The Most Ecological City in the World


You’ve probably heard of Treasure Island, the entirely man-made island that was formerly a Naval base.  It was decommissioned several years ago, but San Francisco wants to bring it back to life.  The city has held hundreds of meetings to determine the future of the 400-acre Superfund site, and they’ve got a plan: Treasure Island will become a testbed for the newest ideas in energy efficiency, water conservation, waste management, and low-impact living.


By |January 3rd, 2008|Conservation, Energy Efficiency, Land Use, LEED|0 Comments

Dutch Building Powered by Energy from Asphalt

Asphalt Energy

Tom Konrad is an Analyst at Alternative Energy Stocks, where he writes about investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency companies.  This article is a guest post for Jetson Green.

The December 6 Technology Quarterly from The Economist profiles a Dutch office building that is both heated and cooled using heat (or cold) from the asphalt of the road outside the building, as opposed to the more conventional use of solar thermal panels on the building’s roof.  The article optimistically ends:

The result is cheap heating in winter and cheap cooling in summer. And there is a bonus. Summer heating softens asphalt, making it easier for heavy traffic to damage the road surface. Dr de Bondt’s system not only saves electricity, but also saves the road. Expect to see more examples of it, in other countries, soon.


By |December 26th, 2007|Energy Efficiency, Gadgets|1 Comment

Nanosolar Kicks Off the Solar Revolution: 12/18/07

Nanosolarpanelsrmrhead_web I mentioned Nanosolar back in August because I found an excellent video about the company — they’re poised to dramatically flip this solar industry inside out.  Today comes news that they shipped their first product and received an actual revenue check.  This is a big deal.  Thin film solar is incredible because it can be used more flexibly and produced at a much lower cost. 

Their powersheet product was recognized by Popular Science as 2007 Innovation of the Year.  Now that the product is a reality, we’re going to see some craziness.  They’ve accomplished a slew of world’s firsts (below) and decided to auction off an early batch of product on eBay.  Unfortunately, that’s all you’re likely to get because they’re sold out for the next 12 months!  Better start your orders now. 


By |December 18th, 2007|Energy Efficiency, Gadgets, Materials, Nature, News, Solar|3 Comments

BaleHaus by Modcell, Semi-Modern Strawbale


The renderings in this article are of BaleHaus by ModCell.  This UK concept springs from the three positions that we need to: (1) live within our environmental means, (2) maintain a healthy and comfortable quality of life, and (3) build strong communities.  Stated otherwise, the BaleHaus is meant to provide good, comfortable living with a guilt-free eco-conscience.  BaleHaus is super-insulated, boxy and functional, and geared towards communal living.  More renderings below …


Consumers Spend $3 Billion/Year on Nothing!


Vampire energy, aka phantom loads, is estimated to cost U.S. consumers about $3 billion per year.  I know, it’s not really that much … I mean, if you break it down to the individual level, that’s only $10 per person ($3 billion / 300 million).  But the point is, it’s money that goes in the pocketbook of energy companies and their shareholders — it’s not going in yours.  The chart above is courtesy of GOOD, the magazine that always brings a full-page spread to otherwise obfuscatory information.


By |December 17th, 2007|Conservation, Energy Efficiency, Gadgets|4 Comments

Sustainable House in Poland, it's the Imagery

Architekt Kuczia

The original website for this house by Architekt Kuczia is not in english, so here’s a quick synopsis of some of the details: "The construction costs of this simple house were low and the lifecycle costs will be reduced.  The built form is designed to optimize the absorbance of solar energy.  80% of the building envelope is directed towards the sun.  “Black box”, a three storey structure clad with dark fibre cement panels, is warmed by the sun and offers a view on the lake."  Notice the living roof?  Via WAN.