Chilled-out buildings save energy, money
This year Congress tried and failed to pass energy legislation to curb global warming. But the death of the climate bill hasn't stopped efforts to use energy more efficiently. In fact, it puts the spotlight back on some rather old-fashioned ways to cut emissions and electricity bills. Downtown Baltimore is home to an unusual experiment that seems almost quaint—cooling buildings with ice. It's a service provided by Veolia Energy, a small fry in the world of energy companies. Veolia doesn't run big coal or nuclear power plants—instead, it tries to deliver "efficiency"—basically getting more out of the electricity grid. More
Inspec Inc. joins DiHydro and PetroScrub as sponsor of AFE Gala and Facilties America
Inspec Inc., a leading independent engineering and architectural firm focusing on roofs, walls, pavements and waterproofing systems, is helping to sponsor The AFE Gala and Awards Ceremony to be held tonight in Las Vegas. Known throughout the country as a premier professional organization, Inspec has designed and implemented thousands of solutions for a wide range of clients for more than 30 years.
"Events like Facilities America and the AFE Gala can only happen when companies like Inspec support these programs," said Laurence Gration, CEO of AFE. "We thank Inspec for their generosity, and hope all facilities professionals will take note of the contribution Inspec and our other sponsors have made to AFE."
The AFE Gala and Awards presentation will be held tonight at The Las Vegas Country Club as part of AFE's Facilities America Conference. More
Energy: Will efficiency lead to more consumption?
In the polarized realm of climate and energy politics, energy efficiency has always been the common ground. The concept is so attractive—we clearly waste far too much of our energy, whether that means driving a car that gets low gas-mileage or living in a poorly-insulated house. If you're worried about climate change and are looking for a way to cut carbon emissions, improving energy efficiency is a no brainer. And even if you think climate fears are overstated, there's a logical business case for upping your energy efficiency: energy wasted is money wasted. More
World's biggest offshore wind farm is activated
It seems the world has truly embraced wind power and nowhere more so than Europe—specifically the United Kingdom. The U.K. recently opened the Thanet Wind Farm, the largest offshore wind farm in the world with 100 turbines spread over 35 kilometers in the North Sea, 7.5 miles off the coast of Foreness Point, Margate. The wind farm will be capable, if winds are high enough, of generating up to 300 megawatts of electricity—enough to power more than 200,000 homes or a small city. More
Starchitecture: A modest proposal
As Western economies begin to recover, extravagant, eye-popping architecture is giving way to a subtler new aesthetic. In the U.S. and Europe, architectural values are shifting from can-you-top-this designs toward more efficient, functional building. Innovation and experimentation are increasingly directed at sustainability and new technology. More
Green is good, beyond green is better
Sustainable Facility Share
Last year, during an event to promote energy efficient buildings, President Obama quipped that although the topic isn’t a particularly "glamorous" one, it was something that he could "get really excited about it." This light-hearted comment had the positive effect of reminding people that better buildings contribute positively to the human experience. This may sound overblown, but when one considers that we spend approximately 90 percent of our time indoors, it becomes clear how important our buildings really are. As the green building movement gains momentum, residential and commercial building owners are striving to become better environmental stewards. Renewable and energy efficiency strategies are laudable, but are not sufficient to create a fully-functional building. More
Dan Hutchins to offer expertise at "Ask the Expert" program
Dan Hutchins, president of DiHydro Services, has accepted an invitation to participate in the "Ask the Expert" program at Facilities America, Oct. 5-6, in Las Vegas. Hutchins will draw on his decades of experience solving water quality issues to answer questions from AFE members about their facility's pipe and water disinfection problems. To sign up for an "Ask the Expert" session and discuss your facility's challenges with Hutchins, or another facilities maintenance and operations professional participating in the "Ask the Expert" program, click here.
Analysis: Europe's smart grids to light up industrials
For Europe's austerity-hit industrial companies, plans to upgrade the continent's electricity infrastructure with smart grid technology offer growth potential at a time of savage public works cuts. Investment bank Goldman Sachs reckons spending in Europe on transmission, distribution and metering systems could reach $187 billion through the next 30 years, as utilities turn to smart grids to better track household energy use, smooth demand surges and curb overall usage. More