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IBM Predicts Solar Growth in 5 Years

IBM is becoming gradually more involved in the world of clean tech, so it’s not surprising that their third annual "IBM Next Five in Five" includes a mention of solar power.  The list includes five innovations that will change the way people work, live, and play over the next five years.  Accordingly, IBM thinks energy saving solar technology will be built into asphalt, paint, and windows.  Basically, with the advent of thin-film solar cells and advances in technology, everything everywhere will have solar cells and harvest energy.  And the technology to do so will be affordable, too. 

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Vatican Gets Serious with Solar

Solarpaulvihall

Maybe Samsø started a trend in becoming a net exporter of renewable energy because it appears that the Vatican is thinking about doing something similar.  The curvaceous roof of Paul VI Audience Hall, a building that's located right by the famous St. Peter's Basilica, has been topped with 2,400 photovoltaic panels to source energy for lighting, heat, and air conditioning. 

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LEED Platinum Home Breaks Records

Gottfried Home - LEED Platinum

We’ve seen a ton of LEED Platinum homes on this site, but today’s home achieves something new.  USGBC founder David Gottfried and his family recently finished the green renovation of their 1440 square foot Craftsman bungalow, a home that was originally built in 1915, and took it through the LEED for Homes certification process.  In doing so, they received a total of 106.5 points (out of a total 136) and the noteworthy accomplishment of being the highest-scoring green home renovation since LEED-H launched earlier this year.  The Platinum home is designed to be net-zero energy and utilizes technology such as solar photovoltaics and a solar- and hydronic-powered water heating system. 

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Verdier Upgrades Solar Eco-Camper

Verdier

Over a year ago, we mentioned Verdier Van & Camper’s Eco-Camper, the posh recreational throwback to VW’s Westfalia, and it looks like the Solar Power Eco-Camper has a new look.  Verdier now offers five different personalities of the award-winning vehicle: Woody, Geeky, Ebony, Blueberry, and Purity.  The eco-camper configuration is an add-on package available in any personality and entails solar panels, hybrid engine, Sun Tracker system, two gazebos, a second floor area, sliding door with integrated ladder, folding furniture, cargo storage, etc.  The price?  $129,000. 

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The Union Modern Solar-Powered Lofts

Theunion

This is The Union by architect and developer Jonathan Segal Architect.  The project gets its name from its prior life as the union hall for San Diego’s textile manufacturing business.  When the textile union moved away, the building fell into disrepair, and rather than demolish it, Jonathan Segal decided to adaptively reuse the structure to create sustainable live/work units and his own architectural office.  The Union now includes additional buildings that, in total, comprise 13 residential loft units, of which some are market-rate and some are affordable.  Also, the rooftop solar panels provide ~50% of the units’ energy needs.

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Green Trailer Maxes Out Sustainability

McCownGordon Construction Green Trailer

This is the McCownGordon Construction Green Trailer.  Pretty nice, right?!  It was designed to use a fraction of the energy typically used by jobsite trailers and still provides a modern user experience on the inside.

The interesting thing about this trailer is that it was designed using Autodesk Revit to get everything just right: the panels were placed at the best angle to capture energy and clear overpasses, the composting toilet was modeled to show exterior vents, and the interior was modeled to perfect the wood patterns and overall design.  Plus, according to Brad Hardin, BIM Director for the company, this jobsite trailer is positive energy!

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