A mixed-use project in Chicago has been getting a lot of attention for its green elements. Most noticeable, perhaps, is the beveled corner that holds 12 vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWT) by Helix Wind. The turbines are stacked in two columns on the building’s southwest corner and were included in the HOK designed-facade to cover all exterior lighting costs.
Southwest Windpower, maker of the Skystream 3.7, unveiled a new version of the popular turbine at CES 2011 called Skystream 600. The turbine features an improved design with larger blades, enhanced software, and an improved integrated inverter. And, according to a press release, Skystream 600 will be the “first fully smart grid-enabled wind turbine” on the market when available in April 2011.
By Chad Floyd*
I would like to be able to state that I became an architect to save the planet from wasteful, polluting buildings – the built world accounts for some 40 percent of the greenhouse gases we produce – but the truth is my fondest desire was to become a thespian. As the theater is an iffy business and my best stage feature, a lively head of hair, was rapidly waning, I turned to a more sensible alternative: architecture school.
Whether you’re looking to replace a drafty fireplace or utilize zone heating during the cold winter, perhaps an energy-efficient stove from Morsø should be considered and researched for your application. The company offers several models — small, large, traditional, or contemporary — that are built in a low-impact manner with recycled materials.
Let's say you can't put solar on your roof. One option to tap into solar power would be to purchase a share of community solar. Another option, depending on your land situation, would be a pole-mounted setup with system that tracks the sun. Wattsun, the residential arm of manufacturer Array Technologies, offers a few such PV systems worth checking out.
Khosla Ventures-backed Cogenra Solar made big news this month when it celebrated the unveiling of an impressive 272-kW solar cogeneration installation at Sonoma Wine Company in Graton, California. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair attended the event to flip the switch on 15 Cogenra SunBase modules that generate both electricity and hot water for the winery.