News & Opinions
The latest news and insights from Hanley Wood’s outspoken experts and key thought-leaders throughout the residential and commercial design and construction industry.
Dean Zerbe / Forbes / August 19, 2013
I want to update readers — especially architects, engineers and contractors working on federal, state or local government contracts– on a little-known big tax break that is available now and that can put sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash into the pocket of your business.
What is this wonder tax break? 179D. This is the section of the tax code that provides a benefit for businesses, architects, engineers and contractors when they build or renovate a building (or design a government building in the case of an architect, engineering or contracting firm) that is energyRead More
Lauren Hunter / REMODELING / August 14, 2013
First-year data from a five-year energy-efficiency study helps fill gap in understanding how to build high-performance homes.
Data is coming back from an ongoing test neighborhood built in Midland, Mich. by Cobblestone Homes and Dow in late 2011. The Twelve Energy Efficient Test Homes (TEETH) subdivision was specifically designed to generate data on home energy efficiency based on whole-house insulation, air sealing, and real-world living conditions.
For the project, three homes of similar floorplans were built to each of four different design standards ranging from baselineRead More
Katie Weeks / ECOBUILDING Pulse / July 23, 2013
Can upgrades to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Portfolio Manager tool help make commercial buildings at least 20 percent more efficient by 2020? That’s the goal, according to the agency, who recently updated the online tool with a more user-friendly interface, enhanced data sharing capabilities, better reporting, and the ability to manage buildings through their lifecycle from design through occupancy. Custom tabs now let users plan and set goals for current and future projects, and data entry has been made easier.
Will the upgrades help more buildings
Paul Emrath / NAHB / June 28, 2013
A study published in June presents evidence in support of NAHB’s policy, which classifies a change in building codes as cost effective if it returns at least 10 percent in energy savings the first year.
The study argues that a common alternative to NAHB’s policy, using the current mortgage rate to evaluate energy efficiency, is an unrealistic assumption and produces unrealistic results. In particular, taking the mortgage rate to be representative of the rate of return home buyers require fails to capture borrowing constraints and doesn’t reflect the way buyers actuallyRead More
Jennifer Goodman / ECOBUILDING Pulse / June 25, 2013
A new book from green building expert Jerry Yudelson provides the first large-scale study comparing building performance data worldwide from the highest-rated large green buildings of the past 10 years. The World’s Greenest Buildings: Promise vs. Performance in Sustainable Design relies on actual energy and water operating data from 57 projects in 18 countries, and offers architects, engineers, and builders new ways of designing and constructing high-performance buildings.
Below, Yudelson talks with ECOHOME about his research and its implications for American builders.