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Latest Articles in Solar

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Modern sustainable house by the beach

Tunquen Treasure

A set of solar panels, a wind-powered well, and passive sustainable strategies make living miles from municipal utilities a non-issue for this Chilean beachgoer.
May 16, 2011
heliotrace thumb

HelioTrace Robotic Facade

I was intrigued by a rendering featured in the latest newsletter from SOM, which came across my desk a few weeks ago. So I wrote the firm for more information. Turns out this new invention—a kinetic, solar-responsive curtain wall system—is still in development and won't be available on the market for a few years still. But it's an intriguing concept, so I figured I'd share.
April 11, 2011
Yellow North Face tent atop a wooden deck

A Platform for Living

Setsumasa and Mami Kobayashi’s weekend retreat, two and a half hours northwest of Tokyo, is “an arresting concept,” photographer Dean Kaufman says, who documented the singular refuge in the Chichibu mountain range. “It’s finely balanced between rustic camping and feeling like the Farnsworth House.”
April 6, 2011
Solar energy house in Denver’s Highland neighborhood

Denver's Energy Efficient Home

John and Paige Damiano are snow worshippers. As the Colorado and New Mexico territory manager for Burton Snowboards, John depends on winter precipitation for his business, not to mention for family entertainment. While the pair  waits all summer for the flakes to fall, they’ll be the first to tell you that their domestic comfort actually revolves around the sun.
March 26, 2011
Dunbar Astrkhan 1

Just Redo It

What do you get when you give a couple of designers unlimited creative license on a very limited budget? For Andrew Dunbar and Zoee Astrakhan, the possibilities were limitless.
January 24, 2011
off the grid home

Green Cottage Getaway in Maine

On an island 20 miles off the coast of Maine, a writer, with the help of his daughter, built not only a room but an entire green getaway of his own.
November 22, 2010
not so simple green exterior portrait

Not So Simple Green

Suzanne Shelton’s life work is making sustainable lifestyles attractive and accessible. She’s the CEO of the Shelton Group, a marketing company she founded in 1991 that works exclusively with environmentally focused clients. But in 2009, when she built an off-the-grid lakefront pavilion in Sharps Chapel, Tennessee, she found taking her own advice wasn’t so simple.
September 3, 2010
grow thumb

The Future of Solar?

The Brooklyn–based start-up SMIT (Sustainably Minded Interactive Technology) was formed in 2005 by the brother and sister team of Samuel and Teresita Cochran. Their goal: to invent a hybrid new approach to solar and wind power. Their Solar Ivy—flexible photovoltaic 'leaves' made of sheets of recyclable polyethylene—is a modular, ivy-like system that can be used on the sides of buildings, to capture the sunlight much like plants do. As the 'ivy' flutters and shifts in the wind, it converts solar energy into electricity.
August 18, 2010
The Active House sits on a sloping plot on the outskirts of Aarhus, Denmark, with views to the south over the sea.

Test-Case Scenario

Beating out a host of competitors, one Danish family left their home behind (it’s just down the road, really) to camp out for a year in an Active House, a green-home prototype with all the bells and whistles. Here’s what they learned.
June 15, 2010
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