Friday, August 02, 2013

An Architect's Perspective After Hurricane Sandy

This video explains just how much of a tidal surge was produced by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and how one Architect helped a building owner avoid disaster using sustainable design.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Trane Sets Benchmark for Energy Efficiency and Sound Reduction


Stealth™ air-cooled chiller delivers reduced energy consumption, improved flexibility and performance

Trane, a leading global provider of indoor comfort solutions and services and a brand of Ingersoll Rand, introduces the newest addition to its air-cooled chiller product portfolio, the Trane Stealth™ air-cooled chiller. Available in the 150-300 ton capacity range, Stealth air-cooled chillers deliver an industry-leading combination of part-load and full-load efficiencies and the lowest published sound levels for an air-cooled chiller in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning industry.


At the core of the Stealth chiller’s performance is AdaptiSpeed™ technology – the integration of a direct-drive, specific-speed screw compressor, permanent-magnet motors and third-generation Trane Adaptive Frequency™ Drive (AFD3).


“Building on more than 40 years of experience designing air-cooled chillers, Trane engineers brought innovation and knowledge to every component of the next-generation Stealth air-cooled chiller,” said Al Fullerton, chiller product business leader for Trane North America. “These new technologies deliver superior chiller performance and reliability, equating to an extremely low cost of ownership.”


The chiller’s innovative compressor design delivers peak efficiency under all operating conditions. As a result, the Stealth air-cooled chiller is capable of up to12.1 energy efficiency ratio (EER), minimizing the electrical infrastructure required as well as the impact of demand-based utility costs during periods of peak operation. The design also delivers up to 20 integrated part-load value (IPLV) to drive lower overall electrical consumption and ensure energy savings across typical operating conditions.


Additionally, the new compact, high-performance, integrated, low-charge (CHIL) evaporator technology optimizes refrigerant flow for improved efficiency and better heat transfer performance, while using up to 40 percent less refrigerant than traditional flooded designs.


Quiet operation is designed into every Stealth air-cooled chiller as standard, along with two optional InvisiSound™ acoustic reduction treatments available to meet specific application needs.


The key to low sound levels is the combination of variable-speed compressors, variable-speed condenser fans and an integrated compressor muffler. Because variable-speed compressors and condenser fans only operate as fast as demand levels require, their overall sound levels are less than those of constant-speed units. The integrated compressor muffler reduces sound even more — up to 10 decibels (dB) when compared to the previous compressor designs.


For additional sound reduction, the InvisiSound Superior package adds acoustical treatments to key sound-generating components. For installations that require the lowest published sound levels for an air-cooled chiller, the InvisiSound Ultimate package features a user-selectable noise-reduction mode that can be activated to limit the maximum condenser fan speed, achieving even lower sound levels and unit operation management to comply with nighttime and weekend noise restrictions.


“Three available InvisiSound packages provide flexibility for our customers to meet their buildings’ unique needs,” said Todd Duncan, product manager for air-cooled chillers. “Additional design features, exclusive controls and factory-installed options save time during Stealth chiller installation and assure consistent performance.”


Trane controls add additional performance and efficiency advantages. The Tracer™ UC800 provides the intelligence behind the Stealth chiller and features Adaptive Control™ algorithms that respond to a variety of conditions to maintain efficient chiller plant operation.


The chiller’s design allows for easy integration with facilities that have specialized requirements. In the case of a power interruption, Stealth chiller’s rapid restart capability can quickly regain full operational capacity, so mission-critical applications can maintain maximum uptime.


Unique to the industry, the Trane true 24-pulse drive produces low harmonic distortion levels that meet the stringent requirements of IEEE 519. Its rugged design also means the AFD3 can effectively handle electrical dips, surges and other imbalances to maintain reliable chiller operation.


Stealth air-cooled chillers include standard features and are available with additional factory-installed options to make system design, installation and start-up faster and easier. The chillers also incorporate multiple design features for easier, safer and less frequent maintenance once installed.


