VEGETATED ROOFS CREATE ENERGY SAVINGS
While green roofs provide many benefits beyond aesthetics, a
new study shows that those boasting high vegetation density are
60% more energy efficient than non-green roofs. Not only were
the studied green roofs shown to improve efficiency by cutting
incoming heat by 60%, but the research also confirmed that the
structures work as a passive cooling system, releasing more building heat through the roof than traditional systems.
The researchers from the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid
and Universita Politecnica delle Marche also created a numerical
model to verify the passive cooling effects of various vegetation
densities, which will improve measurements by incorporating
variables that can affect the performance of vegetated roofs.
MORE DURABLE GLASS DEVELOPED
The strength and durability of glass products and cement could be
vastly improved thanks to a manufacturing process that improves
their structural integrity. The process works by optimizing “
thermal reversibility,” meaning that materials will keep the properties
they had when they were initially produced, even considering
variations in temperature.
The research, published in Nature Communications, outlines
how the new process rearranges the structure of glass on a
molecular level, improving the angle at which molecular bonds
occur to make the material stronger. The development could not
only yield more reliable products made from glass and cement,
but also help the environment. Researchers note that cement
and concrete manufacturing is responsible for around 5% of GHG
emissions – stronger components mean fewer repairs and less
material needed to complete the job.
CALIFORNIA UTILITIES OFFER RENEWABLE ENERGY
Looking to increase the amount of renewables in the state’s energy mix, the California Public Utilities Commission has approved
a measure that will allow residents and businesses to participate in
a clean energy program. The Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program directs California’s three largest utilities to provide both residential and commercial customers with a 100% renewable power
option certified by the nationwide Green-e Energy program. The
certification program’s involvement will verify energy sources and
provide information about utilized energy and its attributes.
Additionally, the new measure encourages utilities to develop
more green power options, allowing ratepayers at all income levels
to utilize more renewables than the current requirements of 33%
GSA LOOKS TO GREEN THE SUPPLY CHAIN
In support of the president’s executive order requiring federal
facilities to reduce energy intensity by 2.5% and water intensity
by 2% per year through 2025, the GSA has launched a new GHG
reporting pilot program for vendors and contractors to disclose
GHG emission statistics and set targets to reduce them.
The GSA has partnered with CDP Supply Chain, a third-party
carbon reporting program, to launch the pilot, which will provide
emissions information and management strategies in a format that
is comparable between companies.
According to the GSA, participation in the new program will be
free of cost, voluntary, and will have no effect on the award of GSA
contracts. The program is expected to involve approximately 120
companies that will be chosen among GSA’s largest suppliers.