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Parans Fiber Optic Skylights Bring Natural Light to Dark Spaces

Parans - Huvco

Update 8/08/2012Parans is now available through Wasco.

The interesting thing about fiber optic lighting is that it creates the ability to put natural light in places where there is none.  Generally, here’s how it works.  Using a building-mounted panel with computer-controlled, sun-tracking lenses, natural light is channeled through optical fibers to luminaires that diffuse the light (see diagram below).

Since early 2008, HUVCO Daylighting Solutions has been offering a fiber optic lighting system like this, or the Parans System, which was developed in Sweden.  Although light only travels about 60 feet through optical cables, the ability to direct light in this manner is quite interesting.

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Colorfully Green Graham Street Lofts

Graham Street Lofts

This is a small little mixed-use building called Graham Street Lofts.  With 12 residential units and some ground floor commercial, the infill building sits in the Eliot neighborhood of Northern Portland.  Residential units start at ~$324k and each home is energy efficient and modern inside.  The R-30, 10-inch thick PerformWall ICFs are made of recycled polystyrene and cement and help to keep the interiors quiet.  Combine the efficient envelope with hydronic radiant floors and overall home energy use is quite low, too.  Additionally, Graham Street Lofts has some of the following green amenities and finishes:

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Visualizing Benefits of Roof Overhangs

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If you’re in a sunny location and your home has windows, then you probably like to pull a curtain or close the shutters to keep direct heat from entering the home.  Just today I was driving by a modern home with slight overhangs and nodded my head in approval thinking: "buya … such a simple design element and it’s providing shading for those super large windows during the heat of the day."  I realize we’re talking about something basic, but if you have the chance, roof overhangs can make a difference as to how much you’re manipulating the interior temperature with mechanical systems.  Check this ranch house by Cottam Hargrave.  With that much glass in Georgetown, Texas, a little roof overhang is a prerequisite, don’t you think?!



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