Articles - January, 2012

Solar Decathlon Takes Talents to the OC

For the Solar Decathlon enthusiasts and early planners, here’s a heads up that Solar Decathlon 2013 will be held at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California, according to the Department of Energy.  In August 2011, we mentioned that the DOE was shopping around for a new location.  Turns out the new location is the site of the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, which Irvine will convert into sustainable parkland for family recreation.  Teams will install their homes on the paved runway.

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The Environmental Value of Building Reuse

It turns out that “building reuse almost always offers environmental savings over demolition and new construction,” according to a new study published by the Preservation Green Lab of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  The Green Lab published its findings after a life cycle analysis of environmental impacts of various buildings located in four cities around the country.

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Students Build Greenest Home in Canada

What’s planned for construction by students on an infill lot and aiming to meet the Living Building Challenge with LEED Platinum certification?  That would be Canada’s Greenest Home in Ontario.  Students enrolled in The Endeavour Centre’s Sustainable New Construction: Building a New Future program will build the 2,000 square-foot home during a five-month period this summer.

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Plugwise Eliminates Excess Energy Use

California-based kWh Power is tackling phantom energy loss by introducing the Plugwise system in the United States. Developed by Dutch company Plugwise in 2006, this system allows you to monitor, track, and control unnecessary energy use throughout your home or office.

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Panasonic Intros Inventive Tankless Toilet

Panasonic Corp. recently announced a breakthrough tankless toilet called “Arauno V,” according to newswire AFP Relax News.  This isn’t one of those toilets where the tank is hidden in the wall, rather the toilet draws water directly from the home water supply.  And the bowl is engineered like a tornado to cleanly circulate waste down the drain.

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Water-Wise Bath Remodel on HouseLogic

As you may know, in recent years, I bought an old, existing home originally built in 1958.  It’s nothing fancy and not all that updated in the main areas, such as the bathrooms and kitchen, so I’ve been working on modernizing things little by little.  One bathroom was so run down that we shut the door and didn’t use it after purchase.

But all this changed recently when HouseLogic, a resource by the National Association of Realtors, agreed to partner with me and Jetson Green to renovate a bathroom.

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