildings to reduce costs and emissions. Will IT lead, or follow, the coming change? This is the second in a two-part series on IT's role in solving energy and environmental problems.

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IT-based Buildings: The New Trend of Managing Buildings via the Network (GCN)

The article covers an integration of systems in state facilities in Missouri, where the government’s energy costs had soared from $42 million to $74 million in two years.

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BuilConn 2007 Perspective

BuilConn was an interactive environment where attendees helped shape big ideas, such as Buildings 2.0 and GridWise. Ken Sinclair of Automated Buildings magazine called to get my report from the conference, and he published this article:

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What Is Green IT? Part 1: Cutting Emissions and Energy Use Enterprise-wide

How do you define "Green IT?" Sure, data center energy savings are a huge opportunity. Data centers consume more energy per square foot than any other part of an office building. But they're part of an information and services supply chain that begins with raw materials and ends with the disposal of waste. The chain includes people, the space they occupy, and the cars they drive. Along the way, the chain increasingly gobbles energy and spews greenhouse gases.

The IT department is in a unique position to change that. This is the first in a two-part series on IT's role in solving energy and environmental problems.

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IPCC Fourth Assessment Defines Role of Buildings in Climate Change Mitigation

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is developing the fourth in a series of reports on climate change. "Climate Change 2007" is also known as the Fourth Assessment Report. A preview of a section of the report includes recommendations for how buildings and industrial sites can help to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

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Gatorade Goes Green, Gets Gold (Archi-Tech)

Gatorade has earned Gold LEED Certification for its new manufacturing plant, in part by maximizing its energy efficiency.

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ConnectivityWeek 2007: Buildy Award Winners

The BuilConn and ConnectivityWeek conferences ended on a high note with an award gala reception and dinner.
ConnectivityWeek founder Anto Budiardjo was master of ceremonies. This closing dinner and awards ceremony was mostly for fun, but Mr. Budiardjo had a few serious things to say. Then he announced the winners of the 2007 Buildy Awards. (podcast)

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ConnectivityWeek 2007 Insight: New Integrated Approach to Buildings Lifecycle

Interview with Ed Richards of Richards-Zeta. We talk about new tools and ideas for buildings. Ed shares his insights about the influence of California, Europe and Asia on those ideas. (podcast)

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ConnectivityWeek 2007: Wednesday Highlights

A quick guide to the day's sessions, plus an interview with Jack McGowan, president of Energy Control Inc. (podcast) (transcript)

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ConnectivityWeek 2007 Insight: Roadmap to Buildings 2.0

Interview with Carter Williams, keynote speaker and president of Gridlogix. We'll talk about the vision of Buildings 2.0 and the technology that drives it. (podcast)

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ConnectivityWeek: Tuesday Highlights

Why it is what it is: The evolution of ConnectivityWeek. Conversation between Denis Du Bois and conference founder Anto Budiardjo. (podcast) (transcript)

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ConnectivityWeek 2007 Insight: Cisco Connected Roundtable

Today is opening day for ConnectivityWeek in Chicago. The focus for today's ConnectivityWeek Insight podcast is the Cisco Connected Roundtable track. I interview Rick Huijbregts, the track leader. (podcast) (transcript)

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ConnectivityWeek 2007 "Highlights and Insights" Podcast Series Begins May 22

The fifth annual BuilConn kicks off next week in Chicago as part of ConnectivityWeek 2007. Energy Priorities editor Denis Du Bois is hosting a daily podcast series featuring interviews with the top speakers at the conference. BuilConn is all about the convergence of building automation and information technology, a field that takes the concept of "connectivity" to extremes. Make it possible to connect lighting controls to the security system and tie it all to the corporate information trust, and you have an environment that just might make buildings truly "intelligent."

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Integrating Dynamic Facades with Building Control Systems (AutomatedBuildings)

Given that passive features make a building more comfortable and energy efficient with minimal complexity, can active and dynamic components such as automated shading enhance the benefits without overwhelming complexity? For an average 50,000 square foot building, they can reduce cooling energy demand by as much as 40 percent, and reduce lighting energy consumption by 60 percent. Dynamic envelope technologies reduce energy demand, especially during peak periods. Reduced energy demand means fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

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IBM Advance To Make More Energy-Efficient Chips Possible

Data centers are big energy users, and manufacturers like Sun and IBM have been responding with more energy-efficient technologies. Today IBM announced the application of self-assembling nanotechnology to conventional chip manufacturing, borrowing a process from nature to build the next generation computer chips. The chips will use less energy, and be faster. IBM is testing microprocessors using the new technology, and expects to deploy it in manufacturing lines in 2009. (photo)

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Energy Trends in Manufacturing

Twelve manufacturing sectors account for 85 percent of U.S. industrial energy use. A new report from the EPA details their energy use and explores policy and regulatory improvements.

