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Bahrain WTC Wind Turbines, Coming Soon (S2)

Bahrain WTC Turbines

The word on the street is that the three wind turbines on Bahrain World Trade Center will starting generating electricity the last week of October.  As you can see from the images below, construction of the towers is moving along nicely.  The turbines are expected to generate roughly 11-15% of the buildings’ energy needs, or 1100 to 1300 megawatt-hours per year.  Architecturally, this building explores new territory by integrating large-scale wind turbines with the structure.  I’m sure Atkins Architecture has worked out all the modeling on noise and vibration, so the world is excited to learn from this experience.  Enjoy the images below. 

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[Video] The Green Building Revolution

It’s Friday, why not watch a little video?  High quality video content like this is hard to find online, so I thought I would share it.  A lot of people think green building is about saving energy.  It is.  But that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  Buildings. Use. Water. Materials. Land. Space. Air. And. Money.  Click on over to KQED for some background information on the above video. 

National Solar Tour Day – October 6, 2007

Sunpower

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s that time again:  October 6, 2007 – The National Solar Tour.  The ASES National Solar Tour is the largest tour of sustainable energy technology for buildings in the U.S.  Now in its 12th year, some 100,000 people across the nation will see how neighbors are using clean sources of energy to save on energy bills and protect the environment.  Through a series of open-houses and informative tours, participants learn about renewable energy options, energy efficient design, real-world costs, current rebates available, and other valuable insights. 

Tours are being organized in dang near every state, so if you have the interest, there’s probably a place you can go.  Here’s the main page to find a tour near you.  Image Credit: Sunpower.

Modern Green Cherokee Lofts

Cherokee Lofts

Update 12/13/09: Platinum Lofts @ Cherokee Studios Now Complete!

There's a lot to mention with REthink Development's project called Cherokee Lofts:  history, sustainability, modern design, materials innovation, etc.  This Pugh + Scarpa-designed development is on track to be named the first, privately developed, LEED Gold Certified, mixed-use project in Southern California.  The project will have 12 loft units, all ranging in size from 1,000 – 2,000 sf, and 2,800 sf of commercial space. 

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Phinney House, Modern Green Attractive Reuse

Phinneyhouse

I guess the term would be adaptive reuse, but I think I’m going to start calling this "attractive reuse."  Attractive reuse is about taking boring, old, traditional homes and renovating them into modern, green abodes.  The Phinney House was intended to be a case study house — the existing house was extensively remodeled, the main floor was raised to give more height in the basement, the main floor plan was opened up, and a new second floor was added.  It’s Built-Green certified, too.  Some of the many ecologically sustainable elements in this project include the following: hydronic radiant-floor heat; whole-house heat-recovery ventilation; FSC-certified lumber, plywood and cabinetry; reclaimed fir beams and columns; sustainably harvested Ipe wood siding and decking; straw-board flooring; non-toxic paints and finishes; concrete with fly-ash content; and rain-screen siding.  Nice.

Also, for other attractive reuse projects, check out the Boxhouse and the TrailerWrap Project.  Check below for what the Phinney House looked like before the makeover.

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PG&E Puts $10 M Towards Ice-Based Peak Demand Energy Shifting

Ice Energy

Recently, Ice Energy, a company that makes an ice-based air-conditioning system (explained below), announced their collaboration with PG&E in California on a $10-million dollar project.  The project is called "Shift and Save," and here’s the background: in the middle of the day, when the temperature is the highest, energy demand and the cost of energy is very high.  But with Ice Energy’s product, consumers can "Shift and Save" by using energy in the nighttime, instead of the daytime.  Daytime energy consumption is the bottleneck, it’s the peak, so energy generation must be sufficient to match peak demand.  Interestingly, to the extent demand for peak energy can be permanently reduced, the need for new energy generation (i.e. coal plants) is reduced as well.  Nice. 

The system consists of a large plastic attachment for commercial air conditioning units that is filled with water, frozen overnight, and used to cool refrigerant during the day.  According to Ice Energy CEO, Frank Ramirez, "It stores energy at night, when energy is cleaner to produce, cheaper to buy and easier to obtain, and it makes it available for use during the day."  The new hardware costs about $10,500 and weighs about 5,000 pounds when filled with water.  It looks very similar to a standard AC unit.  Also, there can be an additional retrofitting cost of as much as $10,000 for existing buildings and a minimum $750 cost for new construction.  Ice Energy is testing residential models (but another company called Trinity Thermal with the IceCycle has residential models already out right now).  Anyone have experience to share?

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