Austonian Earns 4-Star Green Rating


There’s a lot of green building in Austin, but it’s not all single family.  This luxury residential high-rise, The Austonian, recently received a Four Star rating (which is about the same as LEED Gold) from Austin Energy Green Building.  The building sits on less than three quarters of an acre and was built with enough room for 166 luxury family homes.


By |November 10th, 2010|LEED, Skyscraper|2 Comments

Audits, Loans, and a Home Energy Score


Today Joe Biden and the Obama Administration unveiled a new program with low-cost energy audits, federally-insured PowerSaver loans, and a new Home Energy Score, according to Wendy Koch of the USA Today.  Details of the program are available now at, which includes an interactive graphic explaining the new score based on a 1 to 10 scale.


By |November 9th, 2010|Energy Efficiency, Government, News|2 Comments

Boosting Ecological Savings with a Box


Sally Kuchar, editor of Curbed SF, noticed these Boost Boxes at the Green Festival in San Francisco the other weekend.  The company that makes them, Boost Home, put a lot of work into making dead-simple, unintimidating boxes to help people increase their energy, water, and money savings.  Boxes include products, instructions, audit information, and other goodies.  Check out a few:


By |November 8th, 2010|Energy Efficiency, Water Efficiency|0 Comments

Getting a Home Energy Assessment

You may not be in a position to design and build a new green home with cutting-edge design, techniques, and products. Most people aren’t. But it's definitely a good idea to invest in your existing home to make it more energy efficient, healthy, and green. That’s what I’m doing with my old place built in 1958. Probably the first place to start is with a home energy assessment or energy audit, explained in this video.


By |November 2nd, 2010|Energy Efficiency, video|0 Comments

New Thermally Broken rSTUD Lumber


Colorado-based Ec Manufacturing started making structural insulated panels (SIPs) about a year and a half ago.  The company was studying 2009 building code and thinking about how to innovate their products, when someone decided the building industry could use a thermally broken lumber material.  That led to the creation of rSTUD.


By |October 28th, 2010|Energy Efficiency, Green Tech, Materials|18 Comments

Eco Automatic Combo Sink Dishwasher


I can see the value in a combo sink dishwasher like this Eco Automatic concept from Electrolux and Ahha Project.  Why not eliminate a step in the middle and put the sink to better use?  The concept has two racks rotating on an axis — fill one side, spin it around, let it wash, and work from the other side.  Seems like it may be tough to fill up a crescent-shaped bowl, but other than that, Eco Automatic could be the kitchen appliance of the future.  Thoughts?


By |October 27th, 2010|Green Tech, Water Efficiency|0 Comments