Nascent Home Tech Aims to Slash Energy Hogs

When I was growing up, if there was an errant light or something on, my dad would take my brothers and sisters into the room and say something like, […]

By |September 11th, 2007|Categories: Conservation, Energy Efficiency, Gadgets, Materials|Tags: |0 Comments

SG Blocks Rolling Out Safe, Green Building System

Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of discussing the phenomenon of container housing with David Cross, Chief Business Development Officer for SG Blocks LLC.  SG Blocks, short for Safe and Green, is a sustainable building system made from containers.  Going beyond the trendy fascination with exposed container architecture design–modern, industrial, and extremely good looking, in my opinion, SG Blocks intends to use containers as a fundamental component to building construction.  A container home doesn’t necessarily have to look like a container home (that’s up to you), but it can have all the same advantages: comfortable, strong, green, and affordable.   

The home you see above is an example of container modules being used on a traditional home as a framing system.  From the outside or inside, you’re not going to know that it was built with container modules.  The cost of framing a home built with SG Blocks is about $22-30 psf, which is roughly comparable to other forms of construction.  BUT did you know that recycling containers into steel beams takes nearly 8,000 kW of energy at a cost of roughly $800?  Rather, it takes about 400 kW of energy to turn containers into a home.  At about 5% of the energy when compared to straight recycling, that’s not bad.  And right now, SG Blocks is in the process of rolling out their building system nationally.

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By |September 11th, 2007|Categories: Affordable, Container Design, Gadgets, Materials, Prefab|Tags: , |0 Comments

Modern Solar Powered LED Lights Taking Off

Solar Cynergy has developed a self-contained, in ground, solar-powered LED light that can be used in residential, commercial, and city applications.  Eliminating the need for batteries, these solar LED lights use Nichia condenser technology to provide blue, green, white, halogen white, and red lighting.  With the simple design of having everything built in, there’s no need for complicated wiring, and they’re strong enough to withstand the pressure of a tank.  As you can see, the lights are embedded into the ground to create various design and lighting effects.  Initially a Japanese innovation, Solar Cynergy introduced the lights at Lightfair International 2007, and business has taken off!  I can imagine that the opportunities are endless with this kind of technology.  More images below.

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By |September 10th, 2007|Categories: Gadgets, Solar|Tags: , |7 Comments

Shaming Building Owners into Using Less Energy

A quick, but interesting, little tidbit of information … in Haringey, a city in the UK, the city council hired a company to use a military-style plane outfitted with a thermal imaging […]

By |September 9th, 2007|Categories: Conservation, Energy Efficiency, Gadgets, News|0 Comments

Portland City Storage Brings Big Solar (S2)

I sat on this post for a while trying to find up-to-date information on its status but was unable to locate anything.  This is a storage facility planned for the east bank of the Willamette River.  Typical storage facilities can take up to 30 acres, but this one, designed for house boats, recreational vehicles, and storage pods, is going to be maxed out on 3 acres.  The taller tower rises 22 stories into the sky and uses a giant mechanical arm capable of lifting 40,000 lbs.  Interestingly, the project is planning construction to LEED Platinum standards and will include more than 175,000 sf of solar panels (making it the largest solar facility in the northwest).  With the estimated project costs at about $40 M, Portland City Storage also plans to rehabilitate the riverfront property adjacent to the towers. 

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By |September 9th, 2007|Categories: Gadgets, Land Use, LEED, Modern architecture, Skyscraper, Solar|Tags: , |0 Comments

V2G Technology, Healthy Design, Hot Greentech, Small Wind + America's Greenest City (WIR)

Vehicle to Grid Technology – Power to the people: run your house on a Prius.  Fitter. Happier. Better. Greener.  Science shows sustainable design does more than help the Earth, it makes you […]

By |September 8th, 2007|Categories: Energy Efficiency, Gadgets, News, Week in Review, Wind|Tags: , |0 Comments
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