- Housing slowdown offers a chance to get real about HOME SIZES … good design and quality construction ultimately will prove more worthwhile than square footage.
- Nine ways to make your home more energy efficient.
- Thin Film PV market could top $7 billion by 2015 … low cost, low weight, ease of manufacturing, and success on roof, wall, and window applications is driving the growth (see also Nanosolar).
- U.S. House of Representatives passed a Democratic rewrite of U.S. energy policy that strips $16 billion in tax incentives away from Big Oil and puts it toward renewable energy sources like wind and solar power.
And that’s pretty incredible. It can be used for personal, business, or industrial applications. The Power Pod arrives on a single flatbed truck and sets up in a day. But what’s so special about it? Well, it can outfitted with rooftop solar, the butterfly roof collects water for use in radiant floor heating, and the highly insulated walls (SIP R-28) keep the temperature just right. Plus, there’s also the typical energy-efficient lighting, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and building performance monitoring system. Keeping track of things helps to optimize efficiency. And with the sculptural steel pier foundation, setup should be pretty quick, too.
Can you feel the modern, green prefab-type options increasing? Almost out of control? Well, competition is good and this company is based in Lawrence, Massachusetts. It’s not really practical to be shipping homes all the way across the country, so there’s going to be lots of options in places that demand this type of construction. The working prototype, as you will see below, looks pretty good, too. Via Treehugger.
Nanosolar wants to create paper-thin, flexible solar panels that can be made at 1/3 the cost of heavy, silicon-made solar panels. It’s important to keep an eye on tech like this because Nanosolar is currently building the largest solar panel manufacturing plant in the U.S. If successful, this stuff is going to be on every building and structure starting in 2008. It’s going to change the way the game is played in a major way.
To give you an idea of how compelling, how enormous this is, check this: the Google founders are investing in Nanosolar, an IBM manufacturing executive just joined Nanosolar, and the U.S. Department of Energy just awarded them $20 million.
Based on the old "hippy" classic VW Westfalia camper, Alexandre Verdier has completely redesigned the Westfalia into a modern, green camper with major appeal. This camper is powered by a 200 hp hybrid (fuel or diesel) + electric engine. Some other features include solar panels on the camper roof (40 watt – 12 volt), GPS navigation, wireless internet, and a sink with 4 spots for cooking. Priced at $69,000, I’m thinking there’s market for something like this. Don’t you? Video + images below; via Modern Flat.
This incredible design scheme is Castle House by Hamiltons of London. Located at Elephant and Castle, the project will have two buildings: the 43 story tower with 3 nine meter diameter wind turbines at the top and the 5 story pavilion building on the side. I’m not really sure what stage of development the project is in, but it was supposed to start in mid- to late-2006. With completion projected for 2009, the residential project is targeting an "excellent" rating under the EcoHomes certification system. When complete, Castle House will have 310 apartments comprising 247,500 sf and retail units on the ground level. More images and modeling below the jump. Via WAN + WAN.
Our built environment should integrate clean tech and renewable energy generation of all forms and this is an example of that concept. Michael Jantzen proposed a design for California State University at Fullerton that would turn the everyday gathering pavilion into a discussion on sustainability. The pavilion could serve as the gathering place for up to 300 people. From the images, notice the wind turbine and the solar panels on the roof. Towering into the air at 150 feet tall, any energy harvested from the turbine and solar panels could be used by the university. Inside, there’s a cylindrical digital projection display screen, roof-mounted fogging nozzles to cool the interior, and benches that can be stored inside the floor when not in use. I think it’s an excellent idea, especially because students always want a place to gather and hang. Why not here? Via WAN + HumanShelter.org.