An array of 575 solar panels covers the roof of the Bullitt Center, a role model for a new generation of sustainable, energy-efficient buildings.
22 April 2013 - In cloudy, drizzly Seattle, Denis Hayes, the environmental activist who organized the first Earth Day in 1970, is pulling the wraps off a six-story office building that generates all of its electricity via an oversized rooftop array of solar panels.
A sun-powered building in Seattle is "formidable," Hayes told NBC News, but the Bullitt Center project aims to show it is possible in a visible, tangible manner that, in turn, makes an impact on the often invisible, slow-motion challenge of global climate change.
"When this whole [Earth Day] thing got launched in 1970, we had people walking around with gas masks and smokestacks were pouring out enormous impenetrable clouds of black smoke," said Hayes, who is now president of the Bullitt Foundation, which supports environmental causes. read more>>>
April 17, 2013 - Harvard Professor Rebecca Henderson wants to change the conversation.
For Henderson, it’s not enough that large corporations have adopted various sustainability measures. Businesses can’t just rest on their laurels. They must bring a deeper passion to the table if they expect to help find solutions to complex environmental problems, she argues.
Henderson’s work at the Harvard Business School focuses on this central issue -- how organizations can respond to large-scale technological shifts, such as energy and the environment. read more>>>
April 18, 2013 - It’s no secret that technology changes behavior, and that’s likely to be just as true with buildings as it is with, say, mobile devices. But while we often think of the latest technology as a way to improve building functions, we usually fail to fully consider how technology might alter the way people use those buildings. In other words, we tend to overvalue the role of the technology and undervalue the resulting re-engineering of the operational processes. And those process changes, rather than the technology itself, actually can have the biggest impact on costs, effectiveness and efficiency.
To demonstrate the relationship between technology, behavior and performance, here are a few examples of smart devices that use automation technology to change, control and adapt behavior. read more>>>
04/22/13 - Of all the cities in Germany, the port city of Hamburg is most closely associated with water. So it makes sense that one of the most exciting new residential developments in Hamburg is located in the middle of a small body of water. For the IBA International Building Exhibition, Schenk + Waiblinger Architects designed the WaterHouses, a complex of homes that are built on pillars sunk into a water basin on the Elbe islands.
The five buildings that comprise the WaterHouses are designed to demonstrate how residential developments of the future could interact with water from an environmental and recreational perspective. read more>>>
04/21/13 - We have holidays dedicated to everything from flags to consumption (ahem Black Friday), so it only seems right that Planet Earth should get one too. On Earth Day, cities, businesses, and individuals all roll out the green carpet. No doubt you've seen lots of famous brands touting Earth Day initiatives or heard about eco-friendly events being planned in your own community. Unfortunately, most of these events have changed from "do something nice for the Earth" events to "buy this thing that is maybe a little greener than the alternative but mostly just something you need to BUY" events. But that doesn't mean you should hide indoors feeling guilty on April 22nd. On the contrary, there are lots of easy and fun ways to celebrate Earth Day that can actually make a difference all year long. We've listed a few below, and we'd love to hear your ideas in the comments! read more>>>
April 18, 2013 - In 1964, twelve young men in New York publicly burned their draft cards in protest. The many forceful displays against the Vietnam War are well remembered, but what is less remembered is how these commanding displays and the spirit of the era created the energy that led to the first Earth Day witnessed in the US.
Cleverly combining the energy of the anti-war movement and the rising environmental consciousness following Rachel Carson’s publication of Silent Spring, Earth Day founder Gaylor Nelson created a momentous crusade with incredible effects. On April 22 1970, 20 million Americans, of all backgrounds, fought for change–for a healthy, sustainable environment. This initial event led to the creation of the US EPA and the passing of the Clean Water, Clean Air, and Endangered Species Acts. read more>>>
April 18, 2013 - ABB (NYSE: ABB), a global leader in power and automation technologies, and Distributed Sun LLC (D-SUN), a leading solar development and finance platform company, today announced they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for Distributed Sun to provide a wide range of services acting as ABB's preferred "go-to market vehicle" for U.S. microgrid project development and finance solutions.
The companies will drive development and finance of urban and island microgrids, including solar generation, to demonstrate the economic viability of microgrid solutions in the U.S. market. By the end of the decade, the U.S. urban microgrid market size is estimated to be $5B to $10B and growing 18-20%+ annually.
D-SUN is assembling a team of microgrid development and finance leaders via strategic partnerships with dominant global players like ABB and with the goal of deploying $1B of capital in combination with ABB technology solutions. Ultimately, the microgrid is where renewable energy, smart-grid technologies, energy security and energy efficiency all come together. read more>>>