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.
Zak Stone / Fast Company / August 30, 2013
Sure, some sun-soaked states are great places to get some power from the sun. But the complicated mix of tax credits and electricity prices make some less bright states good bets, too.
The best states to install solar panels at home aren’t necessarily the ones with the most sun. That’s one of the more interesting findings from a recent report produced by the personal finance site NerdWallet.com that ranks the 50 states by how much financial sense solar photovoltaics makes for homeowners.
The top two states crowning the list may come as no surprise: California and Hawaii, both richRead More
Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg and Kyle Thetford / Mother Jones / August 20, 2013
It’s taken 60 years, but solar energy is tantalizingly close to beating fossil fuels on price.
The prices of solar cells are falling rapidly, and will keep doing so for the next few years. The big questions revolve around the rate of the price declines. And the panels themselves aren’t the only place where cost reductions will be found. America has very high “soft costs”—installation, permitting, marketing etc. Whittling down these expensesRead More
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
Katie Weeks / ECOBUILDING Pulse / August 21, 2013
More than 3,000 buildings will compete over the remainder of the year to see which structure can most reduce its energy use in the fourth annual Energy Start National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings. The competition, hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was created in support of President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which calls for buildings to cut waste and become at least 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020.
This year, more than 3,200 buildings in 25 different commercial building types are competing, up from 14 buildings in 2010. Competitors
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