Today, in Palmdale, California, Walmart (NYSE:WMT) flipped the switch on 17 small wind turbines in the parking lot of bulk retailer, Sam’s Club. Based upon estimates, Walmart and Sam’s Club believe the turbines will generate about 76,000 kWh of energy annually, which is enough to power more than six average homes over the same period of time.
Last time we mentioned Reclaimed Space, the company had just finished selling a small home on eBay for about $75,100 (after a bidding war involving several celebrities). But business is good for the Austin-based company that builds homes out of materials reclaimed from deconstructed homes and old projects. This home was recently delivered to its owners and will be used as a custom sewing space in Marfa, Texas.
Older homes frequently aren't very energy efficient because power used to be extremely cheap and building codes varied widely. In mild climates, that tended to happen even more. Our home in Oakland was built in 1948 and was far from energy efficient when we bought it: single-pane windows and doors, some of which didn't close well; original floor furnace; no insulation in the ceiling or walls; drafty fireplace.
I thought it would be fun to take a look at this container home designed by Ken Kwok for the distant locale of Malaysia. Using six shipping containers, Anand Bungalows developed the 2,551 square foot project, which includes rainwater harvesting, natural ventilation, water-efficient fixtures, dual-flush toilets, and abundant natural lighting to minimize energy consumption. Check out the rest of these images Kwok was kind enough to share with us.
It’s interesting to see Passive Houses — like the Breezeway House in Millcreek, Utah — gain more and more recognition in both the mainstream media and design and construction circles. Another project worth keeping an eye on, Passive House in the Woods, is quietly moving forward with carbon neutral ambitions and a goal to be the first Passive House in the state of Wisconsin.
A new start up company based out of Boulder is making these Studio Sheds for use as equipment, storage, or office sheds. They're modern, green, and somewhat affordable with models starting at $4,900 (while the DIY flat-pack kit sells at a small discount). You purchase the shed, secure the permits, set the foundation, and Studio Shed installs the shed in about 6-8 hours.