Solar Decathlon 2013 – Orange County Great Park

Flux Home University of Southern California USC

CLICK HERE   See the Flux House in Ojai **** an internationally, renowned, architect moves the 2013 Solar Decathlon Flux Home to Ojai, CA

The Solar Decathlon  is a very cool event – a college competition to build solar homes.  Usually in Washington, DC – last year the 2013 Solar Decathlon exhibit was in Orange County, California for the first time.  Although I follow the event every year – this year I went to see the houses.

They say architects are at their best when they are old – experienced.  This truth exists but there is something really fun, fresh and appealing about these college students taking on the task of building a home – an efficient and new style of home.

  • lots of shed roofs
  • passive solar design using shading
  • open and flexible plans
  • solar systems


The Decathlon was held at the former El Toro  Marine Air Base – which is being transformed into “Great Park” – at 4700 acre real estate development – CLICK HERE for more info

A runway of cool houses …

Continue reading “Solar Decathlon 2013 – Orange County Great Park”

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”

Portland – the Greenest City Ever???

The Portland (and Hood River) Green Building Tours will be the subject of our next Green Building Sessions….

I love Portland!   Here for the Green Building Tour, I checked out the city the night before.   An amazing energy exists here.  The bumper sticker says “Keep Portland Weird.”   My cousin, who lives here, says too many people from California and the mid west have been moving here and trying to “normalize” things.

My friend Joe poses with Portland Superheros ! Continue reading “Portland – the Greenest City Ever???”

Green Building Conference – NAHB

Just back from a whirlwind trip to Raleigh, NC for the annual National Association of Home Builders – Green Conference

This fabulous bark sided house was part of the Green Building tour.  Bark siding – thick almost an inch – covered this well appointed custom home.  Note the nice broad overhangs.


I took the two day course  – Advanced Green Building: Building Science and attended the 3 day conference as well.   In a nutshell here’s what I learned …

Advanced Green Building: Building Science Course
Only a true building Geek can appreciate this – but its what makes quality buildings work !!!  In depth study of …

  • Heat movement in the thermal envelope
  • Water movement in buildings – bulk water, ice, vapor
  • Wall construction – all types
  • Vapor transmission – important issue as houses are better insulated and sealed
  • Climate zones and different building solutions
  • Building systems – walls, roofs, foundations
  • Mechanical systems Continue reading “Green Building Conference – NAHB”

Seattle Green Festival

If you’re in the Great North West – “check out the greenfestival”

I went to the Denver greenfestival last year.  This year the festivals are in Seattle, D.C., San Francisco and Chicago.  Less about building and more about the greater green picture – this is a chance to see some of the environmental leaders speak.

Green Building Conference!

Click Here For the Green Building Conference Website

The NAHB, the National Association of Homebuilders, is the leading organization for home builders in the United States.   Besides the annual convention, the NAHB provides all kinds of learning opportunities for builders and those interested in building.  The NAHB also has their own Green Building Program and hosts a huge Green Conference this year in Raleigh, NC on May 16 – 18