With the European counterpart to the Solar Decathlon now complete, the team from University of Florida walks away as winner of the Internet Award based on online voting open during the competition. Their home, Project RE:FOCUS, blends three elements from historic Florida houses — a covered open porch, a breezeway oriented to prevailing winds, and a porous breathable skin — in a striking way.
Area Industrie Ceramiche makes a red clay roof tile that the Italian company claims is very resistant to weather and capable of absorbing less water and heat. But that's just the original tile. If you go with the "tegolasolare" version, you'll end up with a roof integrated solar solution that's so handsome others may not realize it's wired to generate energy.
Often, when you think of solar power, you probably think about utility scale solar plants or solar power generated on a home or building. But have you heard about community solar, or what may be referred to as a solar garden? Like a community garden, solar gardens are popping up as an alternative to provide green energy to people and businesses who can’t (or won’t) generate solar power on site.
Sustainable design start-up SMIT has been working on solar and wind powered facade technology for a while under the GROW moniker. Now, the company is about to blow the lid off the solar-powered GROW with commercial availability. SMIT is using a new name and website, Solar Ivy, for the biomimicry-inspired innovation made with recyclable polyethylene leaves, Konarka Power Plastic organic photovoltaics, and a structural stainless steel mesh system.
Just a few days ago, the $41 million Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental & Energy Systems (SyracuseCoE), a 55,000 square-foot building designed to LEED Platinum certification, was dedicated. The facility was built to be a living laboratory and platform to showcase technological innovation. Currently, the south facade of the laboratory wing includes a spot to test building envelope and window systems, and it's currently testing this innovative integrated concentrating dynamic solar facade.
Kroon Hall, the new home of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, has been awarded Platinum certification, according to the Office of Public Affairs of Yale University. Kroon Hall was designed to use 81% less water and 58% less energy than a comparable building, helping it receive a total of 59 LEED points. With the help of a massive and beautiful solar array, about 25% of this building's electricity should be generated on-site, too.