This Week in Energy News – February 15, 2013

This week in Jetson Green Energy News, governments are helping citizens to become more energy efficient and reports have been released that quantify energy development efforts.

NEC Italia and Acea Spa to Develop Storage Systems For Rome Smart Grid Project

NEC Italia and Acea Spa to Develop Storage Systems For Rome Smart Grid Project

NEC has agreed to provide two lithium-ion battery energy storage systems as part of a smart grid project in the Rome metropolitan area.

U.S. Departments of Energy and Treasury Announce $150 Million Energy Credits

Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits will provide for manufacturing projects that are related to  clean energy and energy efficiency. The tax program aims to strengthen competitiveness, increase energy security, and create new jobs.

North American Energy Independence?

The United States has achieved number one status in natural gas production, which has increased by 27 percent in the last four years, thanks to advances in technology, such as horizontal drilling, that some fuel industry experts speculate could eventually lead to energy independence in North America.

About 40% of 2012 Wind Industry Installations Came Online in December

Based on figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Electric Generator Report, 59 new wind projects began commercial operation, for a total of 5,253 MW last December.

Global Photovoltaic Capacity Increased by 30 GW in 2012

The European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) released data that showed an increase in PV capacity by about 30 GB last year, while global solar power capacity exceeded 100 gigawatts for the first time.

EU Approves £600 Million for UK Energy Efficiency Program

The United Kingdom’s Green Deal program helps homeowners to invest in energy-efficient improvements by allowing loans to be repaid through energy bills.

Egypt May Look to Wind and Solar for Economic Sustainability

Citing several sources, Inspired Economist suggests that Egypt could focus on sustainable economic development. For instance, by 2014, 750 MW of wind power projects are slated to come online and a new solar thermal plant development has utility-scape potential.

2013 State of Green Business Report Released

The sixth annual edition of State of Green Business Report includes data on 1,600 companies worldwide and the U.S.-based S&P 500. Download it for free, and check out the Top Trends section to see projections on the world of sustainable business.

Online DOE Database Reports on Worldwide Ocean Energy Development

The US Department of Energy (DOE) launched Tethys, an online database that contains “results of environmental monitoring and research efforts on wave, tidal, and current energy development worldwide” that is expected to “help industry regulators and energy project developers deploy sustainable ocean energy projects in an environmentally responsible manner,” according to a DOE Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) news release.

London’s Hydrogen Fuel Network Expands

New fuel stations, a roll-out of a 700-bar delivery system, and upgrades to transport for the main hydrogen fuel station moves London closer to a fully-integrated hydrogen fuel network.

Read more: This Week in Energy News – February 15, 2013

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Prefab Fishers Island House Steps Up the Modern Modular to Luxury Vacation Living

Fisher Island Pre Fab House

Recently published by Resolution: 4 Architecture, this time lapse video shows how builders stacked thirteen prefabricated boxes to create this stunning six bedroom, five bathroom home in Fisher’s Island, New York.

For a total size of 4,469 square feet, the private vacation home resides on a wooded lot from which residents can gaze upon either side of Fishers Island, just off the coast of New London, Connecticut. Its UK-based inhabitants entertain family and friends here during holidays and summer months, sleeping dozens of guests.

The structure features a media room, a bunk room, two-car garage, guest suite, workshop.

Outdoor amenities include a screened porch, fireplace, shower, and  kitchen.

Environmentally friendly features include a solar photovoltaic system with solar hot water system, a green roof, grass pavers, and a 96% energy-efficient boiler.

Inside, you’ll find bamboo floors, maple cabinets, aluminum-clad wood windows with Low E insulated glass, Caesarstone countertops, and slate bathroom floors.

The exterior of the building is made of T&G cedar siding, Azek infill panels, IPE decking, and cement board panels.

Fisher Island Pre Fab House Night

With a design by Joseph Tanney and Robert Luntz of Resolution: 4 Architecture, the project architects for this home were Paul Coughlin and Brendan Miller, with manufacture by Simplex Industries and contracting by BD Remodeling & Restoration. Interior decoration and furniture was designed by David Bentheim.

