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Rmi Outlet

Plug Into New Ideas

RMI Outlet, Rocky Mountain Institute’s blog, explores topics critical to RMI’s mission to drive the efficient and restorative use of resources.

Solutions Journal: Spring 2011—RMI Convenes Innovation Summits

As part of its RetroFit Initiative, RMI convened two summits this spring: one to advance education, tools, and best practices for whole building energy analysis and one to encourage financing for energy-efficient design. The summits brought together diverse partners and stakeholders with the goal of capitalizing on opportunities in each industry to support the widespread adoption of energy efficient building design and operation.

Charging Ahead

Over the past year, the term “range anxiety” has burrowed its way into the electric vehicle lexicon. But another may soon join it: “gas anxiety.” “Gas anxiety is the fear of a plug-in hybrid turning on the gas engine,” says Michael Rowand, director of technology development for Duke Energy, “No matter what, I will find a way to charge the car before it switches over to gasoline.” Rowand is currently driving the Chevy Volt as part of a pilot project Duke is conducting with General Motors, charging stations manufacturers and various city partners.

Solutions Journal: Spring 2011—Integral Group’s Vision (Interview with Peter Rumsey)

RMI fellow Peter Rumsey discusses deep green engineering, the Amory Effect and how the building industry is undeniably changing for the better. RMI Senior Fellow Peter Rumsey leads the West Coast office of Integral Group, which is responsible for the mechanical engineering on the retrofit of Caltech’s LEED-Platinum Linde + Robinson Laboratory. He has collaborated with RMI on the design of the Caltech lab and on dozens of other projects since the mid-’90s, and works regularly with RMI’s RetroFit initiative, which aims to make deep energy savings in retrofitted buildings the new norm.

Solutions Journal: Spring 2011—Caltech’s Linde + Robinson Laboratory to be First LEED Platinum Lab

When Caltech officials decided to renovate a 1932 astronomy building that will house a new center for environmental sciences, they thought life should mimic ideals—and thereby created what will be one of the greenest science facilities on the planet. Several RMI supporters and staff members worked with the design team on the Linde + Robinson Laboratory, which is expected to become the nation’s first LEED Platinum laboratory in a historic building after it opens in July.

Can “Green” Buildings have Negative Health Effects?

A recent blog on TheHill.com carried the headline “green” buildings could harm your health. This post was circulated widely via the American Society for Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers weekly e-newsletter. In addition, regional and national publications have featured a similar story with equally concerning titles.