This revolutionary sustainable community in Atlanta is still thriving 15 years after its founding

April 6, 2018 by  
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Almost 15 years since the sustainable community of Serenbe built its first home, the modern-day green utopia is still thriving. Located just southwest of Atlanta,  Serenbe is an experimental green community designed by architect Dr. Phill Tabb, who lives on site in a net-zero home . The progressive neighborhood, hidden amid 1,000 acres of natural forest landscape, was created with four main pillars in mind: arts, agriculture, health, and education. In 2001, architect Dr. Phill Tabb designed the masterplan for Serenbe Community – a sustainable neighborhood set in a natural landscape, but with connections to the typical urban amenities. One of the core pillars of the community’s plan was land preservation. Accordingly, the homes were built into strategic locations throughout the hilly landscape that would minimize the impact on the surrounding environment and give residents easy access to nature. Related: EarthCraft-certified Organic Life House teaches Atlanta agrihood residents about healthy living Nearly all of the homes at Serenbe abut a natural area, and manicured lawns are not allowed. All landscaping is natural and edible. The homes themselves are heated and cooled with ground-sourced heat pumps. Most use grey water systems , and a community-based vegetated wetland treats all the wastewater. The neighborhood is an active, vibrant area, arranged according to what Tabb calls the “hamlet constellation theory.” Tabb explained, “I love the hamlet constellation theory, which is something that I developed with the creation of Serenbe…. I found that we could proliferate [sustainable designs] into a constellation. Serenbe is a constellation of individual hamlets that come together to form the larger concept of Serenbe. It is a way of reaching out. Now my pilgrimage has led me to suggesting that constellations like Serenbe be married to the emergence of new high tech companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, etc.” Today, over 600 residents live in the hamlets, which are connected to the surrounding restaurants and shopping areas via walking trails. Each hamlet reflects a different pillar of the community. For example, Selborne Hamlet is geared towards the visual, performing and culinary arts. Grange Hamlet sits adjacent to Serenbe Farms, a 15-acre organic farm . The third neighborhood, Mado Hamlet, integrates health and wellness functions with community, including a destination spa, recuperative hotel, fitness center and additional centers. The hamlets were developed one at a time, each one more sustainable than the last. The Grange Hamlet saw the construction of the community’s first off-grid homes , which have become more and more prevalent as the development continues to grow. Residents of Serenbe enjoy a wide range of amenities, including restaurants, retail shops, and co-working spaces, all of which work around the community’s eco-friendly core values. In fact, the development is home to  the Blue Eyed Daisy , the country’s smallest Silver LEED-certified building. For the past year, Dr. Tabb has lived within the community he designed. His net-zero Watercolor Cottage, built in accordance with EarthCraft building standards, is surrounded by a wooded lot on three sides. A large glazed wall opens up to an outdoor fruit and vegetable garden integrated into the home’s layout. The two-story structure has a passive solar heating system, as well as geothermal heating and cooling systems. A rooftop PV solar array provides the home’s electricity needs, and works in conjunction with a Tesla Powerwall system. + Serenbe Community Images via Dr. Phill Tabb and Serenbe

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This revolutionary sustainable community in Atlanta is still thriving 15 years after its founding

A luscious open-air ‘urban forest’ tops this formerly abandoned penthouse

October 17, 2017 by  
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Parisian firm Matteo Cainer Architects just unveiled plans to convert an old abandoned apartment into a beautiful solar-powered penthouse filled with natural light and pockets of lush green vegetation. The renovation of the 1,400 square-meter space – referred to as “La Forêt Urbaine” – includes a lush open-air urban forest that echoes the many surrounding parks below. Located on a central Paris street with striking 360-degree views of the city’s landmarks, the original apartment, which had been empty for some 30 years, was broken up into two floors with several rooms. To create an open layout, the renovation began by tearing down walls and reconfiguring the living space . Related: Explore Andrew Franz’s Greenery-Covered West Village Penthouse Addition and Townhouse Renovation Several sustainable features were used to reduce the project’s carbon footprint. Solar panels were installed on the rooftop’s veranda and the living space was installed with in-floor heating and cooling. The various windows allow the homeowners to take advantage of natural ventilation in order to reduce energy use year-round. In an attempt to bring in the surrounding green space to the home, multiple garden pockets were installed within and around the living spaces, which are clad in glazed walls. The result is a beautiful open floor plan filled with greenery and natural light . Of course, at the heart of the project, is the expansive rooftop garden with spectacular city views. The landscape design really shines here, with different sections being distinguished by their uses by sculptured bushes and trees. The large area includes an outdoor dining area, a lounge space with a fire place and even an open-air cinema. A glass veranda houses an enclosed large entertainment area and a gym, both installed with several hanging gardens. + Matteo Cainer Architects Images via Matteo Cainer Architects

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A luscious open-air ‘urban forest’ tops this formerly abandoned penthouse

Making Solar Sweeter: Pollinator-Friendly Arrays

October 2, 2017 by  
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Introduced at VERGE 2015, and highlighted recently in training by the International Society of Sustainability Professionals, the practice of using the land under and around U.S. solar arrays to benefit pollinators is on the cusp of becoming a standard practice — as it is in Europe. Benefitting pollinators at scale, and producing “Solar Honey,” are new ways to increase support for large-scale solar.

