75% More Efficient: Blue Ridge Parkway Destintation Center


The new Blue Ridge Parkway Destination Center has just been completed in North Carolina. It’s a beautifully designed building that is also highly efficient — it will use 75% less energy than a comparable conventional building. The building has Trombe walls: a very clever feature that will reduce the building’s heating load by 35% alone!

The Strida: An Efficient Short-Trip Bike

Several readers have noted that we neglected to mention the Strida folding bike in our folding bike round-up. The Strida is a unique bike designed to take a commuter a few miles to the train or bus. It has an extremely quick folding action: it takes about seven seconds to fold one up. Here’s a video of the folding action:

Energy Efficient iPod Speakers: The Vers 2X

I’ve been testing the Vers 2x iPod speaker system. This system is one of the most energy efficient and sustainable products I’ve come across. The casing is crafted out of wood (either cherry, bamboo or walnut). The wood comes only from plantation forests, and each speaker system is hand-finished. This is a refreshing change from the usual dull plastic that …

Windows That Double As Solar Panels

MIT researchers have announced that they have created “organic solar concentrators” that could make windows become powerful solar panels in as little as three years. The concentrator is mixture of two or more dyes painted onto a pane of glass or plastic. The dyes absorb light across a range of wavelengths, re-emit it at a different wavelength and transport it …