Industry News


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.


The DOE has announced the release of the first Advanced Energy Design Guide (AEDG), designed to assist architects and engineers in the design of energy efficient office buildings.  The guide is part of the 50% series; named as such with the goal of achieving 50% energy savings compared to standard commercial building energy codes.


U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced that a group of environmental, industry, and state regulatory experts will be behind recommendations to improve safety and performance of natural gas hydraulic fracturing from shale formations. 

Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” has become increasingly more visible in the public spotlight due to health concerns over potentially unsafe drinking water.


The race to develop biofuels is on, and an article in the current issue of Global Change Biology Bioenergy is taking a look at ethical issues and questions surrounding the rapid rise of this emerging energy.


Green careers that support sustainability goals and initiatives may have been harder to acquire in the past, but the Alliance Green Campus program is starting a new trend.


Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc., recently hosted a webinar titled “Certifiably Green. LEED Solutions from Staples Advantage.” 
This webinar provided key strategies and tips to bring your building into the sustainable fold of LEED certification.   Below are some key takeaways from the event. 


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) have announced that BP Exploration Alaska, Inc. will pay a sum of $25 million in civil penalties for spilling more than 5,000 barrels of crude oil on the North Slope of Alaska.

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