A couple years ago, I watched with caution as Philippe Starck announced plans to design residential scale vertical axis wind turbines. Everyone loves the idea of small wind — especially VAWT designs — but practical issues can sometimes preclude actual energy generation with these things. Nonetheless, after two years of research, it seems the French designer has some actual products to speak about. Speaking to a crowd in Milan, Starck unveiled two Revolution Air turbine models to be made by Pramac.
A new solar racking structure — one of the largest continuous elevated solar racking structures in the country that spans the length of three football fields — was just completed for the Manheim Auto Auction in Bordentown, New Jersey. Rated at 1 MW, the project includes 5,880 photovoltaic panels covering 104,000 square feet.
Several years ago, Adobe made business news by sharing how their green building initiatives saved the company big money. Its San Jose headquarters facility includes three office towers that have received three LEED Platinum certifications. Over time, the company has reduced indoor water use by 22%, landscape water use by 76%, electricity by 35%, and natural gas by 41%. Now Adobe generates on-site energy with 20 Windspire small wind turbines by Mariah Power.
We all know design will do a lot of the work in making a building green, but technology is important, too. Over the past year, we've seen some interesting innovation in a broad category of articles we call building-related green technology. Solar innovation is hot, and small wind — albeit heavily scrutinized — is doing some things also. So, check out this retrospective on green technology in the built environment (click the text links for more images and information).
We’re starting to see a number of interesting products in the building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) area of solar innovation. A company out of Grass Valley, California – Sun Energy Engineering Co. – has developed a low-profile solar shingle, or Sun Energy Shingle, to be used instead of roofing shingles or over existing shingles. It’s available in custom colors, too, depending on what kind of look you’re trying to get on the rooftop.