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40 posts from January 2010

January 31, 2010

Green Gizmos, Using Gray Water, Disclosing Climate Risks, + Eco Tools

Week in Review

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January 30, 2010

Strong Flat Pack Prefabs for Haiti?

Core-house-haiti-flat-pack-prefab

According to the Miami Herald, architect Andrés Duany has created a temporary house -- referred to as the "core-house" -- that can be made of a strong, composite material and flat pack shipped to Haiti.  The prefab houses sleep eight, if arranged with the bunk beds, and can expand with additional core units.  Duany believes they could be built affordably in order to provide a temporary shelter from the elements and rain.

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January 29, 2010

First Look: Honeywell Wind Turbine

Honeywell-wind-turbine

Not much has changed since our last update on the Honeywell Wind Turbine, except WindTronics released this video showing the gearless blade tip system at work.  It's spinning nicely, and the company claims it can start generating energy at winds speeds as low as 2 mph (and up to 42 mph).  The $5,995, soon-to-be-launched small wind turbine can produce up to 2000 kWh/yr in class 3 winds and up to 2752 kWh/yr in class 4 winds. 

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Join Us in Giving to Shelter Box

Shelterbox-warehouse

When disaster hit Haiti, readers said we should team up with some of the folks behind the many container projects we've featured to get shelter to the disaster areas.  It seems like a good idea, and PFNC Global Communities makes an interesting sub-$10,000 container home.  But it may not be a good idea. 

In disasters, housing relief should include some combination of temporary and permanent solutions, and I'm not sure whether a container home would work as either one in Haiti.  We believe something like this Shelter Box could provide some temporary relief. 

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January 28, 2010

Starck Unveils Two Small Wind Turbines

Pramac-wt1kw-starck

A couple years ago, I watched with caution as Philippe Starck announced plans to design residential scale vertical axis wind turbines.  Everyone loves the idea of small wind -- especially VAWT designs -- but practical issues can sometimes preclude actual energy generation with these things.  Nonetheless, after two years of research, it seems the French designer has some actual products to speak about.  Speaking to a crowd in Milan, Starck unveiled two Revolution Air turbine models to be made by Pramac.

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January 27, 2010

A Small Osprey Eco-Cottage Has Landed

Osprey-national

A few weeks ago, we told you Nationwide Homes was preparing a 523-square-foot home called The Osprey for IBS 2010.  Timothy Dahl of Charles & Hudson was on the scene and snapped a few photos amidst the hordes of industry professionals.  Like Clayton Homes' i-House, the Osprey is a small, green modular home designed for flexibility.  It can be used as a small home, home office, retreat, casita, or in-law apartment. 

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Eight x 17 Green Homes in Portland

Eightx17-exterior

Reworks, Inc., a development and design/build company in Portland, just sent us a tip on their newly completely project, Eight x 17.  The green development includes four homes in Sellwood (southeast Portland) currently priced low- to mid-$600,000.  Designed by Aaron Blake of Reworks and developed with Penkin Development, LLC, these contemporary homes meet the Oregon High Performance Home standard and are Earth Advantage certified.

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January 26, 2010

CertainTeed Unveils Solar Roof System

Energen-governor-michigan-certainteed

At IBS 2010 last week, CertainTeed announced their new EnerGen Photovoltaic Solar Power Roofing System, which is offered through a partnership with Energy Conversion Devices, manufacturer of UNI-SOLAR thin-film solar laminates.  The EnerGen system combines lightweight UNI-SOLAR panels with traditional asphalt roofing shingles.  The photos in this article show a 3.2 kW EnerGen system installed on the official governor's residence of Michigan.

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Tiny Alternative Dwelling in Portland

Don-vardo-interior

This home, The Don Vardo, was built by a tiny house construction company in Oregon called Portland Alternative Dwellings.  PAD is selling The Don Vardo for $22,000, which includes a desk, kitchen nook, pull-out double bed, and radiant heat floors.  Built on a 7x10-foot trailer, the portable home is fully insulated, road tested, and comes with reclaimed Douglas fir doors, rain screen cedar siding, a PaperStone desk, an LED rope-light, salvaged cabinets and a sink, and efficient double-hung windows.  There is no toilet or shower, though. 

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January 25, 2010

Subway Tile Style with Bamboo

Anchor-bay-subway-tile-bamboo

If you like bamboo, you may be interested in this new bamboo subway tile from Anchor Bay Tile.  Available in autumn blush, chestnut, ebony, and natural (see below), the three-by-six inch tile is made in the USA with bamboo that's harvested at maturity between 5.5 to 6 years.  Anchor Bay Tile uses bamboo that qualifies for SCS Indoor Advantage Gold certification and claims the tiles work well in dry applications for both residential and commercial projects. 

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