This Swiss straw-bale house is completely self-sufficient

July 6, 2018 by  
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Traditional building techniques and modern technology come together in the House in Berne, a self-sufficient straw bale house in Graben, a Swiss village located less than an hour’s drive north of Bern. Trun-based architecture practice Atelier SCHMIDT GmbH designed the modern home, crafting it to blend in with the rural surroundings by taking on the appearance of an old Bernese farming house. Additionally, the self-sufficient house is powered entirely by rooftop solar panels. Completed this year, the House in Berne is set in the middle of a vast and open farming landscape. The dwelling comprises three floors in addition to a small basement for a total area of 1,970 square feet. In response to the client’s request for a modern, self-sustaining home that would be flooded with natural light , Atelier SCHMIDT GmbH designed a building with large yet carefully placed openings, as well as an energy-efficient envelope to ensure minimal heating energy demands that could be satisfied through a photovoltaic array or passive solar means. “Inside the house, glass ceilings ensure that daylight can penetrate fully into the whole building,” explains Atelier SCHMIDT GmbH in a project statement. “The reduction of inside walls allows the owners to live and work in a big open modern space. The 80 centimeter thick straw-bale walls guarantee minimal heat losses. The electrical and thermic energy gained on the solar roof is stored in a home battery system and in a 5000 [liter] solar tank located in the basement. If needed the house can be heated by the stored thermic energy.” Related: Leaky cottage retrofitted with straw bale sees 80% energy reduction Set on an east-west axis, House in Berne is built primarily from unfinished timber for both the interior and the exterior; the timber façade will develop a patina over time and further blend the building into the landscape. Solar panels top the roof, which features long overhanging eaves to protect the interior from unwanted solar heat gain . + Atelier SCHMIDT GmbH Images by Rasmus Norlander

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This Swiss straw-bale house is completely self-sufficient

Solar-powered National University of Singapore building will produce as much energy as it consumes

November 8, 2016 by  
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The six-story NZEB@SDE will be powered by 1,200 rooftop solar panels and feature a range of other green building designs, including a hybrid cooling approach, natural ventilation, and natural lighting . The contemporary building includes a large overhanging roof to shade the interior from the overbearing tropical sun, while its porous layout allows for cooling cross-breezes for a comfortable environment with minimal reliance on air conditioning. The large openings and balconies help connect the occupants with the outdoor landscape. Related: A tropical paradise grows inside this lush Singapore home “This project marks a new chapter in our School’s vision of learning, knowledge advancement and multidisciplinary collaboration,” said Professor Lam Khee Poh, Dean of NUS School of Design and Environment. “Many hours of discussion, design iterations and collaborative teamwork have gone into the design of NZEB@SDE, which will serve as a living laboratory to inspire our staff and students to explore innovative ideas as we continue to push the boundaries of sustainable design to build a green and resilient urban habitat for all to enjoy.” The net-zero energy building is slated for completion in early 2019. + Serie Architects + Multiply Architects Via Dezeen

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Solar-powered National University of Singapore building will produce as much energy as it consumes

Renovated Amsterdam office space features a rooftop of glittering aluminum "leaves"

October 3, 2016 by  
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Goede Doelen Loterijen’s 500 employees are currently scattered amongst fifteen different locations, but soon that will all change. The workers came together to assist in the design of their new building, which will take over a vacant structure in desperate need of a transformation. The renovation is expected to receive an “Outstanding” BREEAM rating , the highest available, for its commitment to sustainable functionality. Related: Benthem Crouwel Architects named designer of new Paris airport metro station Inside the building workers will have access to ample office space, a TV studio, public restaurant, and auditorium, most of which will also be open for public meetings and events. The true charm, however, lies in the unique exterior. An extra floor was added to create a uniform roof spanning across the entire building, as well as extending over the lush courtyard. Columns shaped like the surrounding trees support the roof and a pattern of 6,800 polished aluminum “leaves” give off a glittery luster similar to a swaying forest canopy. A total of 2,400 solar panels power the building and a rooftop rainwater collection system will be used for irrigating the building’s gardens. These features combine to create a structure both green in function and in its reverence for the surrounding environment. + Benthem Crouwel Architects Images via Benthem Crouwel Architects

