Five Common Green Building Mistakes

Construction-mistake

Depending on the method of construction, green building consultant Mark LaLiberte tells us there are a few common green building mistakes to watch out for — errors he's seeing more and more as builders move forward with greener practices.  Read through this list and then tell us what you think … are you seeing any other common mistakes with green construction?

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By |February 26th, 2009|Energy Efficiency, Lists|5 Comments

Virginia Passive Solar Modern House Nearing Completion!

Casati-topview

Just recently, we mentioned Copeland Casati in regards to the launch of Green Cabin Kits, but I thought it was high time to take a look at her SIPs home under construction near Appomattox in Central Virginia.  The home is actually a prototype of the Casa Ti house kit designed by architect David Day.  Designed to be off-grid, net-zero energy, and modern, the home has 1200 square feet of space with three bedrooms. 

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PowerMeter Empowers Electricity Users

PMscreenshot

Google is testing a prototype product that they've dubbed the PowerMeter, which is designed to convey electricity use information to electricity users.  PowerMeter is premised on the famous phrase by Lord Kelvin: "If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it."  Accordingly, the PowerMeter takes energy consumption information from your smart meter and gives it to you in real time using the iGoogle gadget.  It's a dead simple concept — certainly the most low hanging of low hanging fruit.  An absolute no-brainer that's important and more crucial than ever. 

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By |February 10th, 2009|Energy Efficiency, Gadgets|2 Comments

New American Greenish Home 2009

THAH09-exterior

As the world descends upon Las Vegas for IBS 2009, undoubtedly, many will be walking through a stylish and posh idea house designed for the show.  The New American Home is a running tradition and every year brings another one.  I guess you could say it's a real life exhibition of the latest and greatest trends in home design.  This year, as mentioned by BusinessWeek earlier, the trends include indoor/outdoor living, basement inclusion, the home office, wireless technology, less ostentation, and having a green badge of honor.  The New American Home 2009 is claimed to be net-zero energy (based on the combined efforts of super efficiency and on-site power generation), and is definitely technologically advanced.  Let's look further …

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Solucent Architectural Mesh Allows Natural Light While Saving Energy

Uofwash

Cambridge Architectural recently released a new product called Solucent, an architectural mesh system for building interiors and exteriors.  To market the product, they’ve created a clever tagline, too: "Where the Sun and Shade Mesh."  This statement conveys two concepts.  First, that architectural mesh is a flexible daylighting material that can be used to allow the desired amount of natural lighting through (and save costs on electrical lighting).  Second, the mesh also reduces interior solar heat gain by shading the sun, a feature that also leads to energy savings on cooling costs. 

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By |December 11th, 2008|Energy Efficiency, Gadgets, Materials|1 Comment

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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By |December 5th, 2008|Energy Efficiency, Gadgets, Land Use|1 Comment