It's crazy to think we're now cruising through the new year. It's also sad to think about the tragedy that hit Haiti. As the world continues to turn, we'll keep talking about the most important stories that somehow touch on green building. We also want to thank our sponsor, Green Build Post, a green building forum that's documenting several industry trends, including the construction of a green, modular New World Home in The Hamptons, New York. Here's a summary of last month's coverage, if you missed anything:
- The grassroots efforts of using gray water.
- How to avoid the legal pitfalls of green marketing.
- Sustainable design needs more than bells and whistles.
- Green materials sector is gaining attention and growing fast.
- SEC to require disclosure of climate change risks.
- Study finds that white roofs reduce urban heat.
- The ever expanding green toolbox.
- Is your house making you sick?
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.
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.
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.
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.