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Renovated Amsterdam office space features a rooftop of glittering aluminum "leaves"

The company that offered integrated solar roofs before Elon Musk

August 17, 2016 by  
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Last week Elon Musk announced SolarCity is working on a solar roof that was “not a thing on the roof” but “the roof.” The promising idea could offer an alternative for those who don’t like the look of traditional rooftop solar panels , but it looks like Musk won’t be the first to create a solar roof. New York-based company SunTegra Solar Roof Systems (formerly Integrated Solar Technology) has already installed integrated solar systems in the northeastern United States and California. According to SunTegra, “three out of four homeowners would prefer an integrated solar option.” So the company, led by industry veteran Oliver Koehler, designed solar shingles and tiles that integrate with roofs. Their tile can produce 67 watts, and their shingle can produce 100 watts. Additionally, the SunTegra shingles utilize ” 50 percent fewer parts ” than traditional rooftop solar panels, and can be rapidly installed in “half the time.” Their systems are lighter than racked panels too. Ventilation built into SunTegra’s units help them stay cool. Related: Elon Musk is developing a roof made entirely out of solar panels While SunTegra’s units are around 15 percent more expensive than traditional rooftop panels, if homeowners need a new roof, pricing can be competitive. None of SunTegra’s roofs have leaked, and the company notes they’ve received ” exceptional wind, snow, and fire ratings .” According to testimonials on the company’s website, clients in California and New Jersey are among those who have had SunTegra shingles or tiles installed, and the company is working to grow sales in more areas of the United States as well as Mexico and Canada. It appears SunTegra is working on other solar projects for the future as well. On their website they said they will be “introducing product lines for garden and patio spaces and for the sides and facades of commercial and community buildings.” + SunTegra Via Treehugger Images via SunTegra and SunTegra Facebook

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Discreet new SolarSkin panels completely blend in with their environment

July 14, 2016 by  
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Sistine Solar is out to change the way people view rooftop solar . Started by MIT graduate students, the company is developing SolarSkin solar panels that can match rooftops or the surrounding environment. This means the solar panels on your roof could look like clay tiles, slate shingles, or even grass. Inspired by companies like Apple and Tesla, Sistine Solar co-founders Senthil Balasubramanian and Ido Salama aim to combine elegant design with revolutionary technologies . They dream of a world that runs entirely on renewable energy , and felt that more people would get on board with solar energy if the panels were more beautiful. To transform that dream into reality, they teamed up with an artist trained in Italy and an MIT PhD candidate in photovoltaics to come up with a more aesthetically-pleasing design. Related: Santa Monica to require rooftop solar panels on all new buildings Sistine Solar won the 2013 MIT Clean Energy Prize in Renewable Energy and can already count Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Microsoft as future clients. Last fall they received $1 million through the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative to further develop their promising technology. Homeowners have responded positively as well; according to Salama, when they showed homeowners the SolarSkin panels, 98 percent of people said they liked it better than traditional solar panels, and many of those people had ” refused solar in the past .” Sistine Solar’s camouflaging panels have an efficiency of 15 to 17 percent, which is an excellent start. The team said on their website , “We at Sistine Solar are on a mission to showcase the innate beauty of solar energy through stunning design, captivating the world’s imagination and ushering in the era of clean energy. We passionately believe that by designing beautiful products that generate electricity more elegantly, we can capture the hearts and minds of the world, driving the mass adoption of clean energy.” You can pre-order the panels here ; Sistine Solar anticipates SolarSkin will be ready in 2017. + Sistine Solar Images via Sistine Solar

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Discreet new SolarSkin panels completely blend in with their environment