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GridWeek 2007: Buildings and the Future of Electricity

This is the last day of GridWeek. Denis Du Bois is hosting a daily podcast series featuring the top speakers at the conference. Today he interviews Kurt Yeager, Executive Director of the Galvin Electricity Initiative, and Volker Hartkopf, Director of the Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics at Carnegie Mellon University. (podcast)

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Summer Is Coming, Is your Workplace Ready To Stay Cool Efficiently? (Buildings Magazine)

Cooling, space heating and ventilation are responsible for a 30 percent of a building's energy consumption, the largest portion, on average. Regionally the percentage can be considerably higher -- especially in hot climates. As summer aproaches, building owners need to check not only the health of their cooling systems, but the condition of the building envelope itself.

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Demand Management Technology Has Cross-Atlantic Reunion

Demand management vendors have traditionally specialized in either industrial or commercial spaces. That means few choices for industrial sites that want to automate their entire facility using a centralized system. A recent merger could eventually result in a new system that can manage both plants and offices. Will it have enough of an advantage over integrating multi-vendor systems?

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Getting Started with Demand Response

Demand response is catching on around the world as a means of reducing the need for new power plant construction, lowering wholesale power costs, and cutting harmful emissions. It can also be a source of revenue for participating companies. If demand response is going to be part of your energy cost management strategy, then you have some options for how you go about it. (podcast)

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Demand Response: Experts and Businesses Discuss the Challenges Ahead

California's big three utilities have 2,660 MW of demand response enrolled, ahead of the regulators' policy goal for next summer. Enrollment is not the same as participation. Do companies have enough price elasticity to participate? If so, is demand response cost-effective for utilities? Can participating companies recover the cost of the necessary equipment? Who pays the price?

Blogged live from a meeting entitled "Demand Response: Simple Solutions, Real Savings, Fast Payback," this article grew as the meeting proceeded. It's still in its rough form, but nonetheless full of interesting information and perspectives. I invited readers to post questions using the comments form at the bottom of this article, and I posed some of them to the speakers and panelists.

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Cogeneration Rising (Distributed Energy Magazine)

The January-February 2007 issue of Distributed Energy Magazine includes two case studies of successful on-site generation projects that capture heat from power generation and put it to productive uses.

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Slow Down and Keep Cool: Technology Fine-Tunes Chiller Speeds to Cut Air Conditioning Costs

Building owners are looking for new ways to squeeze more energy efficiency out of their commercial facilities, and one of the largest opportunities is in heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Jim Hanna of Optimum Energy explains how the company's control technology makes commercial air conditioners more energy efficient. (podcast) (photo)

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Monitoring Solar Energy for Fun and Profit: Fat Spaniel's "PV2Web" Displays Real-Time Status

Checking in on a solar array from the office is an intriguing thought for a solar homeowner. But there's a more serious and practical side to monitoring renewable energy systems for businesses, who are demanding accountability from solar installers and integrators. (podcast) (photo)

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Ice Energy's "Ice Bear" Keeps Off-Peak Kilowatts in Cold Storage to Reduce HVAC's Peak Power Costs

In many regions of the U.S., utilities are feeling the heat. Peak power demand threatens their ability to deliver as much energy as customers need on hot afternoons. Ice storage air conditioning shifts a major commercial energy load into off-peak evening hours, saving money for businesses and reducing pressure on the grid. California's new building energy code makes load shifting a necessity for many new facilities. (podcast) (photo)

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Greenbuild 2006

Your gateway to all Energy Priorities articles and podcasts from Greenbuild 2006 in Denver...

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Greenbuild 2006: Energy in the Spotlight

GREENBUILD -- This is a conference about sustainable building. The host, the US Green Building Council, is an environmental organization with a mission to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through better building practices.

At the heart of this mission is energy efficiency. EP went last week to find out whether energy is of interest to LEED architects and builders. It is. Here's our perspective on the conference and expo. (photos)

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Gerding Edlen, Russell, Unico Honored for Sustainable Buildings with BetterBricks Awards

Boise Idaho, Portland Oregon, and the Puget Sound area each saluted the winners of the 2006 BetterBricks Awards last month. Rather than granting awards to projects, the BetterBricks Awards recognize the people behind each region's high-performance commercial buildings, with a special emphasis on energy efficiency.

