Showing posts from July, 2016

Energy Department Announces Largest Energy Efficiency Standard in History

The U.S. Department of Energy on December 17, 2015 announced historic new efficiency standards for commercial air conditioners and furnaces. Developed with industry, utilities, and environmental groups, these standards will save more energy than any other standard issued by the Department to date. Over the lifetime of the products, businesses will save $167 billion on their utility bills and carbon pollution will be reduced by 885 million metric tons. “Just days after the Paris agreement to cut global emissions and create a new era of affordable energy, today’s announcement marks the largest energy-saving standard in history and demonstrates that America is leading the effort to reduce energy costs and cut carbon emissions,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “This rule also shows that strong public-private partnerships can reap environmental and economic dividends and drive technology breakthroughs. These standards are a direct result of the Energy Department’s negotiated rulemaking …

SOLUTIONS: Installing a green roof is worth the investment

Princeton University has been a local leader in efficient, clean energy production. Its purpose in adopting its several systems has been both to save money and reduce CO2 emissions. In addition to its steam-producing co-gen plant, its large solar array, its chilled water plant, and its groundwater-heat pump systems, it has also recently installed a green roof on the new Wawa store at the Transit Plaza. This green roof is essential a rolling meadow, with “artfully constructed” mounds and pathways” atop a 4,200-square-foot flat roof. It stores 79,000 gallons of rainwater which helps insulate the building and is not simply piped off as storm water. But is this really worth the effort and cost? The answer is that green roofs provide several benefits, including insulating so that they reduce heating and cooling costs, protecting a roof’s membrane thereby extending its life, saving and storing rainwater (which acts as a second insulator,) so that not as much has to be piped elsewhere, and …

New rooftop solar project coming to Middleton business

If there is a Special Fall Town Meeting in Middleton, a new solar energy project will be on the warrant. Last month Todd Fryatt , founder and president of the ECA Solar Corporation of Boston, made a presentation before a joint meeting of the Middleton Board of Selectmen and the Board of Assessors outlining a plan to place solar arrays on multiple commercial/industrial buildings located at 3 Ajootian Way and 30 Log Bridge Road. The buildings are privately owned by Ralph DiGiorgio and Rick Nekoroski. A Payment in Lieu of Taxes [PILOT] Agreement with ECA Solar was approved jointly by the Selectmen and Board of Assessors at the meeting, but still needs voter approval at a Town Meeting. “We have to do this because Massachusetts law requires approval of PILOT agreements at Town Meeting,” explained Assistant Town Administrator Ryan Ferrara. To come in under the current State incentive program, this project has to be mechanically complete, but not operational, by January 8. “If we do not hav…


HATBORO (WPVI) -- People whose jobs require them to be outside are really feeling the heat Friday.

If you thought your jobs was tough, try roofing in extreme heat!

"This is probably one of the toughest jobs. Road workers maybe but being up there you have no shade. It is all sound and it is just beating down on you," said Gary Selleck from C&C Family Roofing and Siding.

These workers with C&C Family Roofing and Siding say when the heat is on, they are on the job. While many try to avoid going outside during the oppressive days of summer, their livelihood depends on it.

"We are out, we are doing roofing. If somebody has a leak in their roof, then we are here to fix it. We can't say it is too hot! Everybody has to eat and everybody has families," said Selleck.

Like other outdoor workers, roofers also have a similar recipe to try and stay in cool in the sizzling heat.

"We use a lot of water. We start early and finish early," said worker Chris Carransa.


The New Green Roof: Solar Panels That Change Colors

When it comes to solar panels, the industry has long embraced Henry Ford’s sale pitch for the Model T: You can have any color as long as it’s black. Now a Boston start-up has developed a technology to turn your roof into a palette of electricity-generating colors and patterns.
Starting next year, Sistine Solar will begin selling “SolarSkin” panels that blend in with the texture of a roof by mimicking tiles, slate, wood shingles and other materials. Want a truly green roof? Sistine Solar panels can be made to look like grass.
Company founders Senthil Balasubramanian and Ido Salama came up with the idea while studying business at the MIT Sloan School of Management. They hope their product will persuade people to go solar who had been reluctant to buy standard blue-black solar panels for esthetic reasons.
“We are lovers of solar and clean energy and wanted to figure out how to get people motivated to love solar too,” Salama said. “We learned that many people thought solar panels were ug…

