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Instant Built House, Rapid Deployment Shelter

IBH Opening 5/31/2007

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. :)

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Green Building Videos All in One Place!

Jetson Green Video Library

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.

Verdi Award-Winning Modular Landscape System

Verdi Lawnscaping System

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. 

Truro Residence, Zero Energy Modern Beach House

Truro Residence

Let’s talk about zero energy architecture and the Truro Residence.  It’s an amazing residence, currently under construction on one of Cape Cod’s beaches in Massachusetts.  Designed by Independence Energy Homes (IEH) and being constructed by Silvia and Silvia, the Truro Residence is meant to accommodate a large family and friends and still remain environmentally responsible.  When complete, it will have a tight building envelope, a geothermal heating system, solar photovoltaic system, tank-less water heaters, compact fluorescent lighting, and Energy Star appliances.  The home also will feature popular green materials such as bamboo flooring, blue-jean insulation, and natural stone.

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Do SUNSLATES Answer NIMBYs?

Single_sunslates_tile_2 This is going to be a short post, but I stumbled upon this building integrated solar technology called "SUNSLATES."  As you can see, they are low-profile roof tiles that fit on part of your roof.  To get an idea of the size, a system of 216 Sunslates will take up about 300 sq ft on your roof.  They’re installed in strings of 24, with each string having a home run cable that goes directly to the attic junction box.  That cable then gets spliced into the cable that runs to the inverter (although I’m not an electrician and can’t be 100% certain).  What’s the cost?  Roughly $13,000 per 100 sf of Sunslates, or $13.00 per watt, before any state or federal rebates.  Might be a little expensive, but I’m wondering if this kind of technology takes the "m" out of NIMBY.  Recall the recent news regarding Al Gore not being able to install solar panels on his roof?  Well, if the panels are integrated into the roof, does this shut the NIMBY up?  Via

Visualizing the Benefits of Clean Tech

Harnessing Wind

I have a couple clean tech articles I want to focus on.  It’s my personal belief that if we can learn and understand these technologies, we can apply and benefit from them.  The first article by BEST LIFE is called "5 Best Ways to Go Zero Energy at Home."  The article explains hot water panels, solar roofs, small wind turbines, water harvesters, and geothermal wells.  Importantly, for each technology, the generalized cost and potential benefits are explained.  If we know what the technology can do, and we can live with the price, why not talk to a professional about getting that technology installed on that next project?  That’s the way I see it. 

The other article is really an interactive web feature developed by National Geographic.  Titled "Harness the Power of Wind," the website takes you inside the workings of a wind turbine.  You can see what makes wind turbines work.  I gave it a look and figured out why wind turbines aren’t as effective here in the mountains of Salt Lake City, as opposed to locations near the ocean.  I also gave the "Try it Out" feature a try and maxed everything out.  With a 150 ft blade radius, 315 tower height, 49 mph wind speed, and 0 altitude, I’m producing 2,300 kw of power for roughly 759 homes.  I like those numbers. 



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