The mkSolaire is currently the featured attraction at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) as part of the Smart Home: Green + Wired exhibition. As you can tell from the above video, it’s a prefab that includes cutting-edge green materials, energy efficient systems, a living roof, and a smart technology system. I love those rectangular, green tiles in the bathroom — check it out.
At this very moment, ElectraTherm is releasing details of the successful installation of its new product, a commercial waste heat generator called the Green Machine. ElectraTherm tested their first Green Machine at none other than my alma mater, Southern Methodist University, and the results exceeded initial expectations. Stated simply, the Green Machine makes electricity from residual industrial heat that usually just goes to waste. ElectraTherm’s new product employs minimal heat (200 degrees F liquid) to generate fuel-free, emissions-free electricity at $0.03 – $0.04 per kWh during a three-year payback period and at under $0.01 per kWh after that. SMU’s test of the 50 kW Green Machine reached output well beyond the 50 kW rating.
Thanks in part to the recent launch of FreeGreen, I think I’ve found the green house of my dreams. The home rendered above and below is called the Smart Box and it’s a stunner. Designed by FreeGreen, Smart Box is the newest free home plan that’s going to be available from the website in the next couple weeks. Smart Box was designed for practically any climate and can range in size from 1000 – 2200 sf. In addition, the plans will identify do-it-yourself type opportunities so that you can find ways to do more on a tighter budget.
Last October we blogged about the Inhabit prefab prototype built in Washington and designed by Mithun and Hybrid. Since then, there hasn’t been much news about the prototype, except that the initial two units are for sale right now. Now comes news, however, based on an article in The Seattle Times, that Unico Properties is planning to bring Inhabit to market in a legit, 62-unit apartment complex that includes a few live/work spaces. The development is planned for a site on Dexter Avenue North above Lake Union. Unico has been quiet about the project because the land is still under contract and the permitting process has just begun. But long and short, Seattle is on the cusp of becoming a major demonstration city for green, prefab apartments in the U.S. — fantastic news for proponents of healthy, affordable, and stylish living spaces.
Duro Design is offering a beautiful collection of eco-friendly Eucalyptus flooring. The wood is grown in managed forests in Europe and is available in 12 colors ranging from gray to natural to a warm apricot color. Premium German and Swiss pigments give the flooring its wonderful tints and depth of color.
You’ve probably seen Big Ass Fans in the gym or in some larger space, and that’s because they’re huge and energy efficient. Just last week, Big Ass Fans launched their newest product called the Element Fan. Element uses the 10 airfoil and wiglet design to move air quietly and efficiently. According to BAF: "At standard speed in a room with 16 ft. high ceilings Element is able to create comfortable breezes over an area larger than a basketball court, all while requiring less than 100 watts to operate. That is considerably less energy than even the most efficient small ceiling fan in production today." I’ve been around these gargantuan fans and love them. Seriously, they cool down a large space like nothing I’ve ever seen. Plus, you can really get creative with the colors, so as far as large fans go, this is a dang good option to go with.