Articles - March, 2012

Dead Solar Thermal, Mainstream Green, Sustainable Apartments, + Rental Efficiency

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Roof-Mounted Solar Tracker in Maryland

We’ve mentioned solar-tracking but the systems are usually pictured on a pole in a big grassy yard.  This is a Dual-Panel Tracker by Maryland-based Advanced Technology & Research Corp. (ATR) on the roof of a row house in Federal Hill in Baltimore.  The install consists of two panels, 235-watts each, on a sun tracking mount with a GPS-controlled drive unit that follows the sun to yield about 30% more than fixed panels.

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Contemporary INFILL is The New Prefab

John Dwyer was involved in the design of the first LEED Platinum home in Minnesota — 5ive — and now aims to change the way homeowners purchase homes.  He recently unveiled INFILL, “the new prefab,” with a plan to provide complete delivery, high performance, and full adaptability from three basic prefab designs.

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Ivory Dream is an Eco-Friendly Mosaic

Italy-based Benetti Stone Philosophy makes a beautiful mosaic surface called Ivory Dream, which is made from vegetable ivory.  In this case, the vegetable ivory — which was used to make buttons before plastic became popular — comes from the seed of an Amazon palm tree called Tagua.  The seed is hand-harvested without causing any damage and is then cut and supplied for use as a floor, covering, or other surface mosaic.

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Twin SIP Panel Sett Studios in Austin

Several months ago, I shared photos of a tiny studio shed by Texas-based Sett Studio and want to share details of cool new project by the same firm in same area.  Sett Studio recently worked with The Goodlife Team, a local real estate company, and created these two studios that are now being used as extra space for the company’s expanding East Austin offices.

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Net-Zero SIPs Laneway House with Solar

When I first mentioned the Mendoza Laneway House, it was one of the first laneway homes in Vancouver under the city’s EcoDensity program.  The company behind that efficient SIPs home, Lanefab, and its partners, designer Bryn Davidson and builder Mat Turner, have been busy and recently completed the first Net-Zero Solar Laneway House on a corner lot at 57th and Vivian.  It’s beautiful inside and out.

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