Fisher Island Pre Fab House

 

Follow this link: Prefab Fishers Island House Steps Up the Modern Modular to Luxury Vacation Living

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Golden Gate Valley Library Reaches LEED Gold Status

Golden Gate Valley Library

When the Golden Gate Valley Library of San Francisco was renovating and updating to accommodate the Americans with Disabilities Act, the organization figured it was also time to green up the space and achieve LEED Silver for Commercial Interiors status. The building has since reached LEED Gold status.

Tom Eliot Fisch and Paulett Taggart Architects worked together on the project, performing a number of eco-friendly upgrades. Rather than adding a ramp or addition to the street-facing exterior, the team used a courtyard on the side of the building for a contemporary style, wheelchair-accessible glass and aluminum elevator.

The team also replaced windows with the most access to sunlight with high-performance glazing to reduce solar heat gain, and restored and cleaned the rest for added efficiency while maintaining the historical structure. They also added in a high efficiency mechanical system and energy efficient lighting to reduce energy use while improving comfort for visitors. Low flow faucets reduce water use, and low VOC paints and finishes improve air quality. Existing furniture was restored, and a photovoltaic rooftop system meets 25% of the energy demand.

To top it all off there is also an improved bike parking area, a new teen area, and improved accessibility for visitors with disabilities. The reservations, completed in 2011, have received several awards for its sustainable preservation of the building, originally built in 1918.

Related Articles on JetsonGreen.com:

  1. Affordable LEED Homes Open in San Jose
  2. LEED Gold Hall Built with 184 Modules
  3. LEED Platinum Condos at Primera Terra

Excerpt from: Golden Gate Valley Library Reaches LEED Gold Status

Kanga Room Systems Make the Perfect Office, Guest Room, or Studio Space

Whether your home is in need of a small studio space, office, or extra guest bedroom, Austin, Texas-based Kanga Room Systems is the perfect portable option. The modern, eco-friendly buildings are designed with portability in mind, and are custom-made to fit your existing home with bathroom, kitchenette, and multiple room options.

Prices for a Kanga Room System range from $7,150 to $15,500, with size options between 8’x10’ and 14’x24’. Each one comes with a treated skids foundation, EPDM roof membrane, galvanized fascia flashing, cedar accent siding, a metal door with full lite glass, and several other unique features made of quality materials.

The system is shipped right to your home from Texas as a kit, where you or a contractor can assemble it. Kanga uses eco-conscious, sustainable, and energy-efficient materials whenever possible, and they are always customizable for specific aesthetic or environmental needs.

Related Articles on JetsonGreen.com:

  1. Eco Cottages Offers Smart, Energy Efficient Cabins and Guest Homes
  2. Pure Salvage Tiny House for Living
  3. Sett is a Tiny, Green, Modular Studio

Read the original post: Kanga Room Systems Make the Perfect Office, Guest Room, or Studio Space

Seadrift Residence is a Zero-Energy Home With Natural, Stylish Features

Seadrift Home

This Seadrift Residence home by CCS Architecture in San Francisco may not look out of the ordinary for a modern lakehouse, but this sleek and stylish 1,900 square foot home is as environmentally friendly as it is stylish.

The middle of the living space consists of a rotating fire orb that is designed to distribute warmth equally throughout the room. The generous amount of wood throughout the home gives a natural, inviting look while providing plenty of natural insulation.

Seadrift Home Internal

Some of the environmental benefits of this home include the photovoltaic roof that provides solar energy, smart heating technology that reduces energy consumption, efficient lighting fixtures that are still aesthetically pleasing, and an innovative low-flow water management system. All of these features turn the Seadrift Residence into a zero-energy home that does not sacrifice the environment for style.

For more photos and information on the architects of this beautiful beach home in Stinson Beach, California, visit CSS-Architecture.com.

