REI Round Rock Second Gen Green Store To Use 48% Less Energy

Mounting on the green building success of their previous stores, including the green Boulder REI we wrote about previously, REI today opens the doors to its second generation of green prototype store in Round Rock, Texas.  The Texas store is projected to consume 48% less energy than a typical store and generate a portion of its power from a solar panel installation, building integrated photovoltaics, and a solar hot water system.  After that, Round Rock will rely on Solatubes to displace a portion of articifial lighting and the purchase of green power generated from biomass digesters. 

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By |September 26th, 2008|Categories: Energy Efficiency, Retail, Solar|Tags: |4 Comments

Shipping Container Homes Below $10k

Here’s the story: A handful of entrepreneurs nurtured a graduate school business plan into an actual company called PFNC Global Communities.  The acronym stands for “por fin, nuestra casa,” which is translated as “finally, a home of our own.”  PFNC’s purpose is to convert shipping containers into affordable housing for those who most desperately need it around the globe.

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By |September 25th, 2008|Categories: Affordable, Container Design|Tags: |20 Comments

Google Project 10^100 Calls for Ideas to Change the World

Google has just announced a new project:  Project 10^100 (pronounced "Project 10 to the 100th"), which is a global call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible.  Here’s how it works.  You submit your idea by October 20th.  Google will cull through everything and post 100 ideas.  Starting on January 27, 2009, the world starts voting on those to choose 20 semi-finalists.  From there, an advisory board will choose 5 finalists.  Then, Google will spend at least $10 M implementing those final 5 ideas. 

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By |September 25th, 2008|Categories: News|Tags: , |5 Comments

Off-Grid and Carbon Free in Samsø

A few months ago, I became interested in Samsø after reading Elizabeth Kolbert's column in The New Yorker entitled The Island in the Wind.  Then, just this week, I noticed a photo essay of Samsø in The Guardian with pictures from Nicky Bonne.  What's interesting about Samsø is that it's a producer of energy — the entire island produces more energy from renewables than it uses.  They sell the rest and have been doing so since 2003. 

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By |September 24th, 2008|Categories: Conservation, Land Use|Tags: , |4 Comments

Weatherford Place Aims for Net-Zero Energy and Platinum Certification

Weatherford Place is a small community of eight town and country homes in Roswell, Georgia.  It’s seeking LEED for Homes Platinum certification on all homes, as well as Platinum certification for the community under the LEED for Neighborhood Development Pilot Program — a goal that could make it one of the first all Platinum communities in the county.  But beyond certification, Weatherford Place homes will be 100% more energy efficient than typical houses and 50% more energy efficient than houses built to the 2006 Energy Code.

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By |September 23rd, 2008|Categories: LEED, Single Family|Tags: , |0 Comments

Nutrition Labels as Universal Home Labels

We’re very much intrigued by the white paper released yesterday by Michelle Kaufmann Companies.  Officially entitled "Nutrition Labels for Homes: A Way for Homebuyers to Make More Ecological, Economical Decisions," the white paper presents the case for a universal label for homes.  Note that last sentence, though.  This isn’t a label for just green homes, it’s a label for all homes.  It’s a universal label to educate people on a home’s sustainability (or unsustainability) profile.  Every home gets a label — you can imagine the power this gives buyers and green home sellers. 

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By |September 23rd, 2008|Categories: Energy Efficiency, News|Tags: , |4 Comments
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