Debunking the 14 myths about why we should go nuclear

August 9, 2017 by  
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Awaiting the DOE study on baseload generation, here are the reasons why energy efficiency, grid flexibility and renewables enhance low-cost reliability.

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Debunking the 14 myths about why we should go nuclear

San Francisco nabs significant federal funding for hydrogen and fuel cell efforts

May 26, 2016 by  
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San Francisco’s embrace of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies for local transportation just got a big boost from the federal government. The Energy Department’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) will direct nearly $4.5 million in funding for San Francisco’s efforts to increase the deployment of fuel cell electric vehicles and hydrogen infrastructure. In addition, Strategic Analysis, Inc. was selected to analyze the cost competitiveness for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. DOE announced last December they were making available up to $35 million in funding to advance hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in order to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil and cut harmful carbon emissions that contribute to climate change . The selection of San Francisco was made public by DOE’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Reuben Sarkar during a meeting in Berkeley of the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy . Related: Scientists create innovative hydrogen fuel “nano-reactor” that could make hydrogen cars much cheaper In 2014 the White House launched the Climate Action Champion Initiative and San Francisco was one of 16 communities chosen as the first class of Climate Action Champions. The White House fact sheet stated that San Francisco “has established some of the most aggressive climate and sustainability targets in the nation, covering a broad range of sectors, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation, water, green infrastructure, and waste. With robust goals to measure progress, San Francisco aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2017, and 40 percent by 2025.” According to the press release , the San Francisco Department of the Environment will use the funding to “conduct comprehensive training and educational activities for hydrogen and fuel cell stakeholders throughout the Bay Area.” Project partners include the San Francisco Clean Cities Coalition, the California Fuel Cell Partnership, the Business Council on Climate Change, and the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at U.C. Berkeley. The California Energy Commission has provided funding for 49 hydrogen refueling stations, most recently opening a station in South San Francisco. There are plans to fund up to 100 stations for the initial introduction into the marketplace of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. San Francisco is also moving forward on a high-speed hydrogen fuel cell passenger ferry and the world’s biggest hydrogen refueling station that will serve the ferry boat as well as hydrogen fuel cell cars and buses. + Energy Department Fuel Cells Technologies Office Via Energy Department Images via Energy Department

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San Francisco nabs significant federal funding for hydrogen and fuel cell efforts

‘Kinetic’ rooftop garden uses pallets and plants to create the illusion of movement

May 26, 2016 by  
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The Kinetic Garden is located in the heart of Brera district in Milan . Piuarch used pallets to create triangular flower beds and flooring containing four plant species , including two varieties of salad in red and green colors and orange and blue pansies. The plants are arranged in repetitive straight lines, defining strips of color that create an interesting chromatic effect. Related: Habitat Horticulture completes largest indoor living wall in California The arrangement of plants aims to create a sense of dynamism reminiscent of Diez’s artworks. The team worked with Vivai Mandelli and landscape architect Cornelius Gavril to conceptualize and construct the design. This isn’t the first time Piuarch has collaborated with Cornelius Gavril. They teamed up a couple of years ago to  fill an entire gallery space with suspended Japanese-style  kokedamas . + Piuarch Via Fuorisalone

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‘Kinetic’ rooftop garden uses pallets and plants to create the illusion of movement

Passive PEAK House Preserves Energy the Appalachian Way at the Solar Decathlon 2013

October 11, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Passive PEAK House Preserves Energy the Appalachian Way at the Solar Decathlon 2013 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: alternative energy , Appalachian mountain home , California architecture competition , clean tech , Department of Energy architecture competition , DOE , eco design , green design , green tech , irvine , laminated veneer lumber , PEAK House , renewable energy , sd2013 , Solar Decathlon , solar decathlon 2013 , Solar Decathlon competition in Irvine , Solar Power , sustainable design , west virginia university        

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Passive PEAK House Preserves Energy the Appalachian Way at the Solar Decathlon 2013

Team Norwich Delta’s Affordable T-90 Home is an Insulated Fortress that Provides Superior Comfort at the Solar Decathlon

