What IKEA can teach us about the future of solar and energy efficiency in Texas

Major solar arrays map
The big box furnishings retailer is going 100% renewable by 2020. A new solar-powered store near Dallas is the latest step.   By 2020, IKEA aims to be completely energy independent. Over 90% of its United States locations already have at least some rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, including a brand new 181,500 square foot, 1.25MW array on top of IKEA Grand Prairie. This is the company’s fourth rooftop solar installation in Texas. The flat-pack furniture retailer isn’t alone: o...
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Five reasons solar PV is the future of clean energy in Albuquerque

Solar insolation in United states map
Sun belt status About 300 days of sunshine a year makes New Mexico’s most populous city an ideal candidate for solar PV. Albuquerque is one of the only major cities that receives, on an average day, more than six kilowatt hours per square meter of surface area. Strong local leadership Last September, the Albuquerque City Council voted unanimously to work towards getting 25% of the city government’s energy needs from solar by 2025. Several municipal facilities in the area have alre...
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What does the next chapter of energy efficiency look like for Austin?

City image at night
by Kamaria Greenfield, BCAP When Texans look to their state capital, they see a diverse and sprawling metropolis of just under a million people, a vibrant cultural and economic hub, and a downtown skyline undergoing rapid transformation. Less visible is the city’s long and continued commitment to the energy efficiency of its built environment. Austin stands as a fine example of how a city can go beyond minimum statewide requirements to give its residents a better, greener future. In additi...
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Miami takes the next STEP with solar training for design professionals

Solar panels on beach house's roof
by Kamaria Greenfield, BCAP As of last summer, Florida’s energy code incorporates Section 406 of the 2015 IECC: the Energy Rating Index. This provision – which includes a backstop to ensure an efficient building envelope – represents a huge opportunity to integrate the power of renewable energy into new building designs. With over 100,000 new housing unit permits authorized in 2015 alone, Florida is a state poised to have a huge impact on national building energy usage patterns in the coming ...
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Drumroll, Please: Results of the 2018 IECC Are In…

Code stringency graph
by Maureen Guttman, AIA The votes have been counted and while some folks will be happy with the results, others are very disappointed.  No, we’re not talking about the presidential election, but about the Online Governmental Consensus Vote that will determine the content of the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The bad news is that it appears that there will not be even a modest jump in the level of efficiency for the next energy code. Most of the proposals that woul...
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How these 22 cities could shape the future of solar photovoltaics

state score criteria diagram
by Kamaria Greenfield, BCAP The year 2030 is a meaningful one across the world of energy efficiency and renewable energy. The Architecture 2030 challenge aims to have all new buildings, developments, and major renovations be carbon neutral by this date. As a result of the Paris climate agreement, many countries have made pledges to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions on this same timeframe. And last month, the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative announced their own 2030 targe...
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Where Are They Now? Kansas

by Charlotte Volpe, BCAP In 2010, BCAP created a list of Places to Watch that were making strides in enacting energy efficient building codes. Now, we are going back to these nine jurisdictions to track their progress and see what other innovations they’ve added six years later. We will be looking for other places to watch in the future as cities lead the way with sustainability plans and energy saving goals.   In 2010, BCAP identified the State of Kansas as a place to watch in terms ...
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Where Are They Now? New Hampshire

Houses with tree
by Charlotte Volpe and Kamaria Greenfield, BCAP In 2010, BCAP created a list of Places to Watch that were making strides in enacting energy efficient building codes. Now, we are going back to these nine jurisdictions to track their progress and see what other innovations they’ve added six years later. We will be looking for other places to watch in the future as cities lead the way with sustainability plans and energy saving goals.   In 2010, BCAP identified New Hampshire as one its P...
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Northern Nevada Welcomes a New Compliance Path

Nevada state
Several municipalities and counties in Northern Nevada recently joined states around the nation by adopting the 2015 IECC Energy Rating Index (ERI) compliance option. The state’s current residential energy code – the 2012 IECC – is still in effect, but has been amended in these locations to include an ERI compliance path and a 2009 IECC thermal envelope backstop. This path requires an ERI score of 63 or below, about 12% less efficient than the score of 51 required for compliance with the full 20...
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Where Are They Now? Santa Fe, NM

tree sunset view
by Charlotte Volpe, BCAP In 2010, BCAP created a list of Places to Watch that were making strides in enacting energy efficient building codes. Now, we are going back to these nine jurisdictions to track their progress and see what other innovations they’ve added six years later. We will be looking for other places to watch in the future as cities lead the way with sustainability plans and energy saving goals.   BCAP identified Santa Fe as a place to watch due to their residential gree...
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