Alberici Converts Old Plant into Modern Green HQ

[2:16]  As a global construction-services company in St. Louis, Missouri, Alberici sought to lead the transformation of the design and construction industry by renovating a 485-foot-long manufacturing plant into its new Class-A corporate headquarters.  The desire to convey resource efficiency, integrated design, and corporate responsibility prompted Alberici to achieve substantial resource and cost savings by combining various strategies, including:

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Checking Out the 99k House Competition

Hybrid

Back in September 2007, Rice Design Alliance and the Houston Chapter of the AIA announced the 99k House Competition.  The general goal of the competition was to create an innovative design for a small house that is affordable, sustainable, and energy efficient.  More specifically, the competition called for a single family house with up to 1,400 sf of space, including 3 bedrooms, 1.5-2 bathrooms, on a 50′ x 100′ site in a historic neighborhood of Houston.  The construction budget for each home had to be under $99,000, too.

And recently, Hybrid / ORA out of Seattle was declared the winner of the competition (pictured above).  In addition, four other finalists each took $5k in prize money and had their home designs published for all to see.  Make sure to check out their ideas and download their designs below. 

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Envision Solar Trees as Energy Stations?

Envision Solar

As you can see above and below, Envision Solar plans to make parking lots into beautiful power plants with their Solar Groves and Solar Trees.  Envision Solar takes the hassle out of designing structures for solar with their turn-key solutions.  Although the company is working on a next generation design for the Solar Tree, the current iteration includes 64 Kyocera solar modules laid out in total measuring 30' x 40'.  The panels sit at a five degree angle and provide shading for six vehicles, too.  Envision Solar has found success installing these parking canopies near commercial buildings and retail parking lots because the energy can be sold to businesses through power purchase agreements. 

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How About SMEG's Retro Modern, Efficient Frig?

Black Orange Red

This fridge has a fantastic retro appearance and could save you a lot of money on your utility bills.  Designed by SMEG, it’s a compact 9.22 cubic feet and uses only  305 kWh/year.  That makes it one of the most efficient it its class according to the government’s energy guide, which is used to rate all Energy Star appliances.  This stylish fridge isn’t big — it’s under 5 feet tall, but maybe it will encourage you to trade space for style and save energy as a result. 

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Top 5 Green Building Products As Voted by Builders

Andalay

As reported by LA Times blog Pardon Our Dust, the Pacific Coast Builders Conference holds an annual competition for the coolest building products and the green building product selections are in.  This year, over 600 home-building professionals voted on roughly 125 product submissions, and some of the best have risen to the top.  The following list represents the cool-product winners in the green building category for 2008:

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HOM Draws a Crowd at Dwell on Design

HOM

HOM Escape in Style made its debut at Dwell on Design this weekend and drew a considerable crowd.  Apartment Therapy said HOM was their favorite home on display, and Curbed liked its interior design.  Of the three models that HOM plans for production, the (smaller) 1000 sf design was exhibited throughout the weekend in LA.  HOM designs cost in the $200 psf range, which calculates to approximately $200,000 for a 1000 sf house.

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