Posts Tagged ‘sustainable building’

Breaking Down Net Zero Building: Reality or Wishful Thinking? by Ashley Halligan

July 4, 2012

In a recent article “Breaking Down Net Zero Building: Reality or Wishful Thinking?” Ashley Halligan, analyst for Software Advice, interviewed several experts to gather insight about the growing trend of net zero building. She took the time to speak with experts Brian Anderson, Founding Partner of Anderson Porter Design; Dru B. Crawley, former Commercial Buildings Team Lead for the Department of Energy and current Director of Building Performance at Bentley Systems; Jeff Blankman, McCormick’s Sustainable Manufacturing Manager; and Blake Bisson, VP of Sales & Marketing at Ekotrope.

Her article uses a case study of McCormick’s recent achievement of net zero following retrofits and energy efficiency efforts at its 363,000 square foot food distribution.

The experts weigh in with suggestions for both current facility retrofits and recommendations for projects intended to achieve net zero in its design phase, and ends with whether they think this is an achievable status on a wide-scale basis. With the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, all commercial buildings will, after all, be required to achieve net zero by 2050.

Pike Research Zero Energy GraphThis chart, provided by Pike Research, demonstrates how a reduction in consumption paired with alternative energy resources like PV panels can create an energy equilibrium–resulting in net zero usage.

Read the complete story here.

Here are a few clearly explained reviews of the article posted at enerdynamics, green lodging news, ecocloud, and other energy conscious design and building blogs referencing it.

Here is a related article, BIM + Project Management Software: The Next Generation of LEED Credit Tracking, by , ERP Analyst for Software Advice.

See these related reports of a university building and a business in Iowa to reach net zero: Maharishi University of Management to open new Sustainable Living Center, a net-zero energy bldg. (see additional coverage listed at the end of this article) and The Sky Factory meets ‘net zero’ goal with huge solar array | Sky Factory goes solar | Bloomberg Business Week: The Sky Factory meets ‘net zero’ goal with huge solar array [The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa]. Video reports: KTVO: Heartland business becomes first entirely solar-powered company in Iowa | The Sky Factory Goes Solar and KTVO News: Groundbreaking Sustainable Living Center a source of pride in Fairfield | WHO TV: BEYOND GREEN: Building Produces Extra Energy

BEYOND GREEN: Building Produces Extra Energy

April 18, 2012

NEWS: Renew Iowa

BEYOND GREEN: Building Produces Extra Energy

Posted on: 4:49 pm, April 18, 2012, by Megan Reutherupdated on: 06:46pm, April 18, 2012.

Students and staff at one University in Iowa have a new place to learn, and the building is as unique as the school. Students and staff at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield are celebrating Earth Day this week by opening the school’s new Sustainable Living Center.

Designers say the multi-million project goes beyond green building. Sustainable Living Professor Lonnie Gamble says, “It does its own functions like a tree would. So, we use the metaphor of a tree for the design of the building.”

Gamble says the Sustainable Living Center is a living laboratory of classrooms, workshops and offices for the Sustainable Living Program. He says the building is like a tree because it collects and stores its own energy. The $2.5 million project includes a wind turbine and solar array and geothermal loop system. Architect Jon Lipman says, “The building produces more electricity than it uses.”

And, it doesn’t use much electricity. Lipman says the SLC is designed to strategically capture daylight, so lights aren’t needed anywhere in the building when the sun is shining. While showing the main hall, he says, “Up at the very top of it, we have windows, which are bringing south light down into the building, which then is being reflected down into the classrooms with these panels, and that allows us to get sunlight into the heart of the building.”

The students were also involved constructing the building made of local materials. Students made more than 25,000 compressed earth blocks. Gamble says, “The interior of the building is made from blocks of earth that are simply earth out of a parking lot we were building and put into a special machine that compressed it into blocks with no concrete or anything.”

As for the tree metaphor, trunks from the nearby state of Wisconsin actually serve a purpose by supporting the building’s roof. Lipman says round logs are more structurally sound than rectangular beams, so crews didn’t have to use as much of the resource found in nature. He says, “Which is a way of expressing in a very palpable way to the students that sustainable living, that discipline which teaches us how to live in harmony with nature, is really something that can be a part of the fabric of construction.”