IKEA reaches for net positive energy status in the next four years

May 27, 2016 by  
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IKEA , famed Swedish retailer after our own hearts, is taking a giant leap forward in the sustainability department. The chain has announced its goal to be “all in” to have a net positive impact on the environment with a multi-pronged strategy of renewable energy investments, energy efficiency techniques, emissions reductions in the supply chain. The company will even redesign some products to encourage more eco-friendly behaviors in its customers. The retailer’s efforts earned the company a 2016 Guardian Sustainable Business Award in the net positive category. The Swedish retail giant  plans to hit its net positive energy goal within four years. Currently, IKEA generates around 53 percent of the energy it uses from renewable sources , primarily wind and solar. The retailer has 314 wind turbines, and has installed 700,000 solar panels to date on its stores and distribution hubs. Energy production varies by location. IKEA’s operations in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Poland have already reached net zero energy status, by producing all the energy they need to operate. IKEA’s Canadian wind farm generates more than double the energy the retail chain uses there. Related: IKEA starts solar panel sales in UK stores Inspired by the COP21 climate agreement last December, IKEA sunk a ton of money into renewable energy projects outside its business operations as well. The company pledged a $670 million investment in renewable energy projects in advance of the international climate agreement, which added to previous investments of $1.67 billion cash investments and another $446 million to protect communities at risk from the effects of climate change. Via The Guardian Images via IKEA

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IKEA reaches for net positive energy status in the next four years

Apple unveils second stunning “spaceship” campus for Sunnyvale

October 5, 2015 by  
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California dishes out free solar panels to its poorest residents

May 27, 2015 by  
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Roy Rivera is a disabled man who lives on a fixed income in Sacramento, and he’s also the first California resident to receive a free rooftop solar system. But he won’t be the last. Thanks to legislation first introduced by Senator Kevin de León, the Oakland-based non-profit organization GRID Alternatives is funneling funds gathered under the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GCRF), the state’s cap-and-trade program designed to discourage carbon dioxide emissions, into a program that is expected to deliver 1,600 free solar panels to California’s poorest residents by 2016 . Read the rest of California dishes out free solar panels to its poorest residents Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “clean energy” , “solar energy” , CA cap-and-trade , California free solar , California free solar program , clean tech , free rooftop solar panels , free solar , free solar for poor California residents , greenhouse gas emissions , Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund , GRID alternatives , reduced CO2 emissions , rooftop solar , rooftop solar panels , Roy Rivera , Sacramento , Senator Kevin de Leon , solar panels

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The US could power itself with solar 100-times over

December 23, 2014 by  
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There’s a lot of debate about whether or not solar power could feasibly power the entire country. A new report by Environment America and a breakdown by Treehugger’s Micheal Graham Richard is putting the final nail in the naysayers coffin. According to the information, the United States could not only power itself on clean solar energy, but it could easily power itself one hundred times over in the not too distant future. Read the rest of The US could power itself with solar 100-times over Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Environment America , Environment America report , generating solar power , rooftop solar , rooftop solar panels , rooftop solar potential , solar capacity , solar panel capacity , Solar Power , solar power potential , Treehugger solar report , US 10 percent solar power , US entirely solar powered , US solar capacity , us solar power

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Sainsbury’s Is Now the UK and Europe’s Largest Rooftop Solar PV Operator

August 6, 2012 by  
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Sainsbury’s has claimed the title of the largest rooftop PV operator in the UK and Europe with an impressive total output of 16MW . Across 169 of its UK stores, Sainsbury’s has secured 69,500 PV solar panels on its rooftops. The new panels will help them cut their CO2 emissions by an estimated 6,800 tonnes per year, while reducing their energy consumption and lowering their overall utility bills. Read the rest of Sainsbury’s Is Now the UK and Europe’s Largest Rooftop Solar PV Operator Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “solar energy” , european supermarkets sainsbury solar panels , Europe’s Largest Rooftop PV Operator , london supermarkets , pvs , rooftop solar panels , sainsbury goes green , sainsburys supermarket , solar panels , solar pvs , UK and Europe’s Largest Rooftop PV Operator , UK Largest Rooftop pv Operator , UK Largest Rooftop solar array Operator , uk supermarkets

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Sainsbury’s Is Now the UK and Europe’s Largest Rooftop Solar PV Operator

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