edited by Jodi Summers
Here’s a cool chart predicting the growth in production of machine stress-rated (MSR). MSR wood is used mainly for trusses and I-joists, so when new construction rises, so will production. Second, design values for visually graded Southern yellow pine–another wood type used in trusses and joists–were reduced. That makes MSR of all types more desirable. The Forest Economic Advisers (FEA) predicts a boost in production of Southern pine MSR as production in Canada slows due to the mountain pine beetle’s destruction in the west and reduced harvests in the east.
Imagine getting a credit from SoCal Edison instead of a bill. Net-zero homeowners rely on power from utilities at night but get credit for the energy they produce during the day that they don’t consume. If you live in a smart home with solar power and get involved with California’s net meter programs, your energy credits for the power you create and do not use. Shine sun shine.
Net metering allows homeowners to get credit for the power they produce at a retail rate rather than a wholesale rate…nice incentive, yes? There is currently a cap on net metering programs, but experts say the cap won’t be hit any time soon.
“The energy that I don’t use Edison buys from me,” notes green home owner Steve Rosen. “It looks like I may not have an electric bill next year, because the electricity, all of it is going to keep on adding to that credit. I still have to pay delivery and handling charges, but that is just a couple of bucks a month.”
Environmentalists began pushing for California to mandate that new homes come with renewable energy systems in the early 2000s, as the technology became more scalable and available. Now there’s no other way.
In 2008, California energy regulators adopted a long-term plan that called for having all new residential buildings achieve zero net energy use by 2020 and having all commercial buildings achieve zero net energy use by 2030. And…it looks like we just might get there.
Sunny day? Let it shine…and let it make you money.
by Jodi Summers
The Smart City Wheel is not a unicycle to efficiently get you from place to place. It is a customizable plan for a broad, integrated approach to improving the efficiency of city operations, the quality of life for its citizens, and growing the local economy.
The key is to focus on having smart key elements > economy, environmental practices, governance, living, mobility, and people. The elements bond together in a molecular variety of combinations to suit their specific greening needs.
May we present the Smart Cities Wheel…
The Smart Cities Wheel, designed by Boyd Cohen, Ph.D., LEED AP, is a climate strategist helping to lead communities, cities and companies on the journey towards the low carbon economy
by Jodi Summers
Didja know, LED stands for “light emitting diode.” Nick Holonyak, Jr. (born November 3, 1928, in Zeigler, Illinois) invented the first practically useful visible LED in 1962 while working as a consulting scientist at a General Electric Company laboratory in Syracuse, New York. He has been called “the father of the light-emitting diode”.
Holonyak was John Bardeen’s first Ph.D. student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. (1954) from the same university. He created the first visible semiconductor lasers in 1960. In 1963, he again joined Dr. Bardeen, the co-inventor of the transistor, at the University of Illinois and worked on quantum wells and quantum-well lasers.
In addition to introducing the III-V alloy LED, Holonyak holds 41 patents. His other inventions include the red-light semiconductor laser, usually called the laser diode (used in CD and DVD players and cell phones) and the shorted emitter p-n-p-n switch (used in light dimmers and power tools). He helped create the first light dimmer while at GE..
He is a John Bardeen Endowed Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics and Professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he has been since 1963.
He received a $500,000 Lemelson-MIT prize for his work in 2004, the single largest cash prize for invention.
The dark-blue/black look of solar PV are cool, but now there are choices – red, emerald green, forest green, and polished marble panels.
The Stylish Solar Panels are produced and assembled in the USA and come with a 5-year workmanship and 25-year power warranty. Colored Solar CEO Michael Mrozek said: “Our customers can be comfortable knowing that our panels have been tested to ETL’s respected standards and will meet and qualify for all rebates and tax incentives … our game changing colored solar panels are built to a higher standard.”
The solar panels have ETL safety certification to UL1703 and a listing by the California Energy Commission. In terms of panel efficiency, NREL found there is little performance compromised for a 16%+ efficiency colored 225W panel.
by Jodi Summers
The house is a joint-effort between Ikea and Ideabox. The companies’ designers integrated Ikea kitchen cabinets, appliances, flooring, bathroom appointments, and built-in closet systems into the prefab one-bedroom home.
Those in the know saw the Ikea Aktiv home is easier to put together than some of it’s furniture. The Aktiv doesn’t arrive in a massive pile of flat-pack cardboard boxes. It’s delivered in a couple of chunks by semi.
The eco-friendly 745-square foot home makes the best possible use of space. The Aktiv home has no hallways and is designed using lots of green materials such as fiber cement siding, VOC-free paint, and energy-efficient appliances. Paying $86,500 for a new home offers lots of possibilities.
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