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

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

IKEA Surpasses 85% Solar

IKEA, the world's leading home furnishings retailer, today officially plugged-in the solar energy system installed at its store in Stoughton, Massachusetts. The 118,000-square-foot PV array consists of a 590.8-kW (DC) system, built with 4,220 laminated panels. IKEA Stoughton's program will produce approximately 695,000 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 479 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 94 cars or powering 60 homes yearly (calculating clean energy equivalents at

This installation represents the 38th completed solar project for IKEA in the U.S., with one more location underway, making the eventual IKEA solar presence nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, with a total generation of 38 MW. IKEA owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems atop its buildings – as opposed to a solar lease or PPA (power purchase agreement) – and globally has allocated $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015. This investment reinforces the long-term commitment of IKEA to sustainability and confidence in photovoltaic (PV) technology. Consistent with the company's goal of being energy independent by 2020, IKEA has installed more than 250,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns/operates approximately 110 wind turbines in Europe.
For the development, design and installation of the Stoughton store's customized solar power system, IKEA contracted with REC Solar, Inc., a national leader in solar electric system design and installation with more than 9,000 systems built across the U.S

"We at IKEA believe in the never-ending job of improving the sustainability of our day-to-day business," said Frank Briel, store manager. "The Stoughton coworkers are excited to help contribute to this goal with our newly operational solar energy system. We appreciate the support of the Town of Stoughton, National Grid and REC Solar, our partners in this project."

IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can be a good business while doing good business and aims to minimize impacts on the environment. IKEA evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material; incorporating key measures into buildings with energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, warehouse skylights, and water-conserving restrooms; and operationally, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, phasing-out the sale of incandescent light bulbs, facilitating recycling compact fluorescent bulbs, and by 2016 selling and using only L.E.D. bulbs. IKEA also installed electric vehicle charging stations at nine stores in the Western U.S.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

HVAC ROI: beyond energy efficiency

(Dallas, TX May 7, 2013) When it comes to helping your customers get the most out of their HVAC investment, there's more to the bottom line than swapping out an old, out-of-date system for a shiny, new, high-efficiency model. While the new, higher-performing system will instantly result in monthly utility savings they can see, there's more to ROI than efficiency ratings and first cost.

As businesses consider the purchase of packaged HVAC units, tallying the total ROI—from first cost, setup and installation to ongoing service and maintenance—is the best way to determine which system will offer your customers the best return in the long run.

Here's what to look for when choosing or replacing an HVAC unit:

Easy installation
Did the HVAC manufacturer do its research to find out what the contractor needs in order to make the system easier to install? Simplifying the installation process is a win-win for both the contractor and the end user. It all comes down to less time spent on the job, and fewer subcontractors needed to get the job done—which in turn equates to less cost to the end user, and potentially more time for contractors to add another job to the day's roster. Look for intelligent controls that verify proper system setup with a guided menu that reduces complexity of start-up and commissioning, and keyed and color-coded wire connectors that simplify field sensor or thermostat installation and prevent miswiring. These features add up to a quicker and easier installation process, ensuring equipment is installed correctly and helping contractors get to the next job quicker.

Factory-installed options
Everyone benefits from features that help save time and money. Factory-installed options are another way HVAC manufacturers help contractors, as well as end users, save money. These add-ons are typically created to ensure the unit runs at its maximum capability and efficiency, offering peace of mind to the contractor and increased savings to the end user. Look for intelligent controls <> that record and track the runtime of every major system component for quick and easy troubleshooting, and multi-stage air volume supply fan technology <> that provides customers with increased comfort and savings all year long.

Service and maintenance savings According to research, facilities in which proper HVAC maintenance is completed will use at least 15 to 20 percent less energy than those where systems are allowed to deteriorate. Performing regular preventive maintenance can keep equipment operating at peak efficiency, helping customers save time and money in the process. Look for:

* Hinged door panels that make units easier to service and eliminate the need for screws, which can come loose during service and cause rooftop penetration
* Units with slide-out blower motor compartments that provide quicker, easier access to the unit's belt, blower motor and coils
* An isolated compressor compartment that allows performance checks during normal compressor operation without disrupting airflow

Choose a reliable HVAC manufacturer
When it comes to selecting energy-efficient HVAC for light commercial buildings <> , Lennox Commercial is an industry leader. Lennox' 18 SEER Energence® units <> are designed with comfort, reliability, efficiency and ease of use and service in mind, providing peace of mind to contractors as well as end users. For more information, visit

About Lennox Industries Inc.
A worldwide leader in residential and commercial heating and air conditioning systems, Lennox Industries Inc. is based near Dallas, Texas. Deeply committed to helping consumers and businesses reduce energy needs and lessen their environmental impact, the company offers a wide range of resources for improving efficiency, including a selection of ENERGY STAR® qualified products. Lennox Industries is a subsidiary of Lennox International Inc. and is a global leader in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration markets. Lennox International stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "LII." To learn more about Lennox International, visit To learn more about Lennox Industries, contact a Lennox sales representative or visit <> .

Monday, May 06, 2013

Video: Sustainable distribution warehouse

This video shares sustainable building concepts that facility managers and building owners can use to incorporate into new construction or renovation of any type of distribution warehouse facility. It would be see more industrial centers around the globe incorporate these concepts.