Thursday, November 21, 2013

Red and Gold and Green All Over

The Fall issue of Berkeley Engineer is out, and that means so is my story on the construction of the new 49ers stadium in Santa Clara, otherwise known as Levi's Stadium, which I had a lot of fun touring for a few hours earlier this year. Beyond being the largest and most expensive stadium in the Bay Area, it's also a technological and structural marvel -- and the host of Super Bowl L in 2016.

Most important to yours truly, however, it's also a green stadium. It includes the NFL's first green roof, multiple solar arrays, low-flow water fixtures, a geothermal heat pump, and much more: features that should help it become the NFL's first stadium to be rated LEED Gold, and the first to achieve a LEED certification of any sort upon construction.

My story addresses all this and more, plus the starring role that Berkeley Engineering alums have played in design and construction to date. The project is slated for completion by next August, in time for the 2014-15 season. Football fans, Silicon Valley techies, and armchair architects have much to look forward to.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Profile of CPUC Commissioner Carla Peterman

Finally the first of my latest batch of stories makes it out into the world: a profile of CPUC Commissioner Carla Peterman. I spoke with her way back when I was working on my last cover story for the Express, a feature on the role of energy storage in bolstering our grid and supporting the continued integration of solar and wind. Peterman played a starring role in helping California adopt the nation's first energy-storage mandate, which was formally adopted last month. In this profile for Breakthroughs, the alumni magazine of UC Berkeley's College of Natural Resources, I explain what she did to make it happen and take a stab at uncovering her motivation -- in other words, what inspires her passion for responsible energy policy. This includes her support of not just storage and renewables but also public subsidy. In addition to her high-profile CPUC post, the 35-year-old has an impressive resume and a bright future.