This’ll blow your hair back! Solar Decathlon 2011

Its Solar Decathlon time again ! 

I love this annual competition.  Crazy ideas – experimental – cutting edge – out of the box (as they say!) – weird – fun – they say if you want to learn and be creative – you should take things apart – turn them upside down – backwards – shatter ideas and then put it all together.  Well that’s what they do here.  Watch all 20 of the competitors entries and I guarantee you will get an education.  Watch with an open mind and remember – we are looking for new stuff here!

Press play to watch the SCI-Arc video.  Right in my  back yard – SCI-Arc is cutting edge and a little bit Hollywood too!

Solar Decathlon Teams

The 20 university-led teams that design, build, and operate the competition’s solar-powered houses are the heart of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. Learn more about each of these teams competing in Solar Decathlon 2011: Continue reading “This’ll blow your hair back! Solar Decathlon 2011”

Show Us Your Projects ! – Bio Diverse Farm – Super Green Building

This amazing project caught my eye !  Just check out the spec’s … containers – green houses – graywater – gardens – solar – Bert calls this the “Bio Diverse Farm” – check it out

Click on photos to enlarge

Send us your projects!


Hi Otis

This Design project might interest you. The main points are:


Southern Gulf Islands, British Columbia

2 acre plot, gentle slope to SE

Winters Wet, Summer very dry limited ground water

Climatic zone 6-8

Continue reading “Show Us Your Projects ! – Bio Diverse Farm – Super Green Building”

In Search of the Ultimate Green Home – Paqtagonia- Ventura Today


THE California Central Coast Chapter of the U.S. GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL

Presents:  Otis Bradley
In Search of the Ultimate Green Home

Custom home builder Otis Bradley of the Otis Bradley Company and will be leading an interactive dialogue about the path to “net-zero” homes at the monthly meeting of the U.S. Green Building Council C4 Chapter on Monday, January 24th at 5:30pm.  This meeting is open to the public and is held in the Patagonia Fire House at 280 W. Main Street, Ventura.  Infusing his inquisitiveness, vast industry knowledge, and a healthy sense of humor, and using the design and construction of his own recently completed home as a jumping off point, Otis will guide the group through an interactive dialogue about the future of homebuilding in our new “Green” reality.  Be prepared for an offbeat and spirited exchange of ideas.

Otis currently owns and operates Otis Bradley Company, Inc.,, a California Custom Home building business.  Otis also runs webinars about Green construction at, where he blogs regularly about a variety of green topics.

The presentation takes place at the Patagonia Firehouse Building, 280 W. Main Street in downtown Ventura on Monday, January 24th, 2010 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.   The monthly meetings are free and open to the public.

Our next presentation will be on Monday, February 28th.

For more information, please call (805) 218-2254, or visit the C4 website at 


PS For those of you that can’t make it watch for the replay to be posted here on     

Bau Biology – how to create healthy, healing homes and workplaces, free of air, water and electromagnetic pollutants

Ever wonder how a Microwave oven works?  My wife hates them and we don’t have one and its probably a good idea.  But Bau Biologists will tell you more about electromagnetic energy.  Pretty interesting …check it out.

The following information is directly from the Bau Biology web site.

CLICK HERE to Find out more about Bau Biology

Our Mission:

To inform and guide the general public and working professionals about how to create healthy, healing homes and workplaces, free of air, water and electromagnetic pollutants. To lead people from all walks of life to an understanding of the vital and complex relationship between the natural and built environments, as a means to merge these two complementary environments into greater harmony. Continue reading “Bau Biology – how to create healthy, healing homes and workplaces, free of air, water and electromagnetic pollutants”

Thick Walls – Green Homes – Oregon

Do you know about Passive House or Passivhaus as they say in Germany?  They use wood frame walls – sometimes almost 12 inches thick!  I only heard about Passivhaus a couple of years ago but recently see more and more projects following this philosophy.   Apparently the founder of these ideas started in the USA during the 70’s solar revolution and took the ideas back to Germany and developed super low energy consuming homes.

            Continue reading “Thick Walls – Green Homes – Oregon”

Water – Two Button Toilets

You ‘ve heard me talk about this before – a fantastic way to save water – use a two button toilet.  A terrific conversation piece too.

Here’s the down and dirty….the toilet is the biggest water user in your house. Do this experiment: for one day count the number of times you flush – carefully notating pee versus poop. That’s right! Now multiply the pee number (probably 70% of the time) times 0.8 gallons – times the number of people in your house -times 365 days a year and you will find out you’ve saved a huge amount of water!

And – surprise surprise – we’ve come to find out button one works almost all the time!

I predict these toilets will be added to the building code any day now.

We’ve been using the Toto Aquia model for some time with great results – the Australian Company Caroma may have been the first to develop this technology.  At the last NAHB Builder show – Kohler must have had 15 new two button models.

Check out the video…

Infared Technology Breakthrough for Home Performance

The performance inspection of homes is becoming  part of the building process.   Infared cameras can see right through buildings detecting temperature differentials which show problemsin the thermal envelope.  Combined with blower door tests – pressurizing a house – an inspector can quickly and accurately assess any compromizing issues.

This 20 minute video shows an energy inspection.   This is particularly useful for existing homes but the technology will be used for all new homes as well.

Continue reading “Infared Technology Breakthrough for Home Performance”

Rain Water Harvesting – Green Building

Australia has water issues and water conservation is the norm.   

Australia is the driest inhabited continent on earth – but per capita one of the world’s largest consumers of water. Taking into account all uses of fresh water – including irrigation of crops – we use more than 1 million litres (724 G per day) of water per capita per year.

BushmanUSA is a company of Austrailian origination has packaged a simple, customizable system for storing your rain water.

The system takes the first flow off the roof and collects it in a pipe – holding the dirtiest water – once the pipe fills up (see photo) a valve automatically closes and diverts the water into the holding tank.  Tanks come in different sizes and with options for pumps.  A couple years ago you couldn’t find anything like this.

Green Building for Supercomputers

I know this is a commercial project and not a green home but this is pretty cool.  Check out how they handle the hot and cold air flow and use thermagraphic cameras to fine tune their operations.  Imagine if we put some of this kind of analysis in our green home design.