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CET Green Building Open House

Nancy Nylen, 413-458-5688,
Cynthia Grippaldi, 413-445-4556 ext. 25, cynthiag@cetonline.org

CET announces 2009 Green Buildings Events


On Saturday, October 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., energy efficiency and solar technologies will be among the highlights of the 2009 Green Buildings Open House Tour. With today’s heightened awareness about energy and global climate change, this eighth annual green buildings event gives the public a unique opportunity to tour more than a dozen homes and businesses in the Berkshires to see clean, renewable energy at work and discover the ways people are conserving energy, saving money and protecting the environment.

Among the sites this year are a dome home, buildings with passive solar design features, several homes with new solar hot water systems, and numerous examples of solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays. Checkwww.nesea.org/greenbuildings for details on hours of operation and directions to each tour stop.

On Friday, October 2, at 5:30 p.m. the Center for Ecological Technology (CET) will co-host Greening Our Homes and Lives: Priorities and Practices, a pre-tour event at theBerkshire Museum in Pittsfield. CET is excited to announce that our featured speaker is Bruce Harley, a recognized expert on green building, energy efficiency and sustainable residential construction and renovation. Harley is the author of Cut Your Energy Bills Now: 150 smart ways to save money and make your home more comfortable and green. Following the presentation, Green Buildings Open House hosts will describe highlights of their homes and businesses that will be open to the public the next day.  Locally produced hors d’oeuvres and a listing of Berkshire sites will be provided.

The Open House is part of a region-wide event organized by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) and coordinated locally by the Center for Ecological Technology (CET). Part of the American Solar Energy Society’s National Solar Tour, the Open House presents an opportunity to learn firsthand how incorporating green elements can help reduce heating costs, increase energy conservation and comfort, and even generate surplus clean energy.

Some of the varied renewable technologies on the tour this year are roof and pole-mounted PV systems, a self-built hydropower plant and small wind turbine, and vacuum tube solar hot water systems. A few of the sites are older homes that have been retrofitted with green features, like solar for hot water, electricity or heating; energy efficiency upgrades including high efficiency heating systems, reduced air infiltration and added insulation, as well as renovations using reclaimed building materials. At 3 p.m., wrap up your tour with a solar brewed beer at the Barrington Brewery and conversation with renewable energy expert Chris Vreeland, PE, of Precision Decisions. The Brewery has the largest solar hot water array of any brewery in the region.

“Many people believe that our country’s energy problems, global warming, and fuel costs are beyond our control,” says Nancy Nylen, associate director of CET. “But the Green Buildings Open House shows specific steps we all can take to make a difference. The chance to talk with those who’ve already done so is inspiring and demonstrates how everyone can have a positive effect on local and global issues.”

To find out more about the Open House and energy efficient buildings, contact CET at 413-445-4556 ext. 25, visit www.cetonline.org or stop by the CET office at 112 Elm Street in Pittsfield, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tour goers can also visit the NESEA website at www.nesea.org, and follow the links to the Berkshire area buildings under Massachusetts.

CET is a non-profit energy and resource conservation organization that has served western Massachusetts since 1976. CET receives funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. CET is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. Support for the Green Buildings Open House in Berkshire County comes from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and the SOHN Foundation.

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