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William McDonough Keynote "Something Lived, Something Dreamed" at Greenbuild

GREENBUILD -- William McDonough was a keynote speaker at the Greenbuild 2006 conference last week. The renowned sustainability advisor and author of "Cradle to Cradle" plans to stop public speaking for a year while he works on his research. He talked impromptu for about an hour, showing many excellent slides and his trademark cynicism about the human condition.

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Open Energy's Solar Building Materials Draw Crowds at Greenbuild

GREENBUILD -- Building-integrated solar, or BIPV, has caught attendees' attention at the Greenbuild 2006 Conference and Expo. Open Energy, a relatively new company in the space, is exhibiting three types of BIPV for roofs and windows. Their solar building materials are of particular interest to the large audience of LEED-accredited architects here. Open Energy's Howard Gomes talks with us about their products and the return on investment in various parts of the U.S. and the world. (podcast) (photos)

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Lutron Shows Lighting Control and Shading Systems at Greenbuild

GREENBUILD -- Hear what's now and what's next from Lutron, makers of commercial lighting control systems. Lutron is showing their EcoSystem lighting control system at Greenbuild 2006, together with new automated shading and a wall control unit. (podcast)

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HelioVolt's No-Silicon Solar Technology -- The Future of Building-Integrated Photovoltaics?

GREENBUILD-- Interview with John Langdon of HelioVolt, a maker of solar power products that use no silicon. He talks about the applications of the company's photovoltaics for commercial buildings, and the economics of designing solar into a structure. Hear what's now and what's next from this innovative renewable energy company, with a prediction for the future of solar technologies. (podcast)

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LEED Council's CEO Announces Changes at Greenbuild 2006

GREENBUILD -- US Green Building Council's CEO Rick Fedrizzi announced several pending changes to the LEED standard at this year's Greenbuild Conference and Expo. Fedrizzi announced that LEED, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards created by the USGBC, will encourage more builders to strive for LEED certification and to maintain higher standards after they are certified. Several other announcements were interspersed with presentations from organizations that partner or collaborate with USGBC to reduce the risk of climate change through green building. (podcast)

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Insurance Industry Puts Premium on Green Building

Commercial insurers are offering green building credits and incentives for investing in renewable energy, while opting not to renew policies with global-warming risks. Are they doing it to tackle the causes of rising weather-related losses, or are they using climate change as a way to raise their rates and dump their most risky customers?

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Wirelessly Powered Sensors Collect Data and Energy (MIT Technology Review)

Do battery-free sensors have a future in building automation?

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Puget Sound Hosts MIT Forum on High Performance Buildings

Super-efficient buildings can cut costs and carbon, generating generous goodwill -- but can owners justify the price? An MIT Enterprise Forum event scheduled for 8 November 2006 in Bellevue WA will explore this subject. Panelists represent building owners, energy efficiency experts, commercial lenders, and researchers.

Note: The event has taken place. This article includes a link to an audio recording.

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Solar Glass Offers Unique Option for Glazing

Energy Minute: Building-integrated solar glass generates electricity, often qualifies for financial incentives, and has the uniqueness of custom glazing that generates electricity. (Podcast)

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Builder Expands Solar Incentives by Creating a Renewable Energy Business

Mosier Creek Homes are expected to produce about 40 percent of their energy needs through renewable solar energy. The developer found an innovative way to make solar work out financially. Instead of tapping residential solar tax credits, he set up a solar energy business -- and qualified for incentives equal to 70 percent of the cost. The townhomes will sell at a premium, and owners will pay the developer for their solar power.

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BuilConn 2006 Brings Value of Connectivity to Light

The focus for BuilConn 2006 was the convergence of building controls systems. Ideas about the connectivity of embedded intelligence are starting to jell. A holistic view of a building's networks may be the next big step toward energy savings. In this view, thousands of devices start talking to each other. Can they turn the whole building into a unified energy management application that can respond to price signals from a utility? It's already being done. With rising demand charges, and real-time pricing, the possibilities are intriguing. Even tenants are looking more closely at energy as part of the cost of a lease.

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Ventilation: MIT Energy Researchers Get Some Fresh Air (MIT ERC)

Comfortable buildings without air conditioning? More facilities could do it, using what MIT is learning about fresh air ventilation. MIT president Susan Hockfield launched a day-long MIT Energy Forum last month entitled "Taking on the Challenge," which brought the university's diverse energy research programs into the spotlight.

