SmartThings is a Universal Smart System

There’s an interesting Kickstarter campaign right now for an innovation called SmartThings.  SmartThings is a Minnesota-based company and an open platform to connect everyday things to the internet to monitor, control, and automate.  The company wants to add “intelligence to everyday things in your world, so that your life can be more awesome.”  It consists of a hub, “things,” maker tools, a cloud platform, and mobile app.

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By |August 30th, 2012|Energy Efficiency, Gadgets|0 Comments

Wood-Panel Passivhaus in British Columbia

Marken Projects is working on another Passive House in British Columbia.  This 3,500-square-foot home, made with a panelized prefab system like the Rainbow Duplex, will house two families and three generations under the same roof in Surrey, British Columbia.  The aim is an affordable structure that uses 90% less energy for heating and cooling than a standard home.  It’ll have triple-pane windows, an HRV, solar hot water, rainwater harvesting, no-VOC materials, and the ultra-efficient and airtight shell.   Construction will take about five months, and I’ll provide an update with more detail at that time.

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By |August 29th, 2012|Passive House, Prefab|0 Comments

LEED Platinum Avant Garage in Fishtown

This is Avant Garage, a four-unit residential project by Postgreen Homes in Fishtown Proper.  Designed by Interface Studio Architects, these homes are targeting LEED Platinum and Postgreen’s President Chad Ludeman tells me he can see no reason why they won’t achieve that level of certification (just like the 100k House which also took home the USGBC’s 2010 LEED-H Project of the Year).  Here’s a little background on this stunning new development in Philadelphia:

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By |August 28th, 2012|LEED, Townhouse|3 Comments

Gut Kitchen Renovation in Philadelphia

This is a gut kitchen renovation by owners/designers Matthew D. Emerson, LEED AP, and his wife, Courtney, in Philadelphia.  The Emersons employed a team of local Northern Liberties construction professionals and a sustainable approach with reclaimed materials, energy-efficient technology, greater insulation, low-VOC paints, and a green roof visible from the upper level of the 1907-built brick rowhouse.

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By |August 27th, 2012|Green Roof, Modern design, Renovation|3 Comments

LEED Platinum Passive House in Taos

I’ve seen several projects pursue both LEED Platinum and Passive House certification, but I can’t think of any that actually went through with the aim other than this Passive House, Platinum-certified home in Taos, New Mexico.  The 2,400 square-foot home has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a garage, and 1.1 acres of land with a serene, scenic view of Taos Mountain to the east, Truchas Peaks to the South, and pasture land to the west.

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By |August 16th, 2012|Passive House, Single Family|3 Comments

Plug and Play Solar by Go Green Solar

I’ve been watching plug-and-play solar systems like the one offered by SpinRay Energy to see how viable and affordable these can get.  It turns out GoGreenSolar.com just unveiled a similar system called the SunPlug Plug n’ Play Solar Kit.  The kit includes one 235-watt polycrystalline panel, a 120 VAC/60 Hz grid-tie inverter, racking mount, WiFi module for monitoring, and a connector to plug directly into an AC outlet.

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By |August 16th, 2012|Conservation, Solar|0 Comments