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Checking Out the 99k House Competition

Hybrid

Back in September 2007, Rice Design Alliance and the Houston Chapter of the AIA announced the 99k House Competition.  The general goal of the competition was to create an innovative design for a small house that is affordable, sustainable, and energy efficient.  More specifically, the competition called for a single family house with up to 1,400 sf of space, including 3 bedrooms, 1.5-2 bathrooms, on a 50′ x 100′ site in a historic neighborhood of Houston.  The construction budget for each home had to be under $99,000, too.

And recently, Hybrid / ORA out of Seattle was declared the winner of the competition (pictured above).  In addition, four other finalists each took $5k in prize money and had their home designs published for all to see.  Make sure to check out their ideas and download their designs below. 

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How About SMEG's Retro Modern, Efficient Frig?

Black Orange Red

This fridge has a fantastic retro appearance and could save you a lot of money on your utility bills.  Designed by SMEG, it’s a compact 9.22 cubic feet and uses only  305 kWh/year.  That makes it one of the most efficient it its class according to the government’s energy guide, which is used to rate all Energy Star appliances.  This stylish fridge isn’t big — it’s under 5 feet tall, but maybe it will encourage you to trade space for style and save energy as a result. 

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New "Green Machine" Waste Heat Generator Launches with Fast Payback, Cheap Electricity

50kw Green Machine 50kw Green Machine

At this very moment, ElectraTherm is releasing details of the successful installation of its new product, a commercial waste heat generator called the Green Machine.  ElectraTherm tested their first Green Machine at none other than my alma mater, Southern Methodist University, and the results exceeded initial expectations.  Stated simply, the Green Machine makes electricity from residual industrial heat that usually just goes to waste.  ElectraTherm’s new product employs minimal heat (200 degrees F liquid) to generate fuel-free, emissions-free electricity at $0.03 – $0.04 per kWh during a three-year payback period and at under $0.01 per kWh after that.  SMU’s test of the 50 kW Green Machine reached output well beyond the 50 kW rating. 

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