This home isn’t necessarily modern, but it has all the modern conveniences one could ask for: solar panels, small wind, radiant floor heating, air filtration system, and a trombe wall, etc. Kent and Kathy Lawrence’s custom country home, which was completed in 2005, ended up costing roughly $300 psf. The wind turbine alone came in at a cool $37,100 (producing 13,000 kwh/year), and that’s without tax subsidies. And unlike many custom homes that tend to explore new boundaries of profusion, this home is only 2,200 sf. Not bad. But the Lawrence’s weren’t just concerned with smart design and energy efficiency. Currently, they’re removing invasive plant species and planting native flowers, just trying to be gentle stewards of the land they inhabit. I think this is a rather picturesque setting for a home … much the American Dream.
Here’s a little shout out for a brand spanking new website called ChooseRenewables.com. I like the website because it empowers individuals with facts necessary to live in a more sustainable way. Included below are images of my experiment with CR, but this is all specific to MY HOME ADDRESS. Every location is different, so feel free to plug in your address and see what it provides.
In the heart of Seattle, the design professionals at Mithun see a farm rising vertically into the sky. Although it may never be built, the Center for Urban Agriculture (CUA) won “Best of Show” in the Cascadia Region Green Building Council’s Living Building Challenge. Vertically constructed on a .72 acre site, the off-grid building is designed to be completely energy and water sufficient and will include 318 affordable apartments (studio – 2 bedroom). And on top of that, there will be greenhouses, rooftop gardens, a chicken farm, and fields for growing vegetables and grains.
Twenty teams have been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to compete in the 2007 Solar Decathlon, which takes place in Washington D.C. from October 12-20, 2007. As part of the competition, teams are challenged to design, build, and operate the most attractive, energy-efficient solar-powered home. Using only energy from the sun and with an eye towards modern design, teams meticulously choose the products and materials that go into their home. Interestingly, at least five teams, including MIT, UT-Austin, U. of Maryland, U. of Cincinnati, and Lawrence Technological University, are using the Warmboard Radiant Subfloor system. I’ve noticed the increasing use of Warmboard in several green projects, so I thought I would do a small post on the subject.
Solar Cynergy has developed a self-contained, in ground, solar-powered LED light that can be used in residential, commercial, and city applications. Eliminating the need for batteries, these solar LED lights use Nichia condenser technology to provide blue, green, white, halogen white, and red lighting. With the simple design of having everything built in, there’s no need for complicated wiring, and they’re strong enough to withstand the pressure of a tank. As you can see, the lights are embedded into the ground to create various design and lighting effects. Initially a Japanese innovation, Solar Cynergy introduced the lights at Lightfair International 2007, and business has taken off! I can imagine that the opportunities are endless with this kind of technology. More images below.
I sat on this post for a while trying to find up-to-date information on its status but was unable to locate anything. This is a storage facility planned for the east bank of the Willamette River. Typical storage facilities can take up to 30 acres, but this one, designed for house boats, recreational vehicles, and storage pods, is going to be maxed out on 3 acres. The taller tower rises 22 stories into the sky and uses a giant mechanical arm capable of lifting 40,000 lbs. Interestingly, the project is planning construction to LEED Platinum standards and will include more than 175,000 sf of solar panels (making it the largest solar facility in the northwest). With the estimated project costs at about $40 M, Portland City Storage also plans to rehabilitate the riverfront property adjacent to the towers.