Earlier this week, Green Wavelength LLC, a bio-inspired clean energy startup, unveiled their 19-foot, prototype, small wind turbine to crowds at The Perfect Pitch 2009 entrepreneur conference. Called XBee, the turbine – unlike any that you’ve probably ever seen – was designed with inspiration from the movement of bumblebees, hummingbirds, and dragonflies.
Are you on Twitter yet? If you're not, I hope you'll get there soon, because the conversation is good. And the sharing is getting better, too. You may have noticed we have a "retweet" button at the end of each article. It's been fun to see how far and wide topics can spread with these buttons.
Along these lines, if you're on Twitter, you may have noticed the roll out of lists. It seems like a great idea and we're going to try to get more out of it. We've built up the following lists and want to add friends of Jetson Green to the right category. Drop a comment with your Twitter handle and the appropriate list group, and we'll add you to it.
We’ve mentioned Ideabox several times over the years, and their new offering, the Fortino, has to be one my favorites. The Fortino was on display at the Seattle Home Show 2, although, unfortunately, there was a huge pole at the show obstructing photos. You’ll have to imagine the Fortino in a well-manicured, xeriscaped setting on the lot of your choosing. Something like 30,000 people saw the Fortino in Seattle, and Jim Russell, founder of Ideabox, tells me the response was incredible.
The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) conducted a post-occupancy study of 25 LEED commercial projects in Illinois and just published the first round of results from their research. The Regional Green Building Case Study Project is one of the first post-occupancy studies to measure energy performance, greenhouse gases emissions, water use, transportation effects, construction and occupancy costs, health benefits, and occupancy comfort on a regional scale. Although CNT found that some LEED projects perform better than others, they also determined that investing in energy efficiency pays off.
The visitor center at the Bernheim Arboretum in Clairmont, Kentucky, which was completed in 2005, continues to garner attention. In 2007, it was awarded LEED Platinum certification. Most recently, the visitor center has received the EPA's prestigious Lifecycle Building Challenge Award. This is the third year that the EPA has held the challenge where entrants are judged on their building's ability to minimize waste, reduce energy consumption, and be disassembled for material reuse. The visitor center took an award in the Building–Professional Built category and an Outstanding Achievement Award for Best Greenhouse Gas Reduction.
It's time to follow up on a project a cool project, the Zero Energy Idea House, that we mentioned at ground breaking in July 2008. Located at Bass Cove near Bellevue, Washington, the 1,630 square-foot, two-bedroom Zero Energy Idea House was designed by Clinkston Brunner Architects and built by Shirey Contracting. Overlooking Lake Sammamish, the home is planted into the hill as a demonstration of energy efficiency — the goal is to show that it generates as much energy as it uses.