San Diegans could get $20,000 off price of electric car

August 15, 2017 by  
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Elon Musk might have just ushered in the era of affordable electric vehicles with the first Tesla Model 3 cars rolling off the production line, but south of the Fremont factory in San Diego there is another great deal going on. Starting this month and running through the end of September, San Diego Gas & Electric customers can take advantage of a $10,000 discount off the purchase of a 2017 Nissan Leaf or a 2017 BMW i3. When the state of California’s $2,500 EV rebate and the $7,500 federal tax credit are added, SDG&E customers could potentially get $20,000 off the price of an electric car. The utility also offers an annual bill credit of up to $200 for driving an electric vehicle. Related: New lithium-ion battery from Japan could double electric vehicle range “All-electric cars have fewer parts which result in no oil changes and less maintenance costs,” the SDG&E website states. “Electric cars on freeways and neighborhood streets in the San Diego region reduces greenhouse gases and improves air quality. Moreover, when EVs plug into SDG&E’s grid they receive 43% renewable energy and no coal.” According to SDG&E, there are more than 1,100 public charging stations in the utility’s territory with plans to reach 3,500 charging stations. Charging infrastructure is increasing across the state — the California Energy Commission has awarded nearly $65 million to pay for more than 7,800 electric vehicle charging stations. + SDG&E Via The Verge Images via BMW and Nissan

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San Diegans could get $20,000 off price of electric car

Tent cabin clusters perfectly blend into the Californian forests

July 11, 2017 by  
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This family retreat hidden in the forests of Northern California is very different from your typical weekend home. Berkeley-based Envelope Architecture + Design designed the Forest House, a holiday retreat broken up into nine minimalist boxes hoisted off the ground for minimal site impact . Clad in stained timber, the cluster of one-room cabins blends into the heavily wooded landscape. Located in Mendocino County a few hours from San Francisco, the Forest House was built for a couple and their three young children. The structure’s nine tent cabins are organized within four clusters, all hooked up to plumbing and electricity, and spread out across two acres around a central concrete-paved plaza. The buildings are raised several feet off the ground on 4×4 posts for a treehouse -like effect and are carefully placed to preserve existing trees. A network of wooden paths connects the raised cabins. Related: Decrepit lumberjack shack transformed into a beautiful retreat with minimal site impact The roofs are topped with treated Army canvas anchored with nylon ropes. “The tented roofs and walls allow a connection with the natural setting—its sounds and changing seasons—while large clear and mirrored-bronze glass windows frame views of the landscape and neighboring ‘rooms,’” wrote the architects. “Wood-framed walls and floors lend warmth and support the comforts of modern living, deep within the forest. Here, the forest and house are one with indoor and outdoor rooms suspended between the treetops and canopy floor.” + Envelope Architecture + Design Via Gessato Images via Envelope Architecture + Design, © Richard Barnes

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Tent cabin clusters perfectly blend into the Californian forests

Minimalist wine-tasting pavilions sustainably embrace Napa Valley

July 7, 2017 by  
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There are few places better to enjoy fantastic wines and views than Napa Valley , and Walker Warner Architects has elevated that experience with a series of elegant wine tasting pavilions. Crafted with environmental sustainability in mind, the pavilions were built for Quintessa Estate Winery, a Napa Valley estate also designed by Walker Warner Architects in 2003. The minimalist structures harmonize with nature with locally sourced and reclaimed materials, as well as prefabricated construction to minimize site impact. Winner of a recent American Institute of Architects San Francisco (AIA SF) Citation Award , the Quintessa Pavilions is commended for exemplifying “the ideal fusion of architecture and nature” on the ridgeline of a beautiful 280-acre winery estate. Carefully placed amongst existing oak trees and surrounded by drought-resistant native grasses , each 250-square-foot pavilion was crafted to provide an immersive, privately hosted wine-tasting experience. The pavilions’ industrial materials palette references the winery’s architecture and will age elegantly over time. Related: The Bardessono is Napa Valley’s Newest Eco Resort and Spa The architects carefully sited each pavilion to shade visitors beneath tree canopies, optimize views, and protect existing mature oaks. Visitors access the pavilion through a doorway carved into a concrete wall, built of fly ash, that runs along the ridgeline. Once inside the prefabricated steel structure, the visitors enjoy plenty of natural light, cross winds, and panoramic views through full-height glazed operable doors. Custom furnishings are built of FSC-certified Afromosia. Reclaimed Sinker cypress was used for casework and ceilings, while locally prefabricated concrete pavers cover the terrace surface and Napa syar stone retaining walls hold back earth. + Walker Warner Architects Photo credit: © Matthew Millman

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Minimalist wine-tasting pavilions sustainably embrace Napa Valley

Why Kilroy is turning buildings into batteries

July 7, 2017 by  
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Its initial energy storage installations in California, which should be online in 2018, will automate demand response services more seamless for tenants.

