Articles - June, 2007

Americans Want Solar, Florida Green Builder, Google's Plug-in Investment + Green Design Litigation (WIR)

Week in Review
  1. Nearly 90% of Americans think that solar electricity should be offered on all new homes. 
  2. Florida home builder decides that all its properties now and in the future will be green certified. 
  3. Google Dot Org announced that it would invest about $10 M to accelerate development of battery technology, plug-in hybrids, and vehicles capable of returning stored energy to the grid. 
  4. Need for green legal counsel becoming increasingly salient as green claims are brought against design professionals. 

Thoughts on The Clean Tech Revolution (Updated)

Thecleantechrevolution So I received from HarperCollins a copy of Ron Pernick + Clint Wilder’s latest book called The Clean Tech Revolution.  I’m a big enthusiast of renewable technology because it has the potential to change the world of real estate and green living.  Preliminarily, let me say that this book is an incredible read.  Seriously.  It’s smart and approachable.  To get an idea of the breadth of the book, here are the chapter subjects:  solar energy, wind power, biofuels and biomaterials, green buildings, personal transportation, smart grid, mobile technologies, water filtration, creating your own Silicon Valley, and clean-tech marketing.  And the book is geared towards individuals, investors, corporations, and governments alike. 

The authors are Clean Edge guys and they know what they’re talking about.  The research put into each topic is unbelievably thorough.  The Clean Tech Revolution is not some chump book by someone that just recently jumped on the green bandwagon (not that there’s anything wrong with that).  The authors talk about the tipping point of green brought about by six C’s–cost, capital, competition, China, consumers, and climate.  These six things have come together to make clean tech something of a revolution that will occur over the next 20, 30, 40 years plus.  It’s pretty exciting.  In each of the chapter categories mentioned above, the authors identify several companies to watch.  For instance, the authors say we should keep an eye on the following companies in the ‘green building’ chapter:  Aspen Aerogels, Clarum Homes, Cree, The Durst Organization, Interface Engineering, Ortech, PanaHome, Rinnai, Turner Construction, Wal-Mart Stores

Update:BusinessWeek published an extensive review over the weekend saying, in part: "But what sets Pernick and Wilder’s book apart is its focus on the business benefits of going green, from money saved by building eco-friendly corporate headquarters and lowering heating and cooling bills, to money earned by startups committed to creating clean technologies. Other books, magazines, and Web sites tend to include clean-tech and green business within a spectrum of other lifestyle, political, environmental, or design topics."

I’m not going to give away too much, but I’m really impressed with this book.  Actually, I’ve got two people in mind that I want to pass a copy to, and they’re not getting mine. 

5th STREETpads by Greenpads LLC

5th STREETpads

The husband and wife team of Liz Miranda and Tim Rempel started Greenpads LLC in 2005, and 5th STREETpads is their first project.  Matter of fact, this six-unit multifamily development received a slew of awards, including the 2006 Build It Green Award + 2006 Design Advocates Design Award for Multi-family Development.  5th STREETpads has six, 2-3 floor townhomes that vary in size from 1360-1640 sf.  The development is a great example of comfortable, lower-impact living as a result of building up, not out.  Here are some of the green features:  Borrego solar system that provides up to 85% of each unit’s electricity; hydronic radiant floor heating with floor-to-floor thermostat control; blown-in wet cellulose and bonded logic thermal insulation; SIP panel roof system; low-VOC painting in all the units; FSC-certified Brazilian cherry flooring; large double-glazed, low-E windows and sliding doors for optimal natural lighting; skylights in all the units; green Italian laminate cabinetry; filtered water and Energy Star appliances throughout; and Toto low-flow toilets.  These are incredible homes.  And although some materials seem to have a heavy carbon impact due to shipping and transporting, we’re talking about a solid step in the right direction for the greening of multifamily real estate development. 

Good Links:
++Greenpads LLC
++Rempel Architects

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