Mesmerizing House with a Solar Skin

Thomas-ott-o2t

Team Germany took first prize at Solar Decathlon 2007, and they’re moving up in the rankings this year.  After the architectural competition, the team is now solidly in second place with a few more days to go.  Could the cube with a solar facade bring last year’s victor its second consecutive win?  In 2007, Team Germany had a beautiful home covered in oak louvered frames with integrated photovoltaics.  This year, the team of 24 architects and students has furthered the same theme with 40 single-crystal silicon panels on the roof and roughly 250 thin-film CIGS panels on the sides.

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Creative Silo House by Cornell University

Silo-house-angel-borrego-cubero-doe

Earlier this month, we previewed each of 20 solar-powered homes competing in the Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll try to delve into more detail to uncover innovation at its best.  This house, the Silo House, was designed and built by over 150 students and faculty at Cornell University.  It features three, 16-foot diameter silos that hold the kitchen, bedroom, and living room.  The Silo House is grid-tied and powered by 40, 200-watt photovoltaic panels, a solar thermal system, and a building integrated solar thermal system.  The Silo House currently leads the competition … will they be the team to take first place?

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LEED Monopoly, GHG Executive Order, Efficiency First, + The TED 5000

Week in Review

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Platinum Net Zero Energy Yannell House

Yannell-house-skyview

This is the Yannell Residence in Chicago, Illinois, a home that was designed and built as an exercise in net zero energy living — it produces at least as much energy as it uses over the course of a year.  It received LEED Platinum certification in July 2009, and has been on a roll getting media attention all over the place.  Some say it’s one of the greenest houses ever built, but one thing is for sure: it has a ton of interesting green elements.

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Modern Green Prefab for All Ages

Kiddo-cabana

If you have a future architect or designer at home, you've probably started them out with spongy building blocks or something.  After that, you might move up to the wooden building blocks, and at some point, Legos will likely get a turn.  Maybe even a prefab playhouse like this would do the trick?  Modern Cabana, the same company that designed and built the Modern Cottage Idea House for Sunset Magazine, recently announced that they're offering this KIDDO Cabana in kit form for $1,500.

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Water Wise Landscaping Goes Modular

The-zen-garden-wade-street

Recently, Knibb Design let us know about their new endeavor to modularize landscape design with a new site: Knibb Modular Garden.  Knibb Modular lets you create a custom residential or commercial garden online in about four steps.  When you're done, you'll have an estimated total cost of all the materials, which should be about $12-$16 per square foot.  Unless you install the garden yourself, installation will run about $4-$6 extra per square foot.  So all in, a modular garden like this will cost about $16-$22 per square foot, sans land preparation costs.  

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