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Archive for November, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

The wishes this brings
Are for all the good things
That are part of this day in November,
Filled with peace And all the joys
That you’ll always remember.

From everyone at Chemline
We wish you Happy Thanksgiving

LEED in Italy: Turin Turns to LEED

Published on 14 Oct 2015Written by Joseph Crea Posted in LEED

On a clear day in Turin, the capital of Italy’s Piedmont region, one is surrounded by the pristine, snow-topped French and Piedmontese Alps. The mountains dominate the backdrop to this city, which dates back to the 11th century.

Today, standing on the edge of the historic part of town, it appears that the icy mountains have encroached on Turin’s city center. A new, gleaming, ice-like building stands there: the new LEED Platinum Sanpaolo Tower.

Designed by architect Renzo Piano, the 166-meter-high tower has incorporated transparent glass, opalescent glass and lacquered aluminum on the exterior. Designed as a “bioclimatic building” and a home for the banking magnate Intesa Sanpaolo, the tower incorporates cutting-edge technologies and materials.

The team behind the project took advantage of integrated design to assist with LEED certification through early planning and ongoing collaboration. Energy consumption has been optimized, and the interior office is designed to maximize natural daylight. The cladding consists of transparent double-skinned glass facades that incorporate louvers for greater efficiency. With advanced logic control systems and passive strategies, it reduces energy consumption while ensuring internal comfort.

A particular highlight of Sanpaolo tower is its naturally ventilated bioclimatic greenhouse, which welcomes the public on three levels: a restaurant with a garden, an exhibition hall and a roof terrace.

It’s a place you won’t want to leave. It’s also a great view of Turin’s famous backdrop.

 

Joseph Crea

Director, International Marketing and Communications

 

Programmable thermostats

 

Written by Hannah Wilber Posted in Community

If you’re looking for ways to take the greenness of your residence to the next level. Enter the programmable thermostat, a staple in sustainable spaces everywhere.

What is a programmable thermostat, exactly? Simply put, it’s a device that regulates your home’s temperature based on different settings you’ve specified for particular times of day (rather than maintaining a constant temperature 24/7).

Heating and cooling a home requires a major chunk of its energy consumption—and its occupants’ utility bills—accounting for nearly half of the total energy used. That’s more than the amount required by any other component of a home’s operations, meaning it’s also the biggest contributor of environmentally damaging emissions.

Programmable thermostats help minimize energy consumption by making sure your home’s heating and cooling system is working hard only when it absolutely needs to. Sure, no one wants to be sitting in the living room sweating like they’re in a sauna, or to have to wear hats and mittens at the dinner table, but there are definitely times when we can get away with scaling back temperature moderation without negatively affecting our comfort levels.

The total energy savings gleaned from programmable thermostats are ultimately up to the user. On average, you can save around 10% a year on the costs associated with regulating your home’s temperature just by dialing your thermostat back from its normal setting by 7-10 degrees for eight hours a day. Given that the typical U.S. family spends roughly $2,200 a year on home utilities, that’s a pretty impressive rate of return on investment (the necessary equipment has an average price of about $50).

For those who opt for one of the higher end models with internet connectivity, this super smart technology can even communicate with Demand Response (DR) programs offered by local utility providers. DR strategies encourage consumers to reduce their energy consumption during these peak demand times, allowing utility providers to optimize their supply-side energy generation and delivery methods. Luckily, correct use of a programmable thermostat can help you save some serious green, while making your home greener too.

Hannah Wilber

Marketing and Communications Special  Assistant U.S. Green Building Council

USGBC staff

 

Energy Focus brings a new light to schools through Green Apple partnership

Published on 15 Sep 2015Written by Joshua Lasky Posted in Center for Green Schools

USGBC welcomes Energy Focus as the newest Green Apple Partner. Energy Focus, a leading provider of energy efficient LED lighting products and technology, is committed to transforming the places where our students learn.

“We believe that making our schools healthier and more efficient is more than just an opportunity—it’s a responsibility,” said Eric Hilliard, President and Chief Operating Officer of Energy Focus. “Our team is excited to actively support the incredible work of the Center for Green Schools to provide green schools for all students within this generation.” As part of their commitment to the partnership, Energy Focus will donate 2.5 cents for every tubular LED product sold, which will carry the Green Apple mark, to support the work of the Center for Green Schools to create healthier, safer, more sustainable learning environments.

