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AFE Weekly Headlines
Oct. 14, 2008
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Better Solar for Big Buildings
from Technology Review
Solyndra, a startup based in Fremont, Calif., has developed a novel type of solar panel that's cheaper to install and produces more power than conventional panels. Unlike conventional solar panels, which are made of flat solar cells, the new panels comprise rows of cylindrical solar cells made of a thin film of semiconductor material. The material is made of copper, indium, gallium, and selenium. More

Space Technology Inc.

China’s First Zero-Emissions Building
from Inhabitat
Situated in Ningbo, China, the University of Nottingham’s new Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies (CSET) is a welcome addition to the landscape as well as the air above Zhejiang province. Inspired by Chinese lanterns and traditional wooden screens, Mario Cucinella Architects packed CSET with a variety of sustainable attributes to make it the the first zero-emissions building in China. More

Opening Window, Adding Sensors Help Reduce Cost of Lighting
from The Wall Street Journal
In the U.S., buildings account for about 40 percent of total energy use, and lighting is the biggest single contributor, says Mr. Leon Glicksman, who heads MIT's building-technology program. So designers are finding ways to bring more daylight deeper into a structure's interior. One example: The year-old New York Times building is screened with hundreds of ceramic rods that reflect light into the building while reducing glare, cutting the total energy bill by 13 percent. More

Empire State Building Rediscovers its Deco Roots
from Urbanite
The Empire State Building is about to embark on an estimated $600 million renovation. The drop ceiling in the lobby will be removed to open the full height of the lobby. Bridges that jut across and overlook the lobby from the second floor also will be restored. Beyond the restoration of the lobby — which is the only interior aspect of the plan that had to be approved for preservation purposes — the rest of the building is getting a tuneup. More


Waste Wood to Heat Downtown Seattle Buildings
from The Seattle Times
Starting next year, about half of downtown Seattle might be partially heated by wood. Waste wood, to be exact. The Seattle Steam Company broke ground on a hybrid waste-wood and natural-gas heating plant on Western Ave. near Pike Place Market. More

U.K. University Engineers Develop Advances Smart Meter
A team of engineers at Swansea University in Wales has developed what is claimed to be one of the world’s most advanced smart electricity meters. And the team, from the Electronic Systems Design Centre in the University’s School of Engineering, has implemented a demonstration version of the meter with a solar panel setup to provide nearly 1.5 MWh per year of “green electricity” to the University, helping to reduce its carbon footprint. More

Using IP for Integrating Building Systems
from Electrical Contractor
Internet Protocol (IP) is growing in popularity as a method for integrating building systems. First of all, it is a way of interconnecting every building system. According to Rawlson King of the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA), “The idea behind IP-based systems is that all devices should be able to be accessible regardless of function. CCTV, access control, intrusion detection, fire alarms, fire suppression, lighting controls and HVAC can all be integrated in IP-based systems.” In a CABA presentation originally given at the Intelligent Building Summit in 2006 in Toronto, there was a comprehensive listing of building systems that can be monitored and/or controlled through an IP-based system. More

Dubai to Build World’s Tallest Skyscraper – Again
from Daily Tech
A Dubai development group has released plans for a colossal skyscraper over a full kilometer in height. The building, dubbed Nakheel Towers after its developer, will be the centerpiece of a new harbor development which Nakheel hopes will become the nation's new “unofficial” capital. With the current record holder, the 2700-foot tall Burj Dubai, nearing completion nearby, this new structure would dwarf it by more than 600 feet. The building will have over 200 floors and 150 elevators. Special high-speed elevators will be fast enough to allow residents to view a sunset twice an evening: once from the bottom, and again from the top floor. The air temperature at the top floor could be as much as 18 degrees cooler than at ground level. More

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