Saturday, July 4, 2009

Red, White, Blue….and Green

Stories abound these days that Green is taking a hit because of the economy. The rationale goes that companies are pulling back on sustainability investments and that lost momentum represents future risk to the movement. But it is not all bad news. Here are a few current stories that demonstrate the growing evolution of the science and creativity of Green, in large, small and sometimes humorous ways.

Sears Tower to Receive “Green” Retrofit: A major overhaul of the venerable building’s energy systems, including production of its own power.

Desert Home Uses Passive Ventilation: A sensible solution to desert heat. Not for everyone, but then neither is the desert.

Spaceport America Groundbreaking: OK, how does a venture as “out there” as a space port make it to a Green posting? Hey, why not? Gotta admit that Richard Branson is putting his bucks where his heart is….and how could it be anywhere but New Mexico?

Looking for a home in the hills? The Marmol Radziner Prefab folks are at it again with the installation of a LEED qualified customized prefab home in the Hollywood Hills overlooking Los Angeles.

What if those Ivy covered walls produced electricity? Imagine what you could do with this at Wrigley Field!

A shipping container home? Why not? Over 700,000 containers are abandoned every year in the U.S. You say industrial blight? IC Green says “building material.”

Solar roofing shingles could solve the appearance issue: We’ve long had solar panels for roofs but let’s face it, in a residential installation they aren’t always aesthetically desirable. Here is a well known technology that may be re-purposed to solve the problem.

And for the speed freaks among us: How to reconcile the need for speed with environmental sensitivity? Thank goodness someone is working on it, and thank goodness it will someday be affordable. C’mon you early adopters, start adopting!

A car with photovoltaic skin and accumulators: Koenigsegg’s Quant promises 0-60 in 5.2 and a 170 mph top end. All driven by power it collects on its skin. I’m in!

There you go. Now go out and light some fireworks….green ones of course!

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