Read the full post at Fast Company.
Wind turbines often don’t work well on top of buildings. With all the other structures in the way in urban areas, the wind speeds aren’t fast enough, and the blades fail to turn. You sometimes get the feeling the developer put the thing there not to generate power, but to make some kind of environmental statement.
The WindRail is different because it was designed specifically for buildings and takes advantage of its air flows. Developed in Zurich, it’s a combination wind turbine and solar system that sits between a building’s facade and the roof edge. It could be a way of generating power on buildings that aren’t suitable for conventional solar panels or turbines, which is plenty of them.
Rather than building aqueducts and sending rainwater to the ocean, the Arid Land Institute advocates building bioswales and using permeable pavement to catch and store rainwater for use by residents. NPR has the story from KQED.
Read the full story in FutureStructure.
An Alaska design and architectural firm is partnering with a nonprofit housing agency to design and erect a building that gives more than it takes.
The building, planned for 2 acres on Muldoon Road near its intersection with the Glenn Highway, would be home to 20 apartments for low-income families and residents with disabilities. If the architect and designers have their way, the multifamily housing unit will produce more energy than it consumes and use on-site water and sewer reclamation systems.
The City of Chicago recently released the 2014 Building Energy Benchmarking Report detailing the results of the first round of city-wide energy benchmarking for large buildings. The report shows widespread participation, reveals highly detailed sector-specific data on energy use and shows the huge opportunity for saving energy and money through improving energy efficiency.
Read the full story in The Hill.
The Department of Energy (DOE) wants regulators and the private sector to agree on standards for zero-energy buildings.
In a notice due to be published Tuesday in the Federal Register, DOE asks the public for input on a variety of questions about standards.
Read the full story at Fast Company.
Green roofs produce food, cool buildings, and add a dash of color to the skyline. In the future, could they also generate electricity?
That’s the vision of Marjolein Helder and her Dutch startup Plant-e. Helder has developed a modular system that generates power from submerged plant roots. Eventually, it could power whole households, she says.
Read the full story in GreenBiz.
Dunkin’ Donuts doesn’t usually come to mind when it comes to green companies.
After getting two stores LEED-certified since 2008, however, the Massachusetts-based retailer has parlayed the experience to create its own certification program for franchisees.
The company will roll out the program for new construction projects, with a goal of building 100 certified restaurants by the end of 2016. If all goes well, they also want to extend the program to retrofits at some point.