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Why Kilroy is turning buildings into batteries

Amazing tiny home with its own pirate treehouse is the ultimate woodsy getaway

June 30, 2017 by  
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If you’ve always dreamt of downsizing and giving up city live for a charming house in the countryside, this tiny house in Sonoma County is the perfect solution. Currently on sale , the house comes with a private pirate treehouse and a beautiful canopied deck overlooking an adjacent creek. The 324-square-foot rustic house sits on the banks of Dutch Bill Creek in Monte Rio, located in Sonoma County ‘s Russian River area. The property includes two sheds and a quirky treehouse. A spiral staircase wrapped around a tree trunk leads up to the treehouse, which doubles as a guest lodge . Built in 1959, the house offers all the necessary amenities, with every nook utilized to its maximum potential. Related: World’s most active volcano harbors a tiny off-grid home—and you can stay overnight The interior houses a full bathroom with a clawfoot tub, an “efficient” kitchenette, and a sleeping loft. A large canopied deck runs the length of the home, nearly doubling the living space. The home is listed with Vanguard Properties for $300,000. + Vanguard Properties Via Curbed Photos via Vanguard Properties

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Aston Martin is releasing its first electric car in 2019

June 30, 2017 by  
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Aston Martin is known for creating some of the sexiest, most powerful cars in the world, but times are changing. Today the automaker shoves large gas guzzling V8 and V12 engines under the hood of its models, but starting in 2019, something greener is coming into the fold. Aston Martin has confirmed that its first electric car , the RapidE, will be introduced in 2019. Two years ago, Aston Martin teased the idea of a fully-electric car with the RapidE concept and now they are ready to make the concept a reality. For the RapidE, Aston Martin is going to create a rival to the Tesla Model S , with its four-doors and powerful electric motor. They are teaming up with Williams Advanced Engineering, who worked on the original concept, to create the RapidE. Related: Aston Martin RapidE electric concept previews the automaker’s 800-hp electric sedan Aston Martin hasn’t announced the specifics about the electric powertrain, but does allude to the fact that it will have more than one electric motor . “The instantaneous delivery characteristics of electric motors means the RapidE will offer a unique driving experience of a kind not experienced before in an Aston Martin.” Sadly Aston Martin is only planning to produce 155 RapidE electric cars once production kicks off in 2019. “RapidE represents a sustainable future in which Aston Martin’s values of seductive style and supreme performance don’t merely co-exist alongside a new zero-emission powertrain, but are enhanced by it,” stated Aston Martin President and CEO, Dr Andy Palmer. “The internal combustion engine has been at the heart of Aston Martin for more than a century, and will continue to be for years to come. RapidE will showcase Aston Martin’s vision, desire and capability to successfully embrace radical change, delivering a new breed of car that stays true to our ethos and delights our customers.” Images @Aston Martin + Aston Martin

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We have just 3 years to ward off climate change – new report

June 29, 2017 by  
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The year 2020 could be a huge turning point for our planet. According to a new report, if we don’t limit carbon emissions by that date, we won’t meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement . That leaves just three years – but six leaders and scientists laid out a six-point plan for meeting the most pressing deadline in human history – regardless of who’s in the White House. Christiana Figueres, convener of Mission 2020 and Executive Secretary for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change between 2010 and 2016, led the group who wrote a piece for Nature outlining their vision for how we can lower emissions and meet the Paris goals. They targeted six sectors: energy , finance, land, infrastructure , transport, and industry. They said their goals may be “idealistic at best, unrealistic at worst” but they feel setting high goals will inspire people to innovate to meet them. Related: How former NYC mayor Bloomberg is filling Trump’s climate change vacuum For example, the authors said at least 30 percent of global power supply needs to be sourced from renewable energy . It’s not impossible, considering we obtained 23.7 percent of electricity from renewables in 2015. They highlight low carbon practices for the other sectors too, like reducing deforestation and increasing use of clean vehicles . The authors also laid out three steps to avoid delaying. First, base policies and action plans on science . Second, scale up existing solutions quickly. And third, be optimistic. “There will always be those who hide their heads in the sand and ignore the global risks of climate change ,” said the authors. “But there are many more of us committed to overcoming this inertia. Let us stay optimistic and act boldly together.” Numerous scientists, politicians, business leaders, analysts, and faith leaders co-signed the Nature article, such as California governor Jerry Brown and climate scientist Michael Mann . + Mission 2020 Via Nature Images via Wikimedia Commons and David Nuescheler on Unsplash

