Green Walls Taking Root in Pittsburgh
The next big thing in green building design might be to turn an existing idea on its side. (Associated Press)

Facing Budget Shortfalls, Plano, Texas, Drops Sustainability Goal
The city has spent millions on environmental efforts in recent years, putting it on equal footing with some of the nation's greenest communities. But with Plano confronting large budget shortfalls, the City Council recently dropped the goal of promoting sustainability from its strategic plan. (The Dallas Morning News)

New Tennessee Building Code Takes Aim at Energy Consumption
An effort is under way to curb the state’s energy-hogging ways with a building code that proponents say could cut consumption in homes by 30% or more. (The Leaf Chronicle)

California County Eyes Loan Program for Green Improvements
Energy- and water-saving home renovations would be covered in a loan program being developed by the Placer County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office. (The Placer Herald)

Real Estate Market in the West: Where It’s Going, and How
The economic meltdown has affected many people involved in real estate in the West, but it's also creating opportunities for many, including green builders, according to panelists at a real estate conference in Missoula, Mont. (New West)

HVAC Manufacturers, Efficiency Advocates Ink Agreement
A group of U.S. manufacturers of residential central air conditioners, furnaces, and heat pumps have signed a voluntary agreement to support new federal standards for their products. (Reuters)

GE Invests Money and Resources in Young Energy Firms
With little fanfare, the conglomerate’s venture fund has been investing in a broad variety of energy startups since 2006. (CNN)

Solar Decathlon Projects Generate Cutting-Edge Technology
After the Solar Decathlon ends, student-led teams explore mass-market opportunities for their innovative technologies. (EcoHome)

Whole-House Retrofits Provide Biggest Environmental, Energy Gains
Larry Zarker and Bob Knight told attendees at West Coast Green that 128 million homes need upgrades, but that builders need to take a holistic approach. (EcoHome)

Architecture Professor Discusses Ways to Retrofit Suburbia
Ellen Dunham-Jones urges builders, planners, and developers to look for patches of “underperforming asphalt” to accommodate future growth in a sustainable way. (Builder)