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Inventor Creates Net-Zero Energy Island

North Dumpling Island

Dean Kamen is a well-known entrepreneur and inventor of various technologies, including the Segway, Project Slingshot, and a hybrid electrical car with a Stirling engine.  He’s also trying to establish an independent, net-zero energy island off the coast of Connecticut.  The three-acre private island is called North Dumpling, and if granted his wishes, it would have its own constitution, flag, and national anthem.  Kamen’s attempts at secession haven’t been successful yet, but that’s no surprise given the South wasn’t able to do it either.  He has found success installing LEDs and saving energy, though. 

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Embody Ups the Green Chair Ante

Embody Chair by Herman Miller

I’ve been a happy and devoted Haworth Zody user for over a year and my chair is time-tested, blogger-approved — it’s a beautiful hoss.  But my other chair, the office one, is quite hobbled and needs replacing.  So when I was walking the exhibit floor at Greenbuild, the Herman Miller Embody chair caught my eye in a big way.  Depending on the color you go for, it’s a loud chair, if not flamboyant, but that’s all part of its intrinsic ambition — and probably why Embody will be the next, must-have chair for stylish office types. 

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IBM Predicts Solar Growth in 5 Years

IBM is becoming gradually more involved in the world of clean tech, so it’s not surprising that their third annual "IBM Next Five in Five" includes a mention of solar power.  The list includes five innovations that will change the way people work, live, and play over the next five years.  Accordingly, IBM thinks energy saving solar technology will be built into asphalt, paint, and windows.  Basically, with the advent of thin-film solar cells and advances in technology, everything everywhere will have solar cells and harvest energy.  And the technology to do so will be affordable, too. 

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Vatican Gets Serious with Solar

Solarpaulvihall

Maybe Samsø started a trend in becoming a net exporter of renewable energy because it appears that the Vatican is thinking about doing something similar.  The curvaceous roof of Paul VI Audience Hall, a building that's located right by the famous St. Peter's Basilica, has been topped with 2,400 photovoltaic panels to source energy for lighting, heat, and air conditioning. 

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2008 Top-10 Green Building Products

Integrityblock

For the seventh year in a row, BuildingGreen has just announced their list of Top-10 Green Building Products.  The products, as you will note, have various and multiple environmental attributes.  BuildingGreen culls the ten products from new additions to the GreenSpec Directory, a print and online guide that organizes green products according to LEED credits.  Although the GreenSpec Directory has over 2,000 products in total now, BuildingGreen is selective in choosing those that get in.  As a result, Top-10 selections are regarded as the cream of the crop.  Without further ado, here they are:

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LEED Platinum Home Breaks Records

Gottfried Home - LEED Platinum

We’ve seen a ton of LEED Platinum homes on this site, but today’s home achieves something new.  USGBC founder David Gottfried and his family recently finished the green renovation of their 1440 square foot Craftsman bungalow, a home that was originally built in 1915, and took it through the LEED for Homes certification process.  In doing so, they received a total of 106.5 points (out of a total 136) and the noteworthy accomplishment of being the highest-scoring green home renovation since LEED-H launched earlier this year.  The Platinum home is designed to be net-zero energy and utilizes technology such as solar photovoltaics and a solar- and hydronic-powered water heating system. 

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