Articles - March, 2011

Ingenious PV Glass Window Hits Chicago

Pythagoras Solar makes a revolutionary solar-powered window – literally an insulated window with integrated photovoltaics – that has the ability to turn buildings into massive power producers. The company has been testing a pilot project on the south-facing windows of the 56th floor of Willis Tower, formerly known as Sears Tower. If the pilot goes well, Willis Tower could end up with a surface area of up to two megawatts of solar.

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A Smart Prototype for New Modern Prefab

This new home embodies one of the most interesting developments in prefab to hit the West Coast in several years.  The Sunlight Residence, a 2,560 square-foot home listed for sale at $850,000, is a prototype by Proto Homes constructed in a hybrid-prefab system with all sorts of smart, green, and stylish elements.  It’s completely wired — each new home comes with an iPad to control the lights, music, cameras, alarm, temperature, and fireplace — and quite green, too.

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Suberra: Durable Recycled Cork Slabs

After cork bark is plugged by the wine industry, it can be fashioned into a durable, high-density slab called Suberra by the folks at the Eco Supply Center in Richmond, Virginia.  They compress post-industrial recycled cork grain with a polyurethane binder to create 1-1/4″ composite slabs that are 25-1/2″ wide by 36-1/2″ long.

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