Housing Starts in U.S. Increased More Than Forecast in June

New-home construction in the U.S. rose more than forecast in June, providing some momentum for residential real estate near the end of its busy selling season. Residential starts increased 4.8 percent to a 1.19 million annualized rate, the most since February, from 1.14 in May that was lower than previously estimated, Commerce Department data showed Tuesday in Washington. Permits, a proxy for future construction, also climbed. The residential construction industry has remained in a steady but tepid recovery, struggling to make further progress as homebuilders run up against scarce land supply and credit standards stay tight in the eighth year after the last recession. At the same time, stable job gains and prospects for faster wage growth should buoy real-estate demand in the months ahead. “The housing market continues to chug along quite nicely,” said Thomas Costerg, senior economist at Standard Chartered Bank in New York, whose projection was among the closest in the Bloomberg surve…

Boral Roofing shows community spirit

LAKE WALES – It’s a big company with a big heart. That’s what Karen Tiner, president of Habitat for Humanity of East Polk County, said about Georgia-headquartered Boral Roofing. The nation’s largest maker of clay and concrete roofing tile systems employs about 100 people locally in unincorporated Lake Wales at its largest of 12 locations. “They are so amazing,” Tiner said. “They’ve been our premier sponsor this past year and this year as well.” Donna Baldwin, the company’s Lake Wales director of e-commerce and supply chain, said stigmas and stereotypes that come with large corporations don’t necessarily apply to Boral. Baldwin said she enjoys working for a company that has built a legacy upon giving back. “We feel like it has that small-business feel,” Baldwin said. “It’s been a really great place to work. Many of our employees here in Lake Wales have been here for more than 20 years.” Since its inception in 1987, East Polk’s Habitat for Humanity branch has donated more than 140 home…

Roofing options offer style, durability

A roof is a roof is a roof?
Or is it?
While homeowners often may not think about what's above their heads until it needs to be replaced, the expense and investment of doing so may motivate you to contemplate what's next for your roof. And while asphalt shingles dominate the market -- they're sturdy, they're reliable and perhaps most important, they're affordable -- your roof can look stylistically different and even last longer with different materials.
It really depends on how much you're willing to invest in your roof.
"Slate has been around forever, and there's metal roofing and wood shakes," says Joan Crowe, director of technical services at the National Roofing Contractors Association. "These are expensive roofing systems that last longer than asphalt shingles, but people don't want to spend money on them."
And while asphalt shingles may take up more than 50 percent of the market, according to an NRCA study cited by Crowe, the re…

One of the Best Examples of Modern Architecture Is a Former Livestock Pavilion in North Carolina

When you hail from one of the magnificent capital cities of New England, such as Boston or, in my case, Providence, Rhode Island, it’s sometimes a little hard to admit that there are worthy architectural landmarks anywhere else. But on a recent trip to Raleigh, North Carolina, I discovered what might be one of America's greatest examples of modern architecture: Dorton Arena, the former livestock pavilion at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds.
Although cattle-judging long ago moved to new quarters, Dorton Arena seats more than 7,000 spectators; it has been home to football, basketball, pro wrestling, and hockey (it was home to the Raleigh Ice Caps for most of the 1990s). It has hosted various college and high school graduations, as well as concerts. (The Supremes, the Beach Boys, the Four Seasons, Johnny Cash, and Ray Charles all played here.) The day I visited, it was set up for an extreme bicycle competition.
Built in 1952, the arena sharply contrasted with the existing Spanis…

Roof repairs steady in Fort Smith; downtown construction permitted

Fort Smith Building Safety Division issued more than 180 permits for roof repairs this week, about $2.4 million in value, along with several repairs and remodel projects around town.
Randall Ford, 5500 Rogers Ave., was among the many Fort Smith businesses and homes damaged from a heavy hail storm April 29. Construction Masters will repair the Ford dealership's roof for about $135,000. Other large commercial roof repair jobs include those at 2200 S. Waldron Road for $45,000 and 10300 Jenny Lind Road for $65,000. Steven Almond, plans examiner for Building Safety, created a line item box to better keep track of the hundreds of roof repair permits. There have been well over 2,000 issued since May. For the past several weeks, roof repair valuations in each building permits report have been more than $2 million. Petree Construction is permitted for a "modular building project" at 601 N. Eighth St. The valuation is $64,511. Future School of Fort Smith founder and CEO Trish Flan…