- The Urban Revival – Cities may be the key to curbing climate crisis.
- Fat Zones – Does where you live influence what you eat? A new study says ZIP codes are surprisingly accurate predictors of obesity.
- Another new study suggests that people who live in damp, moldy homes may be prone to depression.
- A new roof and attic system being developed at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory could help owners lower summer utility bills by 8% or more.
- Alcoa announced the start-up of a 588,000 watt, roof-mounted photovoltaic solar power system at its California manufacturing facility, enabling the supply of clean and reliable renewable energy.
I like the idea of using things that we already have to create things that we need — which is probably why the concept of container housing is so intriguing. In Las Vegas, Arnie Stalk, in conjunction with METRO Development Group and SHARE, has created an actual prototype of the Instant Built House. IBH is a rapid deployment shelter made from standardized, recycled ISO modules — containers that can be transported via ocean cargo ships, railroad "piggy-back" trains, semi-trucks, helicopter airlift operations, and civilian and military jumbo air cargo transports. In other words, an IBH can be shipped practically anywhere in the world in a moment’s notice.
IBH Shelters are built with the following: fully insulated walls, photovoltaic solar array for power, wind-ventilated scoops and skylights, roof-mounted HVAC units, satellite cable and internet, and internal waste collector and water recycling systems. IBH models are secured on concrete caisson footings, foundations, and slabs. I’m surprised they used Longhorn colors to paint it, but we’ll let that slide.
I know you could probably surf around and subscribe to a few channels here and there, but I’ve found a fun way to put the best green videos from YouTube all in one place. Introducing the Jetson Green Video Library. If you have the time, click the first one and it’ll take you through to the very end of all 17 videos. And if you like a particular video, click the YouTube logo within the video and you’ll go straight to that video’s dedicated YouTube page. Let me know if I missed one and I’ll keep the page updated with great green content.
The Skystream here cost about $13k (including installation) and is intended to provide roughly 30-70% of the home’s energy, depending on weather conditions. The video is interesting in that it shows the community reaction to the turbine: they love it. Skystream turbines are good for places that have more than 1/2 acre of land and zoning that allows structures more than 42 feet tall. Experts say the system should pay for itself over time, even without Michigan incentives. Also visit the Skystream website.
First, it receives a 2006 red dot design award, and now, the Verdi Lawnscaping System has received a 2007 Gold IDEA Award. Verdi is a low-maintenance, modular landscaping system that hopes to become the alternative to traditional grass lawns. Verdi tiles are pre-seeded with built-in irrigation and they interlock for easy installation. Once completed, the entire system can be attached to a grey water pump, which uses certain recycled water from the home to irrigate the landscaping. The Verdi system also has other modular parts, such the solar-powered light tiles, shrub planters and path tiles, recycled glass composite inserts, and bamboo or molded recycled plastic inserts. The technology is compelling because it has the capability to transform the process of landscape design in the backyard, terrace, or even on the roof. And the built-in irrigation system reduces inefficient use of water, too. This is a cool product concept to keep an eye on.