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ASHRAE Disputes Gender-Biased Office Thermostats

Posted by Christina B. Farnsworth

Oct 6, 2015 5:21:26 PM

ASHRAE challenges reports that office temperature settings are unchanged from the 1960s—and favor men.

Host Norah O’Donnell hovered in a red blanket while the offices are too cold segment aired on CBS This Morning, though even Charlie Rose complained of cold. Not only did the segment say that the cold temperature setting was uncomfortable, but also that raising temperatures to a recommended 75 degrees could save cash on utility bills and lower CO2 emissions (office temperature emissions account for 30 percent of global CO2 emissions).

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Report: DOE Defines Rules of Performance and Terminology for Zero Energy Buildings

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Oct 1, 2015 1:02:11 PM

Among other things, the report says consumers are confused by the word "net," so it should be dropped.

A team of industry players, architects and building scientists worked with the DOE to create the 22-page report, (linked below), which includes mathematical formulas for both commercial buildings and homes, along with boundary perimeters. The boundaries, for example, define what constitutes "on-site" energy production.

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Study: Additives to Biodegrade Plastics Have No Measurable Effect

Posted by Christina B. Farnsworth

Apr 2, 2015 10:42:00 AM

A Michigan State University (MSU) study shows that additives to biodegrade plastics simply don’t work.

THE NEW STUDY from Michigan State University featured in the current issue of Environmental Science and Technology shows that several additives that claim to break down polyethylene (i.e., plastic bags) and polyethylene terephthalate (i.e., soda bottles) simply don’t work in common disposal situations such as landfills or composting.

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Estimates of the Embodied Energy of Buildings Are All Over the Map

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Aug 25, 2014 12:49:00 PM

THE AMOUNT OF CARBON ENERGY "embodied" in buildings has been a hot topic in the green building universe for at least 20 years. And rightly so. Only by understanding the REAL environmental costs of materials and products can we adjust and reduce to optimal levels.

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