A couple years ago we mentioned that the University of California San Diego was in the process of installing rows of Solar Trees on top of the Hopkins and Gilman Parking Structures. These parking lots, and the company that makes them, Envision Solar, received a mention by the NY Times recently. That's because Envision Solar has a novel approach — putting solar and shade in otherwise unused and unshaded parking lots.
Seems like a rare situation when a person will need both a carport and solar panels on top of the carport — as opposed to on the house or somewhere else. But assuming the stars align and you're in the market, Phat Energy wants to be there to help you out. The company just unveiled their prototype PHATport 350 in the outdoor section of Dwell on Design 2010.
With the European counterpart to the Solar Decathlon now complete, the team from University of Florida walks away as winner of the Internet Award based on online voting open during the competition. Their home, Project RE:FOCUS, blends three elements from historic Florida houses — a covered open porch, a breezeway oriented to prevailing winds, and a porous breathable skin — in a striking way.
Area Industrie Ceramiche makes a red clay roof tile that the Italian company claims is very resistant to weather and capable of absorbing less water and heat. But that's just the original tile. If you go with the "tegolasolare" version, you'll end up with a roof integrated solar solution that's so handsome others may not realize it's wired to generate energy.