BUILDINGS - Smarter Facilities Management



U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced the availability of up to $70 million in new funding over three years for technology advancements in geothermal energy to accelerate development and reduce costs of this renewable energy resource.


The DOE has announced the availability of $27 million in funding towards new solar energy solutions designed to make solar energy cost-competitive within the decade.  As part of the SunShot Initiative, the funding will streamline permitting and installation, reducing the non-hardware costs of solar energy projects.


The Building Owners and Managers Association of San Francisco celebrated its role in shaping The City’s commercial landscape at a Gala Centennial recently at the Palace Hotel.  BOMA’s efforts have supported and reinforced a first-class downtown San Francisco.


The EPA has revealed new fuel economy labels that will provide comprehensive fuel efficiency information, scheduled to be featured on model year 2013 cars and trucks.


The 2011 hurricane season is upon us, and it’s time to ensure that your facility is prepared to weather the storm.

Share your best hint, tip, or piece of advice to be included in the September issue of BUILDINGS

Vermont has implemented a process for solar system registration, which offers a national model for mitigating costly permitting often associated with solar systems.  


Ruukki is the first company to develop a photovoltaic system that has been fully integrated into a facade.  This solar power system does not depend on sun warmth, only radiation, and the electricity generated is used to meet the building’s own power needs or fed into the electricity grid.

Solar cells need films to protect them from air and water vapor.  Traditionally, glass has been used to protect the active layers of solar cells to protect them from the environment.

Testing has begun on a promising new way to recycle Waelz slag, turning the harmful steel mill waste material into a useful construction brick.  Though there are concerns over the potentially toxic materials that could be leaked out of the bricks over time, these fears are being investigated with the studies.


Memorial Day weekend and summer vacations are on the way, but a recent study from CareerBuilder shows that the state of the economy combined with demanding work schedules has workers wondering if they can afford to take vacation time.


The U.S. Department of Energy has issued a conditional authorization approving the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Sabine Pass LNG Terminal in Louisiana.  


ASHRAE has worked with Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) to develop the Energy Savings and Industrial Competiveness Act of 2011.  The legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate and is designed to reduce barriers that residential, commercial, and industrial sectors face when utilizing new technology.


The EPA has issued the annual list of suggestions and tips designed to assist the public cut cooling costs, stay comfortable, save energy, and protect their health.  While these are tips designed for the average home, facility managers and building operators may see mirrors here on a much larger scale.


Odor ranks above poor customer service as a critical customer annoyance, and has shown to seriously deter repeat business.  Cintas Corporation provides us with the top 5 tips to help your facility implement an odor solution.


Today’s solar panels only collect about 20% of available light, but a University of Missouri engineer has developed an innovative flexible solar sheet that captures more than 90% of available light.  Prototypes are expected to become available within the next 5 years, and the implications of this product on solar energy developments are significant.

The SunShot Initiative will be obtaining approximately $170 million in funding over three years to support photovoltaic technologies, and the four key topic areas of the project have been revealed.

A new technology being developed at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory could see billions in savings each year through the transformation of waste into electricity.


Researchers speculate that damage from storms like the EF5 tornadoes that ravaged the South in April could be reduced by better building practices and the enforcement of existing codes.


The recent announcement the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) would not be releasing the results of the 2007 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) has prompted ASHRAE to take action.

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