Articles With "alternative energy" Tag

Adaptive Reuse for LEED Wis Tavern

Roof

The first Gold certified LEED-H home in Illinois is built from the renovation of an old neighborhood tavern.  The 3,800 square foot building is used by the owners as both a residence and as the offices of their company:  Smog Veil Records.  The label has adopted an "eco-friendly" set of principles, and the owners felt their home/office ought to reflect those values as well.  Daylighting, recycled materials, and efficient appliances were all part of this project.  Inside, some of the floors are made of a terrazzo made from recycled glass and chunks of old vinyl records.  (That's probably the only kind of vinyl flooring anyone should have.)

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$90 Billion or $300 Per Person [Editorial]

90billion

With the price of oil at $95 a barrel, economists estimate that U.S. households will spend an additional $90 billion on costlier gasoline.   Estimating our population at 300 million, that’s an average of $300 per person.   Between my wife and I, that means we’re giving up $600 of our economic pie to the recently increased cost of transportation, on average.

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Half-Moon Outfitters Takes Platinum in Green Rehab

Halfmoon

It’s nice to hear about companies that stretch just to get the LEED Platinum certification, especially when it’s easier to go ‘certified’ and brandish that certification like it’s a shiny, new, plug-in hybrid.  Half-Moon Outfitters received the Platinum certification in the middle of the summer for their 9,600 sf distribution center in North Charleston, South Carolina.  They went for Platinum under the LEED-NC 2.2 system, and more importantly, they didn’t skimp in the energy and atmosphere category, opting instead to rack up ten points.  The distribution center was formerly an old Piggly Wiggly store, but it’s been through what could be the greenest renovation in the country.  It’s now a super green, corporate office and distribution center. 

Here’s what they did:  First, they installed two 1550 gallon storage tanks, which combined with the water efficient fixtures and native landscaping, helped them use about 78% less domestic potable water than a conventional building.  Second, they added insulation throughout the building and installed both a 4,900-watt photovoltaic system and 19 SEER efficient Lennox heat pump system.  Third, they switched to energy-efficient fluorescent lamps and found ways to benefit from the building’s east-west orientation (passive and active solar strategies).  Nice work!

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Helix Wind System, Inexpensive – Reliable – Simple

This is the Helix Wind Turbine, a small-wind, residential scale option that could cut your electricity bills in half, if installed and situated properly.  This 2-kw grid-tie or off-grid system is designed to catch winds at lower speeds.  And it won’t hurt the birds, either.  According to the company’s website, the Helix System is inexpensive, reliable, and simple — it’s a good choice for low wind speed residential and commercial applications. The Savonius turbine based design catches wind from all directions creating smooth powerful torque to spin the electric generator.  Perfect customers live in areas that have amenable small wind zoning and get about 10 mph of wind/cross-winds.  Via EcoGeek.

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Dwelling Dock, Integrating Sustainability and Living

Dwelling Dock

Matt Allert took second place in the Cascadia Region GBC‘s Emerging Green Builders Natural Talent Design Competition this year with his idea, the Dwelling Dock [pdf].  The Dwelling Dock is premised on the idea that sustainability should begin with the most basic building block of our communities: the dwelling.  It’s an attempt to fully integrate the infrastructure of the housing unit with the environment.  Although purely in concept stage, the Dwelling Dock would be prefabricated, and would include all the accoutrements we’ve come to expect in green homes:  pervious paving, recycled materials, living roof, water collection, and photovoltaic panels. 

Allert’s goals for the Dwelling Dock project include some of the following: (1) collect rainwater for re-use, (2) produce energy on-site, (3) minimize site disturbance and preserve existing site resources, (4) use local materials, and (5) integrate sustainable design with recycled, low-VOC materials.  And I’ve got to admit, I really like the design elements.  Butterfly living roof.  3-level living.  A healthy mixture of privacy and transparency.  Would you live in one?

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Kettle Foods Installs 18 Small Turbines

Avwind

I love these chips.  Oregon-based Kettle Foods just received the LEED Gold certification for their new 73,000 sf chip facility in Beloit, Wisconsin.  As you would expect with a LEED certified building, it has a lot of green aspects, including energy-efficient equipment, water filtration and conservation equipment, and low-VOC, healthy materials.  They also installed 18 wind turbines on the roof, which, according to a press release, will generate enough electricity to produce 56,000 bags of chips every year.

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