3D printed homes, real estate platforms using energy data for listings, and deregulating Los Angeles for denser development
Weidt Group’s Net Energy Optimizer Now Available as Software as a Service
Energy analysis and consulting firm, The Weidt Group, is offering its Net Energy Optimizer (NEO) tool for public use.
The software as a service application allows users to see validated results for hundreds of proven energy-efficiency options in real time, according to a Weidt Group press release. The tool was previously available only to Weidt Group consultants.
“Having data readily available at all times empowers customers to make quicker, more informed decisions to construct and maintain higher-performing buildings,” the press release says.
To learn more about the NEO tool, visit: www.netenergyoptimizer.com.
Deregulation for Denser Development in Los Angeles Moves Forward
Los Angeles is moving ahead with a plan to rewrite development rules so that denser development can take place near transit stations.
Los Angeles City Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee recently approved the Expo Corridor Transit Neighborhood Plan. This would allow more housing, retail, and office space near five transit stations.
The goals are to help relieve high housing costs and traffic congestion. The city council will soon vote on the legislation that would deregulate development between the Culver City and Bundy Metro stations.
This plan follows the rejection by the California State Senate of a controversial housing bill that would have allowed developers to build five-story buildings within a half mile of public rail stops. That proposal would have overridden existing municipal zoning restrictions.
Why Some Solar Systems in the Caribbean Survived 2017’s Hurricanes
The 2017 hurricane season in the Caribbean provided some valuable lessons for designing resilient solar panel systems. PV systems on some islands, such as Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Barbuda, suffered major damage or even complete failure.
Systems that failed saw module clamp failures and had undersized racks, undersized and under-torqued bolts, a lack of bolt locking solutions, and a lack of lateral racking support. The systems that survived had modules that were through-bolted (no clamps), bolts with locking solutions, and lateral racking supports.
Listings for About 110 Million Homes Now Include Energy Data
Listings on about 110 million U.S. homes now include energy use data. Real estate platforms are using UtilityScore and Tendril to provide the information for homeowners and potential buyers.
Redfin, one of the top 10 real estate platforms, is working with Tendril to provide an energy score for all homes on its platform, not just those listed for sale. The average U.S. homeowner spends more on energy than property taxes and insurance, but energy cost is not considered in the mortgage process.
Dutch Plan for 3D-printed Homes to Demonstrate How to Cut Waste, Save Money
A project in the Dutch city of Eindhoven will use 3D printing to create a small community of homes. The goal is to show how 3D printing can cut costs and concrete waste. This technique is said to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of cement, concrete's main ingredient. 3D printing could also be a strategy to deal with a shortage of bricklayers in the country.
Project Milestone will use a huge 3D printer to fabricate five concrete houses in a wooded area near the city’s airport. The first home, a three-bedroom dwelling of just over 1,000 square feet is slated for completion in mid-2019. The project is expected to take five years, as the technology must still be refined.