Solar Cell Tree Charger for the Home

Treecharger

This solar cell tree charger by Vivien Muller is kind of interesting.  You can use it to recharge your cellphone, camera, or whatever, because it has 54 tiny photovoltaic panels and an internal battery that stores energy.  The modular parts are connected and can be rotated infinitely creating a different tree for your favorite sunny spot at home.

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[Video] Margarido House and The View

Remember earlier this week when we talked about the Margarido House, you know that posh, modern home that’s about to be the first LEED-H Platinum home in Northern California?  Well, the always entertaining Sally Kuchar of SallyTV has just posted these videos and we thought it’d be fun to share.  You might know Sally from her recent work designing the Silicon Valley Dwell Nexthouse, but she’s also a regular contributor to Apartment Therapy SF and MoCo Loco.  I can’t help but watch these videos and think about the endless possibilities presented by thoughtful design and modern green materials. 

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Modern Sky Hill Townhomes in Atlanta

Skyhill Townhouses

Check these urban townhomes out.  They’re pretty interesting.  The design here is part of a development called Sky Hill, a twelve townhome community in Midtown Atlanta.  Designed by Kuo Diedrich, Sky Hill is clustered into four buildings with three townhomes each.  They’re all 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom units of ~3000 sf and have been LEED registered (not certified).  Each home has a rooftop terrace and equipped with a plant-growing system by LiveRoof.  Apparently the end units have an elevator option, which most would agree is kind of, well, you know.  But being located in an infill location with pedestrian friendly design opens up the possibility for living a greener kind of lifestyle.   

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Get Ready for Hot, Flat, and Crowded

Hotflatcrowded So the big day is September 8, 2008 — the day Mr. Thomas Friedman’s next book goes on sale.  It’s called Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution–And How It Can Renew America.  I have a feeling it’s going to be good, too, but I can’t pinpoint why.  Maybe it’s because Friedman does a lot of research and assesses that research with a fresh perspective.  Maybe it’s because he says new stuff — he’s not necessarily regurgitating what we hear everyday.  Maybe it’s because he takes a strong position.  Whatever it is, I have a stack of great books that I’ve been trying to get through, but this one will likely make it to the nightstand. 

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Parans Fiber Optic Skylights Bring Natural Light to Dark Spaces

Parans - Huvco

Update 8/08/2012Parans is now available through Wasco.

The interesting thing about fiber optic lighting is that it creates the ability to put natural light in places where there is none.  Generally, here’s how it works.  Using a building-mounted panel with computer-controlled, sun-tracking lenses, natural light is channeled through optical fibers to luminaires that diffuse the light (see diagram below).

Since early 2008, HUVCO Daylighting Solutions has been offering a fiber optic lighting system like this, or the Parans System, which was developed in Sweden.  Although light only travels about 60 feet through optical cables, the ability to direct light in this manner is quite interesting.

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Green Meets Danish Modern at Denmark50

Furnimontage

Denmark50, located in Los Angeles, is comprised of a showroom and warehouse full of vintage Danish Modern furniture and accessories.  And of course, buying vintage is such a green way to go.  The showroom (below) is a nice display of what the company has to offer, but the warehouse (also below) is the really amazing part.  Mid-Century Danish furniture is stuffed into the large space as far as the eye can see: couch after couch, chairs, tables, and any other piece one could imagine.

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