May 9, 2014
L AURA BLAU, 59, of Bella Vista, is principal of BluPath Design, an architecture-and-design firm she co-founded with her husband, Paul Thompson, in 2003. The firm specializes in designing simple, elegant and sustainable spaces. The granddaughter of a prominent Connecticut builder and architect, Blau was a painter and sculptor before she became an architect herself in 1995. Q: What distinguishes your design method from others? A: I try not to dictate design to clients.
April 19, 2014 |
The city announced Thursday that owners of more than 86 percent of Philadelphia's large commercial buildings complied with a new law to report energy usage, and their average Energy Star score came in at 64, above the national average of 50. Energy usage and water reports from 2012 were filed for 1,750 of about 1,900 eligible buildings larger than 50,000 square feet, representing 250 million square feet or 20 percent of all building space in...
November 18, 2013 |
The 19th-century house blends naturally with the rest of the Germantown block, mostly well-maintained red-brick rowhouses and mansard-roof twins, though a few properties with chipped paint, structural problems, and untended yards detract from the scene. But this 2,200-square-foot West Duval Street dwelling has one distinctive feature: 12 solar panels. The Fernandez-Sheinbaum family added the alternative-energy system in May 2011, more than four years after buying the house. The system turns on when the sun is out, said Odamis Fernandez-Sheinbaum.
June 25, 2013 |
Students and staff at the Cook-Wissahickon School in Philadelphia have found a way to help fix the district's budget problems, starting with their own behavior. The school cut its energy consumption by at least 5 percent through the initiatives of sixth and seventh graders, allowing the district to use the saving for other expenses. They did so through simple steps - shutting down computers when not in use, reducing the brightness on screens, cutting down on copy machine use, or just turning out lights when they leave a classroom.
May 2, 2013 |
How many conservatives does it take to screw in a new lightbulb? More than if it were liberals. A new study out of the University of Pennsylvania finds that people who are more politically conservative are less in favor of investing in energy-efficiency technology. It turns out that they're likely to be put off by the environmental messaging. Which is ubiquitous. Energy efficiency has long been touted as a way to stall climate change. The federal government's Energy Star website promotes energy-efficient products by saying they will "save energy and fight climate change.
October 6, 2012 |
Sweater weather is near and winter lurks just around the corner. Will your house be ready to weather the chill? Now is the time to begin assessing the investments you may need to make to ensure that you will be warm this winter and experience lower energy costs over time. "The average U.S. household will spend about $990 for winter heating costs this year," said Allyson Schmutter, spokeswoman for the Alliance to Save Energy. "There's an incentive to make changes that are easy and realistic," she said.
June 22, 2012 |
Philadelphia City Council on Thursday unanimously approved an ordinance that will require owners of large commercial buildings to report their energy consumption to government under a new system that will "benchmark" properties for efficiency in an effort to spur conservation. The new rule, sponsored by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, requires owners of buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to score their properties according to an Energy Star ranking developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
January 6, 2012 |
Brian Ott shivered or sweltered during services, depending on the season, when Hope Christian Fellowship, the church led by his brother Mark, shared a 1962 Woodbury synagogue building owned by Beth Israel Congregation. Ott, a mechanical engineer, said it reminded him of his youth, when he attended school in an old building that was once part of a missile-defense complex. "We went to Gloucester County Christian School, and that was built on an old Nike site in Pitman. No one in the 1960s worried about efficiency, and the buildings were impossible to heat or cool correctly," said Brian Ott. "But now we live in different times.
May 16, 2011 |
Many shoppers for large appliances seek out the familiar Energy Star logo on yellow-and-black labels to see whether a washer or dryer would save them money on electricity costs. It's less well known that Energy Star, a federal program, also runs a voluntary rating system for schools and school districts to help raise awareness of the potential for energy savings on a larger scale. Of Pennsylvania's 500 school districts, about 50 participate in the program; 10 are in the Philadelphia area.