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Smart Buildings, Smart Grids Connect to Control Cost, Quality of Commercial Power

What's the relationship between smart grids and smart buildings? The answer, today, is that there isn't much of a relationship between the electric grid and the systems that manage building energy consumption. GridWise is changing that, and forces are coming together to accelerate the shift.

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Building Control and Data Technologies Show Signs of Convergence

The technologies of building automation and computer networks are getting more serious about converging. Companies are starting to articulate the technology strategies they hope will keep them on the leading edge. Some strategies include IP networking, which brings with it myriad other information technologies. What are the possibilities and pitfalls?

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BuilConn 2006 To Focus on IP Centric Building Systems

BuilConn Americas 2006 is scheduled for May 16-18 in Palm Springs, California. This year BuilConn shifts its focus to IP centric systems and the convergence of building automation and the IT world.

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Batimat, BuilConn Compete for Builders with Concurrent Expos

Two building shows happened this November in Europe. Batimat 2005 and BuilConn 2005 appeal to the green building and building automation industries.

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Business Profits by Going Green (Greenbuild)

A new study highlighted at the GreenBuild Conference 2005 says that green buildings can provide a significant competitive advantage to business.

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Coalition Seeks to Embed Sustainable Strategies in Gulf Coast Rebuilding Efforts [Greenbuild]

Green builders will gather in Atlanta for the Greenbuild Conference and Expo -- and to help Gulf Coast leaders find ways to rebuild green in the aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. Coalition members include Habitat for Humanity, Enterprise Foundation, Trust for Public Land and Congress for New Urbanism.

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Solar Power Outside Promotes Collaboration Inside MITRE Center - Case Study

Employee collaboration was a central goal for the MITRE Center building -- and its planners started the collaboration with the design process. Owners, builders, architects and vendors worked together to craft a sustainable design. This LEED Silver candidate's "green" elements create a synergy that brings together energy efficiency and comfort. Financial incentive programs worked in unison to support the integration of renewable energy into the building. Photos.

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After Katrina: Let's Rebuild Green

Hurricane Katrina is likely to destroy more structures than any other natural disaster in history. Utilities in her path are struggling to restore their conventional hub-and-spoke electric distribution grids. If an expected quarter-million small businesses and residences are to be bulldozed, why not build solar-powered structures in their place using sustainable building materials and techniques? Why not rebuild the power grid wisely, too?

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Building-Integrated Solar Glass in a Nutshell

Building-integrated solar glass generates electricity, often qualifies for financial incentives, and has the uniqueness of custom glazing that generates electricity. (Photos)

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LEED in a Nutshell

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is a framework for assessing building performance and meeting sustainability goals.

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ZigBee Wireless Standard Could Make Building Automation More Practical (Technology Review)

Squeezing incremental energy efficiency from HVAC and lighting systems takes increasingly sophisticated networks of sensors and controls. A wireless networking protocol known as ZigBee is targeting this market. The open standard allows inexpensive controllers and sensors to interconnect over a resilient mesh network.

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Energy Bill: What's In It for You (Wall Street Journal)

The new energy bill offers incentives that should help companies with energy-efficient home appliances and residential renewable energy systems.

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"Building with Awareness" DVD Documents the Construction of a Hybrid Structure

A builder decides not only to build green, but to capture the construction process on video. The result is a DVD that documents his experiments so others can see how it was done and what works. The "hybrid home" combines conventional and alternative building materials and techniques. The producer, a sustainable-building consultant, hopes to package the lessons from more projects like this in a format that lets others gain confidence in green building. The video shows actual techniques and materials, and shares advice and lessons learned. After living in the home for four years, the man behind the project recently shared more of his insights and plans in an interview with Energy Priorities. (Photos)

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Olympia and Scottsdale Take the LEED on Public Building Standards

Washington's state legislature passed a bill requiring public buildings to meet LEED Silver standards. Scottsdale's mayor announced a resolution requiring city buildings to meet LEED Gold standards. Both are firsts for government-mandated green building.

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Built Green Conference Combines Efficiency, Economics, Environmental Responsibility

The 2005 Built Green Conference at Seattle Center attracted homebuilders enthusiastic about designing and constructing sustainable, energy-efficient homes for a fair profit. The recurring energy theme at this second-annual conference was "embodied energy." Seminars and workshops gave attendees practical exposure to sustainable-building concepts.

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2005 Energy Priorities

What are the top five actions that your business can take in 2005 to become a more responsible energy user and take us closer to a clean and sustainable energy future? EP gathered ideas from engineers, entrepreneurs and investors to compile this year's business energy priorities. Here they are, in priority order.

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