USB U-Socket is People’s Choice at KBIS

This is yet another “Must-See” product and the People’s Choice winner at KBIS 2012.  Called U-Socket, the AC wall outlet has two USB 3.0-compatible power ports and can be installed on a 16 cubic inch or larger single gang electrical box, according to Fastmac, the manufacturer.  The listed product meets UL and NEC specifications and carries a 5-star energy-efficient design.  The USA-made outlet has a smart sensor that recognizes when a device is charged and shuts down, cutting back on vampire energy.

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By |April 28th, 2012|Energy Efficiency, Gadgets|3 Comments

Monolith is a Wall-Mount Efficient Toilet

One of the “Must-See” products of the recent Kitchen and Bath Industry Show was this wall-hung tank and carrier system from Geberit called the Monolith.  Monolith installs in construction or a renovation (if you’re interested in moving the sewer to the wall) and saves bathroom space by tucking the tank and valves behind glass.  The product comes with a couple water-efficient flush options and black or white glass, though I can’t seem to locate Monolith anywhere on the Geberit US website.  Keep your eyes open for availability.

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By |April 27th, 2012|Fixtures, Water Efficiency|1 Comment

Castaway House is a Deep Green Renovation

This is the Castaway House, a renovation in Phoenix, Arizona that’s also the first project to be certified under the Phoenix Green Construction Code. The team* behind this Gold-certified project transformed an existing 1,000 square-foot, abandoned house originally built in 1951 into a cutting-edge, energy-efficient abode with 1,970 square feet, four bedrooms, and two bathrooms. Here’s a little more background.

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By |April 26th, 2012|Renovation, Single Family|8 Comments

1G is a Water-Wise Tornado of a Toilet

TOTO just introduced a new toilet called 1G and announced that it’s the first manufacturer to break the one-gallon per flush barrier for a gravity-fed toilet, according to a recent statement.  1G is like a tornado in the toilet — less the noise of pressure-assist version — with a Double Cyclone flushing system.

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By |April 25th, 2012|Products, Water Efficiency|5 Comments

Passivhaus Apartments Built in Sweden

A couple years ago, Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture and builders Höllviksnäs Förvaltnings AB won an open competition for four Passivhaus homes on a vacant lot in the city of Malmö, Sweden.  The team won the competition and the low-energy houses are now finished.  The project may be referred to as Salongen 35 and includes a greenhouse, green roof, gray water treatment, and solar panels.

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By |April 18th, 2012|Passive House|1 Comment

The Reel Deal for These Three Mowers

If you have a lawn, you have several options to keep it neat this Spring, but the human-powered reel mower is probably one of more environmentally friendly ways to go about it.  These things have anywhere from 4-7 blades, 14-20-inch widths, and varying weights, depending on the build of the chosen model.  But what’s the best reel mower for your yard?  It depends on your situation, though Mowers Direct picked these models based on retail pricing, recent sales history, customer reviews, and company insight.

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By |April 16th, 2012|Energy Efficiency, Technology|8 Comments