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”

New Green Fireplace ! Rumford Style with glass door that works!

So you still want a real fireplace but can’t handle the trade off of what it does to your green building? 

We all love fireplaces but in most buildings they are a horrible energy suck !

  • Sucks out the conditioned air – even with the best glass doors (which are alway ugly)
  • Pollutes the environment
  • Leaky
  • Drafty

Well check this out !  I met the owner of the Canadian company Renaissance Fireplaces at my Builder 20 meeting in Quebec this fall.  

His revolutionary product uses a “guillotine door” (comforting sounding name eh?).  The door is counter balanced and slides up into the wall cavity – so it works with an air tight seal.

Interestingly – after considerable research – his labratory and scientists couldn’t improve on old Cout Rumfords famous design for a fireplace.  This means the fireplace lights easily, burns efficiently and throws heat into the room instead of up the chimney.

Check out their web site for videos and more information

http://www.renaissancefireplaces.com/en/photo-gallery

Shipping Container Homes

Shipping Containers – there’s millions of em – floating around – literally!   It is estimated that thousands of these things are lost at sea every year !

But these relatively cheap, strong, box structures are turning into some pretty cool homes.

Everything from the shack below …

To three story urban homes – this one is in Venice California …

To exotic homes like the “Tea House” in Korea ….

See our newest video all about Container Homes

 

CLICK HERE

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”

Oberlin College – Super Green School

LEED Green Building Rating System Silver Standard Adopted

In June of 2006 the Oberlin College Board of Trustees adopted a policy that all new construction and major renovations on campus have to be designed and built in accordance with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver standard. The adoption of this standard will significantly reduce the use of resources on campus in the future, as the built spaces will both be built more efficiently and perform more efficiently.

Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies

The Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies (AJLC) was one of the first and most innovative green buildings on a college campus. It helped launch the green building movement of the mid 1990’s and its innovative systems have since inspired green buildings in many other locations and settings. Continue reading “Oberlin College – Super Green School”

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!

Also CLICK  HERE FOR “THE CONTAINER VIDEO”

Hi Otis

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

Site.

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”