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Not only are buildings consuming more and more electricity, emitting greater levels of carbon dioxide, and wasting more water, fewer and fewer occupants are actually using energy efficiently in their daily operations. While the trend’s negative impact on the environment is clear, the impact on commercial building owners is a far more complex discussion.


The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International has announced the release of Where America Goes to Work: The Contribution of Office Building Operations to the Economy, 2012, which details the impact of commercial office space on the national and local economies. The report shows that the short- and long-term expenditures that sustain office building operations—management, maintenance, repairs, building services and utilities—generate significant, continuous and growing expenditures that support local businesses, create job demand and contribute significantly to U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).


Check out the differences when it comes to ROI, insulating performance, and the installation process to see which option will work best for your building and its occupants.


Bedbugs: 70% commercial, 30% residential.


Scientists have concluded that the larger the wind turbine, the greener the electricity it produces. Their report appears in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology.  This study could solidify the trend toward construction of larger wind turbines.


'Green grabbing' - the rapidly-growing appropriation of land and resources in the name of 'green ' biofuels, carbon offsetting schemes, conservation efforts and eco-tourism initiatives – is forcing people from their homelands and increasing poverty, new research has found.


The 2012 ASHRAE Handbook – HVAC Systems and Equipment discusses systems and the equipment that comprises them, including features and differences. It is designed to help system designers and building operators select and use equipment. It contains 52 chapters. 


The Energy Department has announced more than $7 million for three innovative lighting projects at companies in California, Michigan and North Carolina that aim to lower the cost of manufacturing high-efficiency solid-state lighting (SSL) technologies like light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). 


The cost of managing a building can be measured by the cost per worker, per square foot. Reducing that cost, however, requires a more in-depth building analysis. Integrating a thermal imaging-based people counting system can evaluate an office building’s utilization, for example, with a layered approach. Rather than apply sweeping changes to an entire building, the system intricately studies specific areas.


The Energy Department has announced winners for the “Apps for Energy” competition, with app developers submitting more than 50 innovative mobile and web applications that will help utility consumers save money by making the most of their “Green Button” electricity usage data. 


The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) concludes that up to about 22% of current U.S. energy consumption could be replaced by what experts are calling "intelligent efficiency."


Considering greening operating rooms?  A new analysis published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal shows cost savings and reduced environmental impact without compromising patient care.


U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu has announced plans to invest up to $120 million over five years to launch a new Energy Innovation Hub, establishing a multidisciplinary and sustained effort to identify problems and develop solutions across the lifecycle of critical materials.


Commercial buildings, restaurants, and hotels are often prime locations for stainless steel use.  Disease-causing bacteria has long been an issue to contend with when choosing stainless steel, but researchers have developed a new way to provide a layer of antibacterial coating that will disinfect and kill potential threats.


With the constant focus on electric vehicles and sustainable transportation, a swap to the propane-powered cab should come as no surprise.  Yellow Cab of Pittsburgh, a division of the Pittsburgh Transportation Group (PTG), is introducing propane-powered taxi cabs to Pittsburgh.


Small businesses, facilities, and buildings are making an impact in the quest for clean energy, some thanks to assistance from the Department of Energy.


A study released by civil engineers at MIT displays the potential of using stiffer pavements on the nation’s roads. The figures are significant, showing a reduction in fuel consumption of as much as 3% - adding up to about 273 barrels of crude oil per year or $15.6 billion at today’s prices.  It would also reduce CO2 emissions by 46.5 million metric tons per year.


The EPA and NASCAR are teaming up to promote green initiatives and sustainability.


A study focusing exclusively on design and construction professionals and trade workers, the McGraw-Hill Construction  report entitled "Construction Industry Workforce Shortages: Role of Certification, Training and Green Jobs in Filling the Gaps.", highlights concerns about skilled worker shortages and the promise of green building.


The Energy Department has announced that more than one thousand fuel cells have been deployed via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Over the last three years, nearly 1,200 fuel cells have been deployed in emergency backup power units and material handling equipment.

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