The energy management space is really crowded, and the pace of innovation is hard to keep up with. While researching the various options on the market, I saw an opportunity to learn what one company's doing. Vantage, a long-time provider of home automation solutions for luxury homeowners, is located down the road in Orem, Utah, and the company just released a new Energy Management Solution. It's designed to save homeowners upwards of $600 – $1,500 per year, and the Vantage was kind enough to give me a tour of their offices to see how the solution works.
There's a new, state-of-the-art green spa that just opened its doors in Albany, New York. Complexions Spa & Salon, owned by Denise Dubois, received LEED Gold certification in May 2009, and the owner shared her excitement on her blog, A Green Spa. Denise tells an interesting story. Rather than pay someone else (i.e., the consultants) to obtain certification, as a small business owner, she recruited her family to help pick the right strategies and to document the points. And despite the daunting amount of paperwork required, she was able to get it done, making it an enormously rewarding experience.
The Open Architecture Challenge is an international design competition that's hosted every two years. This year, Architecture for Humanity and Orient Global hosted the competition to bring the architecture, design, and engineering community together with students and teachers to envision the classroom of the future. After receiving over a thousand designs, each submission was rated on feasibility, sustainability, innovation in design, and overall design quality. Now, after four rounds, there are eight finalists and one of these will win in September. Check these designs out and tell us which is your favorite:
Unless you live in a cave, you’ve probably heard about McKinsey & Company’s new report called Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Economy. Starting in 2008, a research team from McKinsey began working with companies, experts, agencies, and NGOs to (1) understand the net present value (NPV) positive potential of energy efficiency gains, (2) identify barriers to realizing these gains, and (3) outline practical solutions to unlock the potential energy efficiency gains. This comprehensive report documents that effort.
There are roughly 85,000 supermarkets in America. Generally speaking, they are artificially lit boxes surrounded by dark asphalt and contain row upon row of doorless display refrigerators. There is, to say the least, room for improvement. Hannaford, which has about 160 supermarkets in the northeast, decided to try something completely new and on July 25th opened the first LEED Platinum certified supermarket, which is located in Augusta, Maine. With Maine's governor, John Baldacci, in attendance, the plaque was personally awarded at the opening by Rick Fedrizzi, president of the USGBC.