Seadrift Home External

Seadrift Home Internal

Related Articles on JetsonGreen.com:

  1. Celo Residence Connects with Nature
  2. Vivint Upgrades Home Energy Offering
  3. Stylish Greenfab Home Unveiled in Seattle

See more here: Seadrift Residence is a Zero-Energy Home With Natural, Stylish Features

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Efficient Greenway Townhouses in Oregon

These are Greenway Townhouses designed by Arbor South Architecture and built by Arbor South Construction (the same group behind The Sage, a high-scoring LEED Platinum project in Eugene). Construction just barely finished, and Arbor South will now focus on renting the 11 units of about 950 square feet each. Greenway Townhouses have been certified Earth Advantage Platinum, according to Bill Randall, principal at Arbor South, and will target LEED Gold certification.

Here’s a list of some of the “green” features in these eco-friendly townhomes:

  • Previously-developed site;
  • Existing bike path through the site to the river path system;
  • Transit bus stop right in front and a Walk Score of 77;
  • High fly ash content concrete and locally-sourced lumber;
  • LED parking lot lighting;
  • EcoBatt used for all of the batt insulation;
  • Exterior walls closed cell “flash” for air sealing and insulation with blown-in-blanket system in the rest of the wall cavity;
  • Blown-in-blanket in common fire walls and extra insulation throughout;
  • Rain garden captures and keeps all of the rainwater from the roofs and parking lot for percolation back into the soil;
  • Landscaping needs no irrigation once established;
  • Energy Star appliances (refrigerator, dishwasher, washer);
  • High efficiency package terminal heat pump for heating and air conditioning;
  • Durable finishes with laminate cabinets, plaster walls, and commercial grade carpet;
  • Energy Star/CFL/LED lighting (total lighting wattage in each home is under 300 watts);
  • WaterSense faucets/low flow and dual flush toilets;
  • Zero VOC paint; and
  • A small Panasonic Whisper-Quiet bath fan running a continuous 30 cfm with an occupancy sensor to kick it up to 80 cfm for 20 minutes when bath is occupied (for fresh air ventilation without the expense of a ducted HRV).

Randall told Jetson Green in an email that blower door tests came in between 2.1 and 2.6 air changes (Energy Star has to be 4.0 or less). These figures aren’t quite as strong as, for example, Passive House, but dwellers will certainly benefit with energy savings from a higher performing enclosure.

Greenway Townhouses are located at 785 River Road in Eugene, Oregon. The homes have a two-bedroom, townhouse style and each bedroom has its own vanity and alcove with a shared toilet and shower. There’s also a half-bath downstairs with a full-size washer and dryer in each home. Rent starts at $975 per month.

[+] More about Greenway Townhouses located in Eugene, Oregon.

Credits: Michael Dean Photography.

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  1. Not So Big Timber Frame Home in Oregon
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Read more: Efficient Greenway Townhouses in Oregon

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Deltec Homes Intros The Solar Homestead

The Solar Homestead by Appalachian State University was the People’s Choice winner in the Solar Decathlon 2011, and now virtually anyone in the world can get the same home from North Carolina-based Deltec Homes.  Deltec, a pioneer of round prefab, will build and ship the self-sustaining home, and send royalties from their sales back to the university located in Boone.  This is apparently “the first time a Decathlon winner is being made available to the consumer,” according to Deltec Homes.

A prominent feature of the Homestead is the canopy.  Deltec provides an optional solar canopy with translucent, bi-facial solar panels or a tongue-and-groove finish (which can be retrofitted with solar in the future).

The Solar Homestead has a main house of 1,032 square feet with two bedrooms and one bathroom.  With the optional Flex OM outbuilding module, which can include a full- or half-bath with a bedroom or office, the Homestead grows 135 square feet.  Deltec also offers the Storage OMs that were in the Decathlon home.

Deltec said their new offering is designed to be a “net-zero” home with the combination of a highly efficient building enclosure and solar technology.  The construct includes fiber-cement siding, super-insulated double-stud walls, triple-glazed windows, a solar hot water kit, fresh air exchange system, and a climate-specific efficient heating and cooling system.

