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Energy Newsbriefs

Articles for December 3, 2012

ENERGY NEWSBRIEFS is a weekly current awareness service provided by the WSU Extension Energy Program Library and written by Angela Santamaria, WSU Energy Library Manager, to assist users in tracking developments in the energy field. To view past issues or to subscribe to receive an email notification of the publication of a new issue, go to the Energy Newsbriefs home.

Please be aware that although every URL is checked for accuracy prior to the publication of Energy Newsbriefs, URLs are, for various reasons, subject to change. Further, servers sometimes fail to connect to working URLs.


The following five case studies, the first two of which illustrate repurposed buildings, appeared in the September/October issue of Eco- Structure; each featured building is a 2012 Evergreen Award winner:

  1. The nearly 40 year-old former Pearl Brewery, on an industrial brownfield site in San Antonio, has been given new life as a mixed-use development known as the Full Goods Warehouse; it is described on pages 64 through 67. Solar provides slightly more than a quarter of the building's power. The land around the building was originally covered with impervious material which was completely removed. Pervious matter and landscaping now absorb the site's stormwater via the project's water management system.
  2. The unused, 30 year-old Sears Automotive Center in Bremerton, Washington, has been repurposed. It is now the Rice Fergus Miller Office and Studio, which is described on pages 68 through 73. This Platinum-LEED success is a Pacific Northwest model for energy efficiency. It includes a combined natural-mechanical ventilation system. Rainwater is collected and used for all of the landscaping (including the green roof) and almost all of the toilet flushing.
  3. The new James I. Swenson Civil Engineering Building at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, achieved LEED-Gold certification; it is covered on pages 57 through 61. The water management systems (illustrated and described on page 59) are particularly noteworthy in this energy-saving and site-sensitive project.
  4. The new dormitory, TerraHaus, at Unity College in Unity Maine is a near-net-zero-energy building and the first of its kind to meet the rigorous PassivHaus standard. It is discussed on pages 74 through 79. The shape of the super-insulated building along with its mini-split air-source heat pump and a highly-effective heat recovery system contributed to its extremely low need of energy for space heating.
  5. The under-construction Tower at PNC Plaza in Pittsburg is to be PNC's new headquarters. Shown on pages 80 through 83, it is being billed as the greenest office tower to be built anywhere and is designed to surpass LEED-Platinum standards.


"Slay Vampire Energy with Gadgets, Not Gore," by Miriam Berg, is the October 30, 2012, entry in the "Tech Beat" column in eEfficiency News. It clearly explains how to reduce "vampire energy," the power used by idle or turned-off appliances. That power, says the author, can amount to a month's worth of electricity in the course of a year.


The following three articles were carried in the October 2012 issue of Industrial Heating:

  1. "Five Tips for Achieving Furnace-Lining Efficiency," was authored by Steve Chernak, Manager of Applications Engineering, Morgan Thermal Ceramics. The tips include using infrared thermography, conducting on-line maintenance repair, and selecting materials to rebuild a compromised lining with attention to the suitability of their design and to how to install them. All are explained.
  2. "Intensive Quenching Process Commercialization" was jointly written by Michael Aronov, CEO, IQ Technologies, Inc., et al. It makes the case for the commercialization of the IQ (intensive quenching) process in the U.S. introduced here nearly 50 years after its development in the Ukraine.
  3. "Recycling Hydrogen with a Novel Electrochemical Process," by Glenn Eisman, explains how the process differs from the traditional type that relies on mechanical compressors. It is asserted that 90% of used hydrogen from industrial waste streams can be captured and reused.

Past issues of Energy Newsbriefs are available here.

Generally, subscription information for the journals cited above can be found at the home page of their web sites.

© 2012 Washington State University Extension Energy Program. This publication contains material written and produced for public distribution. Permission to copy or disseminate all or part of this material is granted, provided that the copies are not made or distributed for commercial advantage, and that each is referenced by title with credit to the Washington State University Extension Energy Program. Copying, reprinting or dissemination, electronic or otherwise, for any other use requires prior written permission from the Washington State University Extension Energy Program.