On a small and skinny lot wedged behind its historic city hall, Santa Monica is trying to accomplish something that has never been done before in California. By 2020, the city hopes to construct a 50,000-square-foot city services building that will meet the requirements of the International Living Future Institute’s “Living Building Challenge” — the most stringent environmental building standard in the world. — latimes.com
"Should the city succeed it will prove that net-zero water is possible in our arid climate, even in a drought — and that if we’re serious about staving off the effects of drought and climate change, we should settle for no less. It will also familiarize code officials with new innovations...
While solar panels have been subsidized in many cities for a while now, the blocky, rectangular panels aren’t heavily implemented in part because they tend to appear as, well, an addition, rather than a constitutive element of home design. That's about to change, as Tesla has announced a...
What do you do with a sad, funky, abandoned trolley terminus? Well, if it's the former Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal under Delancey Street in New York City, you make the world's first underground park by virtue of adding some mirrors, skylights, and vegetation. One acre in size, the freshly...
The solar power industry is about to get a big boost in San Francisco. On April 19, the city’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to become the first major US metropolitan area requiring that new buildings install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on their roofs.
California already mandates that new buildings with 10 floors or less designate at least 15% of their rooftop area (pdf, p8) as being ready for solar panel installation. — Quartz
"The city of San Francisco now requires that builders actually install solar panels in these areas (at a minimum) starting in 2017. Larger buildings are exempt for now."Curious about other efforts to make American cities reduce their carbon footprint through harvesting solar energy?...
Renewable energy like solar and wind is booming across the country as the costs of production have come down. But the sun doesn't always shine, and the wind doesn't blow when we need it to. [...]
A company called SolarReserve may have found a solution: It built a large solar plant in the Nevada desert that can store heat from the sun and generate electricity for up to 10 hours even after sundown. — npr.org
Related stories in the Archinect news:Denver selected to host the 2017 Solar DecathlonA river of solar power: a scheme for the Tijuana riverHow this new gigafactory may popularize residential solar power technology
When production begins, SolarCity, already the leading installer of residential solar panels in the [U.S.] will become a vertically integrated manufacturer and provider...At a time when conventional silicon-based solar panels from China have never been cheaper, investing in a new type of solar technology is a risky undertaking. However, the potential benefits are huge. The new factory...could transform both SolarCity’s business...and the economics of residential solar power. — MIT Technology Review
The MIT Technology Review profiles the upcoming Buffalo-based SolarCity factory and their ambitious plans that could potentially make solar power technology more widely available to consumers.More news about alternative energy:Cloud-harvesting skyscraper: renderings of proposed new sustainable...
Need some ideas for designing a solar home or to make your space a little greener? "A Place in the Sun: Green Living and the Solar Home" could be a helpful guide -- and Archinect is giving away 5 copies to our readers.Released this past April, the 228-page hardcover book by green-living writer and...
SolarCity, the Silicon Valley solar installer, has quietly begun to offer some homeowners a lithium-ion battery pack made by electric carmaker Tesla to store electricity generated by their rooftop photovoltaic arrays. Stem, another Silicon Valley company, will sell or lease a $100,000, 54-kilowatt-hour battery pack to businesses so they can arbitrage the grid by storing electricity when rates are cheap and then using that energy when they’re high. — qz.com
Researchers at the Stanford School of Engineering have succeeded in developing the world’s first peel-and-stick thin-film solar cells.
The idea will allow the cells to be applied to almost any surface, with successful tests having been conducted on paper, plastic and window glass. This opens up significant opportunities for alternative applications for solar technology, previously limited by traditional solar cells, which must be mounted on stiff, often heavy, fixed panels. — DesignBuild Source
Big news out of Madrid: Team Rhône-Alpes’ Canopea House has won the 2012 Solar Decathlon Europe! At the forefront of the competition since winning the Architecture and Operations prizes, this compact home is topped with a 10,7 kW array of photovoltaic panels that produce enough energy for both floors and a mini EV. — Inhabitat
Permits issued by Catawba County show that the Cupertino, Calif., company has been approved to reshape the slope of some of the 171 acres of vacant land it owns on Startown Road, opposite the data center, in preparation of building a solar farm. — charlotteobserver.com
Google, the investor in this case, will technically own the solar panels, while the maintenance and upkeep responsibility of the solar panels stays with the installer and Clean Power Finance. The homeowners, who are essentially giving roof space in exchange for a chance to buy solar-generated electricity, will pay a monthly fee. Google's return on investment comes via the electricity that is generated by the solar panels and sold to customers. — news.cnet.com
Swiss design firm RAFAA has shared with us their entry to the invited competition for Ivanpah, a 392-megawatt solar thermal power facility currently being built by BrightSource Energy Inc in the Californian Mojave Desert. The project - which counts NRG Solar, Google and BrightSource as equity investors - is currently the largest solar plant under construction in the world. — bustler.net
Diawa Lease just sent Inhabitat the first photos of their new transforming EDV-1 shelter, which can be set on any terrain, doubles in size with the flick of a switch, and can sustain itself without any outside resources for up to a month by catching and reusing water and generating electricity with a huge built-in solar array. —
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