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.
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.
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:
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.
Last summer, it was the ceramic rod curtain wall. Now, it’s the lighting system. Various green aspects of the New York Times Building continue to make high profile news and it’s only been a year since the modern building opened. Here’s the deal: The Times Company installed Lutron’s Quantum solution, a total light management system that includes daylight, occupant, target set point, time clock, and emergency lighting controls. Although the building was originally designed to use approximately 1.28 watts per sf of lighting power, with the Lutron technology, it’s actually using only 0.38 watts per sf of lighting power — a 70% reduction in lighting use. That means, based on New York City electric rates, they’re saving ~$315,500 and preventing the emission of 1,250 metric tons of CO2 annually. These are some serious numbers. Here’s where they recognized the most in terms of lighting energy savings:
Over a year ago, we mentioned Verdier Van & Camper’s Eco-Camper, the posh recreational throwback to VW’s Westfalia, and it looks like the Solar Power Eco-Camper has a new look. Verdier now offers five different personalities of the award-winning vehicle: Woody, Geeky, Ebony, Blueberry, and Purity. The eco-camper configuration is an add-on package available in any personality and entails solar panels, hybrid engine, Sun Tracker system, two gazebos, a second floor area, sliding door with integrated ladder, folding furniture, cargo storage, etc. The price? $129,000.