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Energy Efficient Upgrades That Pay For Themselves

Home improvement can pay for itself, and even put cash back in your pocket – if you’re putting your money in the right places.  Renovations that increase your home’s energy efficiency aren’t just nice for the environment, they can be economical as well.  The folks at One Block Off The Grid offer a great guide to help you sort out …

Can An “Earthscraper” Provide Efficient Urban Living?

Mexico City is a sprawling city with nearly 9 million residents, and some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the world.  So how could developers possibly squeeze a 65-story structure into the middle of the city’s historic district?  Instead of building upwards, a newly proposed design calls for building down into the ground, creating the world’s first “earthscraper”.

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Stunning Vertical Forest Skyscraper By Stefano Boeri’s

Urban living requires efficient use of space, but it can be a very environmentally-friendly lifestyle:  city residents generally live in small homes with access to walkable neighborhoods and public transportation.  One common downside is a lack of green space, but architect Stefano Boeri aims to change all that with his “Bosco Verticale” concept.  Italian for “vertical forest”, his project was …

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NASA Sustainability Base Showcases High-Tech, Eco Friendly Design

NASA’s space expertise means it’s virtually unmatched when it comes to creating efficient and sustainable environments for humans to live and work, and the innovative new office facility at their Ames Research Center near San Francisco is a showcase of intelligent and environmentally friendly design.  Designed by William McDonough + Partners, the Sustainability Base draws on the latest in green …

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Scandanavia’s Largest Hotel: Stunning Architecture, Eco-Friendly Design

Denmark’s newly opened Bella Sky Comwell Hotel is the largest hotel in Scandanavia, but its size is outshined by its unique, environmentally friendly design and architecture.  Located in Copenhagen’s leafy Ørestaden district, the hotel creates a striking impression both inside and out.

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Energy Efficient House In Mojave Desert Built With Shipping Containers

Sitting near Joshua Tree, California in the Mojave Desert is an energy efficient new home and studio built by architect Walter Scott Perry of ecotechdesign out of six re-purposed steel shipping containers. Also known as the Tim Palen Studio at Shadow Mountain, the 2,300 square foot home is the first permitted shipping container house to be built in the Mojave …

Copenhagen Waste-To-Energy Plant Will Multi-Function As Ski Slope

Copenhagen residents will soon be able hit the slopes, not on a ski mountain, but on top of a waste-to-energy plant. Looking to replace their current 40 year old industrial plant, Amagerforbraending held an international competition and unanimously chose this ski slope design by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) in an effort to turn what is normally an eyesore into a …

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World’s Largest Solar Roof To Power High Speed Rail Station in China

Efficiency abounds in China as the world’s largest building integrated photovoltaic project prepares to power the railway station where some of the world’s fastest high speed trains pass through. China Sunergy, a solar cell and module manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, has recently signed a deal with CEEG (Nanjing) Solar Energy Research Institute to supply the 7MW solar modules for …

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Portland Set To Build Innovative Pedestrian and Bike Bridge

Portland, Oregon continues to set the standard of being a bike and pedestrian friendly city by building a 700 foot bridge over Interstate 5 that will allow users to travel from the Lair Hill neighborhood to the South Waterfront District. The Gibbs Street bridge is only for walking and bike riding. Portland bike commuters will benefit from taxes paid by …

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Chicago Center For Green Technology: Sustainable Development Leader

Great ideas for sustainable development sometimes just remain abstract concepts – that is, until they’re put into practice where they can serve as a showcase for their real potential.  Such was the case with Chicago’s Center for Green Technology, the country’s first LEED Platinum municipal building – and an inspiration for subsequent development both in Chicago and nationwide.

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The Most Efficient Public Swimming Pool In The U.S.

A community swimming pool called the Richmond Plunge has just opened in Richmond, California, and it may be the most efficient swimming pool in the country. The Richmond Plunge has many efficient features: it’s heated by solar collectors, it’s entirely chlorine-free, and the building is powered by solar panels on the roof. The Plunge is a historic pool — it …

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Efficient Wall Design: Building In Energy Savings

A wall is one of the most deceptively complex elements of a home. A smart wall system utilizing efficiently designed and produced components will not only reduce energy consumption, it will make living in a home more pleasant. And it will be durable enough to help avoid the hassle of frequent or costly repairs. Read on to learn about some …

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A Metaefficient Bathroom – Environmentally Friendly And Functional

A bathroom may be one of the smallest rooms of a home, but make no mistake – it’s a vital one. Whether you’re building a new home or renovating an existing one, integrating efficient components into a bathroom will add convenience and improve functionality, and also minimize the environmental impact of energy and water consumption.

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Green Roofs – Efficient Design Starts At The Top

Green roofs have seen a surge in popularity recently as sustainable building designs become more mainstream. Soil and plantings on a building’s rooftop can help manage water runoff, improve air quality, and reduce energy use by moderating indoor temperatures. They can also prolong the life of a building’s roof by protecting it from the wear and tear of wind, water, …

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Southface Energy Institute: A Resource For Sustainable Design

Energy efficient building designs and technologies are everywhere these days. In fact, the sheer number of options can seem a little overwhelming for those interested in sustainable construction techniques. But Southface Energy Institute, headquartered in Atlanta, can be a valuable resource for homeowners, commercial or residential builders, or individuals who simply want to learn more about environmentally friendly design.

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REI’s LEED Certified Stores

REI’s newest LEED certified retail stores are evidence that smart business and environmental responsibility sometimes lead down the same path. These new stores enjoy lower operating costs, and customers appreciate the company’s dedication to sustainable building.

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An Energy Producing Home In Disguise

Who says that a home with cutting-edge energy efficiency has to look like an ultra-modern pod? This recently completed Wisconsin home packs so much energy tech that it makes money by selling electricity back to the grid, and it still keeps a low neighborhood profile.

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Hyper-Efficient House Completed In Virginia

This new home in Virginia was designed for optimal efficiency. It’s the first to receive LEED platinum in Virginia. Optimal elements that set it apart: an integrated rain water collection system (the site design features zero site runoff for a one-inch rain event), integrated geothermal wells, and exceptional indoor air quality. The home was built by Metro Green and designed …

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Chicago’s Green Alley Initiative

Urban alleyways. Grubby places that only scrappy cats or cop-show perps could love, right? Not in Chicago, where the Department of Transportation is giving them some serious TLC with its recently implemented Green Alley Program. This city-wide renovation initiative will offer some surprising environmental benefits and improve quality of life for residents.