The Trane Stealth air-cooled chiller is ideal for a wide variety of building types and sizes – both new construct and existing buildings, especially for K-12 educational institutions and data centers.


To learn more, visit


Reporters may contact: Joan Schimml, +1.651.260.4983,

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Modular building has graduated into green building

This video was published a while back but it's worth watching again - particularly since modular housing and commercial modular construction have both become popular in the sustainable design and green building arenas. Architects are embracing the sustainable aspects of building in a controlled environment and specifying sustainable materials and owners are taking full advantage of the flexibility and time savings that are inherent to modular building.

 Consider has come a long way in the last decade.

HUD and Wells Fargo

Collaboration Will Focus On Investment In Communities

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that Wells Fargo Bank N.A., the National Fair Housing Alliance, 13 private fair housing organizations and Acting Assistant Secretary Bryan Greene have reached an agreement through which Wells Fargo will invest in efforts designed to help improve housing in minority neighborhoods that have been hard hit by the foreclosure crisis. As part of the agreement, Wells Fargo has committed to invest a total of $39 million in 45 communities across the country through various programs to support home ownership, neighborhood stabilization, property rehabilitation and housing development. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

First Leed-Certified Green Middle School Ribbon Cutting


Ribbon-Cutting Celebration for New
Environmental Charter Middle School Set for May 22

LOS ANGELES, Calif., May 16, 2013 – Environmental Charter Schools’ (ECS) top priority has always been to provide excellent educational opportunities in underserved communities. It has never been content to stop there, however. The network of free public middle and high schools that prepares students for four-year colleges through experiential learning and by exploring the environment as a learning tool both inside and outside the classroom also is committed to being a good neighbor and engaged community partner.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Deficit in Nation’s Aquifers Accelerating

USGSA new U.S. Geological Survey study documents that the Nation's aquifers are being drawn down at an accelerating rate.

Groundwater Depletion in the United States (1900-2008) comprehensively evaluates long-term cumulative depletion volumes in 40 separate aquifers (distinct underground water storage areas) in the United States, bringing together reliable information from previous references and from new analyses.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Video: Sustainable Building Materials Basic Training

Learn about green building materials with this video.
Recycled glass is a sustainable material.
This video deserves a lot more views than the 3,000 it currently has - especially if you are in a learning
mode about green building materials and sustainable design. I will be sharing this video with anyone that inquires about using green building materials for a residential or commercial construction or renovation project.

If you are a builder or developer - ask yourself how sustainable your "projects, practices and products" are after watching this segment.

This is part 1 of 3 and lasts about eleven minutes. Enjoy and share...and thanks to Michael Amish for a great tool.

Matt Banes

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Video - Sustainable Landscaping Facts

Part of green building is green landscaping and in this video Professor Doug Tallamy points out some of the most important reasons why specific plants and trees make up a truly sustainable landscape for any building, home or school.

It makes sense to landscape with a purpose!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Ford Launches Energy Efficient Lifestyle Giveaway

DEARBORN, Mich., May 13, 2013 – Ford and the MyEnergi Lifestyle® initiative have kicked off the MyEnergi Lifestyle retrofit contest with Katie Couric on her syndicated talk show “Katie.” Homeowners can enter this national contest for a chance to win a package that includes a Ford C-MAX Energi – America’s most affordable plug-in hybrid vehicle, new Whirlpool brand appliances, a SunPower solar power system and other home products designed to bring energy-efficient living to a typical American family.  The contest is now open and runs through June 9, with the grand prize winner to be announced this summer.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Prefabricated Bamboo Homes in Costa Rica

If you have been following our posts we have been covering Bamboo as a sustainable building product quite a bit lately and this video continues our hunt for more facts, figures and examples of building with this hearty grass.

Plus, and it's a big "plus" we are on location and publishing the iBuildgeen Blog from Marbella, Guanacaste, Costa Rica where green building with sustainable materials and eco friendly practices are part and parcel with living in this ecologically supercharged part of the globe.

Enjoy and "Pura Bamboo" from Matt