Articles - September, 2011

Creatherm: A Simple, Flexible Radiant Slab

Radiant flooring is a popular method for heating a space. Typicaly, installing a radiant slab on grade has required the time- and labor-intensive process of laying down wire mesh and then tying the tubing to the grid of the mesh to provide an even layout. But using the Creatherm radiant floor panel makes it faster and easier to install radiant tubing, as well as providing an insulation layer beneath the floor.
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The Architecture Contest Winner – #SD2011

The results are in for another contest at Solar Decathlon 2011 and the winner of the architecture phase is the University of Maryland with WaterShed.  Team New Zealand (Victoria University of Wellington) took second place with First Light, and Appalachian State University took third place with the Solar Homestead.

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Sett is a Tiny, Green, Modular Studio

Austin-based Sett Studio makes unique and inventive prefab studios ranging in size from about 97 to 192 square feet.  The company pairs modern design with energy-efficient construction to create what can be used as a home office, art studio, yoga space, kids room, game room, or guest room.  Plus, a Sett Studio can be had for about $20,000 – $30,000, depending on the model.

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Plastic Trash Made in to 3form LineUp

3form makes a resin panel called 100 Percent with 100% post-consumer, recycled, high-density polyethylene. Each panel includes more than 1,000 old milk bottles and can help a project team earn a couple LEED credits.  Well, this year — in time for ICFF, NeoCon, and other design shows — 3form unveiled LineUp, a new 100 Percent collection available in two pattern directions and four colors (beach, husk, stream, and turf).  The collection is suitable for countertops and tabletops, and the panels are 4″ x 8″.

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The Affordability Contest Winners – #SD2011

The Solar Decathlon evolved this year with the advent of the Affordability Contest. It replaced the Lighting Design Contest, which was subsumed within other contests in the competition. Pursuant to the rules, teams receive up to 100 points by achieving an estimated construction cost of $250,000 or less. Above that, there’s a sliding scale with no points awarded for homes with a construction cost above $600,000.

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zHomes Use Zero Net Energy in Issaquah

zHome is a contemporary, new, townhome development in Issaquah, Washington.  The homes go on sale this month and have received national attention, such as in the video embedded below with the Wall Street Journal.  Homes in this community will use zero net energy — after considering all energy used and produced during a year — and zHome may just be the first townhome project in the country to achieve such a feat.

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