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Zero Energy Idea House Breaks Ground

Zeh_rendering

At the tail end of last week, Shirey Contracting broke ground on the Zero Energy Idea House located at Bass Cove near Bellevue, Washington.  The house is intended to be kind of an inspirational structure that can help homeowners move toward energy independence.  As a zero energy house*, the goal is to generate all the necessary energy from on-site power and efficiency measures.  Specifically, the Idea House will have rooftop solar, solar hot water, and a vertical-axis small wind turbine, judging by the rendering.  In addition, the 1700 sf home will have a large, 1200 sf green roof and a host of other green features, such as:

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UniCube Green Dorm Concept Takes Competition Prize

UniCube

I just noticed this interesting building designed by a college student in Australia and had to mention it.  Andrew Southwood-Jones conceived and rendered the building, actually a green dormitory, for an Autodesk competition and he took the prize in the architecture category.  Called UniCube, it was designed to maximize space, be sustainable, and look good.  Andrew designed the conceptual structure to use a number of sustainable strategies: drought-tolerant plant wall in checkerboard pattern on exterior; exterior "gabion walls" filled with rubble and stone; inner walls made from straw bales; a copper roof that catches wind for ventilation and air circulation (without requiring air conditioning); rotating solar panels generating power for the building’s lights; and rainwater collection for use in irrigation, toilets, and laundry. 

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Nation's Largest Single-Building Solar Energy Project Planned for Atlantic City

Atlantic City Convention Center

Atlantic City Convention Center has just signed a 20-year agreement with Pepco Energy Services to have a 2.36 megawatt solar roof installed on the building.  When completed by the end of this year, the project is projected to be the largest single-building solar energy project in the United States.  That’s 13,321 photovoltaic panels covering roughly two-thirds of the building AND a savings of roughly $4.4 million in electricity costs over the 20-year deal. 

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Super Efficient SolarDuct Co-Generates Electricity and Heat Energy!

SolarDuct PV/T

Conserval Engineering just announced the release of their newest product, SolarDuct PV/T, which is a rooftop solar PV system that goes beyond generating renewable energy from on-site solar power.  With the SolarDuct PV/T system, solar panels are mounted on metal collector panels that channel excess heat from the solar array into the building’s HVAC system.  As a result, this system, which is part photovoltaic and part thermal, can generate electricity and put heat to use when heat is needed in the building.

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First Off-Grid Building in San Francisco Coming Soon!

The Eco Center

Last month, Lorax Development broke ground on a building that’s being billed as the first off-grid building in San Francisco.  At 1400 sf, The Eco Center is certainly an example of the future of green buildings — buildings that are off-grid and sustainable.  The Eco Center is a $1.5 million environmental education center that will be located in McLaren Park.  Designed by Toby Long Design for the non-profit Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ), when it opens in the fall, it will be the first building in San Francisco, purportedly, to recycle its own wastewater.  Additionally, the off-grid center will have solar panels and an extensive green roof. 

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Énóvo House, Modular and At One With Nature

Énóvo House

I pulled out the April issue of Dwell this weekend and noticed an ad for the Énóvo House.  My interest was piqued by reading the copy, so I went online to research more.  There’s a website for the Énóvo House, which is currently being built just north of Montreal.  But from my research, the Énóvo name seems to represent something bigger — the idea that a green, modular home can evolve with the needs of the owner.  According to the website, Énóvo can be adapted to most any terrain, and because it’s configured by modules, the design can morph according to the various particularities of an owner’s life and needs. 

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