October 10, 2013 by  
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The Delta T-90 design is all about providing a sustainable dwelling that provides maximum interior comfort for residents despite extreme temperatures on the exterior, and all at an affordable cost. At the beginning of the creative process, Team Norwich was ever mindful of the housing crisis that many cities are currently facing. Accordingly, the Delta T-90 construction scheme was first and foremost guided by Charles and Ray Eames’ motto, which is to build “the best, for the most, for the least.” The science behind the resilient Delta T-90 design stems from a three-fold objective based on affordability, comfort and energy conservation. The temperatures in Vermont tend to drop radically in the winter months, causing stress to residents and a strain on city-provided energy sources. Therefore, these students focused on a “notion of understated elegance and universally valued architectural maneuvers” to design a home that could guarantee comfortable temperatures inside (70°F) while harsh Vermont winter temps dropped as low as -20°F on the exterior. To achieve a highly insulated home that sees minimal casual energy loss, the Delta T-90 envelope is a veritable fortress. On the outside, the modular, 991 square foot, two-bedroom house pays homage to the historic Vermont farm house in its practicality and simplicity, but comes installed with a sustainable power punch to meet optimal energy efficiency. For energy harvesting, the roof is topped with a flat photovoltaic array , which was intentionally sized to accommodate the heavy snow fall that hits Vermont roughly 120 days every year. For materials, the team looked to use locally-sourced materials such as hemlock from Norwich University’s own Paine Mountain and Northern White Cedar from Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. The skeleton of the house was built using an inline advanced framing technique that provides a sturdy, insulated structure, which uses a 3/4? air gap for moisture evaporation. Triple pane windows are used throughout for their ability to meet Passive House standards, and – at a total R-value of 11.36 – the Delta T-90 windows were specifically chosen for their ability to minimize energy loss . And it’s not just the materials that went into the window selection, but the placement as well. The 70 square foot window on the southern end of the living area is strategically placed for maximum solar gain during wintertime. It also serves as the home’s main focal point and by letting in direct and ambient light, providing residents with a connection to the surrounding landscape, no matter what the temperatures are on the exterior. Additionally, the Norwich team was of the opinion that many Vermont residents would not be able to afford the maximum price tag alloted to Solar Decathlon entries, who are regulated to a $250,000 construction estimate. Therefore, at a $195,000 base level cost, the Delta T-90 is one of the most affordable houses in the competition this year. However, the design is not only far below maximum price tag set by SD guidelines, but the low price makes its affordable for a typical household making 20% to 30% less than Vermont’s average income level. Inhabitat’s coverage of Solar Decathlon continues this week so make sure to check back to see the winning team of Solar Decathlon 2013! + Team Norwich Delta T-90 Home + Inhabitat Solar Decathlon Coverage Photos © Mike Chino for Inhabitat        

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Team Norwich Delta’s Affordable T-90 Home is an Insulated Fortress that Provides Superior Comfort at the Solar Decathlon

Team Austria’s LISI Solar Decathlon Home Keeps Cool with a Movable Exterior Curtain

October 4, 2013 by  
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The Solar Decathlon 2013 competition officially kicked off 3 October, 2013; to celebrate the ribbon cutting ceremony, groups of officials and decathletes gathered to take a much deserved break from all the hard work they’ve put in over the last few weeks. True to form, every year there seems to be a handful of designs that quickly emerge as strong contenders. In fact, since construction was completed on their solar home, the Austrian Team’s LISI House has raised more than a few admiring eco-observing eyebrows. The LISI Home (Living Inspired by Sustainable Innovation) is a modular timber construction with a flexible layout that permits residents to fully take advantage of the building’s living space found on the interior as well as the exterior. The design itself is made up of three zones: the service core, the interior living area and two adjoining patios. The end result is a solar home that strikes a unique balance of cool modernity and inviting appeal. The primary objectives of the LISI “living cocoon” design are climate regulation and high utility of liveable space. With one central living area that can be extended to the two adjacent patios to the north and south, the LISI design offers optimal communal space as well as ventilation and light control. A ramp leads into the main interior space where a moveable shade curtain envelopes the entire structure, adding a breezy Mediterranean feel. In addition to LISI’s various architectural layers, the shade from the curtain helps to optimize interior temperatures, providing shade on hot summer days and subsequently reducing cooling loads. Along with the interior living areas, the two open patios add a major component to the quality of life integral to the LISI design itself. By subtly blending nature into the daily living areas, residents can fully embrace the surrounding natural environment in their day-to-day life. Multiple garden space and a vertical garden are installed on the patios, which allow residents to grow their own fruits and vegetables. The plants also serve as a natural filtration system, providing a healthy atmosphere for families and visitors. The modular LISI home is entirely constructed and insulated with wood. The decision to work with wood was based on its multiple eco-positive characteristics. Since wood is a carbon-neutral material and a 100% natural product, it’s ideal as a building material in terms of construction, maintenance and transport. Additionally, choosing to work with wood meant the team could utilize the entire product in many forms giving the design aesthetic a cohesive feel throughout. In fact, every part of the tree was used, from the roots and leaves used in the LISI foundation, curtain and cornice materials to the trunk itself, used in the core construction of the ceiling, floors and walls. The chairs and most of the furniture are made from molded wood chips. The wood’s cohesive natural presence, along with the open concept and natural light, also has a positive effect on the residential atmosphere, adding to the house’s many natural health benefits. In terms of energy savings, LISI is a “plus-energy” construction, generating more than enough electricity for daily energy needs. A mounted PC array is installed on top of the roof, which is comprised of four ceiling modules. In collaboration with the intelligent energy-saving floor plan, interior temperatures are also controlled by an ERV unit, a heat and humidity exchanger. Water waste is limited in a number of ways, most notably through an innovative shower tray that captures thermal energy from daily drain water. From the looks of this year’s Solar Decathon entries, SD 2013 is shaping up to be a fierce contest. But we definitely think that Team Austria’s house will be a top contender in terms of health, comfort and environmental features. + Team Austria for Solar Decathlon + Inhabitat Solar Decathlon Coverage        

