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Energy Newsbriefs

Articles for May 6, 2013

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.


"Building Envelope: Testing and Commissioning Best Practices" was written by James Bochat, LEED AP, NEBB Cx, Commissioning Concepts; this two-Web-page article was published in the March 2013 issue of Consulting-Specifying Engineer. To ensure that building envelopes reach the bar that is expected for high-performance buildings in general, the commissioning of envelopes has been undergoing a change. "Technical commissioning" is the term used to describe the more exacting review of the several assemblies that make up the complete envelope.

The following three case studies of largely wooden buildings were published in the March+April 2013 issue of GreenSource:

  1. "Open to the Elements," by Alanna Malone, describes the Ballyogan Environmental Management Centre in Dublin, Ireland. This interesting case study highlights a timber-framed, green, office building that has had more than its share of difficulties to overcome in the construction and occupation phases.
  2. "Wood at Heart," by James Gauer, shows the Earth Sciences Building on the campus of the University of British Columbia (UBC) at Vancouver. Like the Ballyogan, immediately above, this building uses wood as a structural element.
  3. "Zen Getaway," by Fred A. Bernstein, features the Won Dharma Center in Claverack, New York. The Center is comprised of a complex of buildings; one is commercial, the others residential. All employ wood framing.


    "EPA: Who’s Using the Most Green Power?" is a short article about the EPA's latest list of the top 50 Green Power partners. The top 10 of the 50 are: 1. Intel Corporation
    2. Microsoft Corporation
    3. Kohl’s Department Stores
    4. Whole Foods Market
    5. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    6. U.S. Department of Energy
    7. Staples
    8. Starbucks Company-Owned Stores
    9. Lockheed Martin Corporation
    10. Apple Inc.


    Contrasting Results on Blue Light's Impact on Artwork: Two Studies on LED and Art Only Confirm Complexity" (select "Click to Read" and, then, go to page 74) was written by Kenneth Willmorth; it was published in the March 2013 issue of Architectural SSL. This is a clear and well-written description of the two studies: "Demonstration Assessment of Light-Emitting Diode (LED) Retrofit Lamps" and "The Degradation of Lead Chromate in Paintings by Vincent van Gogh…" The conclusions of each study differ as do the way the conclusions were reached. More studies, rigorously developed and executed, should begin to pave the way for an accurate understanding of the effects (if any) of different-colored LEDs on the objects under their glare.

    "LED T8 Update," by Eric Strandberg, LC, is the front-page article in the Spring 2013 issue of the Lighting Design Lab Newsletter. The author covers some important issues that the facilities and/or resources manager may want to know about.


    NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) has developed, for 15 states, a summary of investments made in each of those states by EERE (the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office of the U.S. Department of Energy); they were all authored by Sarah Lynch of the U.S. DOE with the publication date of March 2013. Page one of each publication begins with the mostly general information about the DOE pursuing an "all of the above" strategy to secure the country's energy future and EERE's effort to pursue clean energy, specifically. A large sidebar on the right summarizes the projects awarded to the specific state and related issues. That is followed by some energy goals for, and EERE investments in, the specific state and short descriptions of every one of that state's EERE-funded projects. There is a publication for each of the following 15 states: Alaska California Colorado Indiana Iowa Louisiana Michigan Mississippi New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico Oregon Tennessee Washington Wisconsin.

    "USDA Announces New Conservation Collaboration with DuPont to Promote Sustainable Harvesting of Bio-Based Feedstocks for Cellulosic Ethanol" was authored by Jerry Perkins, Editor, BioFuels Journal and carried in the First Quarter 2013 issue of that publication. The cellulosic ethanol plant will be powered by the feedstocks.

    RENEWABLES – Federal Facilities

    "Large-Scale Renewable Energy Guide: Developing Renewable Energy Projects Larger than 10 MWs at Federal Facilities" is a 76-page, March 2013, document from U.S. DOE's Federal Energy Management Program; it includes an Executive Summary on document-page 1. It focuses on gaining private financing for these projects.


    "Spring and Summer Energy-Saving Tips" is a Web page from the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office of the U.S. Department of Energy. The site offers many tips for energy savings for the warmer months.


    "An Island in the Sky" (go to page 26) by Mark K. Morrison and Anne Vaterlaus, both of Mark K. Morrison Landscape Architecture PC; it was published in the March 2013 issue of GreenBuilder. The roof of an already Platinum-LEED high-rise in Battery Park, New York City, is greened with decorative and edible plants with some space reserved for tenants to gather for conversation and small dinners while they view the gardens and the hardscape of the rest of the city.

    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. © 2013 Washington State University Extension Energy Program. This publication contains material written and produced for public distribution