The company can ship a panelized building system package nationally or finish a turnkey house within about 60 miles of Ashville, North Carolina.  I’ve asked Deltec about potential pricing for both options and will update this article when I learn more.

[+] More about the panelized Solar Homestead by Deltec Homes.

Credits: Deltec Homes.

Related Articles on JetsonGreen.com:

  1. The People’s Choice Award – #SD2011
  2. Stunning Net-Zero Energy Homes of 2011
  3. Solar Decathlon Takes Talents to the OC

Original post: Deltec Homes Intros The Solar Homestead

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Toto Launches Ultra High Efficiency Toilet

Last April, I mentioned the introduction of 1G by Toto USA and now have more detail.  Toto just launched Drake II 1G throughout North America at the MSRP of $580.  To be clear, this isn’t like the dual-flush Maris or others you may have seen elsewhere.  The two-piece, ADA-compliant, WaterSense-compliant toilet uses a mere 1.0 gallons with each flush using two jets and a Double Cyclone system to clear waste.  There is no pressure assist in the Drake II 1G; it’s a gravity-fed flushing system with a “quiet flush every time.

[+] Visit Toto USA to find a local dealer of the new Drake II 1G.

Credits: Toto USA.

Related Articles on JetsonGreen.com:

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Read the original post: Toto Launches Ultra High Efficiency Toilet

New Roof-Attic Design Improves Efficiency

The media relations group for Oak Ridge National Laboratory just released more information about recent field tests by ORNL of a new roof and attic system that keeps homes cool in the summer and prevents heat loss in the winter.  The system is explained in the graphic embedded above (click to expand).  In addition, I’ve included some graphics below to illustrate more of what the system looks like and how it saves energy.

The system employs a passive ventilation strategy that is expected to cost about $2,000 for a retrofit situation with savings of roughly $100 per year, yielding a payback of about 20 years.

Foil covered polystyrene insulation (with the ventilation gap) is installed over and between rafters for new construction or on top of an existing shingle system in a retrofit.  With the new roof assembly, air moves from the underbelly of the attic into an inclined air space above the roof, according to an ORNL statement, so that “heat that would have gone into the house is carried up and out,” said Bill Miller of ORNL’s Building Envelope Group.

In the summer, the temperature of the attic is reduced as a result of the roof detailing and, according to observations by ORNL, the thermal load of the home is thereby reduced. Further, ORNL found improved efficiencies even if the attic floor is insufficiently insulated.

The research and findings are discussed in more detail in a paper, “Prototype Roof Deck Designed to Self-Regulate Deck Temperature and Reduce Heat Transfer,” published by the National Roofing Contractors Association.  A PowerPoint of the background research can be found here [PDF].

[+] More about this roof-attic system tested by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

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Original post: New Roof-Attic Design Improves Efficiency

Warm Modern Prefab by Marmol Radziner

I mentioned the Lindal Architects Collaborative in connection with the Taliesin Mod.Fab, but here’s another situation where the LAC comes into play. As background, LAC matches architects with the Lindal building system and dealer network, and architects get a new platform for their home designs through the Collaborative.

Marmol Radziner, one of the early innovators of prefab known for modern steel and glass homes, is involved with Lindal Architects Collaborative. In fact, if you want a warm, modern post and beam home from Marmol Radziner, Lindal is where to get it. The rendering above is one of their newest designs available through the LAC.

According to Leo Marmol: “The Lindal building system gives the customer the flexibility to adapt a house to their needs, while maintaining the integrity of our designs. The 67-year old structural system also easily allows us to implement the indoor-outdoor living connection that is prominent in our design philosophy.

[+] More about Marmol Radziner designs from Lindal.

Related Articles on JetsonGreen.com:

  1. Luxe Desert Prefab Now Available in Moab
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View original post here: Warm Modern Prefab by Marmol Radziner

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