- Homebuilder Lennar to Build Largest Solar Homes Development in U.S. – According to a deal with Sacramento Municipality Utility District (SMUD), Lennar will build 1,254 energy-efficient homes with solar power systems as a standard feature in 11 communities in the Sacramento area. SMUD will provide a maximum of $10.9 million in incentives and Lennar will receive the rebates after homes are constructed. That’s about $8,700 per home for solar.
- Philips Supports a New Call-to-Action to Adopt More Energy-Efficient Lighting in North America – A congressional coalition of energy efficiency advocates announced plans for proposed legislative action for a major shift toward incorporating high-efficiency lighting technologies in home and office settings. The call-to-action was introduced by Philips Lighting North America, the Lighting Efficiency Coalition, Congressman Don Manzullo (R- Ill.) and Senator Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) to support the adoption of more energy- efficient lighting in North America.
- DOE Selects 13 Solar Energy Projects for up to $168 Million in Funding – U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman announced the selection of 13 industry-led solar technology development projects for negotiation for up to $168 million (FY’07-’09) in funding, subject to appropriation from Congress under President Bush’s Solar America Initiative. These projects will help significantly reduce the cost of producing and distributing solar energy.
[Run time = 26 min.] I’ve posted about LivingHomes here, here, and here. Well, Steve Glenn is the company’s CEO and Founder and he has some interesting things to say. If you’re still unsure about his green cred, he built the first LEED Platinum home in the United States (with the design help of Ray Kappe). Enjoy…
- Bank of America Announces $20 Billion Environmental Initiative – BofA announced a $20 billion initiative to support the growth of environmentally sustainable business activity to address global climate change. Bank of America’s ten-year initiative encourages development of environmentally sustainable business practices through lending, investing, philanthropy and the creation of new products and services.
- Residential Green Building Slow to Gain Momentum – The major homebuilders, who account for 80 percent of all homebuilding activity in the nation, face a unique challenge in implementing green building on a widespread scale. Many have added energy-saving features and experimented with environmentally friendly materials but have not yet been able to sign on a critical mass of buyers willing to pay more for them.
- Easy, Eco-friendly Ways to Put Those 21 Extra Hours of Evening Daylight to Good Use This Spring – Tomorrow, the entire nation will spring forward three weeks early, gaining an extra 21 hours of evening daylight. Since energy conservation is the driving force for the early time change, Lowe’s is encouraging homeowners to utilize these hours wisely with some simple, green projects that would make Mother Nature smile.
Don’t forget to spring forward tonight.
This is the K1 from kitHAUS, which is a prefab company based in Van Nuys, California. The K1 is 289 sf and costs around $59,000. kitHAUS has a series of modules that can be paired (or not) to create a small weekend retreat, backyard office or study, or gigantic residence. Plus, it can be off-grid or grid-tied with the optional solar setup, depending on your tastes.
"F2" is short for "Flickr Friday," a weekly short posted on Friday with an image from Flickr and a quick description. Feel free to email me your F2 ideas.
Guest post contributed by Kent Swanson, a freelance writer specializing in environmental issues. Kent’s writing is also featured on Practical Environmentalist, Clean Air Gardening: Organic Gardening Advice, and Ecobackyard.
When we think of green architecture, sometimes we forget that our landscaping can have a big impact on how efficient and sustainable a building is in the long run. For example, a few strategically planted trees can help to cool off a building and reduce the amount of energy allocated to air conditioning. The following is a list of 11 suggestions to create an eco-friendly landscape that will complement a holistic approach to green building design. Incorporating a few of these ideas will help you save energy and water, and also reduce environmental contamination. If you’d like to make a suggestion on how to use landscaping to reduce your environmental footprint, please leave a comment!
(1) Incorporate Native Plants in Your Landscaping
When planning your landscape, consider using a collection of native plants. Native plants are adapted to your area, which means they naturally require less maintenance and water than exotic plants. They are also more resistant to pests and diseases than many exotics, reducing the need for pesticides. Additionally, native plants attract native wildlife and beneficial insects. You don’t need to exclude exotic plants from your yard and garden, but incorporating natives in your design can make a big difference. The U.S. EPA’s Greenacres Program is a great place to look for information on using native plants for home landscaping.
Hot on the heels of news that Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) is going to develop a $1B green resort named "Ever Vail," comes news that Park City’s Newpark Community has pre-qualified for LEED-ND (Neighborhood Development) certification. These ski towns are really laying it on thick–and they’re doing more than flaunting offsets. When it comes down to it, they bank on the livelihood of snow, so it’s logical to consider the business implication of climate change. Having green neighborhoods and buildings is a smart way to lighten that environmental footprint.
Newpark is a 38 acre, mixed-use development with resort town homes, a commercial and retail walkable community, and a condominium hotel (opening January 2008). With respect to its green features, LEED-ND certification requires the incorporation of smart growth, urbanism, and green building principles on a neighborhood planning and design level. Projects are evaluated based on the following three categories (1) smart location + community linkage, (2) neighborhood pattern + design, and (3) actual use of green technology in construction. A notable accomplishment at Newpark is the site development to open space ratio of 1-4.5. That’s 9 times the LEED requirement for allocation to open space. I’ve seen it and it looks to be quite the lively, little community. Via.