You can see the Sustainable Living Center for yourself. The Maharishi University of Management is hosting a ribbon cutting this Friday in Fairfield. You can take a tour from 1 to 3:30 pm.

Click on URL to see the New at 5:00 report on Beyond Green Building: BEYOND GREEN: Building Produces Extra Energy (2:46).

Here are three permanent links to the report: a flash (.flv) file version (~22MB):, an HD (720p .mp4) file (~32MB): MUM_Schwartz-Guich-SLC_x264.mp4, and an mpg file: You can play whichever version might work best for you (the original and youtube uses flash).

Related: MSNBC: BEYOND GREEN: Building Produces Extra Energy | The Fairfield Ledger: Fairfield draws ‘who-da thunk it’ quote from Lode | Ottumwa Courier: Environmentally friendly building unveiled in Fairfield | The Hawk Eye: MUM to unveil sustainable center: Structure will be one of the only net-zero energy buildings in the nation | The Iowa Source: MUM’s Sustainable Living Center Opens April 20: Net Zero Building Will Produce More Energy Than It Consumes!Fairfield Ledger: M.U.M.’s newest building sets new green standards | WHIO TV (AP): Maharishi University dedicates efficient building | KTVO News: Groundbreaking Sustainable Living Center a source of pride in Fairfield | The Uncarved Blog: Maharishi University of Management to open new Sustainable Living Center, a net-zero energy bldg | AASHE Bulletin ArchivesMaharishi U Mgmt Debuts Net-Zero Sustainable Living Center + More | Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities: New MUM Building a Net-Zero Energy Structure | Positive TV: MUM Sustainable Living Center to be “net-zero energy building” | The Iowan: Beyond LEED: Maharishi University’s Sustainable Living Center | MUM Blog: Now Open: MUM’s New Sustainable Living Center

Max Perelman to present “The Green Dragon” at M.U.M. and discuss Sustainable Building in China

January 9, 2010

The Sustainable Living Department of Maharishi University of Management will offer a free showing of the film, The Green Dragon, in Dalby Hall on Monday, January 11, 8:00 pm, at the Argiro Student Center.

The Green Dragon, a documentary film, tells the story about the potential for expanding sustainable construction and development in China. This film portrays the sheer scale of China’s construction industry while engaging the viewer in the reality of how this industry works. It also provides an in-depth discussion of the barriers and opportunities for China to ‘go green.’

“The rapid development of China’s green building movement, from nothing in 2000 to what is now, approximately 4 million m2 of green building construction (not including sustainable developments), is a story worth telling,” says Ken Langer, President, EMSI, an international leader in green building and sustainable community design consulting. For reference, the US now has 12.5 million sqm after 30 years of a green building movement.

Max Perelman

Max Perelman is the research director and co-producer of the Green Dragon Media Project,  a 9-week research and filming expedition to 9 cities along China’s east coast. Interviewees included Chinese government officials as well as the leaders of major developers, professional services firms and product manufacturers.

Based in California, Max Perelman will be in Iowa to show the film, followed by a Q & A session. “Before making this film I had no idea of what an amazing journey I was embarking on. I had been told that over half the world’s construction takes place in this one country, but only when you see it do you believe it.”

Max Perelman is a LEED Accredited Professional and is a project manager with BuildingWise, LLC a high performance building consulting firm headquartered in Moss Landing, CA. Max is also the president of American Environmental & Agricultural, Inc., an import/export and trade consulting firm specializing in environmental technologies and focused on trade between Asia and North America. He is also an advisor to the Joint US-China Cooperation on Clean Energy. Max speaks and reads Japanese and Mandarin Chinese.

Max has a BA from Cornell University, as well as an MBA and MA in International Environmental Policy from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. He has presented at a number of green building conferences including the USGBC’s Greenbuild 2007 in Chicago and WestCoastGreen 2008 in Silicon Valley. He has also published research in the Woodrow Wilson Center’s China Environment Series.

Max’s recent volunteer work includes fundraising for strawbale construction in the Chinese provinces of Heilongjiang and Sichuan, and volunteering for the local Pacific Grove, CA city government as a Planning Commissioner.

While visiting M.U.M. and Fairfield, Max Perelman will also meet with students, faculty, and community leaders, and anyone else interested in sustainable building, international environmental policy, and urban development in China and the US.

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, email and visit the film’s website

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