Racing Against Time: A Bright Future

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This article is a contribution to Honda’s “Racing Against Time” thought leadership series.*

Recently, I was approached by Honda to tackle the topic of “peak oil” in relation to the normal conversation on Jetson Green.  This site is devoted to green building innovation, and you may be thinking the subject of peak oil — specifically, the idea that oil is a finite resource — is a little tangential.

But it’s not.  In fact, oil is used to make all sorts of products and to power residential and commercial buildings.  Honda’s invitation has given me an opportunity to brainstorm on the subject and, after some contemplation, I believe there are six ways the building, design, and construction industry can eliminate the use of oil entirely.

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Ecooler Hollow Ceramic Cooling Screen

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Mey and Boaz Kahn, Studio Kahn, submitted this ecooler screen for iida 2010 and took home third prize.  Ecooler is a concept hollow tile that connects with other tiles, creating a wall of water-filled ceramics.  It's intended to provide an alternative option for cooling internal spaces by seepage and evaporation during the day, according to DesignBoom

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A Roof Tile That Eliminates NOx Smog

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This summer, KB Home unveiled a prototype home in Lancaster, California, outfitted with solar panels, energy storage, LED lighting, and an electric vehicle outlet, among other technologies.  The prototype also included a roof tile called Auranox by MonierLifetile.  The claim to fame with this roof tile is that it's a smog-eater — that it neutralizes nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the air. 

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First Platinum Multifamily Homes in SFC

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Belles Townhomes, a new residential project in the Presidio, recently took home LEED Platinum certification, according to a press release by LivingHomes.  Designed by KieranTimberlake, the seven-unit multifamily community will open for leasing later this year.  Belles Townhomes overlooks shared green space and was developed by Forest City in partnership with The Presidio Trust.

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Herman Miller Unveils New Sayl Chairs

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Imagine a suspension bridge with sailing vessels floating close by.  Both objects, the sail and the bridge, are represented in this new chair designed by Yves Béhar in collaboration with Herman Miller.  The sail is reflected in the name, Sayl, and look of the chair, while the bridge is reflected in the frameless back structure and colorful suspension material. 

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Inspired by Nature: Topanga Collection

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Environment Furniture recently unveiled a new shelving system called the Topanga Collection.  The system was designed by creative director Jean-Marie Massaud and is made with a recycled-content, honeycomb cardboard that's strong and lightweight. 

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