In an innovative move, the Town of Babylon has set up an extensive program to work with citizens to pay for energy efficiency upgrades for every home in the town. The basic premise of the program is that the town wants to help residents use less energy, so here’s what they plan to do. They’re going to loan up to $12,000 at the super low interest rate of 3% to pay directly for renovation costs. Under the program, residents get home energy audits that include recommended actions for renovations, including adding more insulation, changing out the HVAC system, etc. The town pays for the renovations and the homeowner then makes payments to the town based roughly on the reduction in payments caused by having a more efficient home. So it’s quite the innovative system.
You may have noticed an article by Alex Williams in the NY Times yesterday entitled "The Era of Green Noise." The article hits on some trends we're seeing, especially in the green lifestyle area, with people worn out by the green barrage of choices and information. Green advertising and/or pitches might get a roll of the eyes, or worse, some backlash. People may just repel and fight against the message. So businesses are starting to get concerned about the proper way to move forward given this "green fatigue" from the "green noise."
I've been thinking about this and have a few suggestions for businesses that want to keep a quality connection to their customers.
This is The Landscape House, a concept designed by Maul Dwellings that won the AIA’s 2006 Committee on Design competition to design "A House for an Ecologist." Although the concept was originally planned as field residence for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it’s also an example of the smart integration of design, technology, and sustainability. The Landscape House features a double roof to enhance natural air circulation, operable louvered shutters that harvest energy, a Water Pod that houses all the efficient plumbing systems, and a solar dehumidifier unit that captures moisture from the air to produce distilled drinking water.
Green Buildings on the Rise, Off-Grid Second Homes, Watchdogs and Claims, + GHG Reporting Systems [WIR]
- Green buildings on the rise.
- Off-the-grid a popular choice for second homes.
- LEED is future of industrial building.
- FTC set to watch over green building claims.
- New book asks questions about eco-watchdog groups.
- The Planet Green Network embarrasses the Earth.
- First real-time GHG reporting system installed by Army.
- The art of planting trees to cool your home and the planet.
*WIR = Week in Review; a Saturday showcase of excellent links.
Lumeta has developed what’s said to be the world’s first commercial-scale, "peel and stick" solar modules called Lumeta Power-Ply 380. The Power-Ply solar modules use adhesives to attach to the roof, making the system a cinch to install. The short video below shows two guys installing six modules on a roof in roughly 34 minutes — it seems so simple anyone could do it! Of note, the 4′ x 8′ modules don’t require roof penetrations or mounting systems, as opposed to most solar power systems. You may also note that the flat roof style installation sacrifices the optimal solar angle (and loses about 5% of the power production), but Lumeta is confident that the benefits to the peel and stick solar product outweigh the slight losses in production.
Starting at 10:00 am this Saturday, June 14, a custom-made Sunset Breezehouse designed by MKD will be open to the public in Santa Barbara, California. The open house will happen in conjunction with the Built Green Santa Barbara Expo, Conference, & Tour, but if you’re not able to attend, Michelle Kaufmann has been posting photos and details of the home for the past couple weeks. The home, in addition to having all the various green materials and products typically used in MKD homes, has a PV solar array and sustainable landscape design that fits the home just perfectly.