- Housing slowdown offers a chance to get real about HOME SIZES … good design and quality construction ultimately will prove more worthwhile than square footage.
- Nine ways to make your home more energy efficient.
- Thin Film PV market could top $7 billion by 2015 … low cost, low weight, ease of manufacturing, and success on roof, wall, and window applications is driving the growth (see also Nanosolar).
- U.S. House of Representatives passed a Democratic rewrite of U.S. energy policy that strips $16 billion in tax incentives away from Big Oil and puts it toward renewable energy sources like wind and solar power.
And that’s pretty incredible. It can be used for personal, business, or industrial applications. The Power Pod arrives on a single flatbed truck and sets up in a day. But what’s so special about it? Well, it can outfitted with rooftop solar, the butterfly roof collects water for use in radiant floor heating, and the highly insulated walls (SIP R-28) keep the temperature just right. Plus, there’s also the typical energy-efficient lighting, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and building performance monitoring system. Keeping track of things helps to optimize efficiency. And with the sculptural steel pier foundation, setup should be pretty quick, too.
Can you feel the modern, green prefab-type options increasing? Almost out of control? Well, competition is good and this company is based in Lawrence, Massachusetts. It’s not really practical to be shipping homes all the way across the country, so there’s going to be lots of options in places that demand this type of construction. The working prototype, as you will see below, looks pretty good, too. Via Treehugger.
Nanosolar wants to create paper-thin, flexible solar panels that can be made at 1/3 the cost of heavy, silicon-made solar panels. It’s important to keep an eye on tech like this because Nanosolar is currently building the largest solar panel manufacturing plant in the U.S. If successful, this stuff is going to be on every building and structure starting in 2008. It’s going to change the way the game is played in a major way.
To give you an idea of how compelling, how enormous this is, check this: the Google founders are investing in Nanosolar, an IBM manufacturing executive just joined Nanosolar, and the U.S. Department of Energy just awarded them $20 million.
The Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building is coming along nicely. Yang is the co-founder of Yahoo! and Yamazaki is a director of the Wildlife Conservation Network in Los Altos. Needless to say, the powerful couple takes pride in their alma mater and the environment. But back to the building. Dubbed the Y2E2 Building, this $120 M building will be quite the eco-structure once completed. Funded in part by a $50 million grant by Yang and Yamazaki, Y2E2 is expected to use 50% less energy and roughly 90% water of a traditional building of similar size. Coming in at roughly 166,000 sf, Y2E2 is expected to be complete near the end of this year, say November or December-ish, and will become the future home for the Woods Institute for the Environment (and a couple other groups). Y2E2 is located at Via Ortega and Panama Street. Another image below the jump.
Crappy GHG Homes, Water-efficient Golf, Green Retail Centers + Wells Fargo's $1B in Green Lending (WIR)
- 88% of new homes are crappy, greenhouse gas spewing energy hogs – meaning they don’t meet the comparatively weak Energy Star standards.
- Las Vegas golf courses are using better water-efficient landscaping to save over 1 billion gallons of water per year.
- Regency Centers is teaming up with the USGBC to implement a pilot program aimed at developing green shopping centers across the country (this is badly needed).
- Wells Fargo passes the $1 Billion mark in financing for LEED certified buildings with loans ranging from $10 to $225 million per project.