This is the first LEED Platinum home in Athens. Designed by Lori Bork Newcomer, principal of Bork Architectural Design, Inc., the 2,632 square-foot home blends native materials to maintain neighborhood context and contemporary design to suit the aesthetics of owners Lori and Quint Newcomer. Lori and Quint self-contracted the build for about $125 per square foot and, perhaps more impressively, the home uses about the same amount of energy as one a third the size.
Induction cooktops are expensive but they’re also fast and efficient — a report for the Department of Energy says induction has a cooking efficiency of 84%. So when a company combines the efficiency of induction cooking with new cutting-edge technology, as shown by Thermador’s Freedom Induction Cooktop, there’s going to be some interest.
Switch Lighting, creator of the only LED that uses liquid cooling technology, is on the cusp of a breakout year in 2012. The Switch bulb creates the same warm color of an incandescent, yet it’s made with reclaimable or recyclable materials using the Cradle to Cradle methodology. Inside the bulb is a liquid thermal cooling solution that helps cool the LEDs from all sides, producing more light from less LEDs. In fact, a Switch bulb lasts about 25 times longer and uses 80% less energy than an incandescent.
At CES 2012, Wireless Glue Networks launched its second-generation in-home display called SmartLook. SmartLook provides direct wireless access to smart meters with real-time information and is “The World’s First Refrigerator Magnet In-home Display,” according to Wireless Glue Networks. SmartLook relays pricing information so homeowners can learn what saves energy and money at the same time. It also stores historical usage and pricing information. NRG Energy has a booth at CES showcasing the display; keep an eye out for something like this through your local electricity provider.
Allure Energy recently announced its new EverSense product line and officially unveiled the home environment and energy management system today at CES 2012. EverSense is foremost a thermostat replacement with built-in speakers, Wi-FI, and a capacitive touch screen. It’s also a platform to share energy-saving tips and content with homeowners.
The Passive House movement in the US was on a major tear in 2011 but for that awful split between PHIUS and international PHI. The standard seemed free of maneuvers and politics and infighting, yet now there’s something about PHIUS+ certification and a ban on spray polyurethane foam insulation. Oh boy! Notwithstanding all of this, let’s not take anything from the following incredible, high-performance, completed projects discussed in the past year that sought or achieved Passive House certification.