May 15th, 2009 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
New York City was built up a long, long time ago when energy efficiency wasn’t part of the plan. So nowadays buildings consume a lot of power, costing owners millions of dollars each year.
That’s why New York is all set to retrofit skyscrapers to help reduce carbon emissions, most notably the Empire State Building, which is slated to get a $20 million green makeover:
On the outside, the building will get 6500 windows refurbished into triple-glazed insulated modules, dramatically improving summer and winter efficiency. On the inside, the 78 year-old building is getting upgraded lighting, lighting controls and lighting design; upgraded or overhauled furnaces, chillers, and air-handlers. There will also be an emphasis put on demand-side management systems, allowing tenants to use their energy efficiently.
“Commercial and residential buildings account for the majority of the total carbon footprint of cities around the world – over 70 percent in New York City,” said Anthony E. Malkin of building owner, Empire State Building Company. “Most new buildings are built with the environment in mind, but the real key to substantial progress is reducing existing building energy consumption and carbon footprint.”
Actually, New York has been very active in the green revolution, such as instituting a statewide recycling program for plastic bags, subway rides that donate money to environmental programs and an apartment building in Brooklyn just got a solar roof.
Read More:Empire State Building to Slash Energy Consumption
February 19th, 2009 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
That’s an oil rig and a vacation spot. An odd combination, but it could become a reality. One U.S. design firm wants to reclaim and oil platforms in Gulf of Mexico and convert into luxurious self-sustaining eco-resorts and spas.
The retooled rig is powered by its own renewable energy, including solar panels, wind turbine and wave energy generators and the resort will provide guest with all modern amenities and luxury activities, like diving, boating, snorkeling and other water sports. Neato!
It’s the idea of Houston-based architecture and design firm Morris Architects and recently won the grand prize at the 2008 Radical Innovation in Hospitality design competition.
Read More:From Oil Rig to Eco-Resort…
January 27th, 2009 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
In Brooklyn, an old building, originally constructed in the 1880s and newly renovated into 25 commercial spaces, gets a green overhaul.
The Nassau Brewery, once called the Budweiser Brewery until a lawsuit by the more well-known Budweiser forced a name change, is the first commercial net-metered solar power array in New York City.
Net-metering allows customers to use their own power generation systems to offset energy costs, by sending excess electricity back into the grid, i.e. spinning their electric meters backwards.
Green builders Big Sue, LLC renovated the Nassau Brewery, located at 925 Bergen Street in Brooklyn. In addition to its 40 kilowatt solar panel system, the building features radiant heating, a 4,000 square foot green roof and locally salvaged materials, such as lights and sinks.
Nassau Brewery’s sister building at 1024 Dean Street, once used as an ice house, now houses 6 residential apartments and also sports a green roof, solar system, radiant heating and recycled amenities.
Actually, New York has really taken the green bull by the horns, other eco-innovations:
Read More:Brooklyn Rooftop Goes Solar
January 8th, 2009 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
It might look like something out of a 1960’s future world, but Drake Landing Solar Community, just outside of Calgary, Alberta, Canada is North America’s first solar-powered community, 52 houses getting most of their space-heating energy needs from an interconnected network of solar panels.
A total of 800 panels, installed on garage roofs throughout the neighborhood, generate 1.5 megawatts of thermal energy during the summer. And extra power is stored underground for the shorter, colder days of winter.
The homes sold quickly, especially after June testing revealed the system captured and stored exactly the amount of energy that had been calculated, with the last house going this October.
In 5 years, together the neighborhood will have saved up enough solar energy to provide 90% of the community’s heating needs during the winter.
Also, all the houses are gold-certified for being green. The average Canadian household emits 6 to 7 tons of greenhouse gas annually, but Drake Landing’s homes only produce 1 to 2 tons per year.
Read More:Canada Establishes Solar Powered Community
December 31st, 2008 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
This is cool! A little town in Japan, called Kuzumaki generates 161% of its power needs from clean energy.
A marvel, since Japan is a resource-scarce nation, importing 90% of its fuel.
The town, of 8,000 residents, utilizes solar panel arrays, wind farms and methane gas from dairy cow dung. The extra power is sold to neighboring communities.
Kuzumaki’s self-sufficiency is the brainchild of its former mayor, who lobbied for government funding and grants. Now he promotes tourism to Kuzumaki, which hosts more than 400,000 visitors a year.
But, the Kuzumaki’s population is shrinking as younger people move out and older residents die off. Even still, citizens hope their little town serves as a model for the rest of the world.
Imagine New York City or Los Angeles off the grid. It’d take a lot of cow crap!
Via Time Magazine.
Read More:Kuzumaki Off the Grid
December 18th, 2008 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
Most people know Jay Leno from the Tonight Show or his standup career in the 1980s. But he’s also a gear-head.
He likes cars. And in our new eco-conscious society, driving hotrods and gas-guzzlers isn’t going to win many hearts and minds.
That’s why Leno’s different. Somewhere in Southern California is Jay’s Big Dog Garage and it’s outfitted with a lot of eco-innovations:
- 54-kilowatt solar panel system
- 10-kilowatt vertical axis wind turbine
- Parts-washer that uses microbes to consume grease and oil
- Industrial canister exchange system, replaces aerosol cans for break cleansers
- Natural all-purpose cleaners
- 90% efficient hot water heater.
He’s also got a bunch of cool cars, like a GM biodiesel super-car powered by a Honeywell LT-101 turbine engine. For more, check out Jay Leno’s Garage.
Via The Los Angeles Times.
Read More:Jay Leno’s Green Garage