I was noodling some recent journalist potshots about headlines for “the greenest …” when I landed on this video piece from the Nightly News. NBC’s Kiko Itasaki wonders if this home in Unst, one of the northern Shetland Islands of Scotland, is the greenest in the world. Everyone knows the question has no answer, but I think Michael and Dorothy Rea have accomplished something worth noticing that’s for sure.
Southwest Windpower, maker of the small-wind turbine Skystream, just announced a refreshed Whisper line of turbines for battery-charging applications including off-grid residential homes. The Whisper 100 (7′ diameter) has the potential to generate up to 100 kWh per month at 12 mph; the Whisper 200 (9′ diameter) has the potential to generate up to 200 kWh per month at 12 mph; and the Whisper 500 (15′ diameter) has the potential to generate up to 538 kWh per month at 12 mph.
This is a solar-powered shipping container house in Nederland, Colorado. It was designed by Studio H:T and completed in 2010 with two shipping containers that straddle a social and open central area with the kitchen, living room, and a loft, according to ArchDaily. Studio H:T designed to award-winning home to be off-grid with a combination of solar orientation, passive cooling, a green roof, pellet-stove heating, and solar PV.
Cece Reinhardt and Brenda Daugherty decided to renovate a 2003 Airstream Safari with eco-friendly materials and convert their used diesel truck to a veggie oil machine to get “On the Green Road” in style. They enlisted sponsors and finished the conversion and renovation. They also embarked on a mission to get rid of everything that they don’t need or use, and will show people how they’re living off the grid.
There’s some interesting history to this net-zero energy home in Lenado, Colorado. Apparently, a “cranky,” gun-totting squatter named Jack Hogue, or “Lumber Jack,” built a cabin and bathhouse near the top of Woody Creek and took title by adverse possession in the 1990s, after 17 years. Branden Cohen and Deva Shantay of True Nature Healing Arts bought the place from Lumber Jack and improved it, but at 8,650 feet in elevation, it turns out they needed, among other things, a bathroom *in* the home, not out.
This sturdy steel cabin is off-grid, off-pipe, and self-sufficient, making it an interesting case study of sustainability and coastal design. The home was completed just over a year ago on Cusabo Island in South Carolina — an impressive feat given the remote site accessible only by boat. The owner was able to take advantage of prefab construction and had the parts flown in by helicopter (see below).