Perhaps the most noticeable aspect of Sierra Bonita, an affordable housing development in West Hollywood, is the facade-integrated solar array that powers most of the peak load electricity demand for the common areas. The building also has a solar-powered hot water heating system, but beneath the clearly visible green technology is a modern building with apartments fully adaptable for its disabled residents.
There’s a lot of green building in Austin, but it’s not all single family. This luxury residential high-rise, The Austonian, recently received a Four Star rating (which is about the same as LEED Gold) from Austin Energy Green Building. The building sits on less than three quarters of an acre and was built with enough room for 166 luxury family homes.
Today Joe Biden and the Obama Administration unveiled a new program with low-cost energy audits, federally-insured PowerSaver loans, and a new Home Energy Score, according to Wendy Koch of the USA Today. Details of the program are available now at HomeEnergyScore.gov, which includes an interactive graphic explaining the new score based on a 1 to 10 scale.
Sally Kuchar, editor of Curbed SF, noticed these Boost Boxes at the Green Festival in San Francisco the other weekend. The company that makes them, Boost Home, put a lot of work into making dead-simple, unintimidating boxes to help people increase their energy, water, and money savings. Boxes include products, instructions, audit information, and other goodies. Check out a few:
Recent Daniel Sokol sent me an email to share what he’s doing with steel shipping containers for a New Hampshire-based company called LEED Cabins. He can convert a 20-foot unit into a small, comfortable home in as little as 25 days from $15,000. Or he can build a bigger home with adjoining containers from about $40,000.
Texas-based Solar Lights Factory just opened an online store with various solar LED products — pavers, cylinders, and icebergs — intending to make them available to regular consumers at an approachable price. The paver costs $40 each; the cylinder costs $50 each; and the iceberg starts at $15 each. Each product is self-contained and, with some creativity, can be used for landscapes, gardens, decks, pathways, driveways, and patios, etc.