Greener housing supplement in the Guardian

Yesterday's edition of the Guardian featured a special supplement on greener housing that included features on the first straw bale local authority housing project in the UK, the aesthetics of eco-housing and a potential shortfall in the number of green building professionals in Britain. All of the articles can be accessed here.

Pelamis wave project runs into financial difficulties

According to today's Guardian , the pioneering Pelamis wave energy project off the coast of Portugal is in trouble after the collapse of majority shareholder Babcock & Brown. The company went in to voluntary administration last week, and its 77 per cent stake in the Pelamis projectis now up for sale.

Google to launch free home energy monitoring software

Google will soon launch free software that allows consumers to track their energy use at home and improve efficiency, according to the Independent of London.

The company is currently in talks with energy utilities worldwide. The program, which will be open-source, is expected to show energy consumption in real time on consumers' computers or mobile phones.

Garden signs for green upgrades

Here's a simple and effective idea, courtesy of TreeHugger. Toronto based green retrofit specialists Greening Homes put signs like this in the front garden of houses the company is renovating. As well as providing free advertising for the firm, the sign lets everyone passing by know what kind of work is being done, and encourages neighbours to consider green refurb too.

 

Downturn to slash carbon emissions

Two stories in the Irish Times today touch on the effect the economic downturn will have on carbon emissions.

Looking at the national situation, the Times reports that the EPA will today announce a dramatic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions associated with the economic downturn.

Rammed earth house boasts modern design

While it is one of the most ecological building materials around, rammed earth - a mixture of earth, sand, gravel and clay - is usually associated with buildings with an earthy, less-than-modern aesthetic. A new house in Vorarlberg, Austria, could change that.

 

Awards for sustinable projects in Northern Ireland

The best examples of sustainable planning and building in Northern Ireland were honoured in a joint awards ceremony held last month by the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. The RTPI described the winning projects as follows:

Carbon footprint of Victorian house slashed

As energy refurbishment climbs higher and higher up the political agenda, this video from the Guardian takes a look one upgrade project that claims to have reduced the carbon footprint of a Victorian house in Nottingham from 19 tonnes a year to just half a tonne.

The 60 year LED

 According to Treehugger, Professor Colin Humphries' team at Cambridge University has developed a new LED bulb that can last up to 60 years. Treehugger says: 

Humphries claims within five years, the new bulbs will be available, cheap, mercury free, dimmable and

First wind turbine designed for sea is launched

The Guardian reports that the toughest wind turbines ever built have finished production in Germany. Built by French energy firm Areva, the turbines are specifically designed to be used at sea - to date turbines deployed offshore have simply been models intended for use on land.

The turbines

Gasifying waste for heat and electricity

A small US company has developed a shipping container-sized device that turns waste into electricity and heat. Rather than burning it, IST Energy 's Green Energy Machine (GEM) gasifies waste products such as food, plastics and agricultural waste.


The heat is on

The Guardian has an interesting feature on thermal imaging today, with an accompanying video. Alok Jha, a science and environment correspondent at the paper, spent an evening with thermal surveyor Chris Brind on the streets of Reading. Brind hopes that by confronting homeowners with clear visual evidence

Green vision for Gothenburg

Kjellgren Kaminsky, an architecture firm based in Gothenburg, has published a fascinating mixed-use proposal for Heden, a greenfield site in the Swedish city. The development would feature parks, apartments, offices and sports facilities.

The $100,000 green home

Clayton Homes, the US's largest producer of manufactured housing, has announced plans for a $100,000 green home. The i-House will be 992 square feet in size, and its roof is specifically designed for the  rainwater harvesting system that's included with the house.  The i-House can also support an optional $8,000 solar PV system, and will include bamboo flooring, recycled decking

Chile's 'greenest' building?

TreeHugger has an interesting commentary - with some great photos and diagrams accompanying - on an Enrique Browne-designed office building in Concepción, Chile that features a spectacular green wall. TreeHugger explains:

A free plant “volume” that looks to the East, North and

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