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Solucent Architectural Mesh Allows Natural Light While Saving Energy

Uofwash

Cambridge Architectural recently released a new product called Solucent, an architectural mesh system for building interiors and exteriors.  To market the product, they’ve created a clever tagline, too: "Where the Sun and Shade Mesh."  This statement conveys two concepts.  First, that architectural mesh is a flexible daylighting material that can be used to allow the desired amount of natural lighting through (and save costs on electrical lighting).  Second, the mesh also reduces interior solar heat gain by shading the sun, a feature that also leads to energy savings on cooling costs. 

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Eco-Laboratory Concept Living Building

Eco-Laboratory View from NE

This could just be one of the most innovative sustainable designs you’ll see all year.  Here’s the background: a team from Weber Thompson designed this building for the Cascadia Natural Talent Design Competition put on by the Emerging Green Builders of the USGBC.  They won the Cascadia competition and moved on to compete against about 15 other regional winners from around the country.   They won there, too, and "Eco-Laboratory" was announced as the winner of the 2008 Natural Talent Design Competition at Greenbuild.  Eco-Laboratory is a theoretical design set in Seattle with affordable and market-rate residential housing, a job training center, homeless shelter, hygiene station, and public farmer’s market. 

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Candy Shop Green Co-Working Space

Candyshopboulder

Talk about a serious transformation!  VaST, a Colorado-based a+d firm, purchased an old porn shop earlier this year — the building was located close to Boulder — and completely gutted the place.  Now, you wouldn’t even know it used to have super skeezy viewing booths.  VaST took all that out and set a new standard in using green materials, particularly salvaged and unique materials.  Located at 1720 15th Street in Boulder, Candy Shop is the right kind of place for a budding green professional or socially aware independent looking for some co-working space.  Plus, they’ve just added solar panels to supply a portion of the building’s energy … check out the particulars of the renovation:

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Spectra Decor Offers Unique Line of Eco-friendly Hardware

Spectra Decor

Founder and artist Leilani Norman-Young manages Spectra Decor out of Seattle, Washington.  Spectra offers a beautiful, unique, and varied line of eco-friendly hardware, which consists mostly of cabinet pulls.  The hardware is made from a variety of green products including recycled glass, cork, recycled aluminum, and eco-resin from 3form. 

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Embody Ups the Green Chair Ante

Embody Chair by Herman Miller

I’ve been a happy and devoted Haworth Zody user for over a year and my chair is time-tested, blogger-approved — it’s a beautiful hoss.  But my other chair, the office one, is quite hobbled and needs replacing.  So when I was walking the exhibit floor at Greenbuild, the Herman Miller Embody chair caught my eye in a big way.  Depending on the color you go for, it’s a loud chair, if not flamboyant, but that’s all part of its intrinsic ambition — and probably why Embody will be the next, must-have chair for stylish office types. 

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Vatican Gets Serious with Solar

Solarpaulvihall

Maybe Samsø started a trend in becoming a net exporter of renewable energy because it appears that the Vatican is thinking about doing something similar.  The curvaceous roof of Paul VI Audience Hall, a building that's located right by the famous St. Peter's Basilica, has been topped with 2,400 photovoltaic panels to source energy for lighting, heat, and air conditioning. 

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