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Solar Ivy Nears Commercial Availability

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Sustainable design start-up SMIT has been working on solar and wind powered facade technology for a while under the GROW moniker.  Now, the company is about to blow the lid off the solar-powered GROW with commercial availability.  SMIT is using a new name and website, Solar Ivy, for the biomimicry-inspired innovation made with recyclable polyethylene leaves, Konarka Power Plastic organic photovoltaics, and a structural stainless steel mesh system.

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Next Gen Whole House Energy Monitor

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Most of the energy monitoring tools on the market right now gather aggregate information about the overall electricity use of a home.  But the new eMonitor from PowerHouse Dynamics could change all this with circuit level monitoring.  The eMonitor solution combines hardware, software, and service elements to provide home electricity use, electricity cost, and carbon footprint information by the minute.  Past and present information is then available online and on the iPhone (starting in about Q2 2010). 

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iPhone Love for Schlage LiNK App

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You've probably seen one of the latest Apple commercials.  The husband turns to his wife and asks, "Did we turn off the lights."  The savvy wife, with her iPhone and Schlage LiNK app, responds with something like, "WE turned off the lights," while she does the same on her phone without her husband's help.

The commercial caught my attention, and I wanted to see what kind of capabilities this Schlage LiNK app had.  Turns out the system is powered by Z-Wave technology to smarten typically unintelligent aspects of living.  Some of the things you can do include:

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Testing a New Dynamic Solar Facade

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Just a few days ago, the $41 million Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental & Energy Systems (SyracuseCoE), a 55,000 square-foot building designed to LEED Platinum certification, was dedicated.  The facility was built to be a living laboratory and platform to showcase technological innovation.  Currently, the south facade of the laboratory wing includes a spot to test building envelope and window systems, and it's currently testing this innovative integrated concentrating dynamic solar facade. 

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EPS: Miles Per Gallon Rating for Homes

When you buy a house, there’s no clear way to know what you’re getting.  There’s no miles per gallon sticker, as with cars, or nutrition label, as with foods.  You’ll pay for an inspection and walk through the place any number of times, but you definitely can’t see through the walls.  It’s strange that we allow ourselves to spend, or mortgage, so much with so little information.

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The Bloom Box and Buildings [Video]

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If you had the chance to catch 60 Minutes on Sunday, you saw their exclusive on Bloom Energy.  The company has been in stealth mode for some time, but all of that appears to be over.  As reported by Lesley Stahl, which you can view in the video embedded below, Bloom makes a fuel cell that will be used to power homes (in the future) and commercial buildings (right now).

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