Solar-Powered Canopy for an Urban Tower

Turns out the Rhône Alpes team from France with the Canopea house won Solar Decathlon Europe held in Madrid.  Their home is actually the top of a conceptual “Nanotower” that the team proposed to bring single-family style living back to the urban core.  The top level acts like a rain forest’s canopy — hence the name — by collecting 95% of all solar energy and 30% of rainwater for the tower.  Canopea was built of a prefab CORE, site-built SKIN, and a SHELL capable of off-site fabrication as well.

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New Cork Wall Tiles by Cali Bamboo

Cali Bamboo offers indestructible bamboo floors and bamboo decking, as well as a new cork wall panel under a new company brand referred to as GreenClaimed — a reference to a material that’s been reimagined, revived, or recovered and then transformed into something new.  In this case, the new Designer Cork Tiles are panels made with the bark of cork oak trees.

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Alpen HPP Buys Serious Windows Assets

If you’re a designer, builder, or future owner of a high performance home, you’ll probably be interested in knowing that fiberglass window products previously sold under the SeriousWindows brand will now be sold under the Alpen brand.  Boulder-based Alpen High Performance Products announced the purchase of assets including the fiberglass window and architectural glass operation from California-based Serious Energy, Inc.

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September Month in Review [Outline]

It’s been another month, and here’s another outline of coverage from September. From newly published posts this month, I noticed that our articles about net-zero energy Grow Community and the not-so-big timber-frame home were the most popular. For a visual look at what’s being shared, also make sure to check out Jetson Green on Pinterest.
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The Strawbale Dilemma, Monitoring Energy, Ghost of Solyndra, + Material of the Future

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Passivhaus Door Handmade in the USA

Hammer and Hand, a high-performance builder with offices in Seattle and Portland, recently announced the production of ultra-efficient custom doors for use with Passive House projects.  The doors are designed and built in southeast Portland to the rigorous requirements of Passive House and help project teams avoid a potential economic premium and the carbon emissions associated with importing a similar product across the Atlantic from a European supplier.  The company’s first door — shown in video here — was installed at their Karuna House project, which is pursuing PHIUS+ Passive House, Minergie-P-ECO, LEED for Homes Platinum, and net-zero energy designations (which I’ll explore in a subsequent article).  More about custom Passive House doors.

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