With the European counterpart to the Solar Decathlon now complete, the team from University of Florida walks away as winner of the Internet Award based on online voting open during the competition. Their home, Project RE:FOCUS, blends three elements from historic Florida houses — a covered open porch, a breezeway oriented to prevailing winds, and a porous breathable skin — in a striking way.
As the magazine does every year, Sustainable Industries has just published its list of the Top 10 Green Building Products of 2010. Selections are chosen by an esteemed panel of judges — Michelle Kaufmann, Barry Giles, Kris Kimble, and Liz Dunn — based on design aesthetic, environmental performance, compatibility with LEED, and value, scalability/market impact, and innovativeness. This year, the judges took interest in products that reuse resources or reduce energy. Here are the top ten:
Area Industrie Ceramiche makes a red clay roof tile that the Italian company claims is very resistant to weather and capable of absorbing less water and heat. But that's just the original tile. If you go with the "tegolasolare" version, you'll end up with a roof integrated solar solution that's so handsome others may not realize it's wired to generate energy.
This startup company, RavenBrick, was profiled by the New York Times for its simple and smart window technology. It's a window like nothing else on the market. Using patented and patent pending technology, RavenWindow has a reflective film that's keyed to the outside temperature. When warm, the film reflects light to reduce solar heat gain. Conversely, when cool, the film becomes transparent to allow a comfortable amount of heat gain.
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) recently released its annual Global Market Study [PDF] of the small wind market, and I thought I'd share this information considering the intersect of green building and small wind. According to the study, the U.S. market for small wind turbines — those with a capacity of 100 kW of less — added 20.3 MW of new capacity on $82.4 million in sales in 2009.
Urban Green Energy just announced the launch of “eddy,” a new small wind vertical axis wind turbine for home or office applications. The sleek wind turbine, according to the company, is “whisper quiet,” starts turning in 8 mile per hour winds, and has a maximum safe wind speed of more than 120 miles per hour.