DesignByMany recently held a contest seeking a low-cost, low-energy home for New Orleans. The brief requested designs in a shotgun typology and entrants were encouraged to strive to meet Passive House standards. The winners have now been announced and sustainable.TO took top honors, according to Arch Daily. Check out the top five homes, and click through for more detail on each home.
Plumen 001, a designer CFL by Hulger, is now being offered for sale in the U.S. The 120-volt light bulb uses 11 watts, outputs 680 lumens, lasts about 8 years, has a color rendering index of more than 80, and has a color temperature of 2700 Kelvin. It is not dimmable and requires careful cleanup if broken, but that’s how these lights can be. Pre-orders ship on June 1, and each bulb sells for $29.95.
In the very near future, expect to be able to control devices, appliances, and lights in your home with the help of Google. That’s the information coming out of Google’s developer conference, Google I/O, where [email protected] was first announced. With the right app, an Android-powered smart device, and an intelligent LED replacement bulb from Lighting Science Group, a savvy homeowner could geek out a home without much effort.
While green homes often sport all manner of technical solutions to keep them optimized and efficient, the landscaping can have a significant effect on the building and its energy use. Site orientation and landscape can also be powerful tools to control the energy needs of a building. While it’s not practical to reorient most homes, in many cases you can still make improvements by planting trees.
GE just announced a big improvement in what it uses to make 16-, 17-, and 18-cubic-foot top-freezer refrigerators in Decatur, Alabama. After retrofitting its existing plant (to keep jobs in the states), GE swapped out HFC-134a as a foam-blowing agent in favor of using cyclopentane, a blowing agent with significantly less global warming potential.
You can do one of two things with a grass lawn. First, you can get rid of it and save water and fuel. Or, second, you can minimize the lawn surface and avoid fuels when maintaining it. If the latter is your approach, this new Helix HX1000 from family-owned EcoMower could come in handy. The light, 21-pound reel mower takes a 16″ path with heat-treated, carbon steel blades designed to cut without much upkeep. Maintain the quiet, get some exercise, and ditch carbon-based fuels with this reel mower selling from $220.