Off The Grid Homes

In Off the Grid Homes, architect Lori Ryker, examines a number of modern homes that are “off grid” — meaning they are self-sustaining in regards to electrical power and water use. Looking at each home, she highlights the techniques that were used to generate power and conserve it.

China’s Solar-Powered City: Rizhao

Rizhao City, which means City of Sunshine in Chinese, has a unique dedication to the sun. In Rizhao, 99% of households in the central districts use solar water heaters, and most traffic signals, street and park lights are powered by photovoltaic solar cells. In the suburbs and villages, more than 30% of households use solar water heaters, and over 6,000 …

Solar-Powered LED Road Signs

The Canadian company Carmanah has introduced some new solar-powered LED road signs. The lights are completely self-contained and require no external wiring. The signs can often pay for themselves in a couple of years, due to the amount of energy they save.

3 Megawatt Solar Roof: The Largest In Europe

PGIGrup, a company in Spain, is building the largest solar roof in Europe, for the Telefonica Business Park Complex in Madrid. The park will have over 16,600 photovoltaic solar panels that will run the length of the entire office complex on the building rooftops.

La Mancha Experiments With Solar Concentrators

The land of La Mancha, made famous by Quixote and his windmills, is a sun-drenched, windy part of Spain. Fittingly, the region is a veritable experimental hot-house for solar concentrator installations. Many start-up companies are at work devising techniques of focusing light on a solar cell, in order to reduce the amount of silicon or other material needed to produce …

Affordable Wind-Powered Housing In London

Architects Waugh Thistleton have won planning permission for this wind-powered residential building is to be built in London. The building is clad in glazed tiles and features a stunning tower of helical wind turbines at its spine (unfortunately not visible here). It will provide 66 private and affordable apartments, as well as 1,117 sq m of new office space.

Dockside Green: A “Closed-Loop” Green Community

The city of Victoria in British Columbia has many cutting-edge green buildings and developments in the works. One of the more ambitious projects is Dockside Green, which is an entire green community to be built along Victoria’s upper harbor. Comprised of 26 buildings on 15 acres, the project will include 1000 apartments, condos and townhouses, in addition to over half …

Electric Motorcycles

There’s increasing interest in electric motorcycles these days. Just like other electric vehicles, electric motorcycles don’t generate any emissions and are quiet. They and can go 30 miles on 5 cents worth of electricity. You may have seen the electric motorcycle featured in Popular Mechanics recently. Not long ago, the electric Killacycle set a world speed record, and another speedy …

Aquarius Tower To Integrate Wind Turbines, Solar Cells

The Aquarius Tower will have wind turbines and a solar roof cleverly incorporated into its design. It will become one of the few buildings in the U.S. to incorporate such energy generating features. The tower is a proposed 38-story, 240,000-square-foot condominium complex that will be located across from the Georgia Aquarium, in Atlanta. It will also feature a robotic parking …

New York’s Yellow Cabs To Be All Hybrids by 2012

New York City’s fleet of yellow cabs will go entirely hybrid within five years, and all its vehicles for hire will have to meet new emissions and mileage standards by next year, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The city said the increase in fuel efficiency will save taxi operators more than $10,000 per year. The hybrids that have been successfully …