As with all terms environmental, the devil is in the definition and the lawyers have been hard at work with so called zero energy buildings. A net ZEB, by definition, produces as much energy as it uses over the course of a year. To get to that point, buildings owners make their buildings as efficient as possible and then use, in the typical case, on-site renewable energy to get into zero energy territory. But there are other variations, including net zero site energy, net zero source energy, net zero energy costs, net zero energy emissions, and near zero energy, all of which have been kindly defined by the DOE. The DOE, as assisted by Building Green, has also launched a Zero Energy Buildings Database, with the following four buildings.
When Maria Surma Manka brought us news of Broadstar Wind Systems last June from Windpower 2008, our interest was stoked, especially considering the fact that Broadstar was claiming that their AeroCam turbine could achieve $1 per watt installed. Well, the company is still beta testing the AeroCam turbine, but demand is crazy and they’re "on track" to install more than 70 turbines. J.C. Penny Co. plans to install AeroCam turbines on their distribution facility in Reno, Nevada by November this year. Plus, 15 companies have contracted to test the turbines and 12 more are in talks.
This thoughtfully designed home in Jackson, Wyoming, was designed by Stephen Dynia Architecture for Alice Cornell. Other than possibly the bamboo flooring, low-E glass, natural materials, and long-lasting standing seam metal roof, I’m not aware of any materials or elements that qualify or disqualify this home as being "green." It hasn’t been certified or anything, but the design is smart and efficient, relying on abundant natural lighting and thorough consideration for space.
The South Waterfront area of Portland is a new and interesting neighborhood. All the buildings in South Waterfront will be LEED certified and thoughtfully planned. The 35-acre, 17-block district abutting the Willamette River is also the first urban neighborhood to achieve Salmon-Safe certification. The mission of Salmon-Safe is to restore the health of watersheds so salmon can spawn and thrive. Here’s what the certification tells us about South Waterfront:
- Green cement may set CO2 fate in concrete.
- NAR establishes new green designation for realtors.
- EcoTimber benefits in eco-friendly wood flooring market.
- Eight strategies to improve the performance of existing building stock.
- Size matters when you go for green bragging rights.
- Phoenix Suns install 1,125 solar panels on parking garage.
- Cost of LEED is debatable, but savings are significant.
- "Zero-energy" pilot homes planned for Fort Campell military base.
- The environmental cost of a pizza joint.
*WIR = Week in Review; a Saturday showcase of excellent links.
This technology by Swedish company Home Energy has taken the web by storm over the past couple days. The Energy Ball is an aberration in a small wind market that seems to be dominated by vertical axis, helical, miniature, and three-blade designs. It takes the shape of a puffed up flounder — with an orb of six blades and a fin to guide the orb towards the wind.