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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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Ten Green Building Trends for 2012

The Earth Advantage Institute has certified more than 12,000 green homes, so it’s safe to say they know what’s going on with green building. Towards the end of 2011, the non-profit spoke with various policymakers, builders, developers, architects, brokers, appraisers, lenders, and homeowners to understand green building trends. Here are the 10 green building trends EAI says to watch for in 2012, which we’ve paraphrased below:

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Five Green Home Trends for 2012

There’s something about the beginning of a year that makes the fortune tellers come out in droves.  But I guess it’s fun to ponder and pontificate about the future — to string data together to predict what will happen in the next 365 days.  Buildipedia took a shot at identifying green home trends for 2012, and here are the five that they list:

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Survey: People Want More Green Homes

It turns out that a green, energy efficient home built with sustainable materials is “most wanted,” according to a Yahoo! Real Estate survey of 1,500 current and aspiring homeowners.  Homeowners prefer a green home (50%) over a custom home (38%), water view (38%), suburb (31%), or living on the beach (27%).  Yahoo! found that homeowners don’t want urban locations, gated communities, or castle-style homes.

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EPA to Label Home Irrigation Controls

You’re shutting off water, raking leaves, and probably don’t have the slightest concern for irrigation control. But, keep in mind for Spring 2012, the EPA recently announced that irrigation controllers will be the first outdoor product eligible for the WaterSense label. To date, WaterSense has been available for showerheads, toilets, urinals, sink faucets, and entire homes.

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