New Prefab Book of Note: Prefabulous World

As we have been writing a series about green prefab homes, the timing could be no better for the release of “Prefabulous World – Energy Efficient and Sustainable Homes Around the Globe,” a new book by Sheri Koones. As we have been writing a series about green prefab homes, the timing could be no better for the release of “Prefabulous World – Energy Efficient and Sustainable Homes Around the Globe,” a new book by Sheri Koones. Also, with Earth Day soon to…

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AIA Top 10 Housing Awards – Part II

AIA Top 10 Continues – Multifamily Housing & Specialized Housing The American Institute of Architects has selected 10 top new American homes for the 2014 Housing Awards. Yesterday we focused on single-family homes. Today the awards we feature the multifamily and specialized housing categories. These brief descriptions from AIA provide a view of the projects. Should you wish to learn more about these projects, click on the name of the project/firm name. Multifamily Living “The Multifamily Housing award recognizes outstanding…

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Rising Up; The Tallest Building Award Goes To…

As a lover of all things built, this article could become a story of a million pictures. There are books about it and every few years a new creation tops the list, literally.  I’m talking about the contest that is never ending, the drive to make the world’s tallest building. Before the 1800’s this title was given to many different cathedrals, reaching for the heavens. They ranged from London’s Old St. Paul’s Cathedral that climbed 149 meters to Ulm’s Minster…

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AIA Top 10 New Homes – Part I

The American Institute of Architects has selected 10 top new American homes for the 2014 Housing Awards. According to AIA, ” The AIA’s Housing Awards program, now in its 14th year, was established to recognize the best in housing design and promote the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit and a valuable national resource.” We will show five homes today, and five tomorrow. This palette of work is refreshing to behold. Thanks…

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Bulgarian Syngas Project Launches Construction

Karlovo Power Plant Will Turn Syngas Derived from Straw and Wood Wastes into Cleaner, More Reliable and Economic Electricity Bulgarian plans to use alternative fuels for generating sustainable electricity are now taking shape, following the start of construction of the Karlovo integrated gasified biomass power plant. When completed the plant will distribute cleaner electricity, using wood waste and straw, to some 2,000 homes. The landmark biomass-to-energy plant powered by GE’s Jenbacher gas engine technology is being built near Stroevo, in…

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Urban Gardeners May Be Unaware of How Best to Manage Soil Contaminants

With spring here and many urban homeowners and community gardeners itching to get out in the garden for planting, this information from Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future concerns possible soil contaminants. Understanding how to manage potential contaminants is valuable information to have available. Consuming foods grown in urban gardens may offer a variety of health benefits, but a lack of knowledge about the soil used for planting, could pose a health threat for both consumers and gardeners. In…

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Green Prefab Homes – Part II: BioSIPs

This is the second part of our series on green prefabricated homes, and this time we are writing about structurally integrated panels, SIPs and BioSIPs. Of most interest to use from a green and sustainability perspective are BioSIPs., as you will soon discover. Not enough people have an understanding of structural integrated panels (SIPs). Even fewer know about BioSIPs and their potential contribution to the green building industry. In an important white paper, Jacqueline McIntosh and Mark Harrington, at Victoria…

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Park Passive House / NK Architects

This is an eye-turning passive house design, thanks to the design from Marie Ljubojevic and Lauren McCunney at NK Architects. Of note, this home uses 75 to 80 percent less energy than homes built to current code standards. Read words from the architects below this photograph. From the architect. Park Passive is Seattle’s first certified Passive House and one of Washington State’s most energy efficient homes. The striking home in Seattle’s Madison Park neighborhood was designed by Marie Ljubojevic and Lauren…

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Perovskite Solar Cells Bring New Possibilities to Renewable Energy Industry

For those involved with solar energy development, Perovskite appears to be a remarkable new material that features two-way applications. Oxford researchers have discovered the material not only absorbs light, it emits it. Here is the recently released press information. Revolutionary solar cells double as lasers Commercial silicon-based solar cells – such as those seen on the roofs of houses across the country – operate at about 20% efficiency for converting the Sun’s rays into electrical energy. It’s taken over 20…

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Energy Innovation: SolarWindow Generates Electricity on Glass

We have received the following press information from New Energy Technologies. concerning an update on the unveiling of their largest SolarWindow prototype now manufactured. According to a New Energy spokesperson, the device is “something we like to call a vertical power generator on any glass surface.” Imagine the ability to look out at the yard, knowing the window you’re using is generating electricity. Renewable energy products like these can have a dramatic impact on commercial and residential energy designs. The…

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Green Prefab Homes: Introduction

Prefabricated homes, or kit homes, have been on the homebuilding scene for a long time. But now there are green prefabs. The basic ideas behind using a kit are fairly simple: Reduce design cost Reduce materials cost Eliminate the amount of construction waste Shortened construction time Design simplification Fixed costs, reduced surprises Add green or sustainable considerations to this formula and the idea sounds great, especially when it comes to minimizing waste that’s destined for a landfill. The majority of…

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Shipping Containers and Tree Houses: New Homes to Consider

Many buildings are being re-constructed of existing goods or concepts but in new ways. This article highlights some of those designs that are unique and smart in their creation beginning with the re-use of shipping containers. Articles on Hi Consumption show the 15 greatest shipping container homes on the planet and another article shows some truly innovative grown-up tree houses. The shipping container homes range in size, price and use. Some of them make up the construction of the whole…

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Orchid House’s Solar House Primer

If you have not heard about Orchid House in Taiwan, now is the time. Problem: Limited Land & Population Growth Orchid House writes: “We would like to talk about the possible development of our solar house to a new type of Taiwanese social housing system. At the present moment, Taiwan’s social housing situation is in sore need of improvement. As much of Taiwan’s land is not easily developed, most of the 23.31 million people of Taiwan live close to the…

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Norway’s Rocket Growth In Electric Car Sales (Chart)

Since we have published useful information today pertaining to electric cars, it seems appropriate to publish this chart from CleanTechnica. Thanks to Zachary Shahan. We are excited to witness the growth of the EV industry. Following up on the European EV market share charts I just shared a few moments ago, here’s one more great one, which came from a presentation by Francisco Carranza Sierra, Manager of Corporate Planning at Nissan Europe, at EVS27 (adding on to the…

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Waste Management Extraordinaire: Compost Islands In New York City

We already knew that New York City had huge problems with managing trash for some 8.3 million residents: there is little or nothing left nearby in the way of landfills for trash disposal. Present Architecture and the Green Loop project features a very appealing solution for managing part of the city’s trash, the organic kind. Create compost islands that can be used to grow food and produce anaerobic energy. This is not an easy or quick fix for this massive…

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