Disruptive Challenges Report

A comprehensive and well-written report outlining the threats of distributed generation to the utility industry.  Prepared by Peter Kind for the Edison Electric Institute

Report title:

Disruptive Challenges: Financial Implications and Strategic Responses to a Changing Retail Electric Business

Report date:

January 2013

Link to the document on the EEI website is provided:

http://www.eei.org/ourissues/finance/documents/disruptivechallenges.pdf

 

ACEEE Statement on Passage of the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2014 (HR 2126)

ACEEE Statement on Passage of the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2014 (HR 2126)

 

Washington D.C. (March 5, 2014): Today 191 Republican and 184 Democratic members of the House joined to pass the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2014 (HR 2126), sponsored by Representatives David McKinley (R-WV) and Peter Welch (D-VT). The bill includes several provisions to save energy in buildings:

  • The Better Buildings Act to encourage commercial building tenants to save energy through a “Tenant Star” recognition program and green leases that all benefit from the cost savings;
  • A provision to encourage benchmarking and public disclosure of energy use in commercial buildings, following a strategy several cities around the country have adopted to encourage more efficiency;
  • The Energy Efficient Government Technology Act for federal agencies to develop strategies to implement energy-saving information technologies from building energy management to telework, and to improve efficiency of federal data centers, and
  • A provision to address concerns that recent efficiency standards for water heaters could interfere with their use in demand response programs run by rural and other utilities.

In response, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Senior Policy Advisor Lowell Ungar made the following statement:

“Today the U.S. House showed again there is true bipartisan support for energy efficiency and the benefits efficiency brings to consumers, the economy, and the environment. We urge the Senate to take up the mantle and pass the Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency bill.

 

“These provisions are designed to address some key barriers of lack of information and perverse incentives that prevent building owners from implementing cost-effective energy efficiency measures.

 

“These measures also are in the new version of the Senate’s energy efficiency bill (S. 2074), sponsored by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH), along with other important efficiency measures. We hope the Senate takes up that bill without delay, so that Americans can start reaping more of the utility bill savings, jobs, cleaner air, and more secure energy that energy efficiency can provide.”

 

About ACEEE: The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors. For information about ACEEE and its programs, publications, and conferences, visit aceee.org.

Sustainable Open Space

Calexian Director, Dr. Bruckner, served as Juror and Advisor in the organization of the first ever “Outstanding Public Space Awards 2013” for Hong Kong.  This joint effort by the HK Public Space Initiative, Designing Hong Kong and RFP Magazine hopes to help isolate the qualities of outstanding public spaces in Hong Kong awhile simultaneously clarifying the areas that need improvement.  The nominations were made by members of the public and open voting was collated and made available to the jury at the November 23rd adjudication.  Final results and jury selections  with comments will be announced in several categories sharing the elements that make them successful public spaces.  The O.P.S. Awards program hopes to continue annually with the overarching aim of raising awareness for the importance of public space and encouraging ever better public space design for Hong Kong.

Urban Underground Space and Tunnelling

“We want to create livable cities that curb urban sprawl and expand our capabilities to encompass the USE OF SPACE that can serve the needs of urban areas for future generations as well as our own”

Calexian director Dr. Christine Bruckner was the chairperson of the event and gave the Opening and Welcoming remarks in addition to moderating the first panel discussion.

 

Urban Underground Space and Tunnelling

HK Green Building Council launches new assessment system for indoor spaces

Calexian Director, Christine Bruckner, Beam Professional served on the 2012-13 BEAM Plus Interiors Task Force.  The Task force, led by John Herbert of Kelcroft is pleased to have seen the assessment tool through to publication.  BEAM Plus Interiors has been live in Hong Kong since August 2013 and celebrated with a press opening in September with remarks from K.S. Wong, Minister of the Environment of the HKSAR Government.

