A mixed-use project in Chicago has been getting a lot of attention for its green elements. Most noticeable, perhaps, is the beveled corner that holds 12 vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWT) by Helix Wind. The turbines are stacked in two columns on the building’s southwest corner and were included in the HOK designed-facade to cover all exterior lighting costs.
Keep an eye out for the next acronym in energy-efficient lighting: ESL, or Electron Stimulated Luminescence. ESLs use “accelerated electrons to stimulate phosphor to create light, making the surface of the bulb ‘glow,’” according to Vu1 Corporation, a maker of ESLs. The technology is being touted for producing light that’s similar to an incandescent bulb but about 70% more energy-efficient.
GE unveiled a panoply of home technology at CES this week. The company’s taking an aggressive approach with smart green products and may just capture the heart of Americans everywhere. If GE’s vision comes true, here’s some of what will connect the home of the future:
Southwest Windpower, maker of the Skystream 3.7, unveiled a new version of the popular turbine at CES 2011 called Skystream 600. The turbine features an improved design with larger blades, enhanced software, and an improved integrated inverter. And, according to a press release, Skystream 600 will be the “first fully smart grid-enabled wind turbine” on the market when available in April 2011.
Technology and design are inextricably intertwined in the world of green building. During the last year, we’ve seen some fascinating technologies and clever designs that have the potential to reduce the environmental impact of the built environment in a new way. I hope you enjoy this review of innovation culled from our archives of the last year.
On average, water heating is the second largest energy expenditure behind heating and cooling, according to information on the Energy Star website. Folks spend anywhere from $400-$600 per year on water heating, so it’s a good area to scrutinize when trying to save energy at home. In South Carolina, thanks to a grant from the state energy office, 60 homes received a shiny, new Velux solar water heating system to showcase the benefits of this technology.