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Alps Control Freak: news bits from around the web, 12.21.09

2009 December 21

ho ho controlsWith Christmas just right around the corner, we hope that you’ve already written to Santa to ask him for more energy-efficient buildings, a greater number of green building construction starts, a massive upcoming tradeshow and a house that spins around following the movement of the sun in the sky.

No? Then you’d better delve deeply into Today’s Control Freak News:

In an effort to increase transparency on non-residential building energy use, and to educate and inform building owners and operators, tenants and prospective buyers, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has created the Building EQ Label program in which buildings will be assigned an “energy quotient” rating that will enable building owners to evaluate and reduce their building’s energy use, indoor air quality and more. (via the Journal of Indoor Environmental Quality)

Green building projects could account for up to $15 billion in annual spending over the next five years, according to a recent report by McGraw-Hill Construction. Building starts for these types of projects – which include new construction as well as renovations and retrofits – have already increased fivefold between 2003 and 2008. The trend is expected to continue upward, due in part to increased use of tax incentives offered for LEED-certified projects. (via the Las Vegas Business Press)

As I’m meandering about the convention floor at AHR Expo 2010, I’ll no doubt find my way to booth #1355 to visit the folks from the ClimateTalk Alliance, a newly-formed group that seeks to “establish common communication infrastructure for HVAC and Smart Energy devices, enabling easy interoperability of diverse applications across multiple protocols.” If you’re not 100% certain what that means, you’re not alone (I’m raising my hand right now). Fortunately, I’ll be able to learn more next month in Orlando. (via

when they sit around the house, they sit AROUND the houseWhat with that whole “rotation of the Earth” thing, it’s darn difficult to create buildings that take the most advantage of the delightfully warm rays of the sun – unless you happen to be a rather clever couple in Australia who decided to build a house that rotates all day long. Bonus: optimal amounts of sunshine and shade. Drawback: stumbling home after having one too many Queensland Iced Teas not recommended. Click the picture to see internal and external views on the rotating house’s website. (via FacilityBlog/TFM)

Are you thinking about lighting controls right now, at this very moment? Probably not, but building automation systems that integrate lighting controls are going to be increasing in demand very soon as the desire for green building projects continues to increase. WattStopper has the answer in the form of Digital Lighting Management (DLM) – it’s like having a personal lighting manager in every room! Keep an eye on our online marketplace site where we’ll have more news on this and related products coming up soon.

On behalf of everyone at Alps Controls, have a joyous, peaceful and safe Christmas and New Year’s!

  • Got an interesting piece of news, new technologies or gadgets you’ve come across? Or do you simply really, REALLY love HVAC and building controls and you’re anxious to share? Send me an email with news and ideas, or feel free to leave your comments below.
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