We all know there's money in energy efficiency, but sometimes, it's hard to justify the upfront costs to receive the benefits over time. When crunching the numbers, it helps to recall the Energy Pie Chart that Steven Chu posted to his Facebook recently — lighting accounts for 26% of energy use in commercial buildings! Which is why Holiday Inn will save ~$4.4 million annually as they swap out their neon and fluorescent signage for super efficient LED signage.
If you read this blog, it's likely that you have at least a modicum of care for the natural environment. Like some of you, I grew to love everything about nature through hiking and camping and various Boy Scout activities. So after being approached by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, I jumped at the chance to give away a couple copies of DisneyNature: Earth. Drop a comment below, and we'll randomly choose 2 people for the giveaway.* Earth was just released on DVD and Blu-ray, and it looks fascinating.
In the mid-1980s, Amory Lovins, co-founder, chairman, and chief scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute, built an efficient, 4,000 square foot home in Colorado for living and working. By today’s thinking, the home is a little larger than most greenies would prefer, but it was built to be 90% more efficient than a traditional home of its size. That’s pretty impressive, especially at a time when the panels on the roof of the White House were being taken down for “repair.”
Blake Schreck of Blicker Design was browsing the internet for the perfect dog house and eventually decided to build something of his own design. After building these two styles, Schreck decided it would be fun to sell modern dog houses online. The problem is, he wants to sell green dog houses. So he emailed us and asks whether the Jetson Green audience has any suggestions for affordable, green materials, whether FSC plywood, recycled HDPE plastic, or otherwise. What do you think? Sound off below or at Blicker Design.
Update 10/2/2009: Check out the SFH40 Premiere at WCG 2009!
Last year, West Coast Green had an awesome shipping container home exhibit, and it appears that this year will bring something similar. Yet a little different. As confirmed by Michelle Kaufmann (who will be speaking on Friday of WCG), start up Green Horizon will exhibit their green emergency / container housing unit at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, California. The design of the Green Horizon unit is pretty incredible — it knocks the socks off of FEMA trailers — so you’re going to want to see this in person.*
The NY Times picked up on a trend that's been gaining momentum for a long time. In "Some Buildings Not Living Up to Green Label," Mireya Navarro discusses the "gap between design and construction, which LEED certifies, and how some buildings actually perform." Navarro's not breaking any new ground here, especially for those ensconced in the green building world; however, like the ingredients of a hot dog, the general population needs to understand what LEED is made of.
Would you be shocked to learn that a LEED building may or may not be energy or water efficient? Don't be.