At this very moment, ElectraTherm is releasing details of the successful installation of its new product, a commercial waste heat generator called the Green Machine. ElectraTherm tested their first Green Machine at none other than my alma mater, Southern Methodist University, and the results exceeded initial expectations. Stated simply, the Green Machine makes electricity from residual industrial heat that usually just goes to waste. ElectraTherm’s new product employs minimal heat (200 degrees F liquid) to generate fuel-free, emissions-free electricity at $0.03 – $0.04 per kWh during a three-year payback period and at under $0.01 per kWh after that. SMU’s test of the 50 kW Green Machine reached output well beyond the 50 kW rating.
The Cascadia Region Green Building Council is about to raise the bar for professional credentials in the green building world. Cascadia is behind the growingly popular Living Building Challenge, a program where buildings pursue true sustainability with elegance and beauty. So it’s only natural that Cascadia would provide the tools to help professionals create Living Buildings™, and that’s where the Living Building Leader program comes in. Living Building Leader is an advanced program for professionals with previous experience in green building. It includes a series of 36, interactive, web-based sessions that mirror the six "petals" of the Living Building Challenge. Top green building experts will lead the sessions, with Jason McLennan, CEO of Cascadia, launching the first on June 4, 2008 at 9:00 am PST.
Have a restful weekend and make sure to check your email on Monday morning, May 19th, because the USGBC is set to open LEED v3 / LEED 2009 to public comment.
The first step in the process is simply sorting through the new naming convention. The overall initiative (LEED Version 3) is designed to improve LEED project execution, documentation, and certification. There are three key pieces:
"Truth is, I’ve been a skeptic about many aspects of the green building movement. My eyebrow arches when, for example, someone uses bamboo flooring (which is held together with lots and lots of glue, often containing formaldehyde, and is shipped to the US on bunker-oil-burning ships) to floor a new ‘green’ 11,000 sf house. Tough too to get on board when magazines feature low-VOC paints on one page and walk-in showers with multiple heads and bodywashers on another. Greenwashing, marketing whatever’s hot, and just trying to make ourselves feel better as we change almost nothing about our consumption habits — the suspicion of these plus the thought that a year’s worth of green living is negated by 2 minutes operation of a coal-powered electricity plant … you get the picture … but after my time in the desert of cynicism, I’ve been reminded that every little bit helps, and just because larger forces are at work doesn’t mean we do nothing as individuals—as long as we keep lobbying against the big stuff, like coal-powered electricity plants."
— Bruce Irving, Renovation Consultant, former producer of This Old House
Here’s some interesting news: a new Department of Energy report claims wind turbines could generate 300 gigawatts of electricity — roughly 20% of the US electrical grid — by 2030. There’s already a website in support of the news at 20%Wind.org. The report doesn’t necessarily predict the future of the wind industry, but it paints a picture of what a particular 20% wind scenario could mean for the nation. The wind industry currently produces about 17 gigawatts of electricity, so we’re talking about significant growth over the next twenty-something years. That said, wind industry growth has been fierce in recent years and is on track to meet these numbers if growth holds pace.