Articles - August, 2008

Parans Fiber Optic Skylights Bring Natural Light to Dark Spaces

Parans - Huvco

Update 8/08/2012Parans is now available through Wasco.

The interesting thing about fiber optic lighting is that it creates the ability to put natural light in places where there is none.  Generally, here’s how it works.  Using a building-mounted panel with computer-controlled, sun-tracking lenses, natural light is channeled through optical fibers to luminaires that diffuse the light (see diagram below).

Since early 2008, HUVCO Daylighting Solutions has been offering a fiber optic lighting system like this, or the Parans System, which was developed in Sweden.  Although light only travels about 60 feet through optical cables, the ability to direct light in this manner is quite interesting.

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Green Meets Danish Modern at Denmark50

Furnimontage

Denmark50, located in Los Angeles, is comprised of a showroom and warehouse full of vintage Danish Modern furniture and accessories.  And of course, buying vintage is such a green way to go.  The showroom (below) is a nice display of what the company has to offer, but the warehouse (also below) is the really amazing part.  Mid-Century Danish furniture is stuffed into the large space as far as the eye can see: couch after couch, chairs, tables, and any other piece one could imagine.

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Solar Verde Zero Energy Green Homes

Solar Verde

I’m dedicating this article to all the traditionalist readers out there — I must admit, though, I’m seriously hesitant about the design here, but I know some of you love this style.  What I love, however, is the idea that green homes and communities can be zero energy.  That’s what Solar Verde is all about.  Solar Verde is a planned community of 20 homes and the developer claims its the first development east of the Rocky Mountains to offer a roof-top photovoltaic system as a basic design feature.  Homes come with a 4 kW solar PV system made with SOLARSAVE roof shingles.  As you can tell, the developer finished the first two model homes last July for this south Chicago green community.   

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Colorfully Green Graham Street Lofts

Graham Street Lofts

This is a small little mixed-use building called Graham Street Lofts.  With 12 residential units and some ground floor commercial, the infill building sits in the Eliot neighborhood of Northern Portland.  Residential units start at ~$324k and each home is energy efficient and modern inside.  The R-30, 10-inch thick PerformWall ICFs are made of recycled polystyrene and cement and help to keep the interiors quiet.  Combine the efficient envelope with hydronic radiant floors and overall home energy use is quite low, too.  Additionally, Graham Street Lofts has some of the following green amenities and finishes:

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Margarido House Going LEED Platinum

Margarido Home

The Margarido House is on its way to being the first home the nation that's both LEED-H certified and GreenPoint rated.  It's also aiming to be the first custom home in Northern California to be LEED-H Platinum certified.  The ~4600 sf home is still waiting on Platinum certification, but it's important to note that because of it's large size, the homeowners had to pursue drastic green measure to get into Platinum territory.  And they did quite well, actually, building a home that's 55% more efficient than California's Title 24 energy standards.  Check out this list of green features:

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Building Organisms, Green Collar Boom, Eco Roof Research + Skyscraper Turbines

Week in Review

*WIR = Week in Review; a Saturday showcase of excellent links.

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