- Homebuilder Lennar to Build Largest Solar Homes Development in U.S. – According to a deal with Sacramento Municipality Utility District (SMUD), Lennar will build 1,254 energy-efficient homes with solar power systems as a standard feature in 11 communities in the Sacramento area. SMUD will provide a maximum of $10.9 million in incentives and Lennar will receive the rebates after homes are constructed. That’s about $8,700 per home for solar.
- Philips Supports a New Call-to-Action to Adopt More Energy-Efficient Lighting in North America – A congressional coalition of energy efficiency advocates announced plans for proposed legislative action for a major shift toward incorporating high-efficiency lighting technologies in home and office settings. The call-to-action was introduced by Philips Lighting North America, the Lighting Efficiency Coalition, Congressman Don Manzullo (R- Ill.) and Senator Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) to support the adoption of more energy- efficient lighting in North America.
- DOE Selects 13 Solar Energy Projects for up to $168 Million in Funding – U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman announced the selection of 13 industry-led solar technology development projects for negotiation for up to $168 million (FY’07-’09) in funding, subject to appropriation from Congress under President Bush’s Solar America Initiative. These projects will help significantly reduce the cost of producing and distributing solar energy.
[Run time = 26 min.] I’ve posted about LivingHomes here, here, and here. Well, Steve Glenn is the company’s CEO and Founder and he has some interesting things to say. If you’re still unsure about his green cred, he built the first LEED Platinum home in the United States (with the design help of Ray Kappe). Enjoy…
This is the K1 from kitHAUS, which is a prefab company based in Van Nuys, California. The K1 is 289 sf and costs around $59,000. kitHAUS has a series of modules that can be paired (or not) to create a small weekend retreat, backyard office or study, or gigantic residence. Plus, it can be off-grid or grid-tied with the optional solar setup, depending on your tastes.
"F2" is short for "Flickr Friday," a weekly short posted on Friday with an image from Flickr and a quick description. Feel free to email me your F2 ideas.
Tonight, I had the great opportunity to talk with Ed Begley Jr. at the unveiling of the Phoenix Sport Utility Truck in Dallas, Texas. Ed is a really nice guy, and he’s smart, too. He knows his stuff. He was showcasing the Phoenix SUT, which is a five-passenger, all-electric, freeway-speed sport utility truck. I test drove it and had a good time. I see the future with this thing. I really do. Actually, I punched it coming off the line, and it had some get up and go.
Hot on the heels of news that Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) is going to develop a $1B green resort named "Ever Vail," comes news that Park City’s Newpark Community has pre-qualified for LEED-ND (Neighborhood Development) certification. These ski towns are really laying it on thick–and they’re doing more than flaunting offsets. When it comes down to it, they bank on the livelihood of snow, so it’s logical to consider the business implication of climate change. Having green neighborhoods and buildings is a smart way to lighten that environmental footprint.
Newpark is a 38 acre, mixed-use development with resort town homes, a commercial and retail walkable community, and a condominium hotel (opening January 2008). With respect to its green features, LEED-ND certification requires the incorporation of smart growth, urbanism, and green building principles on a neighborhood planning and design level. Projects are evaluated based on the following three categories (1) smart location + community linkage, (2) neighborhood pattern + design, and (3) actual use of green technology in construction. A notable accomplishment at Newpark is the site development to open space ratio of 1-4.5. That’s 9 times the LEED requirement for allocation to open space. I’ve seen it and it looks to be quite the lively, little community. Via.
I’m happy to report to you that I have the insider tip on a new website that the American Institute of Architects (AIA) is launching: How Design Works (http://howdesignworks.aia.org/). The website includes information and a series of videos on the entire process of selecting an architect and going from consultation to design to build to occupation. What I really enjoyed was the case study on Medora Woods’ sustainable home (pictured above) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Woods retained architect Sarah Nettleton to design a home to suit a difficult piece of land with a 28 foot falling slope from road to creek. What Nettleton did, using the words of Frank Lloyd Wright, was build "of the hill, not on it," and designed the house to the environmental standard of the Kyoto Protocol. Here are a few quotes of interest from the videos.
- There is no wasted space.
- Simple is sustainable.
- Small spaces can lead to ample lives.
- The house encourages me to keep simplifying my life.
In the last video, "occupy," Woods takes you through the house and really shows off some of the sustainable features. This new website provided by the AIA is nice tool for finding an architect, discerning the process of working with an architect, and discovering ways to incorporate sustainable building practices and energy-efficient design strategies into a plan. Go take it for a spin.
Photos via Sarah Nettleton Architects.