Yesterday, President Obama toured a training facility at Savannah Technical College and took the opportunity to outline more detail on the proposed HOMESTAR Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program. The program has been called "Cash for Caulkers" due to similarities with Cash for Clunkers, but we're going to stick with the HOMESTAR terminology. Here's some additional detail.
A few weeks ago, we mentioned the strong flat pack prefabs designed by Andrés Duany for Haiti. That effort is moving forward, and we've been able to catch a photo of a built prototype (see above). InnoVida Holdings, LLC, manufacturer of the lightweight fiber composite panels used to build the prototype, today announced plans to build a factory near Port-au-Prince and donate 1,000 of these houses to Haiti. It's a massive endeavor that could lead to the production of 10,000 homes per year and 250 direct jobs in the country.
If you had the chance to catch 60 Minutes on Sunday, you saw their exclusive on Bloom Energy. The company has been in stealth mode for some time, but all of that appears to be over. As reported by Lesley Stahl, which you can view in the video embedded below, Bloom makes a fuel cell that will be used to power homes (in the future) and commercial buildings (right now).
At the beginning of every year, there's a tradition for the industry to talk about trends. We've done it in the past, but this year we reviewed trends published by Jerry Yudelson and the Earth Advantage Institute. Now, EcoHome Magazine has published it's own list of seven green trends that will impact homeowners and green building professionals. Here they are:
The Living Building Challenge, run by the Cascadia Green Building Council, is growing in popularity these days. Referred to as one of the most advanced green building rating systems in the world, it's growing, I believe, in part because of its rigor. The Challenge is performance based, which means a project has to perform as modeled for one full year prior to receiving certification. Currently, four projects (see below) are racing to be the first to obtain Living Building Challenge certification.