The Hague To Warm 4,000 Houses With Geothermal

by Justin Thomas •

The Dutch city of The Hague on Wednesday announced plans to use geothermal heating — water from a hot well deep underground — to warm 4,000 households and several industrial buildings, as part of a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Although the idea of using underground warmth to heat homes is not new, the plan would be the largest …

Solar Decathalon Preview

by Justin Thomas •

The Solar Decathlon is a competition held every four years in Washington D.C. The next Decathlon will be held in October, and twenty universities from around the world will be vying to build this year’s most efficient solar house. I’ll definitely be there to test the bedsprings and scrutinize the efficiency of the homes. But for those who can’t wait, …

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First 100% Solar Powered Community In California Opens

by Justin Thomas •

Solara is the first apartment community in California to be fully powered by the sun. The 56-unit apartment community, which opened yesterday, has some pretty impressive green features. The community has rooftop solar arrays that provide 140 kilowatts of power in total. The solar panels provide 100% power for the entire residential complex, and, on some days, provides surplus electricity …

The Greenest Skyscaper In The U.S.?

by Justin Thomas •

This skyscraper, One Bryant Park, is being constructed on 42nd street in New York. The tower will be hard to miss: it has a faceted glass facade that maximizes the daylight entering the building, while minimizing the heat. The 54-story building is designed to earn the LEED Platinum rating (the highest designation from the U.S. Green Building Council), thereby setting …

Off The Grid Homes

by Justin Thomas •

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.

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China’s Solar-Powered City: Rizhao

by Justin Thomas •

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 …

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Dockside Green: A “Closed-Loop” Green Community

by Justin Thomas •

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 …

Model Fuel-Cell Car Uses Solar Power

by Justin Thomas •

Here is a model race car that runs on hydrogen produced by a small solar cell. The car uses a real fuel cell and its own on-board hydrogen storage system. To create free hydrogen fuel, you just add water to the stations tank. Fueling is animated by a special blue light display. The car will operate for about 4 minutes …

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Zero-Energy House: It Uses Solar Power and Hydrogen

by Justin Thomas •

The New York Times just published a report on home that uses a unique system to generate hydrogen using solar power. The system was built by Mike Strizki, the 50-year-old director of Advanced Solar Products, a solar installation company, designed a backyard power plant that provides all the house’s energy, using a combination of solar panels and solar-generated hydrogen. Here’s …

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A Clever Rainwater Diverter

by Justin Thomas •

The average roof sheds 160 gallons of rainwater per hour during a moderate rain fall. Rainwater is better for your garden than tap water: it is at ambient temperature rather than being cold, and it is not chlorinated or treated with chemicals. The Garden Water Saver, is a device that attaches to your home’s downspout, and allows you to use …