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Team Austria’s LISI Solar Decathlon Home Keeps Cool with a Movable Exterior Curtain

Allan Savory Explains How Livestock Can Help Fight Desertification and Reverse Climate Change in this Riveting TED Talk

October 4, 2013 by  
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We know now that an excess of 350 parts per billion (ppb) of CO2 in the atmosphere will cause increasingly catastrophic weather events in the future. We are now at almost 400 ppb. There is a very small window of opportunity—about 3 to 5 years—to bring that level back to 350 ppb. What if there existed a concept, new to popular thinking, but tested over a period of fifty years and proven successful, that would solve the problem of CO2 sequestration , reverse desertification, and provide as a side benefit many other social and economic improvements? Watch this riveting TED Talk  featuring biologist and environmentalist Allan Savory , who explains how herding livestock can help save our lands. The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: allan savory , Climate Change , desertification , earth’s destruction , earth’s doom , fighting climate change , global warming , reversing climate change , stopping desertification        

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Allan Savory Explains How Livestock Can Help Fight Desertification and Reverse Climate Change in this Riveting TED Talk

Jay Watson’s Repurposed Candy Dish Lamps Light up the London Design Festival

October 4, 2013 by  
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Jay Watson is certainly no stranger to innovative repurposed design , but his new line of “Just Desserts” lamps are his sweetest creations yet. The playful lamps put a new spin on something we’ve all encountered at grandma’s house: the ubiquitous candy dish. Scouring flea markets and second hand shops, Mr. Watson is giving these discarded pastel-tinted candy dishes a new, modern-day purpose. Read the rest of Jay Watson’s Repurposed Candy Dish Lamps Light up the London Design Festival Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco-art , green lighting , Jay Watson , just dessert lamps , lamps , London Design Festival 2013 , repurposed materials        

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Jay Watson’s Repurposed Candy Dish Lamps Light up the London Design Festival

Team Czech Republic’s AIR Solar Decathlon House is Wrapped in an Elegant Wood Slat Skin

October 4, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Team Czech Republic’s AIR Solar Decathlon House is Wrapped in an Elegant Wood Slat Skin Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , 2013 solar decathlon , air house , California , czech air house solar decathlon , czech solar decathlon entry , czech technical university , czech technical university air house , Department of Energy , DOE , DOE competition , Doe Solar Decathlon , eco design , green architecture , Green Building , green design , irvine , net zero , net zero home , prefab home , SD 2013 , Solar Decathlon , solar decathlon 2013 , solar home , student project , student team , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , team czech 2013 solar decathlon , team czech air house , top 6 teams to watch , Zero energy        

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Team Czech Republic’s AIR Solar Decathlon House is Wrapped in an Elegant Wood Slat Skin

Team Las Vegas’ DesertSol Home Brings a Base Camp for Desert Exploration to the Solar Decathlon

October 3, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Team Las Vegas’ DesertSol Home Brings a Base Camp for Desert Exploration to the Solar Decathlon Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , 2013 solar decathlon , California , Department of Energy , DOE , DOE competition , Doe Solar Decathlon , eco design , green architecture , Green Building , green design , irvine , net zero , net zero home , prefab home , SD 2013 , Solar Decathlon , solar decathlon 2013 , solar home , student project , student team , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , top 6 teams to watch , University of Nevada Las Vegas , University of Nevada Las Vegas Solar Decathlon , UNLV Architecture , UNLV Solar Decathlon , Zero energy        

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Team Las Vegas’ DesertSol Home Brings a Base Camp for Desert Exploration to the Solar Decathlon

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