Smart-Home Tech, Big Houses, Wind Energy White Paper, + Peddling Smart Growth (WIR)

Week in Review
  1. Wired to Sell – Smart-home technology is becoming increasingly available with a variety of conservation and convenience features. 
  2. Why Big Houses? The average, new American home is 2,400 sf; experts weigh in on America’s fascination with bigger is better. 
  3. Wind Energy White Paper "In Defense of Wind," by Dallas attorney Trey Cox outlines concerns about wind energy industry’s rapid and unregulated growth. 
  4. Peddling Smart Growth – call your project "smart" – even when it isn’t – and get millions in public funds. 

Wachovia to Build 300 Green Bank Centers by 2010

Wachovia

This is a pretty huge announcement.  The financial case for green building is so compelling that we occasionally see companies making the green change cold turkey saying, "Everything from now on will be green."  That’s what Wachovia is doing.  First comes news that Wachovia will take space in the Charlotte, N.C, green tower designed by TVS architects.  Now, we have an announcement that starting in 2008, all bank branch construction will be according to LEED specifications.  With major expansions expected in California and Texas, we’re talking about 300 green bank centers.  Here’s the incredible part.  Wachovia has determined that each green building will save the company about $80,000 in construction costs and 20% in operating costs, when compared to a traditionally constructed branch.  Additionally, when leasing new space in the future, Wachovia has committed to take on space certified under the LEED for Commercial Interiors program.  The company is currently studying ways to retrofit existing branches in a green way.   

In addition to using about 20% less energy and 25% less water, these healthier buildings should increase worker productivity and have better indoor air quality.  Wachovia plans to roll out its recycling program for paper, plastics, aluminum, and glass.  Also, branches will feature preferred parking for low-emitting vehicles.  Move Hummer, get out the wayVia

5IVE: Modern + Green LEED Platinum Minnesota Home

5IVE

If everything pans out, 5IVE is going to be one of the hottest homes to hit the modern + green scene.  You watch, I’m calling it right now.  This Minneapolis, Minnesota home is aiming for the distinct accomplishment of LEED Platinum certification under the U.S. Green Building Council guidelines.  Platinum green homes get attention.  John Dwyer, professor at University of Minnesota and founder of Shelter Architecture, designed the home for Jeff and Saleno Gallo.  5IVE is built with precast concrete walls with an r-value in the 30s, has one of the most efficient heating and cooling systems on the market, and will use the greenest possible materials, products, appliances, and fixtures. 

The blogosphere is cool because we can use it to peer into the lives of others and learn from their experiences.  Jeff Gallo and Dwyer are collaborating on a blog by documenting the step-by-step process of building one of the greenest homes in Minnesota.  Right now, details are a little scant (for the unbuilt portions), so check the progress at the 5IVE blog for more specifics.

Good Links:
++5ive Plans [Shelter Architecture]
++5IVE: DIARY OF A LEED PLATINUM HOME
++5IVE: Diary of a LEED Platinum Home [Treehugger]

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WINDPOWER 2007: AWEA Flickr Pool and YouTube Channel

Skystream 3.7
Southwest Windpower

Right now, the world’s largest wind energy conference and exhibition, called WINDPOWER 2007, is going on.  For those of you that can’t attend, here’s a link to the AWEA YouTube Channel and the AWEA Flickr Pool.  Good stuff.  Pictured above is the Skystream 3.7.  I’m a big believer in wind technology, especially small wind technology because it has the potential to power our lives on a renewable basis.  Think about the powerful combo of a plug-in hybrid car + home with solar panels + yard with small wind + thermal energy storage.  Here’s what happens.  During the night, you charge your car at home.  Then you drive to work.  At work, you charge your car again with solar/wind power.  The hybrid makes it happen anywhere in the middle.  We need to start mashing up renewable technology in a smart way.  Microgeneration.  Decentralization.  WINDPOWER 2007 is a big part of making this happen. 

Good Links:
++The Age of Windustry [EcoGeek]
++Inside WINDPOWER 2007, Part I [Green Options]

Videos: Resolution: 4 Architecture + Dwell Home

It looks like there are three new youtube videos up of the Dwell Home by Resolution: 4 Architecture.  The one above is a fly through of the Dwell Home 3D renderings.  If, like me, you find that the videos are a weird way to present something modern + cool, I apologize in advance.  Watch and you’ll know what I’m talking about.  Mute helps.  Via a.mnp

JG Makes Lighter Footstep's 10 Green Blogs List

Green_websites

I just want to kick out a shout to the group over at Lighter Footstep that took time to look at the state of the green blogosphere and come up with a list of good green blogs to read.  With the blogosphere as large as it is, there’s always room for error in generating a list, but I think LF did a nice job.  Feel free to pop over and read about each one.  Importantly, the list goes beyond the big-time green blogs such as Treehugger, EcoGeek, AutoBlogGreen, and Inhabitat.  These are the leaders of green blogging.  Other than JG, I’ve included links to the other nine:

Click below the fold to hear what Lighter Footstep had to say about Jetson Green: 

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