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Making Solar Sweeter: Pollinator-Friendly Arrays

James Cameron designs five huge flower-shaped solar arrays to power his wife’s sustainable school

May 24, 2015 by  
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Blockbuster director James Cameron has added a new entry to the code of the language of flowers . By gifting his wife, Suzy Amis Cameron, a “bunch” of five solar arrays shaped like giant flowers for her MUSE School in southern California, he not only demonstrated his love for her, but his love for the planet as well. Cameron designed the solar arrays himself over the course of three years. Just like sunflowers, they pivot to face the moving sun to maximize the solar energy they can absorb each day. At an unveiling ceremony for the Sun Flowers, as they are named, Cameron explained, “I thought we should try to do something that inspires because this is about kids. Once you capture their imagination and empower them, they can do anything.” READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “solar energy” , flower-shaped solar array , green schools , james cameron , James Cameron gives flower-shaped solar arrays to school , Muse School , solar design , solar panels

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James Cameron designs five huge flower-shaped solar arrays to power his wife’s sustainable school

MIT Unveils 3D Solar Arrays That Produce Up to 20 Times More Energy

March 27, 2012 by  
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MIT researchers just unveiled a new three-dimensional solar array that can produce up to 20 times more energy per square foot than traditional flat arrays – and it’s potentially more efficient than standard arrays as well. The team tested multiple stacked PV panel configurations and settled upon a 3D shape that takes in the most light over time per area of ground. Their remarkable results (especially in cloudy weather) point to a promising way to apply solar panels to tall buildings and other structures without sacrificing space. MIT’s latest solar discovery also corroborates the hunch of Adien Dywer, the 13-year-old boy who hypothesized and tested a solar tree design . Read the rest of MIT Unveils 3D Solar Arrays That Produce Up to 20 Times More Energy Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3d solar , MIT solar array , MIT solar energy increase , solar accordion , solar cube , Solar Wall

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MIT Unveils 3D Solar Arrays That Produce Up to 20 Times More Energy

Japanese Homes and Business Sold 2,150 Gigawatt-Hours of Solar Energy Back to the Grid in 2011

January 25, 2012 by  
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Small businesses and homeowners in Japan sold an amazing 2,150 gigawatt hours of solar energy back to utilities last year – a figure that shows a fifty percent increase since 2010. The surge in solar is thanks to a plan by the Japanese government to push the private installation of solar panels to power homes and feed the grid. Japan’s 10 regional power companies spent a whopping $1.2 billion purchasing the clean energy from consumers this year. Read the rest of Japanese Homes and Business Sold 2,150 Gigawatt-Hours of Solar Energy Back to the Grid in 2011 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “solar energy” , energy in japan , Japan , japan energy , japan green energy policy , japan nuclear , japan renewable energy policy , japan sustainable energy policy , Japanese , japanese electrical grid , japanese solar energy , solar array , solar energy in japan , solar in japan , Solar Policy , solar tarrifs

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Japanese Homes and Business Sold 2,150 Gigawatt-Hours of Solar Energy Back to the Grid in 2011

Sliding Skin Adapts to Sunlight in Egypt’s SLIDES House

July 29, 2011 by  
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[ By Steph in Art & Design . ] There’s no shortage of sunlight in the wide open deserts of Egypt, and while that means lots of potential for solar energy, it also makes temperature regulation difficult. But new designs for sustainable architecture, like the SLIDES House , adapt and adjust in order to maximize solar power efficiency while keeping occupants cool. Representing American University in Cairo’s entry for the 2012 European Solar Decathlon, the SLIDES House combines elements of traditional Egyptian architecture with modern features. Designed in the shape of a matchbox, the house includes a double layered facade of interlocking perforated pieces mimicking the patterns seen in Arabic buildings. The building is made from a recycled material developed by the students, which is a fiber-reinforced polymer made of plastic bags and wood waste. The perforations control the amount of sunlight that enters the interior of the building, providing a cool, shaded haven from the heat without a need for air conditioning. Solar panels on the roof make use of all the sun while a grey water filter recycles water for irrigation and toilets. The coolest feature of the building (in more ways than one!) is hinted at in the name. The perforated panels can actually slide out to reveal an inner structure with glass walls. This allows occupants to open up the interior to the light in the winter months; the screen absorbs heat which is stored in thermal mass flooring. Want More? Click for Great Related Content on WebEcoist: From Ancient Air Conditioners to Contemporary Passive Homes The modern air conditioner is only about a century old. So what did people do to survive the summers before then? They used ingenious natural cooling methods. 3 Comments – Click Here to Read More »» Sun + Shade = Stunningly Stylish Public Solar Arrays These smart shades feature modular solar panels that let summer-loving adventurers enjoy the shade while reaping the benefits of the sun all at once. Click Here to Read More »» Let the Sun Shine: Solar Decathlon Europe 2010 Winners The Solar Decathlon highlights the best and most innovative in solar home design. These 5 entries were picked as the judges’ favorites in the 2010 competition. Click Here to Read More »» [ By Steph in Art & Design . ] [ WebEcoist | Archives | Galleries | Privacy | TOS ]

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Sliding Skin Adapts to Sunlight in Egypt’s SLIDES House

FedEx Adding All-Electric Trucks to Fleet

March 29, 2010 by  
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FedEx says it will be the first U.S. delivery service to add all-electric trucks to their fleet.  Starting in June, the company will enter four EVs into service in Los Angeles . Two of the trucks will come from Navistar, based on a design the parcel service already is using in Europe.  FedEx has 10 EV vans in London and five scheduled to enter routes in Paris.  The other two trucks are coming from a yet unnamed company.

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FedEx Adding All-Electric Trucks to Fleet

Energizer Installing Trojan Malware With Battery Charger

March 28, 2010 by  
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Energizer’s DUO Charger is a battery charger for NiMH (nickel metal hydride) rechargable batteries. (This isn’t the same as USB batteries that have a built-in USB port on the batteries themselves.) Energizer provided a nice little desktop app for computers so that the user could see the charge status of their batteries along with the charger

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Energizer Installing Trojan Malware With Battery Charger

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