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?
- Affordable flair.
- Ending LEED's monopoly.
- Cradle to Cradle data to go public in next year.
- Is cleantech the next big thing for our economy?
- A compelling mantra: Efficiency First.
- Google PowerMeter gets first device partner. (Buy for $200).
- Lawyers witness upswing in sustainable law trends.
- Obama signs executive order to reduce GHGs.
- Future proofing buildings for electric cars.
- Building green doesn't always cost more.
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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.
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.
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.
In the past few weeks, the Brad Pitt Make It Right foundation in New Orleans has been blanketed with all sorts of good press. The USGBC declared Make It Right to be the "largest and greenest single family community in the world." One of the newest homes in this green community is the FLOAT House by Morphosis Architects, which was designed and built under the direction of Thom Mayne and with the help of numerous UCLA graduate students. The FLOAT House is a prototype for prefab affordable housing that is adaptable to flood zones worldwide.