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Future Now: Solar Plug-in Stations

Chargepoint

This is ChargePoint, an electrical plug-in station that’s powered and monitored through a smart network. It was developed by Coulomb Technologies, who recently teamed up with Carbon Day Automotive to add a new little twist. Coulomb and CDA coupled the ChargePoint with a solar photovoltaic array to create one of the nation’s first Solar Plug-in Stations. These pictures show a Solar Plug-in Station provided for the City of Chicago. You may be interested in knowing that this Solar Plug-in Station was designed by Chicago’s own Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (you know, the Eco-Bridge and Clean Technology Tower).

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Autodesk Seeks LEED Platinum for Waltham Headquarters

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Autodesk recently completed tenant improvements at their new headquarters building on the East Coast. The company retained the services of KlingStubbins and Tocci Building Companies to design and build the interior to a LEED Platinum level of certification using LEED-CI.  The result is modern office structure with abundant natural light and, of course, plenty of style.  My favorite design element is the custom, prefabricated millwork explained in the YouTube video below.

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Biomimicry Inspired Cactus Building

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Just last week, DesignBoom brought us news of this cactus-inspired design for the Minister of Municipal Affairs & Agriculture building in Doha, Qatar.  It's a fascinating example of biomimicry — the skin of one of the hardiest plants of the desert is applied to the design of the facade of a desert building — with hundreds of smart shades that open and close depending on the strength of the sun.  

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Hacking Architecture with the Conceptual Urban Space Station

The urban space station is a project taking aim at local environmental health, one building at a time.  Described by the designers as "parasite architecture," the semi-permanent structure sits atop any roof as it filters air, grows food, and re-uses organic waste for inhabitants.  

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PowerMeter Empowers Electricity Users

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Google is testing a prototype product that they've dubbed the PowerMeter, which is designed to convey electricity use information to electricity users.  PowerMeter is premised on the famous phrase by Lord Kelvin: "If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it."  Accordingly, the PowerMeter takes energy consumption information from your smart meter and gives it to you in real time using the iGoogle gadget.  It's a dead simple concept — certainly the most low hanging of low hanging fruit.  An absolute no-brainer that's important and more crucial than ever. 

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Conceptual Menir House Features Innovative Green Elements

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This conceptual proposal for a residence with combination solar panel and wind turbine offers the best of both worlds, with a dose of stage-like performance.  Shaped to look like a rock, the dwelling stores water in its outer shell as an insulator to conserve energy. Furthermore, the transforming device embodies a playful spirit with its daisy-like shape that seems more like a toy rather than a high tech piece of equipment. 

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