The stage was set for rowdy debate of the tensions between mechanical and passive green building techniques at the recent Congress of the New Urbansim. Steve Mouzon, designer and author of The Original Green, Bill Browning of Terrapin Bright Green, Ann Daigle of the Princes Foundation, and Daniel Sloan of McGuire Woods, moderated by Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, a founder of CNU, principal of DPZ and Dean of the University of Miami School of Architecture.
Southwest Windpower, maker of the small-wind turbine Skystream, just announced a refreshed Whisper line of turbines for battery-charging applications including off-grid residential homes. The Whisper 100 (7′ diameter) has the potential to generate up to 100 kWh per month at 12 mph; the Whisper 200 (9′ diameter) has the potential to generate up to 200 kWh per month at 12 mph; and the Whisper 500 (15′ diameter) has the potential to generate up to 538 kWh per month at 12 mph.
FreeGreen, an online source for green house plans, recently announced a strategic pivot to make homes better and cheaper. The company wants to give homeowners the opportunity to save money by helping them get involved in some of the finish work. FreeGreen has a DIY series of house plans, and the first design — the DIY Shed — isn’t value engineered to meet a budget. It’s designed so that certain portions can be finished by the homeowners themselves.