By looking at these pictures, you probably can’t tell that an old, two-story, under-performing industrial building was converted into a beautiful modern suite of office spaces. The Koll Company hired LPA Inc. to transform the old facility and transform they did! (You can see a before photo below.) The LEED Silver building, now referred to as the Koll Airport Professional Center for its location near John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, is a fine example of adaptive reuse with new green elements:
This morning the final results of the Solar Decathlon were announced. As expected, Technische Universität Darmstadt, aka Team Germany, took first prize. This is Team Germany’s second straight victory. In the net metering contest, the team gained almost thirteen more points than the next closest team, Illinois, which solidified the victory. Although the Popular Choice award will be released later this weekend, the competition is officially over. Make sure to check out all 20 Solar Decathlon homes from 2009 — they’re beautiful and inspirational. Here are the results (updated with Popular Choice later):
In a few hours, the U.S. Department of Energy will announce final results of the Solar Decathlon at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The Solar Decathlon is a competition of 20 teams of college and university students to design, build, and operate the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house. There are 10 subjective and objective contests in these categories: architecture, market viability, engineering, lighting design, communications, comfort zone, hot water, appliances, home entertainment, and net metering. At this time, the engineering and net metering contests are the only scores that have not been released. Is the suspense getting to you yet?
With only the engineering and net metering contests remaining, the Solar Decathlon entry for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is now slightly ahead of other contenders, including Team California and Team Germany. It’s a tight competition, though. Solar Decathlon director Richard King yesterday said Team Germany may just receive approximately 25 more points that the next closest team in the net metering contest. Such a point spread could propel the same to its second straight victory. Nevertheless, Illinois has this beautiful home built with reclaimed materials that can produce up to four times its energy needs at times.
Right now 20 solar-powered homes are competing for bragging rights at the Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C. With a few more contests left and the final results this Friday, Team California is edging ahead of the pack. They’ve won both the architectural and communications contests and scored third in the market viability contest. That said, both Team Germany and Cornell are doing some incredible things, and anything can happen. We’ll have to wait and see whether the Refract House can hold on to first.
Hot on the heels of acquiring Michelle Kaufmann Designs, Blu Homes has now announced the completion of their first home in Colorado. Homeowners Michael and Nikki Fischer have moved into their custom Blu | Chalet, and they seem to love it (watch video below). With a blend of smart design and energy efficient products, energy costs for the Fischer Chalet are expected to be about 30-50% less than a similar, traditionally constructed home.