MIT and sustainability

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

My grandfather, who didn't go to college but nevertheless started a business in 1929 that thrives today, had a sign on his desk that said, "don't ask me, I didn't go to Harvard."

Well, I didn't go to MIT and I'm pretty sure I never will, at least not above the level of conferences, museums, and Edgerton Alley, a portion of a classroom building hallway devoted to luminary Harold "Doc" Edgerton, inventor of the stroboscope and the "E" in EG&G, who has been an influence on me since I saw him in a Junior Explorers Club session at Boston's Museum of Science when I was 12 or so.

But I am learning from MIT nevertheless, and another such opportunity is coming up on April 24, a one-day conference on sustainability. I regret that I won't be able to attend, but you can, I'm envious of your opportunity.

LEED controversy, the sequel

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

When you write for a big newspaper, you get fact-checked by your readers if something slips through the lines of defense that editors represent. That sometimes happens on a blog, too, but since I haven't yet reached the hundreds-of-thousands-of-readers-per-day stratum, I also try to send my posts to the people most described or affected, so they can point out my errors, should there be any.

I sent last week's report on NESEA's public forum to Henry Gifford and Brendan Owens, who each, very nicely, pointed out facets of the report they thought could be better.

State picks two zero net energy projects

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

The state has decided to move ahead with two of the three zero net energy projects recommended last week by the Zero Net Energy Task Force.

I reported previously that the governor had asked for one such recommendation, and that the task force had recommended three, in Westborough, Danvers, and Lowell, so this step is both a doubling of the state's original commitment and short of the panel's recommendation. 

The Westborough project is the headquarters of the Department of Fish and Game's Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. It is about 34,000 gross square feet.

Coal rally at State House

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Mass. Power Shift is leading a rally against coal, and for renewable energy, on the south steps of the State House tomorrow, Saturday, from 3-4 p.m. 

The specific issue is a resolution in the legislature calling for the federal government to power America with 100 percent clean electricity within 10 years. Speakers will include resolution sponsors Sen. Marc Pacheco and Rep. Frank Smizik, as well as student and community environmental leaders. 

Seth Godin, so often au courant

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Simply put, if you haven't heard of Seth Godin, who blogs about marketing, you should check him out. I consider that a complete thought, and good content, all by itself.

But he's not really a sustainability guy ... actually, I think he is! OMG, yes he is — he's always talking about the long view, albeit in his realm of selling, rather than environmental. Yet another example of how sustainability is a very broad topic.

ZNEB: Commercial

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

There are 14 recommendations in the commercial sector, a catch-all category excluding public buildings and residential buildings of less than five units.

Among them:

Establish energy performance standards for new construction and major renovations.

Improve the building code for energy requirements.

Require solar readiness for all new construction and major renovations.

ZNEB: Public buildings

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

There were two forks of work, an interim standard and for a demonstration project, as the governor requested in his charge to the group.

In the former:

Adopt prescriptive standards, such as optimizing building orientation or requiring solar-ready roofs.

Require advanced metering for both energy and water in new buildings or major renovations.

Require buildings to report their performance over time. 

ZNEB: Residential

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Paul Eldrenkamp, chairman of the residential task force, introduced the recommendations saying that some people in the room will be challenged by them, and some will be threatened by the. They represent "a dramatic shift, and it's not going to be easy and it's not going to be comfortable."

Some of the recommendations: Amend the residential building code with a maximum HERS (Home Energy Rating System) rating of 70, with a "stretch" code of 50. HERS is a predictor of energy usage, and 100 represents a standard home today.

ZNEB: You heard it here first

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

The topic is worth more than I can devote right now, but the governor's Zero Net Energy Task Force reports its recommendations this morning, one year to the day since Gov. Patrick announced his intention to form the group at last year's NESEA show.

I'm seated at the back of this year's show right now, as events get underway. I gather that it will be discussed at this plenary session this morning, but I got an embargoed copy of the report; here are the bare bones. The state should:


Subscribe to RSS - energy