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California adds Monsantos glyphosate to list of chemicals known to cause cancer

June 28, 2017 by  
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Ever since the World Health Organization (WHO) deemed Monsanto’s glyphosate — a key ingredient in its Roundup weed killer — to be “ probably carcinogenic ,” the agrochemical giant has fought back with a vengeance. After California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) attempted to add glyphosate to its list of cancer-causing chemicals last year, the corporation sued the organization . Now, after rounds of legal battle, the branch of California’s Environmental Protection Agency says it will add glyphosate to a list of chemicals “ known to the state to cause cancer “ Proposition 65 , covered by California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, requires state officials to publish a list of chemicals which pose harm to human health by means of causing birth defects, cancer or other reproductive harm. It is updated at least once a year and typically includes more than 800 chemicals . As USA Today reports, businesses that sell products with banned ingredients are required to inform California consumers of the risk. As per Proposition 65, state officials were just doing their job by adding a chemical proven to cause birth defects, cancer, autism, ADHD, gluten intolerance , and a host of other ailments to the list. Fortunately, Monsanto lost its lawsuit against the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment last year. The company did file an appeal soon after, however – and this appeal’s ruling is still pending. If the company wins the appeal, Monsanto products that contain glyphosate will not require labels saying they cause cancer . Listing the ingredient as a known carcinogen under California’s Proposition 65, however, would require companies that sell the chemical in California to add warning labels to all packaging. Related: EPA official accused of killing investigation into Monsanto weedkiller Environmental groups cheered OEHHA’s decision to list glyphosate as cancer-causing. Nathan Donley, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity, said: “California’s decision makes it the national leader in protecting people from cancer-causing pesticides .” + California Proposition 65 Via Reuters , USAToday Images via Chafer Machinery , Shutterstock

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California adds Monsantos glyphosate to list of chemicals known to cause cancer

Solar-powered Cloverdale house is made of reclaimed wood from a 1970s kit home

June 23, 2017 by  
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This solar-powered home in Cloverdale, California was built using reclaimed wood from an existing 1970s kit log home. Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects utilized existing site elements to create the new 2150-square-foot house with minimal impact on the environment. The owners of the property commissioned the architects to design a sustainable home that’s easy to use and doesn’t disrupt its natural surroundings. Inspired by traditional screened porches , the architects designed a screened-in living space and included the porch in the body of the house as an entry to the guest bedrooms. This double role of the porch reduced the need for circulation and helped keep the footprint of the house to it minimum . Related: Kentfield Hillside Residence Rises Under a Green Roof North of San Francisco A solar array installed on the south-facing roof, along with solar hot water panels, provide enough power to meet most of the energy requirements of the house. PV-powered heat pumps provide radiant heating or cooling, depending on the weather conditions and seasonal needs. In order to reduce construction costs, the architects reused the wood of the original kit log house as decking, interior and exterior wood paneling. + Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects Via Dwell Photos by Matthew Millman

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Solar-powered Cloverdale house is made of reclaimed wood from a 1970s kit home

Amazing elevated museum lets you stroll through the treetops in British Columbia

June 23, 2017 by  
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This angular museum meanders through a forest in British Columbia . Canadian firm Patkau Architects designed the elevated building to house a private collector’s artwork and keep it safe from flooding. The museum’s linear succession of spaces creates a promenade that evokes the experience of strolling through the forest. An elevated walkway leads to the main entrance of the building, which is located beneath an angular form clad in pale wooden slats. While the exterior facade, clad in black metal panels , gives the building an artificial appearance, the wood-dominated interior connects it to its forested surroundings and introduces an element of warmth and familiarity. The configuration of the site informed the overall massing of the building. In order to protect the gallery from flooding , the building is elevated a full story above the ground. Related: Spectacular new shipping container museum nestles near China’s Great Wall Looking towards the forest, a glass walkway occupies an entire side of the building, while a large stairway at the center connects the museum to the green space below. These design decisions reflect the intent to focus all attention on nature and the artwork. + Patkau Architects Via Dezeen Photos by James Dow / Patkau Architects

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