Archive for April, 2009

Getting that Green

This site has a really nice state by state listing of the certifications you can get. National Programs are listed too, and there’s a nice resources page behind the scenes too. I’m getting ready to publish a spreadsheet to the Solarious site which contains the contact information for photovoltaic training sites around the US. The LEED-NC exam has a great training site which has insight into that test should you be considering it or in going for the certification for your building project. Armed with only these tools, you could be on your way to a green career today!
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Definitions of green building are fuzzy to many people. We intend to bring them into focus.
Green Building Certification Programs

The only way to ensure that a home is
green is to get it independently verified. The following programs certify homes as being green, or energy-efficient. Many of the programs are offered through utility companies that provide
rebates and incentives.


American Lung Association Health House

ENERGY STAR Qualified New Homes

Environments for Living

LEED for Homes


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Yes Yes Yes!

The age of truly renewable energy is arriving. And scientists and dreamers are taking the technologies far beyond things that generate power under certain conditions to envision ways that we can integrate power generation into our existing life patterns. Check out these five emerging technologies, outlined in H+ Magazine, that show promise to change the way we think about power.
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Five Paths to Unlimited Renewable Energy

If you were trying to design an energy system for a rapidly growing population, it would be hard to do worse than the one we have today. It’s brittle — dependent upon unstable regions and massive centralized networks. It’s dirty — poisoning us with mercury and heating the atmosphere with carbon. And it’s finite — we’re perilously close to running out of one of our key energy resources, oil. Getting away from all of this won’t be easy, and we’re running out of time to make it happen.

But there’s also good news: We know exactly what we need to do to get out of this mess, and we have all of the necessary tools at hand.

Five Paths to Unlimited Renewable Energy
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Another interesting thin-film CIGS application

Heliovolt is another company tackling the task of bringing thin-film solar technologies, which have traditionally been to expensive for mass deployment in to the reach of the general public. Their patented FASST technology looks very promising. If you are a developer or engineer, they are currently seeking people to partner with on photovoltaic integrated design runs. Info below.
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Power Modules

Mass-market modules.


HelioVolt’s FASST™ process eliminates the expense of slicing photovoltaic circuits and assembling individual solar cells into modules. Our line of integrated platform circuits can be adapted to a range of sizes and shapes and applied to almost any construction material: glass, steel, metal, composites and some polymers.


Combining integrated solar power with pleasing aesthetics, our module platform can be adapted to a wide range of architectural systems:


  • Sunshades
  • Sun louvers and curtains
  • Skylights
  • Curtain walls
  • Spandrels
  • Windows
  • Atria


If your business is the manufacturing, design, or distribution of building products, now’s the time to get in touch. We are actively seeking cooperative development opportunities. Contact us regarding Partner Opportunities.


Partner Smart  Power Buildings

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Very cool: Konarka Power Plastic

Download the PDF below for a really nice look into the future at Konarka, which manufactures thin film flexible solar panels. I especially like their solar Power Thread technology, which promises to make solar power generation available in the actual thread structure of woven garments and cloth items such as Sunbrellas.

They still have to bring that technology to market, but their Power Plastic is available now and being integrated in a variety of home design applications. Very nice!

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Konarka Power Plastic® is a photovoltaic material that captures both indoor and outdoor light and converts it into direct current (DC) electrical energy

Konarka Power Plastic is a photovoltaic material that captures both indoor and outdoor light and converts it into direct current (DC) electrical energy. This energy can be used immediately, stored for later use, or converted to other forms. Power Plastic can be applied to a limitless number of potential applications – from microelectronics to portable power, remote power and building-integrated applications.

We will soon be announcing the availability of our seven standard products. These products include Konarka Power Plastic panels ranging from our KT 25 (0.25W) to our KT 3000 (26W), perfect for many portable and remote power applications. Sign up to be among the first to receive the announcement! Get to know the features of our standard products by clicking on the links below and downloading our technical specification sheets and information sheets.

Konarka builds products that convert light to energy anywhere.


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Very green paper

Though we’d all love to ditch the paper habit entirely, there are times when you just have to write something down. And when that happens, there’s nothing I love more than a nice, neat and professional looking paper notebook that makes everything you put inside look that much more important and lasting! Check out this company, WhiteLines, which makes some really sweet paper that even comes with a printed Carbon footprint on each book.
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White Lines Carbon Neutral Swedish Paper

White Lines factory reuses their carbon emissions in a closed loop, making for zero CO2 emissions, for one. Then they offset what they can’t reuse (transportation, etc) via planting trees in Africa, as coordinated by environmental consultancy U&W (interestingly pronounced “You & We” in Swedish) The wood used for the paper comes from locally sourced, sustainably managed forests, and woodchip waste from sawmills. And every package tells you the precise carbon footprint, the materials traced back to the source.

The paper uses white lines rather then black or blue. And? And that means less visual competition between pen/pencil strokes on the line. This does two things: When copying or faxing, the white lines disappear, so you can draw using grid paper as a guide, then when others see it, all there is is your drawing. For those learning to write, the focus is squarely on the writing, without the distraction of other lines.

available domestically in the US today, through Amazon
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