Yesterday, Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) unveiled its new line of DOW POWERHOUSE Solar Shingle. The Solar Shingle was designed to be integrated into rooftops with standard asphalt shingle materials. Dow expects the shingle systems to be available in limited quantities by mid-2010 and more widely available in 2011. And although the company says the system will provide a low-cost solar option for homeowners, we have not received any specific pricing details at this time (see below).
Green building certification is an interesting phenomenon. It’s meant to convey a message about the building’s level of “green” or “sustainability,” but the message is only as strong as the system that creates it. If you push beyond that message, you might ask: how many of these certified buildings are, say, positive energy? That’s the goal of Elithis Tower recently opened in Dijon, France. It has 1,600 sensors that examine energy and emissions. This information is then displayed on a special public sign in full transparency for everyone to see. The sign is both dynamic and clear.
Yes, it has a Wilson bi-fold garage door. Yes, it has translucent photovoltaic panels that also illuminate the interior workspace. Yes, it's heated and cooled by a geothermal system. And yes, it's pretty much the most amazing landscape storage shed around. Designed by Gray Organschi Architecture, this storage barn — more appropriately a storage rack that doubles as an 800 square-foot building — is the central hub for a landscape business in Washington, Connecticut.