I mentioned Wattvision previously, and the company is now running a Kickstarter campaign to deploy its complete the next generation of hardware, cover more types of power meters, and deploy the new hardware by about January 2013. Wattvision 2 includes a sensor that attaches to your home electricity meter and a gateway that connects up with your internet network. With these in place, a user can check electricity use online or from a smart phone.
This is VOLKsHouse, and it’s a prototype for an affordable, net-zero energy family home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In terms of achievements, the home carries an Emerald rating from NAHB and is also the first certified Passive House on the New Mexico market. The project was developed by investor Bob Schneck, Certified Passive House Consultant Jonah Stanford and architect Vahid Mojarrab, all with MoSA Architects, as part of a Passive House Initiative which includes a linked home and office condo called the Balance House.
I spent three days camping and hiking in the mountains of Utah last week and used my iPhone to snap the above photo while slightly downhill from the summit of Mount Timpanogos, which has an elevation of 11,749 feet. In preparation for this trip, I researched for a sustainable, backpacker-worthy solution to keeping my iPhone powered in order to take photos, jot notes, listen to music, and maybe communicate with family when presented with an available signal. I don’t have an iPad, but this solution works for both iPhones and iPads, either one. Here’s what you need:
If you want to wind up a building scientist, you might mention the topic of insulation. Better yet, mention the advent of expanded cork insulation in the United States from Portugal-based Amorim Isolamentos. The insulation is made from leftover material from cork bottle stopper production which is heated and sliced into boards, according to Alex Wilson of BuildingGreen. Thus, the insulation is rapidly renewable and entirely natural.
Luke Anderson started with a reasonable request for $4,000 on Kickstarter, and he reached funding in 24 hours. Now, with 14 days left, Anderson has $25,000 in support for Alva — The Lightbulb Lamp. It’s 8.5″ wide by 17.5″ tall and comes in brown, white, or black ceramic base options. The lamp is powered by a replaceable LED with a hand-shaped filament. Alva* looks like a classic early Edison bulb, but it’s a lot bigger and will retail after the Kickstarter campaign for $550.
This is one of the NAHB Remodeling Projects of the Year 2012 by Rocking Horse Redevelopment out of Phoenix. Located in the Marlen Grove neighborhood at 5701 N 10th Street, the home has been certified to the Emerald level by the NAHB. Key achievements for this rehab include improvements to curb appeal and an overall reduction of energy and water consumption by more than 50%.