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Water + Life Museums, World's First LEED Platinum Museum

Hemet Museum

In the process of digging the huge Diamond Valley Lake Reservoir in Southern California, some significant fossils were discovered.  The fossils have been sitting around for several years waiting for a super-modern museum to call home, so The Center for Water Education Foundation and the Western Center Community Foundation commissioned Lehrer Architects to design such a place.  The result is the Water + Life Museums, a complex that just so happens to claim a right to being the world’s first LEED Platinum certified museum. 

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Bahrain WTC Wind Turbines Actually Work! [S2]

Believed to be the world’s first integrated, wind-powered mega structure, Bahrain WTC looks to be working.  The above video doesn’t really say anything, but it doesn’t need to: those twirling blades say everything that needs to be said.  Read more about Bahrain WTC here

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Swift Small Wind Quietly Coming to Market in July

Palestra

Swift Wind Turbine is a quiet, rooftop mounted wind turbine.  Unlike some designs you’ve seen previously, this one has an outer ring and five blades.  The outer ring acts as a diffuser — the wind travels down the blades and is dispersed along the ring, therefore eliminating noise and keeping the turbine quiet.  The company estimates a noise of less than 35 decibels for all wind speeds.  The 7 foot diameter ring needs a roof line clearance of a couple feet and in good winds, can generate up to 2000 kWh of power (1.5 kW @ 14 m/s). 

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First LEED Certified Parking Structure Generates Most Its Own Power

Santa Clara Civic Center Parking Lot

I realize that by blogging about this, I’m risking some criticism as to whether a parking structure can be green.  I think it can, but I’ve heard mention from others that the term "green parking lot" is an oxymoron of sorts.  After giving it some thought, I just can’t imagine a world, or a city for that matter, with absolutely no parking lot.  They’re going to exist, so they might as well be super green and zero energy, to the extent possible.  This building, which is the Santa Monica Civic Center parking structure, has a solar array that provides all the building’s energy needs.

But it’s not just energy efficient, it’s green, too.

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iT House Off-Grid, High Desert Prefab

iT House

So I stumbled upon the iT House construction blog and was completely blown away by the documentation they’re posting.  It’s an incredible little home that was designed by Taalman Koch for a five-acre lot in the high desert.  It’ll be a model home and completely off-grid.  There’s an on-site septic tank, 2500 gallon domestic water tank, and eight solar PV panels by Evergreen — and the home is just the right size, too.

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BRAZO – Green, Ultra-Stylish LED Lamp

Brazo

Early in grad school, I purchased a halogen task lamp for my desk studies, but I grew tired of it for two reasons: it was too hot and the light was unbearable.  So recently, I started looking around for a new, energy-efficient task lamp and Haworth was kind enough to send me a Brazo Task Lamp designed by Pablo Pardo of Pardo Designs.  Brazo is a real award winner, taking both Best of Competition and Gold in Lighting for Best of NeoCon 2007.   I knew it was going to be nice, but I really had no idea.  Here’s my review …

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