Hitting the ground running as a Green Apple Partner, Energy Focus has set an ambitious goal for Green Apple Day of Service. The company’s passion for better lighting in schools led them to create the “Change a Light, Change a Life” initiative, through which Energy Focus will donate, free of charge, LED lighting for 50 special needs classrooms in 50 schools across the metro New York City and tri-state area. In addition to transforming learning environments, Energy Focus hopes to increase education about the role that lighting can play improving health and well-being for students and teachers.

Energy Focus brings longstanding commitments to sustainability along with a history of high-impact partnerships, having created energy efficient LED lighting systems for the U.S. Navy fleet.

Joshua Lasky

 

Senate Energy Committee approves comprehensive energy legislation

Published on 4 Aug 2015Written by Bryan Howard Posted in Advocacy and policy

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee advanced a comprehensive energy package by a wide bipartisan margin. The Energy Policy Modernization Act, which includes provisions on efficiency, infrastructure, supply and accountability, was approved on an 18-4 vote in the committee.

The bill reflects input from multiple hearings this year and picks up on a number of energy proposals advanced in previous congresses. It also contains provisions that are important to the efficiency of residential and public buildings in the United States.

The efficiency title of the legislation also includes some needed improvements for affordable housing. For example, the bill improves the federal weatherization program by including a new grant initiative in areas including multifamily homes. The bill also includes a demonstration program to improve energy and water efficiency in up to 20,000 units of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) owned or subsidized properties.

In regards to the federal government, the package expands the length of time the federal government can enter into utility savings performance contacts from 10 to 25 years. This longer payback period can assist in doing a more comprehensive upgrade of government buildings. The bill also codifies the administration’s goals of reducing energy use in government buildings by 2.5 percent annually from 2016-2025.

The consideration of the amendments brought about some less than desirable outcomes. Senator Rob Portman (OH) offered an amendment that would have included a program to modernize the mortgage and appraisal standards to incorporate efficiency in the underwriting process (many refer to as the SAVE Act). The amendment was unable to advance on procedural grounds. The process also brought about a provision to study the building programs at the Department of Energy (DOE) for possible elimination or consolidation.

Timing of floor consideration isn’t certain, but USGBC is reviewing the bill and will continue to work with Congress and private sector partners to improve efficiency programs in the Energy Policy Modernization Act and in other legislation, which may be considered later this year.

Bryan Howard

Legislative Director

USGBC staff

New Study Finds Green Construction is Major U.S. Economic Driver

Published on 16 Sep 2015Written by Cecilia Shutters Posted in Media

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (Sept. 16, 2015) – The green building sector is outpacing overall construction growth in the U.S. and will account for more than 2.3 million American jobs this year, according to a new U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) study from Booz Allen Hamilton (NYSE:BAH).

The 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study, released by USGBC and prepared by Booz Allen, finds the green building industry contributes more than $134.3 billion in labor income to working Americans. The study also found that green construction’s growth rate is rapidly outpacing that of conventional construction and will continue to rise.

By 2018, the study finds, green construction will account for more than 3.3 million U.S. jobs–more than one-third of the entire U.S. construction sector–and generate $190.3 billion in labor earnings. The industry’s direct contribution to U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is also expected to reach $303.5 billion from 2015-2018.

The new USGBC analysis also explores the multifaceted economic contribution of green construction to the U.S. economy and individual U.S. states, quantifying the economic impact of green building and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

In addition to national jobs, GDP and labor earnings from green building, the study projects significant growth in green building’s contribution to individual states’ tax contributions and environmental asset indicators at both the national and state levels.

Total state earnings related to LEED building construction projects are estimated to total $8.4 billion by 2018. In Texas alone, almost 1.26 million jobs in the green building sector are projected between 2015 and 2018. As a result, green building will also contribute to significant savings across energy, trash, water and maintenance costs.

Cecilia Shutters

Policy and Data Communications Specialist

 

 

LEED Certification

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non profit organization that certifies sustainable businesses, homes, hospitals, schools, and neighborhoods. USGBC is dedicated to expanding green building practices and education, and its LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™.

Chemline, Inc. is a member of The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and has the potential to provide LEED points.