The average home spends more than $2,200 per year on energy bills and roughly half of this amount goes towards heating and cooling, according to the Department of Energy. When a programmable thermostat is set and used properly, a homeowner can save about $180 annually. But the problem is, virtually everyone with a programmable thermostat doesn’t set or use it properly. Nest Labs, a Palo Alto-based start-up, aims to solve this problem with a new thermostat that’s simple, sleek, intuitive, and smart.
The word reclaimed is often used these days. Just in the past week or so, we’ve seen a reclaimed bathroom, reclaimed pallet floors, and reclaimed housing. So here’s one more: reclaimed furniture in the form of the new Joshua Collection by Amenity. Named for the famous Joshua Tree, this furniture is handmade from Douglas Fir that was harvested and milled 50-100 years ago and seasoned in the sun of California for decades.
KitHAUS makes kit structures like this one with a bolt-together aluminum frame and SIPs floors, walls, and ceiling. With 117 square feet, the kitHAUS K3 is being used on a Shea Homes project in San Diego as a leasing office, though it could easily be used elsewhere as an artist studio or home office. A Halcyon model mini-split from Fujitsu cools the space, which costs about $40k with decks and accessories (but not the mini-split).
Cece Reinhardt and Brenda Daugherty decided to renovate a 2003 Airstream Safari with eco-friendly materials and convert their used diesel truck to a veggie oil machine to get “On the Green Road” in style. They enlisted sponsors and finished the conversion and renovation. They also embarked on a mission to get rid of everything that they don’t need or use, and will show people how they’re living off the grid.
Sunverge has released a new Solar Integration System (SIS) package containing an inverter and battery storage unit to complement the standard residential solar PV array. Brought to the market in February 2011, this new offering will give homeowners the opportunity to attain reliable net-zero energy status and eliminate reliance on the grid.
The prefab industry has changed a lot in the last few years. Case in point, ZETA Communities, a producer of net-zero energy multifamily housing came on to the scene in the beginning of 2008. In something like 3-4 years, they’ve built up a lean manufacturing facility with 91,000 square feet in Sacramento that’s just incredible.