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MeterPlug Helps Save Money and Energy

Here’s a neat piece of pre-production technology called MeterPlug.  MeterPlug measures electricity consumption by plugging in between any appliance and the AC outlet.  The smart plug uses Bluetooth 4.0 to send data to your smartphone and enable features like proximity control, manual on/off, and vampire power shield.  In other words, with a range of about 100 feet and a smartphone, it’s easy to shut down appliances or calculate the costs of standby power.  Each plug is a little expensive right now, but if you want to try MeterPlug, you can pledge support at Indiegogo.

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Practical Advanced Framing in Texas [Video]

Here’s another interesting video from Austin-based builder Matt Risinger about what he calls “practical advanced framing.” In this video, Risinger talks about the difference between 2×4 and 2×6 studs, 16″ and 24″ centers, plywood and OSB sheathing, three-stud and California corners, and uninsulated and insulated headers.  Here are Risinger’s three tips for practical advanced framing:
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Philips Has a New A-19 LED Bulb Design

Philips recently announced its next-generation A-19 bulb with a new design that contrasts sharply with the old yellow EnduraLED or the fluorescent L-Prize bulb.  The 60-watt replacement has a white appearance and uses 11 watts while putting out 830 lumens.  It will be available in both Soft White or Daylight color temperatures when released.

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Strong Greener Concrete with CarbonCure

Concrete is everywhere in construction, so I like to note what’s happening to make concrete “greener.”  CarbonCure Technologies, Inc. licenses technology in North America to make, for example, carbon-absorbed concrete blocks and other precast products.  Basically, CO2 is injected during curing — making limestone — with the end result being a stronger, greener masonry and other precast products.

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Solar Electric Bonsai Tree for the Home

Here’s an update to an old article about a tree-shaped charger powered by solar energy. Vivien Muller’s Electree+ is on Kickstarter seeking to raise $200,000 to mass-produce these little home/office gadgets here in the USA. The new prototype will be made with an 14,000 mAh internal battery, 27 amorphous silicon solar cells (each about 3.7 inches), and an easy-to-assemble tree structure that can be customized. In case you’re interested, the early bird gets in at the ground level for ~$199.00.

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Top-10 Products from BuildingGreen [2013]

For the eleventh year, BuildingGreen has announced their list of Top-10 Green Building Products. BuildingGreen picks the products from additions to the GreenSpec Directory, coverage in Environmental Building News, and blogs on BuildingGreen. Make sure to keep this selection of residential-related winners on your radar:

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