Green Building News May 2005
May 24, 2005
Each year the American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment selects projects from across the United States as shining examples of sustainable design. This year eight buildings and one urban design design plan have achieved this distinction, now called the Green Project Awards.
- Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (City of Austin), Austin, TX
- The Barn at Fallingwater (The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy), Mill Run, PA
- Eastern Sierra House (Suzanne Johnson), Gardnerville, NV
- Heimbold Visual Arts Center (Sarah Lawrence College), Bronxville, NY
- Leslie Shao-Ming Sun Field Station (Stanford University), Woodside, CA
- Pittsburgh Glass Center (Pittsburgh Glass Center), Pittsburgh, PA
- Rinker Hall at the University of Florida (University of Florida), Gainesville, FL
- Seminar II, The Evergreen State College (The Evergreen State College), Olympia, WA
- Lloyd Crossing Sustainable Design Plan (Portland Development Commission), Portland, OR
Weighing the options for building features can become daunting. That's what computers are for. Finding the right computer program can be daunting, too. The US Department of Energy's Building Energy Software Directory helps you find the right program for the job. Begun as a catalog of DOE-produced applications, the directory is now open to all energy-related entries. The selection ranges from simple to sophisticated and free to expensive.
Electric generation projects less than 20 megawatts will find it easier, quicker and less expensive to connect to the utility grid now that the Federal Energy Regulatory Comission has approved procedures aimed at small power generating equipment. The rule requires utilities to offer non-discriminatory, standardized connection service, including a contractural agreement. The rules are simpler for projects of 2 megawatts or less, and simpler yet for projects of 10 kilowatts or less that include inverters.
“Advances in technology have led to a growing industry of small power plants that offer economic and environmental benefits", said FERC Chairman Pat Wood, III. "Standardization of interconnection practices across the nation will lower costs for small generators, help ensure reliability, and help ensure reasonably-priced electric service for the nation’s wholesale power customers.”
If you're looking for a good book, video or computer program to help you with the nuts and bolts of green building, the Oikos Bookstore is a good place to start. Since it's origins in 1991 as the Iris Catalog, titles have been carefully selected to be relevant and targeted for building professionals and "engaged" consumers.
Recently moved to a new software and hardware platform, the online shop sports a number of new features. You will now see a list of bestselling titles, along with selected specials and new items on the main bookstore page. Customers benefit from Iris' discounted FedEx rates for express shipping. You are informed via email when an order is shipped and given online access to the package tracking information for USPS and FedEx. You can also see a history of previous orders.
"The new platform makes ordering easier and processing more efficient," said Bruce Sullivan, president of Iris Communications, Inc. "We have a solid foundation for future growth."
One thing that hasn't changed are the great prices. Most titles are discounted five to ten percent off the retail price.
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