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Lawrence Country Home with Trombe Wall, Small Wind + Solar Power

Lawrence Country Green Home

This home isn’t necessarily modern, but it has all the modern conveniences one could ask for: solar panels, small wind, radiant floor heating, air filtration system, and a trombe wall, etc.  Kent and Kathy Lawrence’s custom country home, which was completed in 2005, ended up costing roughly $300 psf.  The wind turbine alone came in at a cool $37,100 (producing 13,000 kwh/year), and that’s without tax subsidies.  And unlike many custom homes that tend to explore new boundaries of profusion, this home is only 2,200 sf.  Not bad.  But the Lawrence’s weren’t just concerned with smart design and energy efficiency.  Currently, they’re removing invasive plant species and planting native flowers, just trying to be gentle stewards of the land they inhabit.  I think this is a rather picturesque setting for a home … much the American Dream. 

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330 Hudson Street, Sustainable Design + Historic Preservation (S2)

330 Hudson Street Developer Tribeca Associates has chosen Brennan Beer Gorman Architects (BBG Architects) to design the overhaul of an historic 1910 warehouse building.  At a price of $220 million, the existing structure will be redeveloped into 292,000 sf of office space, with 12 stories of new hotel space rising from the office pedestal.  There will be a small portion of retail space and the hotel will be one of the few Silver LEED Certified buildings in the U.S.  Located at 330 Hudson Street (324-344 Hudson) in the downtown Hudson Square area of Manhattan, the new structure will combine sustainable design and historic preservation in a powerful 22-story package.  The iconic masonry exterior of the existing structure will undergo meticulous restoration, and the finished structure will include amenities such as event space, rooftop pool, sky bar, signature restaurant, outdoor terraces, conference center, and a fitness center.  Via Wired NY.

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ChooseRenewables.com, Site Specific Energy Analysis

Hypothetical Installation

Here’s a little shout out for a brand spanking new website called ChooseRenewables.com.  I like the website because it empowers individuals with facts necessary to live in a more sustainable way.  Included below are images of my experiment with CR, but this is all specific to MY HOME ADDRESS.  Every location is different, so feel free to plug in your address and see what it provides.

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Seattle Off-Grid Concept Combines Chickens, Crops + Sustainable Living (S2)

Center for Urban Agriculture

In the heart of Seattle, the design professionals at Mithun see a farm rising vertically into the sky.  Although it may never be built, the Center for Urban Agriculture (CUA) won “Best of Show” in the Cascadia Region Green Building Council’s Living Building Challenge.  Vertically constructed on a .72 acre site, the off-grid building is designed to be completely energy and water sufficient and will include 318 affordable apartments (studio – 2 bedroom).  And on top of that, there will be greenhouses, rooftop gardens, a chicken farm, and fields for growing vegetables and grains. 

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Net Metering, Minimum Floor Areas, Kendall House, Green Banks + Natural Landscaping (WIR)

Week in Review

Nascent Home Tech Aims to Slash Energy Hogs

House Off Switch GreenSwitch

When I was growing up, if there was an errant light or something on, my dad would take my brothers and sisters into the room and say something like, "kids, this light isn’t going to turn itself off and it isn’t free to keep on either."  Needless to say, I learned to turn things off at a young age.  To make this process easier, two pieces of technology aim to eliminate the need to micro-manage electronics in your home. 

There’s the GreenSwitch and the House-Off Switch.  The premise of each is that there’s a singular switch that turns off all non-essential electronic items that have been set up to the switch.  The designer of the House-Off Switch (pictured top left) is Jack Godfrey Wood, who is based in London (and I’m not sure whether his concept is being marketed at this point).  The GreenSwitch (pictured top right) is the real deal and is supported by our favorite green expert, Ed Begley Jr.

Here’s how the GreenSwitch works.  The central switch controls all the slave components that have been set up and home installation takes about an hour.  There are 4 simple pieces you may use: (1) master switch, (2) thermostat control, (3) slave wall switches, and (4) outlets.  You decide what you have a tendency to leave on or which areas are vampires and install the proper piece at that position.  The relay between the master and slave is wireless, microchip-controlled radio frequency (RF) based communication, so there’s no getting in the attic with wires, etc.  And as a side note, according to the Department of Energy, 10-15% of the what you pay for on your energy bill is from stand-by or phantom power, so to the extent that you can trim that down, you’re saving money.  Basic Kit MSRPs for $1125.00. 

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