Industry News




02/21/2012

Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced that the Department of Energy will be supporting 142 small businesses across the nation on research projects.  The wide range of projects includes wind turbine development, chemical free approaches to killing bacteria in power plant cooling water, and improving nanomaterials.

02/17/2012

Chick-fil-A has received LEED Gold certification at its Fort Worth, TX location.  The first Gold-certified restaurant in Fort Worth, the location has inspired the company to plan four more LEED designed restaurants in 2012.

02/16/2012

Secretary Chu has detailed President Barack Obama's $27.2 billion fiscal year 2013 budget request for the Energy Department. Requests focus on job creation, clean energy, national security, and innovation.

02/15/2012

The EPA has issued final standards regarding emissions of polyvinyl chloride and copolymers (PVC).  These standards take an aggressive approach targeting air quality and citizen health in areas where thee facilities are located.

02/14/2012

It sounds stranger than fiction, but University of Manchester mathematicians have developed the theory behind an invisibility cloak for buildings that could be used to protect key structures such as nuclear power plants, government facilities, and electric pylons from natural disasters such as earthquakes as well as terrorist attacks.

02/13/2012

The field of 14 startups participating in the America’s Next Top Energy Innovator challenge has been narrowed down to the three winners.  Americans chose the top innovators by casting nearly half a million votes online from January to February, with an expert panel conducting a separate review on the potential economic and societal contributions from the startup companies.

02/09/2012

The EPA has recognized two DoD facilities with the Energy Star Combined Heat and Power (CHP) award for utilizing CHP technology to generate clean, efficient, and reliable thermal energy.  The U.S. Army Garrison Fort Bragg, NC, and the U.S. Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, CA, were both presented with the award.

02/08/2012

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have developed a hybrid solar cell that could increase the maximum efficiency of solar panels by 25% or more.  The research detailing these potential energy gains was published today in Nano Letters.

02/06/2012

The U.S Department of Labor has released a comprehensive guide to assist women in finding and keeping green jobs.  Why Green is Your Color: A Woman’s Guide to a Sustainable Career launched today and is available in its entirety for free in both PDF and HTML form on the Department of Labor website at http://www.dol.gov/wb/Green_Jobs_Guide/.

02/03/2012

Green electricity technology may be getting a significant boost from another green source: Plants.  Barry D. Bruce, professor of biochemistry at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is adding new meaning to the term “power plant.”  Bruce and a team of researchers have developed a system that utilizes the photosynthetic process to produce inexpensive and efficient green energy.

02/01/2012

In the facility manager’s ideal world, every building would be built like a fortress to withstand any emergency.  In reality, construction costs can be significant and engineers “build to code.”   Meeting minimal safety codes can result in situations that provide minimum comfort and protection when disaster strikes.

01/31/2012

Electric vehicle owners and enthusiasts can now utilize GreenCharge on their iOS devices.  GreenChagre allows users to view battery data in real time and calculate and share the monetary benefits gleaned from electric vehicle usage.  GreenCharge launches today on all applicable iOS platforms.

01/30/2012

Researchers at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, are developing a low-cost smart paint that can detect faults at the microscopic level in structures such as wind turbines, mines, and bridges before any damage occur.

01/27/2012
Disaster stories in construction abound: unfinished homes and buildings, blown budgets, lawsuits and contractors fleeing the state. True story: a potential client came to me after receiving an anonymous packet on their front doorstep after they had hired a contractor, containing 200 pages of his nefarious crimes: his restraining orders, lawsuits and judgments
01/26/2012

While many industry veterans continue to ride out the recession, Caterpillar Inc. has posted a record increase in sales and revenues for 2011 – Their largest percentage increase in any year since 1947.  Caterpillar has stated a figure of $60.138 billion, an increase of 41% from $42.588 billion in 2010.  How did they do it?  The percentage increase was largely driven by demand for products and services outside the United States.

01/26/2012
As facility managers and building owners plunge into the New Year, green and sustainable trends can be analyzed to help lay out an effective plan for 2012.  Even if you’re not planning sustainable redesigns or developments for your properties this year, it can be valuable to keep up with the green world.
01/25/2012

In the south, there may not be months of ice and snow, but there is still a transitional period from winter to spring. Turf and other plant material are coming out of the shorter, cooler days and need attention. Check out these tips to maintain your facility’s landscape during these months.

01/25/2012

Before you know it, spring will be here, and the best way to get a jump on spring landscape maintenance is to start planning now. Check out these tips for your facility or building on two important landscape maintenance components: mulching and pruning.

01/24/2012

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), coordinator of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, is supporting an interoperable smart grid for the United States. Ranking among the Obama Administration's top priorities for the nation, the smart grid is a planned nationwide network that integrates information and communication technologies, enabling two-way flows of energy and communications to deliver electricity efficiently, reliably, and securely.

01/23/2012

Thirty-six people are being recognized by ASHRAE for their contributions to the Society and the building industry at the Society’s 2012 Winter Conference held Jan. 21-25.

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