Category Archives: Buildings

Simple, Elegant, Affordable, Off-the-grid Housing Solutions by Brilliant Bay Area Designers

Housing Solution: Allow Off-the-Shelf Homes in San Francisco’s Underused Spaces

Originally published on Jun 13 2014 – 12:50pm


Hacking the Housing Crisis: Creative Ideas for Affordability. See other stories in this reporting project.  |  Attend the Hack the Housing Crisis conference June 13, 2014.

Two Bay Area designers are re-imagining the home as a simple consumer good. If they and other entrepreneurs are successful, San Francisco’s marginal land — including parking spaces — could theoretically be retrofitted to accommodate hundreds or thousands of these barebones, movable living spaces.

Tim McCormick and Luke Iseman have devised similar concepts for “productizing” modest but modern homes that consumers could order online or even build themselves. Both use inexpensive materials that can be assembled offsite as an alternative to conventional construction practices, which they call unnecessarily complicated, time-consuming and costly.

The "Houslet," which Tim McCormick designed alongside architect Morgan Pintarich, is made from individual cubes that each take up 64 square feet. The smallest version of the Houslet could fit into a parking space. Image courtesy of Tim McCormick.

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6 Green-Roof Myths, Busted

From Houzz


Green roofs, living roofs, vegetated roofs, ecoroofs — whatever you want to call them, they are sprouting up everywhere lately, including atop residential homes. And with that increase in popularity comes general assumptions and misconceptions. For example, that green roofs are only for ecobuffs, they’re high maintenance and they’re experimental and risky. All untrue. 

Let’s take a look at some common green-roof myths and see if they, er, hold any water.beach style exterior by Prentiss Architects Read more »

The Week in Cleantech: July 22 – 29

From i3 Research Team, Cleantech Investment Insight

This past week saw a number of interesting financing rounds in the cleantech space. Although all were fairly small amounts, the variety of technologies represented is of interest. Cleanweb continues to grab headlines, although the more traditional Energy Efficiency and Solar sectors are also attracting financing.

Easy Taxi, a Brazilian app for ordering and pre-paying taxis, received $10 million from Millicom and Rocket Internet, in the form of the firms’ joint venture, Africa Internet Holding. The company will use the funding to expand into Africa, Asia and the Middle East, with Nigeria as the first new market. Easy Taxi joins LyftHailo and other taxi and ride apps that have raised money recently.

Bidgely, a California-based developer of an online platform enabling home energy monitoring and management, received $5 million from Khosla Ventures. The company plans to use the funding to make hires in its business and engineering teams and commercialize its technology through energy carriers.

BrightSource Energy, the California-based developer of concentrating solar thermal technology used to produce high-value electricity and steam for power, petroleum and process markets, received $15 million of a targeted $35 million round. The company has previously raised over $620 million from BP VenturesChevron Technology Ventures and VantagePoint Capital Partners, among others.

Construction Management in the Wake of Disaster: Green From the Ground Up

Going green helps disaster stricken communities look ahead.

Anyone with a TV is familiar with the tragic results of 2005′s hurricane Katrina for New Orleans or the 2011 tsunami that inundated about 561 square kilometers of Japan. And if this past summer’s record breaking drought  in the U.S. isn’t evidence enough, recent studies have have found evidence that climate change will bring increasing devastation to urban areas around the globe. However, once the media frenzy over these disasters subsides, the rebuilding work goes largely unreported. In New Orleans and Northern Japan, many building managers turned tragedy into an opportunity to rebuild these communities into something better with environmentally sustainable, energy efficient building strategies.

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A Casual Survey on LEED and Comments on the Certified Sea Friendly Concept

Click to watch video

A few days ago I interviewed David Rockefeller, Jr., Founder and Chairman of Sailors for the Sea, a non-profit organization which educates and engages the boating community in the worldwide protection of the oceans. Sailors for the Sea is the official sustainability partner to the 34th America’s Cup, which makes sustainability and ocean conservation an important component of its sailing events.

Sailors for the Sea monitors the Clean Regatta status of various boating events to reduce their impact on oceans and coastal waters; and educates young sailors around the country on marine ecology via Rainy Day Kits, environmental lesson plans taught in yacht clubs and sailing schools.

A new initiative the organization is developing is Certified Sea Friendly, which will create a voluntary certification program to transform the marine manufacturing industry and make the construction, maintenance and operation of vessels more environmentally friendly.

The idea is inspired by LEED. That made me curious as to how LEED is now faring. Has it been effective? Is it serving its intended purpose? What makes it successful? What weaknesses does it have, if any, especially those that are common to standards or certification of this kind?

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‘Retrofit to Save Billions and Get Young Londoners into Work’, Mayor Tells London Businesses

Source: Greater London Authority

14 OCTOBER 2011

The Mayor of London has called on the capital’s businesses and big landlords both private, public, commercial and residential to help deliver London’s biggest ever retrofitting programme.
Retrofitting business premises with energy saving measures will not only save up to a billion pounds a year in wasted energy costs but could significantly help towards eradicating youth unemployment, Mayor Boris Johnson has told London’s top firms.

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Building Integrated Photovoltaic Systems Promise Cost Efficiency

DCF 1.0

Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) – photovoltaic materials replacing conventional building materials in parts of the building envelope such as the roof, skylights, or facades – is one of the fastest growing segments of the photovoltaic industry. Encouraged by significant cost reductions and further specialization of commodities, an increasing number of architects, manufacturers and installers are considering building-integrated approach for utilizing solar energy. At the 2011 Intersolar North America Tradeshow and Convention, a session titled “Building Integrated Solutions-Concepts and Applications” featured currently-used and future building-integrated technology trends related to photovoltaic and solar thermal applications.

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Cool startups at Cleantech Open

We wrap up Essinova’s Cleantech programming for the year with a few videos of cool startups we came across at the Cleantech Open Awards Gala last month.  Recognizing our global audience, we have made this programming bi-lingual.

Filtration Dynamics - Energy from Wastewater

Filtration Dynamics - Energy from Wastewater 滤活力 - 废水发电

Puralytics Water Purification Systems

Puralytics - Advanced Water Purification Systems 洁净术 - 高级净水系统

Redwood Renewables Solar Tiles

Redwood Renewables Solar Tiles 红木可再生产品- 太阳能瓦

viaCycle - Enabling Cheaper and More Flexible Bikeshare

viaCycle - Cheaper and More Flexible Bikeshare 通轮 - 经济灵活的公用自行车系统

V2 Wind - Accelerating Wind

V2 Wind - Redefining Wind Power V平方风能 - 重新定义风能

Whirl Energy - Wind Energy Storage through Buoancy

Whirl Energy - Wind Power Storage through Buoancy 漩能源 -以浮力存储风能

Amberix - Optimizing HVAC Flow

Amberix - Optimizing HVAC Flow 优化冷暖气通风系统流通


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