As one of the first residential LEED homes on the west coast, the Kelly Woodford home is blazing a trail for the future of residential construction. In addition to its USGBC certification, the home is "net zero energy use" and Energy Star certified. The 2,000 square-foot, three-bedroom/two-bath retreat has a great view of Mt. Hood and some pretty impressive green features. Tom Kelly and Barbara Woodford built the home as a family getaway (with the Neil Kelly Company as general contractor), but they’ve also made the home available half the year to Neil Kelly employees to enjoy.
- The Law Firm of Holland & Hart Announces New Global Climate Change Practice – The firm is the first and only law firm based in the Rocky Mountains to organize a practice group concentrating on this rapidly emerging area of law and policy. Holland & Hart’s Global Climate Change Practice Group consists of attorneys who counsel clients on the climate change aspects of energy and natural resources development, industrial energy use, regulatory compliance, renewable energy and energy infrastructure projects, corporate disclosure and governance, carbon markets, litigation, and government relations.
- New Resource Bank Aims to Make it Easier to Build Green – A new banking program here aims to encourage developers and investors to start green building projects by offering financial incentives like providing more money at a lower cost, higher loan-to value, and lower interest rates.
- Texas Issues First Lease for Geothermal Energy Exploration and Development along Gulf Coast – Texas has awarded the state’s first lease for geothermal energy production to Ormat Technologies, Inc., which plans to explore the renewable energy’s potential along seven Gulf Coast counties. The company paid $55,645, or $5 an acre, for the right to explore 11,129 acres for pockets of hot water and steam under the ocean floor, the General Land Office announced Tuesday.
- Building Greener and Cheaper than LEED – While many argue over the costs and benefits of requiring LEED-certification, some affordable housing developers have shown that building green doesn’t require following the program’s recommendations.
The February/ March 2007 edition of Plenty Magazine has a really good article called "The Plenty 20" by Danielle Wood. You won’t find it online, so go pick up a copy. Generally speaking, magazine lists have a tendency to be contrived, opinionated, and/or incomplete, but I thought The Plenty 20 was rather thorough. The article profiled an Ohio-based company called Fiberstars (NASDAQ: FBST). The U.S. government funded the research that became Fiberstars’ Efficient Fiber Optic Technology (EFO) with grants totaling about $13 million. Now, its lights illuminate the Declaration of Independence and the Magna Carta.
How efficient are EFO lights? Their efficiency is analogous to improving gas mileage in your car from 12 MPG to 50 MPG. That’s efficient. So efficient, these lights were used in the green Bill Clinton Presidential Library.
EFO lights do not emit heat or ultraviolet rays, so they are perfect for museum or archival applications. One 70-watt metal halide lamp, which connects to a fiber optic system, can equal the output of eight 50 watt bulbs. Specifically in terms of efficiency, the EFO saves up to 80% on energy consumption, saves on maintenance (requires less work due to longer life), and saves one watt of HVAC for every three watts of lighting because the EFOs do not emit heat. Not bad. Further, Fiberstars EFO may reduce mercury emissions by up to 75% and their Reuse-Recycle Program allows customers to reuse 97% of the lamp and recycle the rest. Currently, most of Fiberstars’ customers are commercial entities such as Whole Foods, McDonalds, Trump Tower, Starbucks, Nordstrom’s, Chevron, etc. Maybe we’re not that far from turn-key consumer applications?
Here are some of the other companies on The Plenty 20: Nanosolar, ECD Ovonics, Greenfuel Technologies, Envirofit International, GE, Organic Valley, Tesla Motors, Southwest Windpower, Domini, Toyota, Whole Foods, Green Mountain Energy, Konarka, Goldman Sachs, Ormat Technologies, Ice Energy, Green Sandwich Technologies, Green Mountain Coffee, and Naturalawn.
I hope so. When I wrote about Green Sandwich Technologies, true south orientation, and Greenbridge Developments, I was talking about Bill McDonough. I’ve also mentioned his Cradle to Cradle notion, which is about much more than sustainability, it’s about "waste = food" and what happens to stuff when no one wants to use it anymore (C2C Book). His ideas are transforming the way companies do business and make money. And that’s why he’s a big deal. He’s the "Eco-tect," or the Ecological Architect, but he’s also more than that: he’s innovating architecture, design, and business all at the same time. This is the story that Steven Spielberg wants to make a movie about, and I think it will be extremely compelling.
Right now, McDonough’s company is working with Google on its campus. He’s also helping to design six cities and one village in China with stringent standards of sustainability. If you’ve ever been to China, you know how big these cities can get, so we’re talking about sustainability and innovation on a gigantic scale. The American public could benefit from McDonough’s reservoir of knowledge and experience, so I’m hoping that Spielberg continues with his first impulse and follows through with the film. Via Business 2.0.
- Bold U.S. Energy Goal Put Forward on Capitol Hill: 25% of Energy from Renewable Sources by 2025 – A bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives have re-introduced the 25x’25 House and Senate Concurrent Resolutions calling for a new national renewable energy goal: 25% of the nation’s energy supply from renewable sources by 2025 (see also www.25×25.org).
- Wal-Mart to Open First High-Efficiency Store; Supercenter Expected to Use 20% Less Energy – Wal-Mart Stores,Inc. (NYSE: WMT) announced it will open tomorrow in Kansas City, Mo., the first in a series of high-efficiency stores that will use 20% less energy than a typical Supercenter. The new high-efficiency stores will integrate industry-leading heating, cooling, and refrigeration systems to conserve energy.
- Poll Says 77% of American Say U.S. Must Do More to Spur Green Technologies – The Zogby/TechNet nationwide poll of 1,043 Americans found that 77% of U.S. voters believe that our nation must do more to promote green technologies. 75% of the voting population said that their purchasing decisions in the past year have been influenced by a desire to save energy and improve the environment.
- Unleash Your Inner Al Gore with These 12 Eco-Tips – Being green isn’t just for tree-huggers anymore. In fact, 2007 may be a banner year for going green. Read on.