A couple years ago, I watched with caution as Philippe Starck announced plans to design residential scale vertical axis wind turbines. Everyone loves the idea of small wind — especially VAWT designs — but practical issues can sometimes preclude actual energy generation with these things. Nonetheless, after two years of research, it seems the French designer has some actual products to speak about. Speaking to a crowd in Milan, Starck unveiled two Revolution Air turbine models to be made by Pramac.
A few weeks ago, we told you Nationwide Homes was preparing a 523-square-foot home called The Osprey for IBS 2010. Timothy Dahl of Charles & Hudson was on the scene and snapped a few photos amidst the hordes of industry professionals. Like Clayton Homes' i-House, the Osprey is a small, green modular home designed for flexibility. It can be used as a small home, home office, retreat, casita, or in-law apartment.
Reworks, Inc., a development and design/build company in Portland, just sent us a tip on their newly completely project, Eight x 17. The green development includes four homes in Sellwood (southeast Portland) currently priced low- to mid-$600,000. Designed by Aaron Blake of Reworks and developed with Penkin Development, LLC, these contemporary homes meet the Oregon High Performance Home standard and are Earth Advantage certified.
At IBS 2010 last week, CertainTeed announced their new EnerGen Photovoltaic Solar Power Roofing System, which is offered through a partnership with Energy Conversion Devices, manufacturer of UNI-SOLAR thin-film solar laminates. The EnerGen system combines lightweight UNI-SOLAR panels with traditional asphalt roofing shingles. The photos in this article show a 3.2 kW EnerGen system installed on the official governor's residence of Michigan.
This home, The Don Vardo, was built by a tiny house construction company in Oregon called Portland Alternative Dwellings. PAD is selling The Don Vardo for $22,000, which includes a desk, kitchen nook, pull-out double bed, and radiant heat floors. Built on a 7×10-foot trailer, the portable home is fully insulated, road tested, and comes with reclaimed Douglas fir doors, rain screen cedar siding, a PaperStone desk, an LED rope-light, salvaged cabinets and a sink, and efficient double-hung windows. There is no toilet or shower, though.
If you like bamboo, you may be interested in this new bamboo subway tile from Anchor Bay Tile. Available in autumn blush, chestnut, ebony, and natural (see below), the three-by-six inch tile is made in the USA with bamboo that's harvested at maturity between 5.5 to 6 years. Anchor Bay Tile uses bamboo that qualifies for SCS Indoor Advantage Gold certification and claims the tiles work well in dry applications for both residential and commercial projects.