Every now and then, you see something just knocks your socks off. It’s either beautiful or creative or cutting-edge or all three. And that’s what happened when I read about these solar SunFlowers created by Mags Harries and Lajos Héder for Catellus Development Company in Austin, Texas. The permanent public art display was switched on in July and features 15 SunFlowers – photovoltaic solar collector panels on welded steel frames and stems.
Over the weekend, Hoffman Construction lifted four Southwest Windpower turbines into place on top of a new building, Twelve West. Located at Southwest 12th Avenue and Washington Street, Twelve West includes a mixture of office and apartment spaces and was designed by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects to achieve LEED Platinum certification. ZGF included the turbines in early renderings, and developer Gerding Edlen, probably the foremost green developer on the West Coast, determined to give the turbines serious chance.
Oxygenics was kind enough to send us their new STORM showerhead, which was designed to provide 20%-70% water and energy savings. The unit has 54 spray nozzles that shower you with 30% more water pressure compared to other brands. They do this with their Pressure Boosting Technology (see below), which squeezes the stream of water while adding air to it.
We've mentioned Arizona State University's green School of Sustainability, and we've also mentioned greenscreen modular trellis panels, but we're going to bring it all full circle here in one article. ASU used greenscreen green walls in the renovation of this 1960s building to add a little something extra — to cool the interior, clean the air, and bolster the design. A wall was removed to add this distinctive element, and the strategy seems to be working.
The energy management space is really crowded, and the pace of innovation is hard to keep up with. While researching the various options on the market, I saw an opportunity to learn what one company's doing. Vantage, a long-time provider of home automation solutions for luxury homeowners, is located down the road in Orem, Utah, and the company just released a new Energy Management Solution. It's designed to save homeowners upwards of $600 – $1,500 per year, and the Vantage was kind enough to give me a tour of their offices to see how the solution works.