December 16, 2010

Clean Energy, One Kilowatt at a Time

Centerbrook Architects offices from across the Mill Pond, photo by Derek Hayn

By Chad Floyd*

I would like to be able to state that I became an architect to save the planet from wasteful, polluting buildings – the built world accounts for some 40 percent of the greenhouse gases we produce – but the truth is my fondest desire was to become a thespian.  As the theater is an iffy business and my best stage feature, a lively head of hair, was rapidly waning, I turned to a more sensible alternative: architecture school.

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Sleek Recyclable Kitchen by Valcucine

Valcucine-invitrum-deconstructed

This month, Valcucine was selected for inclusion in the Industrial Research section of the Italian ADI Design Index 2010.  The company was chosen in part for efforts to produce products with less raw materials and energy, use recyclable materials, reduce toxic emissions and polluting chemical substances, and consider the life cycle of products.

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December 15, 2010

Interview with a Passive House Owner

Breezeway House Utah Exterior

Rebecca Guymon and Joe Turner are the owners of Breezeway House – the first certified Passive House in Utah and in the western United States.  They're unique because only a handful of these ultra-insulated, airtight, low-energy homes exist in the United States.  So I asked Turner to share his experience building and living in a Passive House and he was kind enough to respond.  This is mandatory reading for anyone interested in owning a Passive House. 

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Woodsy Off-Grid YETA Retreat in Italy

Yeta-exterior

Italian architect Flavio Galvagni of Lab Zero sent us some information on this calming, woodsy cabin that he designed and built with the help of Raffaelli Contract.  The tiny eco hut -- roughly 12.5' wide x 14.5' long x 10.75' tall -- can be used as a mini-lodge, mountain shelter, meditation space, or temporary dwelling.  It's easily transportable and both off-grid and off-pipe. 

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December 14, 2010

Energy-Efficient Wood Stoves by Morsø

Morso-6170-wall-mount-wood-stove

Whether you're looking to replace a drafty fireplace or utilize zone heating during the cold winter, perhaps an energy-efficient stove from Morsø should be considered and researched for your application.  The company offers several models -- small, large, traditional, or contemporary -- that are built in a low-impact manner with recycled materials. 

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LSG Unveils $30 60-Watt Equivalent LED

LSG 60W Equivalent LED Bulb

Today Lighting Science Group announced that it has become the first U.S. company to domestically manufacture one million LED bulbs in less than a year.  With the announcement, LSG also unveiled a new omnidirectional A19 LED bulb as the one-millionth bulb.  The 60-watt replacement is 75% more efficient than an incandescent bulb and dimmable, mercury-free, and relatively affordable.

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December 12, 2010

Greenbuilder Rankings, EV Economics, Adaptation Sector, + Greener Cement

Week in Review

Also, check out the latest green jobs and subscribe to our weekly newsletter for updates, article summaries, newsworthy links, and other site news.

December 11, 2010

The Ultimate Green Gift Guide 2010

Green-gift-guide-2010

If you're looking around for holiday gifts, there's still time to ship some things, if that's what you're thinking.  Below is an index of green gifts in our eight-part Ultimate Modern Gift Guide for the Holidays 2010,* a curated list of goods for design-savvy folks interested in the environment.  There's something for all income brackets:

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Home Office in a Tiny Green YardPod

Yardpod

The shedworking movement is growing with folks nixing the daily commute by carving out a little extra space at home.  One way to do this is with a YardPod, which is fabricated in a solar-powered factory in Rohnert Park, California.  YardPods are framed in light-gauge, recycled-content steel, insulated with recycled-content, natural cotton fiber, and covered with a cool roof.  Flooring can be either bamboo or cork.  A 10'x12' DIY model starts at $2,100, while a complete kit starts at $11,000, not including tax or delivery. 

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December 10, 2010

Tracking the Sun with the Wattsun

Wattsun-collage-solar-suntracker

Let's say you can't put solar on your roof.  One option to tap into solar power would be to purchase a share of community solar.  Another option, depending on your land situation, would be a pole-mounted setup with system that tracks the sun.  Wattsun, the residential arm of manufacturer Array Technologies, offers a few such PV systems worth checking out. 

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