Google unveils giant green landscraper for London HQ

June 2, 2017 by  
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Google has finally unveiled plans for its new London headquarters—and it’s a beaut. Designed by the architecture studios of Thomas Heatherwick and Bjarke Ingels , the gargantuan one-million-square-foot office building is dubbed “landscraper” for its length that’s longer than the Shard is tall. Set parallel to the King’s Cross railway station, the Google building is punctuated with greenery and energy-efficient systems including rooftop solar panels and smart solar blinds. Recently submitted to the Camden Council for planning approval, Google’s “landscraper” is one of three buildings that will create a campus for up to 7,000 employees. Although BIG and Heatherwick are also designing Google’s Mountain View campus the two campuses are remarkably different. Whereas the California campus catches the eye with its tent-like design, the London “landscraper” is more demure with its 11-story tall blocky form. Related: New images reveal Google’s plans for a futuristic solar-powered California headquarters “The area is a fascinating collision of diverse building types and spaces and I can’t help but love this mix of massive railway stations, roads, canals and other infrastructure all layered up into the most connected point in London,” said Heatherwick in a press statement. “Influenced by these surroundings, we have treated this new building for Google like a piece of infrastructure too, made from a family of interchangeable elements which ensure that the building and its workspace will stay flexible for years to come.” Natural light and greenery fills the giant luxury office building, and employees will enjoy access to a “wellness center” with gyms, massage rooms, a swimming pool, multipurpose sports center, and a rooftop garden with varied landscapes, edible gardens, cafes, and lookout points. The building also includes bicycle parking for commuters, rooftop solar that amounts to nearly 20MWh of annual output, and motorized timber blinds to mitigate solar heat gain . Construction is expected to begin in 2018. Via The Guardian Images via Google

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Google unveils giant green landscraper for London HQ

Solar-powered Australian homes with Tesla Powerwall 2.0 already cost-competitive

November 14, 2016 by  
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As the world shifts towards obtaining energy from renewable sources , cost competitiveness is sometimes still a factor. Fossil fuel proponents have claimed one benefit of the polluting energy sources is that they’re cheaper, but that assertion is now harder to defend. Energy consultancy CME director Bruce Mountain just calculated a Tesla Powerwall 2.0 and rooftop solar panels powering an Australian home offer a cost-competitive source of electricity when compared against grid power supplies. Mountain looked at a hypothetical Adelaide home, which he estimated would use around 4,800 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year. He assumed such a home’s electricity bill would be the average of the 77 market offers in the area, and examined prices both before and after conditional discounts. He also considered the lifetimes of the clean technologies utilized, supposing a five kilowatt rooftop solar array would last for 20 years, and the Powerwall 2.0 would last for 10 years. Related: The world’s first “Tesla Town” with solar roofs and Powerwalls is coming to Australia Mountain’s calculations were thrilling: the clean technologies offer electricity at around an equal price to market offers after discounts, and are even cheaper than market offers before discounts. He said in his article, “This is astounding. A typical household in the suburbs of Adelaide can now meet its electrical needs with solar and battery storage for about the same amount they would pay on a competitive offer from the grid.” Homes receiving cost-competitive clean energy are able to do so in part because of the advanced Powerwall 2.0. While Mountain notes the battery costs nearly the same as the Powerwall 1.0, it offers 100 percent more storage capacity. Peak power and continuous power both increased with the Powerwall 2.0 by 40 percent and 50 percent respectively. Mountain said the implications of his findings about cost-competitive clean energy are either exciting or worrying, depending on a reader’s vested interest. Via CleanTechnica Images via Tesla and Pixabay

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Solar-powered Australian homes with Tesla Powerwall 2.0 already cost-competitive

Chicago may be getting solar-powered floating bike paths

November 14, 2016 by  
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According to reports, a large majority of citizens are hesitant to ride a bicycle on roads with cars. In 2014, there has been an increase in cyclist fatalities and auto-related cyclist injuries. The mayor, however, is determined to see his city become the most bike-friendly city in the United States. His plan is to place bicycle racks and hubs within a half-mile of every Chicagoan, construct more bikeways where more people live and commute, and build infrastructure to match need and stimulate growth. Related: Poland unveils glowing bright blue bike lane that’s charged by the sun The River Ride alongside the Chicago River will be composed of steel-reinforced concrete pontoon segments developed by Marinetek, a global leader in floating structures . The parts will be produced off-site, floated into place and secured with pilings driven in riverbed. Solar panels above each segment will power lighting, precipitation-activated awnings and heating conduit embedded in the segment surface to prevent icing and snow build-up. Guardrails will be also installed in order to minimize injury during a fall and snow plowing into river. + Second Shore + Marinetek Via FastCoExist

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Chicago may be getting solar-powered floating bike paths

Episode 51: Walmart ups its CSR game; Live from BSR

November 4, 2016 by  
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Broadcasting the GreenBiz 350 podcast from BSR’s conference in New York City: GGPs solar strategy, Telsa’s new solar roof tiles and what it means to “Be Bold.”

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Episode 51: Walmart ups its CSR game; Live from BSR

Why General Growth ranks among the top 10 solar buyers

October 31, 2016 by  
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This mall operator owns more than 30.2 MW of capacity, and it’s installing more.

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Why General Growth ranks among the top 10 solar buyers

Why it’s a brilliant time for companies to invest in solar power

October 21, 2016 by  
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Here’s what your company should know before the solar opportunity window closes.

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Why it’s a brilliant time for companies to invest in solar power

CSRHub’s CEO: Dark data in sustainability reporting

October 21, 2016 by  
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Bahar Gidwani dives into recent reporting trends and barriers to accurate data collection.

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CSRHub’s CEO: Dark data in sustainability reporting

Installing solar power and paying it forward

September 20, 2016 by  
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GRID Alternatives brings solar energy to low-income households by using volunteers to cut labor costs. I joined the volunteer crew at VERGE 16.

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Installing solar power and paying it forward

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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The company that offered integrated solar roofs before Elon Musk

Bilateral Opportunities: Impacts of Hawaii’s Energy Policy and Deployment for Japan

July 7, 2016 by  
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With high penetrations of rooftop solar and constrained power grids, Hawaii and Japan have a lot in common. Energy executives from both geographies share their lessons learned and how they collaborate to create smarter grids.

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Bilateral Opportunities: Impacts of Hawaii’s Energy Policy and Deployment for Japan

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