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The Arc House Goes to Vegas: Millennials Rejoice!

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Sep 1, 2016 8:41:47 AM

On display at this year's Solar Power International in Vegas, the Arc House is a Millennial's dream, not the lumbering McMansion of yesteryear.

I’m not a millennial, but I find myself intrigued by many of the things that seem to drive the interest and attention of that generation—smart technologies, clean energy, the circular economy, and tiny living. 

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Solar PV Cheaper to Install on New Production Homes than Retrofits

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Aug 28, 2016 9:27:29 PM

The report found clear advantages in an economy of scale, especially for large volume builders.

Key Findings:

•  PV systems installed in new construction tend to be small and have high incidence of premium modules (top chart)

•  Nevertheless, residential new construction systems in CA were $0.5/W less than retrofits in 2015.

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Is the Urban Land Institute Seriously Trotting Out George W. Bush to Talk About Economic Growth and Technology?

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Aug 26, 2016 9:09:06 PM

When Obama took office, "Dubya" quietly slinked off into the shadows, with disapproval ratings in the 64 percent range. Now ULI is bringing him back.

Reading the lineup for the next ULI conference, I had to do a major double take.

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Floods and Wildfires: The Reality of our Nation’s Future

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Aug 25, 2016 9:21:02 AM

The increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events and other natural disasters make a clear case for resilient building.

Last week, ominous skies in California’s parched San Bernardino Mountains looked more like the Apocalypse than a typical sunny August afternoon.  Smoke, soot, and ash from the vicious Pilot and Blue Cut fires shrouded the valley, causing residents to flee their homes and schools and businesses to close.

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Waste Accident Calls Into Question Nuclear Storage Protocols

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Aug 24, 2016 8:06:43 AM

This is not the first time unexplained, dangerous accidents have challenged U.S. government nuclear storage protocol and viability.

Back in 2014, for example, at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, "radioactive materials leaked from a damaged storage drum. Analysis of several accidents, by DOE, have shown lack of a "safety culture" at the facility," according to Wikipedia (photo shown).

According to the LA Times, in this latest incident, which happened in February of this year, the experts still have not determined whty the waste became unstable.

"A 55-gallon drum of nuclear waste buried 2150 ft. below the earth essentially "erupted," into a foaming mass, sending plutonium-laced airborne particles up a ventilation shaft and poisoning 21 workers.

The accident contaminated the nation's only dump for nuclear weapons waste — previously a focus of pride for the Energy Department — and gave the nation's elite ranks of nuclear chemists a mystery they still cannot unravel.Six months after the accident, the exact chemical reaction that caused the drum to burst is still not understood. Indeed, the Energy Department has been unable to precisely identify the chemical composition of the waste in the drum, a serious error in a handling process that requires careful documentation and approval of every substance packaged for a nuclear dump." (full article).

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Top Sustainable Business Trends of 2016

Posted by Joel Makower, Guest Columnist

Aug 19, 2016 2:11:43 PM

This is the year for companies to best position their business models to capitalize on sustainable growth opportunities.

By Joel Makower and the Editors of

THE NUMBER OF COMPANIES taking a more holistic, business-focused view of their environmental and social impacts by participating in natural capital initiatives is on the up: 611 had made public commitments as of 2015, up 71 percent from 357 in last year’s State of Green Business, and up 217 percent from the 2014 report.

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McKibben’s Let’s Win the War on Warming: A Must-Read on Climate Change

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Aug 18, 2016 9:27:18 AM

Every once in a while, a thoughtful piece of editorial is published that recalibrates the national dialogue about climate change. Sustainability activist Bill McKibben just wrote such an article, putting the war against global warming into perspective and calling for a massive WWII-scale mobilization that completely retools our national economy.

Climate activist Bill McKibben takes no prisoners.  He writes bold and impassioned editorial pieces that call out the major players in the fossil fuel economy.  He protests against pipelines and rallies like a rockstar.  He doesn’t hesitate to get arrested for causes that he believes in.  His perspective on global warming and the urgent need for climate action is powerful and persuasive. 

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Infographic: How Electric Vehicles are the Future of Transportation

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Aug 12, 2016 9:20:26 AM

The auto industry continues to invest heavily in green technologies to meet pollution standards.

An infographic supplied by shows us how EVs are the future of transportation.

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Rio Raises the Bar on Climate Action

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Aug 11, 2016 8:13:00 AM

With the goal of redefining the global zeitgeist, Rio tackles the issue of climate change head-on at opening ceremony for the 2016 Olympics.

In some ways, it’s ironic that Rio tackled climate change head-on during its colorful opening ceremony for the 2016 Olympic Games.  While riddled with massive environmental challenges, the Brazilians decided to take a stand for climate action in a way that larger countries with more to lose (yes, like the U.S.) might never have done.

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The Arc House: The Case for Compact, Alternative Housing

Posted by Juliet Grable

Aug 10, 2016 5:44:57 PM

New concepts such as the 400-sq.-ft. Arc House demonstrate a viable option for moving renters into starter homes.

Today, more than ever, we need housing solutions that respond to changing demographics and economic realities, while at the same time reducing the environmental footprint of the housing industry. With The Arc House, Shelter Dynamics and Green Builder® Media are demonstrating the possibilities of future housing and steering the market on a more sustainable course.

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U.S. Demand for Insulation Expected to Grow by 4 Percent by 2020

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Aug 7, 2016 9:00:00 AM

The Freedonia Group, an industry research firm, asserts that:

Global demand for insulation is expected to rise 3.7 percent per year to 26.0 billion square meters of R-1 value in 2020.  Developing countries are expected to account for the majority of insulation demand gains, with rising building construction activity and industrial output driving growth.  For example, over half of new global demand generated between 2015 and 2020 will occur in the Asia/Pacific region.  China, India, and Indonesia are among that region's developing countries expected to post solid growth in insulation demand.  In high-income countries, a combination of recovery in construction activity and efforts to make existing buildings more energy efficient will boost insulation demand.  These and other trends are presented in World Insulation, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

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2015 Climate Data Show Frenzied Extremes

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Aug 4, 2016 1:42:16 PM

Across the board, from local weather patterns to global heating, the Earth is showing us her displeasure with business-as-usual.

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Green Builder Media Announces 2016 Eco-Leaders

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Aug 4, 2016 8:07:21 AM

Each year, the Green Builder Media editorial team selects a handful of Eco Leaders, companies that are paving the way to a sustainable future with innovative products and forward-thinking business practices, and highlights them in Green Builder magazine.

Green Builder Media’s selected Eco Leaders are setting an example for other companies to follow, reducing their environmental footprint and improving the lives of a wide range of people through the development of enabling technologies, the advancement of the circular economy, the practice of resource conservation, and the continued reduction of carbon emissions. These visionary companies utilize renewable energy, extend the life cycle of their products, maintain a sustainable supply chain, and give back to their communities.

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