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Covalent Solar to Commercialize Low-Cost Organic Solar Concentrators

Covalent Solar rendering

The innovators of this new technology, if they get it into production, may just be the green building revolutionaries of tomorrow.  At the end of the week, MIT engineers published research of new technology showing that the sun’s energy could be harvested from a large area, such as a window, and concentrated at the edges by solar cells.  With this so-called luminescent solar concentrator, the potential for low-cost electricity seems almost within reach.  Technically, here’s how it works: 

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[Video] GM Installing $78 M World's Largest Solar Roof

Earlier this week, GM announced that they were adding the world’s largest, rooftop, solar photovoltaic power installation to its car assembly plant located in Zaragoza, Spain (a factory that manufactures Opel vehicles for sale in Europe).   When the project is completed in the fall of 2008, the solar installation will have 85,000 solar panels covering about 2,000,000 sf of roof space.   Bloomberg further reports that the $78.5 million installation will avoid about 7k tons of emissions per year.

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What About the Solar Corridor, Mr. Pickens?

It’s clear our country is reaching what future generations will see as a watershed moment as it relates to our current energy situation and how we handle it.  In the U.S. alone, buildings account for roughly 70% of electricity use and 39% of energy use, so any discussion of our energy future naturally implicates the built environment.  The current state of discussions on our energy future has brought together some incredible minds and one of those is the great T. Boone Pickens, an expert in recognizing scarce resources and future energy trends.  Just today, he announced his efforts relating to the PickensPlan — a plan he explains himself in the above video.

Now, I think Mr. Pickens is definitely probing one of the better ways to alleviate our dependence on foreign oil, but I also think he’s skipping over an important aspect of this discussion on our country’s energy mix. 

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Modern Green 547 Arts Center

Greensburg 547

Just a little over a year ago, on May 4, 2007, Greensburg, Kansas was smashed by a tornado that pretty much decimated everything.  Since that time, the city has made news all over the world for its ambitions to rebuild everything in an environmentally-friendly way.  City buildings larger than about 4000 sf will be LEED Platinum, etc.  So this building, 547 Arts Center, is an example of the green reconstruction process going on in Greensburg.  547 Arts Center is the first building certified as LEED Platinum in Kansas and has some incredible green elements — not to mention three small wind turbines twirling away above the roof line. 

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Stunning Eco Home To Be First Andalusian Zero Carbon Footprint House!

Eco Architecture

The team at Diseño Earle was kind enough to pass along some info and images of their stunning design of The Eco Home — a knockout that’s aiming to be the first ‘zero carbon’ footprint home in Andalucia, or even Southern Spain for that matter!  D Earle designed the home with two objectives in mind: (1) zero carbon footprint, and (2) reduce operating costs to almost a self-sufficiency level.  The 6995 sf home, which is absolutely enormous, will be built with 75% less waste than a traditional design and operate 80% more efficiently than a similar sized home.  And although the home design was constrained by the narrow, non-flat site, you can tell there was no restraint in creating the ultimate, luxury, green pad. 

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[Video] Green "Rotating Tower" Planned for NYC?

I’ve not blogged about this interesting and innovative Rotating Tower, which was designed by David Fisher of Dynamic Architecture, because critics have downplayed the concept saying it’s not capable of being built.  But now comes news that the Rotating Tower is not only on the cusp of construction in Dubai, but it’s in advanced design phase for Moscow and intended for New York.  Let me say that again: Fisher intends to design a Dynamic Tower for the Big Apple!  If you haven’t heard about it yet, make sure to watch the above video.  Here’s the general idea:

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