HK Green Building Council launches new assessment system for indoor spaces

Tired over overly air-conditioned shopping malls?  Do you find that your employees are taking sick leaves more frequently?  We can relate. Buildings with green interiors can help solve these problems while minimizing the impact of buildings on the environment. But what are the steps to ensure a more earth (and people) friendly indoor environment? Most of us aren’t experts, but everyone from restaurateurs to small business owners can benefit from some kind of concrete guidelines on greening interiors. Even better would be some kind of recognition for doing so.Enter BEAM Plus Interiors, a new green assessment rating tool system launched this week by the Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC) and BEAM Society Limited. The new system is applicable to office and retail premises, hotel rooms and function rooms, restaurants, educational facilities and institutional facilities such as hospitals.

“Our commitment to building a green city has to strengthen with the growing environmental challenges we face,” Ir Wong, Chairman of HKGBC, explains of the launch.  “In response to the Industry demand for years, we are now taking a further step to encourage construction companies and designers to adopt a holistic, whole-building strategy to achieve environmental, public health and safety as well as socioeconomic benefits,” He adds, “BEAM Plus Interiors widens the coverage of existing BEAM Plus system to include fit-out, renovation and refurbishment projects of non-domestic, occupied spaces specifically for Hong Kong.”

Being the compact city it is, and well-known as the city of skyscrapers, there is potential for Hong Kong to take a green building lead in Asia by greening its existing building stock and employing green building methods in new construction.

BEAM is a fully local initiative, and the only such certification truly designed with Hong Kong’s unique characteristics in mind. Devised specifically for new and existing buildings within the local context, the assessment scheme has undergone several stages of refinement and is regularly enhanced to keep pace with evolving industry trends and regulations.

John A. Herbert is director of BEAM Society. He chaired the BEAM Interiors steering committee, and is now conducting training for Hong Kong’s professionals to use the BEAM Interiors (BI) new tool.

“BI is a new landmark for green building rating tools, designed specifically for the challenges posed by Hong Kong’s vibrant real estate market, and where adopted it will significantly lower the impact on Hong Kong’s environment,” Herbert said. “We use more than twice the resources the planet can provide, it’s simply not sustainable.  We need more design, not less, and the BI tool set out some challenges for Hong Kong Interior designers.”

Requiring only a one-stage assessment process at the end of the fit-out, renovation or refurbishment and associated testing and commissioning, BEAM Plus Interiors offers four certification levels – Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze.  Criteria include Green Building Attributes (GBA); Management (MAN), such as green cleaning and health and safety; Materials Aspects (MA), such as waste recycling facilities; Energy Use (EU); Water Use (WU); Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ), such as indoor planting and air quality; and Innovations (IV).  And unlike other systems, the BI manual is FREE to download from the BEAM Society website.

With 40 million square metres of office space alone, not to mention the hundreds and thousands of industrial buildings that will be refurbished in the coming years, there is much room for Hong Kong’s buildings to adopt BEAM Plus Interiors and other BEAM green building certification to help make Hong Kong a greener, more liveable city – indoors and out.

For more information about HKGBC, visit: www.hkgbc.org.hk

the above was an excerpt from article on HK BEAM interior

Sustainable Building 2013 Hong Kong Regional Conference

Connecting, Nurturing, Creating for Sustainable Environment

Business Environment Council is pleased to be a supporting organisation of Sustainable Building 2013 Hong Kong Regional Conference that is co-organised by the Construction Industry Council and the Hong Kong Green Building Council.

About the Conference

Co-organised by the Construction Industry Council and the Hong Kong Green Building Council, Sustainable Building 2013 Hong Kong Regional Conference (SB13 HK) will be held on 12 – 13 September 2013.

“Urban Density & Sustainability” is the theme chosen for this high-level conference in the region. SB13 HK is a not-to-be-missed event in the region for all industry professionals and academics. Renowned International speakers from regional government bodies, influential organisations and the academia will gather in the conference to discuss the most advanced technologies, important policies and strategies on all aspects so as to achieve a good balance between urban density and sustainability.

Mr Wong Kam-sing, JP, Secretary for the Environment as a Keynote Speaker of the Conference, and Mr John Tsang Chun-wah, GBM, JP, Financial Secretary, as the Guest-of-Honour of the Conference Dinner.

For more details, please visit to the event wesite http://www.sb13.org.hk. For enquiries, please contact the Conference Secretariat at 3994 8877 or email to sb13hk-marketing@hkgbc.org.hk.