Green building certification is an interesting phenomenon. It’s meant to convey a message about the building’s level of “green” or “sustainability,” but the message is only as strong as the system that creates it. If you push beyond that message, you might ask: how many of these certified buildings are, say, positive energy? That’s the goal of Elithis Tower recently opened in Dijon, France. It has 1,600 sensors that examine energy and emissions. This information is then displayed on a special public sign in full transparency for everyone to see. The sign is both dynamic and clear.
Hocking College — a two-year technical college in Nelsonville, Ohio — has trained its students for jobs in Ohio's manufacturing sector since 1968. As these jobs began leaving the state, Hocking College saw the potential for growth in alternative energy jobs. The school launched the Energy Institute in 2002, with just three students to offer training in advanced energy and fuel cells. Enrollment has since increased to 125 students and the curriculum has also expanded to include hybrid and plug-in vehicle courses, as well as courses about wind and solar power.
The school's newly completed building, located in Hocking County, reflects Hocking College's commitment to participating in the new green economy. The 12,200 square-foot building is on track to become the first higher education building in Ohio to receive LEED Platinum certification.
This year's Innovation Pipeline at West Coast Green was relatively small. In part this may reflect the state of the economy, which has lead to decreased investments in new building technologies. Despite that, there are a few interesting technologies that have been brought to market recently or will hopefully be available soon. Here's a look at several products that may just change the future of this industry.
If you're reading this and you live somewhere in the area of 118 Areys Lane, Orleans, Massachusetts, you should go check out a house that we previously mentioned. You remember the Modern Lake House? The home was designed by Zero Energy Design and built by Cape Associates. With the red and orange exterior, it looks a touch loud, but it's still a stunner. What do you think? ZED will be on site today from 10 am to 4 pm, Saturday, October 3, 2009.
- Heroes of the environment 2009.
- The economics of sustainable buildings.
- Cities can learn from comparing their carbon footprints.
- Cities weigh green features versus expense in new buildings.
- Sacramento opens one of nation's longest green streets.
- Green building: it's not just a trend any more.
- Study pushes net-zero solar homes in Texas.
- San Francisco tilts toward wind power.
- 10 myths about being green at home.
- LEED – the verdict.
Also, follow @jetsongreen on Twitter for more news, links, and commentary.
Today at West Coast Green 2009, Green Horizon showcased their new SFH40 on-demand housing, and it's an impressive unit. Designed to be a self-sustaining home for a family of four, it can be shipped anywhere in the world in a standard shipping container and set up in less than two hours by unskilled people. Each unit has two bedrooms with built in furniture, a bathroom, and a kitchen area. But it's also designed to be a self-sustaining shelter in the aftermath of a disaster when infrastructure may be damaged, so it includes solar panels and batteries, a bio-diesel generator as backup, and water purification equipment. Units can be interconnected to share power and water.