Real or Bogus: Green Construction Tech Quiz

By: Matt Sailor

Real or Bogus: Green Construction Tech Quiz
Image: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

About This Quiz

Can you tell the difference between amazing technology and amazing fantasy? Take our green construction technology quiz and find out.
The first solar cell was invented at almost the same time as the incandescent light bulb in the late 19th century.
real
A man named Charles Fritts is credited with inventing the very first solar cell back in the 1880s, just a few short years after Thomas Edison received a patent on his incandescent light bulb.
bogus

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The area of roof space available on buildings in Australia could power the entire world with electricity.
real
bogus
Covering every roof in Australia couldn't provide electricity for the entire planet, but it could supply Australia all the electricity it needed.

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The energy expended to create solar panels is made up by their clean energy production within four years.
real
It takes less than four years for the green energy production of solar panels to cover for the energy it took to produce them. Solar panels continue to be useful for many years after that point.
bogus

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Rammed-earth brick construction has been around for 7,000 years.
real
Portions of the Great Wall of China dating back to 5,000 B.C. were built using rammed-earth construction.
bogus

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Storm water management programs harness the power of rainwater and runoff to aid the environment.
real
The Environmental Protection Agency has a green infrastructure that reduces sewer runoff, improves air quality, and directs some runoff toward groundwater and drinking purification systems.
bogus

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In construction, "cool roofs" are so named because of their intricate and fashionable designs.
real
bogus
The "cool" in cool roof applies to temperatures; cool roofs excel at reflecting heat, which reduces the amount of energy required to cool and heat a building.

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Electrochromic smart glass detects the amount of light coming through a window and automatically tints to create an optimum lighting environment.
real
Electrochromic smart glass uses electrical charges to control how much light is absorbed or reflected. The ability to control the window's tint makes smart glass an ideal energy-saving material.
bogus

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Iceland uses geothermal energy to supply more than 25 percent of its power.
real
In 2009, 27 percent of Iceland's power came from geothermal energy, thanks to the warmth created by the area's volcanic activity.
bogus

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Who needs snow plows? Iceland uses geothermal power to melt the ice blocking its highways.
real
Icelandic cities like Reykjavík pipe hot water under the pavement in winter to keep the roads from freezing over.
bogus

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Constructing with recycled insulation only helps the environment by reusing material that would otherwise be thrown away.
real
bogus
Using recycled material in the insulation manufacturing process actually requires less energy than converting raw materials, thus reducing the amount of work and resulting pollution.

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In North America between the years of 2006 and 2007, companies used nearly 1.5 billion pounds of recycled glass to create fiberglass insulation.
real
bogus
Between 2006 and 2007, North American companies actually used nearly 3 billion pounds of recycled glass producing insulation.

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The majority of insulation used in U.S. homes contains at least 50 percent recycled material.
real
The average fiberglass insulation is at least 50 percent recycled glass, while the average cellulose insulation is at least 80 percent recycled newspaper.
bogus

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Got milk? Biodegradable paint earns its name by using milk in its unusual mixture.
real
Some environmentally friendly biodegradable paints include milk protein, among other ingredients.
bogus

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Devices that can communicate the amount of power usage in your house with the appliances inside are called "super meters."
real
bogus
Smart meters are electrical meters that record energy consumption and can wirelessly transmit data to certain appliances within the home.

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GM's Brillion smart appliances will determine the optimal time of day to run processes like dishwashing or heating water.
real
By communicating with a smart meter, GM's Brillion smart appliances can determine peak electricity rate times and schedule automatic processes to run at the cheapest times.
bogus

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A smart refrigerator LG displayed at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show can scan food and determine when it's about to go bad.
real
bogus
LG's Food Management technology allows you to program your refrigerator with the expiration dates of the foods you buy, but the refrigerator has no way of scanning food and deciding that it's gone bad.

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Passive solar design uses panels to collect light, but not as many panels as an active solar system.
real
bogus
Passive solar design is all about using the sun's energy effectively with no actual equipment -- building large windows along one side of the house to capture heat during the day, for example.

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A method of green construction uses straw to build houses. Remind you of any fairy tale starring wolves and pigs?
real
Straw-bale construction is real. Leftover straw packed into bales is often inserted into a wooden framework to create the walls and form insulation.
bogus

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A construction technique known as "zero-energy building" creates a structure that uses no energy of any kind to operate.
real
bogus
The "zero-energy building" has no net energy consumption; it uses green technologies to create its own renewable energy, resulting in no outside energy consumption and no emissions.

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The United States ranks first in the world in annual wind power generation.
real
By percentage, smaller companies produce more of their total energy requirements through wind power, but the United States is the largest annual generator of wind, producing more than 70 Terawatt-hours in 2009.
bogus

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You Got:
/20
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