Articles - August, 2008

Palo Alto Law Firm Installs Large 87 kW Solar System

Solar

The Silicon Valley-based law firm of Cooley Godward Kronish has just brought online the largest on-site solar system of any Bay Area law firm.  The 465 panel, 87 kW system was installed on the roof of their Palo Alto-Hanover building of 130,000 sf.  Installing a solar system of this size has almost lost its newsworthiness, especially with tons of companies placing monster solar arrays in service by the end of this year to take advantage of the tax benefits.  But what’s really interesting, I think, is one of the reasons the firm decided to generate some on-site green power: their clients are in this business and inspired them to go green. 

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Yale Grad Student’s Off-Grid Tiny House

Yale Tiny House

Elizabeth Turnbull was planning for Yale grad school and started estimating her future living expenses.  As an incoming Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies student, Elizabeth calculated that she would spend ~$14,000 over two years of school and wanted to do something effective with that money.  So she channeled a little inspiration from Tumbleweed Tiny House and decided to build her own tiny home as economically as possible.

So far, she’s made incredible progress building the 8′ x 18′ modish home on a flatbed trailer.  By the time she’s done, the off-grid home will price out just over $11,000 or so.  And it’s surprisingly spacious inside, too.

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Prairie Crossing Nature-Centric Community

Newest Rendering

Prairie Crossing is located in Grayslake, Illinois about 40 miles north of Chicago.  This beautiful, nature-focused community has preserved more than 60% of its 677 acres.  An impressive measure which clearly points to the good intentions of the "developers", a group of neighbors who bought the land in the 1980′s with the goal of truly responsible development.  The community has 359 homes and 36 condos versus the 2400 homes that another developer had plans for.  The condos have received the highest energy star rating possible.

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