The Science of Sustainability

Tag: green building

Facebook and Frank Gehry: Will the New Building Be A Marriage of Sustainability?

Facebook and Frank Gehry: Will the New Building Be A Marriage of Sustainability?

Facebook hired Frank Gehry to design its new building. Why? If the 'book wanted a green building (and who'd dare to build in the Bay Area without "a big emphasis on being eco-friendly"?), Gehry is a less than obvious choice.

Continue Reading

Behind-the-Scenes at the Cal Academy Building

Behind-the-Scenes at the Cal Academy Building

Learn about the interesting methods needed to operate a "green" building and it will show you some of what goes on behind the scenes at the Cal Academy.

Continue Reading

Cats and Dogs Forming Acronyms (and furthering green building in California)

Cats and Dogs Forming Acronyms (and furthering green building in California)

It started in Santa Clara County, then spread to Marin, and now its everywhere in California; builders, developers, city governments, and environmentalists, all getting along and creating green building standards together. It's the new PC – Policy Collaboration.

Continue Reading

California On the Green Cutting Edge Again

California On the Green Cutting Edge Again

The eyes of the nation are once again upon California for making bold steps in the water efficiency, energy efficiency, and global climate change arenas.

Continue Reading

Field Notes From New Orleans

Field Notes From New Orleans

Historians will one day come to view the post-Katrina rebuilding of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast as the first major example of green design and technologies.

Continue Reading

Reporter's Notes: The Godfather of Green

Reporter's Notes: The Godfather of Green

My head is swimming with energy efficiency facts after producing this week's QUEST radio piece on efficiency guru Art Rosenfeld. Rosenfeld is retiring, stepping down after two terms on the California Energy Commission.

Continue Reading

Blowing up the House for Energy Efficiency

Blowing up the House for Energy Efficiency

How much air is your house leaking? Are you unknowingly slurping in dirty air from your garage and attic? Perhaps a blower door test can help you find out.

Continue Reading

LEED or Get Out of the Way

LEED or Get Out of the Way

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) has become so popular and well known that many cities now require that new municipal buildings be built to LEED standards. But do these buildings actually save energy?

Continue Reading

Reporter's Notes: Building Blocks Go Green

Reporter's Notes: Building Blocks Go Green

I got interested in this story after hearing Silicon Valley venture capitalist Vinod Khosla speak at a conference this fall in Sausalito. He explained how he decides where to invest in green tech and it was fascinating. He and other top venture capitalists think they can help stop global warming and make a ton of money at the same time.

Continue Reading

Watts In Your Kitchen?

Watts In Your Kitchen?

Do you know how to spot hidden energy guzzlers in your house? You can compare your home energy use over time and spot those peaks and valleys that indicate something is wrong, or something is right.

Continue Reading

Plant a Tree, Invent the Future

Plant a Tree, Invent the Future

We planted several young trees at our home in October. I feel good that those new trees are sucking carbon out of the air as we speak. But a recent talk at Berkeley Labs, where Home Energy's offices are located, made me think much bigger.

Continue Reading

The Most Efficient Home Is One That's Built Already

The Most Efficient Home Is One That's Built Already

Making new homes more efficient is not enough. To solve our energy and environmental problems, we have to make our existing homes much more efficient.

Continue Reading

The Building is Platinum

The Building is Platinum

The California Academy of Sciences is officially the greenest museum on the planet.

Continue Reading

Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger

Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger

The more I examine our lifestyle, the more I find that it has an impact on the environment equal to, if not greater than, that of our technology.

Continue Reading

Of Birds, Poets, and Architects

Of Birds, Poets, and Architects

A Passivhaus is so well designed that it doesn't need a furnace for heating or an air conditioner for cooling. Because the house is so well sealed, it needs to be ventilated mechanically. That is done through a heat recovery ventilator, a device that pulls up to 80% of the heat from exhaust air and transfers it to the incoming, fresh air.

Continue Reading

Producer's Notes: Beyond Solar: Do It Yourself Home Energy

Producer's Notes: Beyond Solar: Do It Yourself Home Energy

When we started working on this project, we thought it would be easy to find people to interview: D.I.Y.ers with a passion for sustainable building who were testing out new technologies in their backyards. We found a handful of great subjects, but we never quite tapped into that centralized hub we'd envisioned. And that, it turned out, was the point. When you're a D.I.Y.er, you tend to D things Y.

Continue Reading

One Part Perspiration, Five Parts Inspiration

One Part Perspiration, Five Parts Inspiration

These 5 folks are full of bright ideas. Image Source: PiccoloNamekACI trains home performance professionals through national and regional conferences and through the Web. Last week I participated in my eighth ACI national conference. The annual conference is where I go to network; learn about all aspects of home performance; recruit authors for Home Energy […]

Continue Reading

Who Controls Your Thermostat? Part 2

Who Controls Your Thermostat? Part 2

No, this is not Big Brother. Credit: Jim GunshinanThe answer to the question, Who controls your thermostat?, which I raised in an earlier post, is now clearly answered. You control your thermostat! The California Energy Commission (CEC) was to require, as part of the 2008 Title 24 building standards, that all new homes be outfitted […]

Continue Reading

2007 Energy Bill a Mixed Bag

2007 Energy Bill a Mixed Bag

It would be easy to think that the 2007 Energy Bill, signed by President Bush at the end of last year, was all about automotive fuel economy. The legislation that requires fleet-wide average fuel economy for cars and light trucks to reach 35 miles per gallon by 2020 has generated a lot of buzz. On […]

Continue Reading

Green Collar Jobs

Green Collar Jobs

Home designers and constructors are realizing that all houses are organic. The California Energy Commission asked the Davis Energy Group in Sacramento to evaluate new home construction in California a few years ago. The following excerpt from Home Energy Magazine tells you what they found. The increasing architectural complexity of new homes requires greater vigilance […]

Continue Reading