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Inventor Creates Net-Zero Energy Island

North Dumpling Island

Dean Kamen is a well-known entrepreneur and inventor of various technologies, including the Segway, Project Slingshot, and a hybrid electrical car with a Stirling engine.  He’s also trying to establish an independent, net-zero energy island off the coast of Connecticut.  The three-acre private island is called North Dumpling, and if granted his wishes, it would have its own constitution, flag, and national anthem.  Kamen’s attempts at secession haven’t been successful yet, but that’s no surprise given the South wasn’t able to do it either.  He has found success installing LEDs and saving energy, though. 

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Smart Tech Helps NY Times Building Cut Lighting Costs Dramatically!

NY Times Building

Last summer, it was the ceramic rod curtain wall.  Now, it’s the lighting system.  Various green aspects of the New York Times Building continue to make high profile news and it’s only been a year since the modern building opened.  Here’s the deal: The Times Company installed Lutron’s Quantum solution, a total light management system that includes daylight, occupant, target set point, time clock, and emergency lighting controls.  Although the building was originally designed to use approximately 1.28 watts per sf of lighting power, with the Lutron technology, it’s actually using only 0.38 watts per sf of lighting power — a 70% reduction in lighting use.  That means, based on New York City electric rates, they’re saving ~$315,500 and preventing the emission of 1,250 metric tons of CO2 annually.  These are some serious numbers.  Here’s where they recognized the most in terms of lighting energy savings:

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Six Prefab Passive House Designs

Villa Varde Villa Tartan

Kjellgren Kaminsky Architects have designed six new passive house designs for presentation at the Stockholm Housing Fair occurring October 9-12, 2008.  Shown in collaboration with Emrahus, these prefabricated, zero energy designs present a compelling concept for what is possible with good design and conscious materials.  Passive houses, using the definition of KKA on their website, "are extremely well-insulated buildings that are largely heated by the energy already present in the building.Passive homes attempt to rely as little as possible on extra mechanical systems — they conserve first and foremost.  Scroll through these six passive home designs and leave a vote for your fave:

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Chipotle Green Restaurant Uses On-site Wind Power

Chipotle Wind Turbine

How good would a chicken (or veggie, if that’s your style) burrito bowl taste, knowing that it’s been cooked by the power of on-site green energy?  I haven’t tried one yet, but I can only imagine … Chipotle Mexican Grill will be opening a green restaurant in Gurnee, Illinois, which restaurant features a prominent six-kilowatt wind turbine.  Although mostly a symbol for the company’s efforts to create more environmentally friendly store designs, the turbine will generate ~10% of the store’s power.  The Gurnee Chipotle will have some of the following green features:

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REI Round Rock Second Gen Green Store To Use 48% Less Energy

REI Round Rock Green Prototype

Mounting on the green building success of their previous stores, including the green Boulder REI we wrote about previously, REI today opens the doors to its second generation of green prototype store in Round Rock, Texas.  The Texas store is projected to consume 48% less energy than a typical store and generate a portion of its power from a solar panel installation, building integrated photovoltaics, and a solar hot water system.  After that, Round Rock will rely on Solatubes to displace a portion of articifial lighting and the purchase of green power generated from biomass digesters. 

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Nutrition Labels as Universal Home Labels

Breezehouse_label

We’re very much intrigued by the white paper released yesterday by Michelle Kaufmann Companies.  Officially entitled "Nutrition Labels for Homes: A Way for Homebuyers to Make More Ecological, Economical Decisions," the white paper presents the case for a universal label for homes.  Note that last sentence, though.  This isn’t a label for just green homes, it’s a label for all homes.  It’s a universal label to educate people on a home’s sustainability (or unsustainability) profile.  Every home gets a label — you can imagine the power this gives buyers and green home sellers. 

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