Archive for May, 2010


Hopefully you’re catching a little rest and relaxation while observing this fine Memorial Day holiday.  As is the customary at the end of the month here, I’ve linked up all of our coverage from May in groupings — Developments & Projects, Prefab & Homes, Technology & Products, and Interesting & Green News — in case you missed something.  Here’s the good stuff:

Developments & Projects:

Prefab & Homes:

Technology & Products Innovation:

Interesting & Green News:

May Monthly Word Cloud by Wordle.

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plastiki graham with camera photo
Graham Hill, founder of, is currently aboard the 60 foot, 12,500 plastic bottle vessel crossing the Pacific, fresh from the Galapagos where he covered TED Ocean’s Mission-Blue conference. This post originally appeared on Huffington Post; Photos via The Plastiki

It’s about a week into the Kiribati to Fiji or New Caledonia or wherever we end up being able to make it to on this side-slipping, 60 foot raft made from recyclable plastic and 12,500 reclaimed wa… Read the full story on TreeHugger
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When using shipping containers for a structure, you’ll want to do your homework, but often the results can be stunning, as is the case here.  Located in Brittany, France, Crossbox was built with four containers and topped with greenery.  Two modules cantilever over the other two, but you can hardly tell what’s going on as drywall and cladding camouflage the industrial skeleton. 






[+] Learn more about Crossbox from CG Architectes.

Photo credits: Javier Callejas; noticed at MoCo Loco

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deepwater horizon checking water quality photo
Image: Flickr, Deepwater Horizon Response

A lot of the questions surrounding the response to the gulf oil spill address the chemicals being sprayed onto the gulf and pumped out underwater to disperse the spilled oil. These dispersants are intended to break the oil up into smaller bits, which can sink into the water and get eaten up by microbes there. Along with questions about whether “out of sight, out of mind” is really better, there are serious concerns raised about depositing huge quantities of dispersant chemicals … Read the full story on TreeHugger
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Week in Review

Also, follow @jetsongreen on Twitter or fan Jetson Green on Facebook for more news, links, and commentary.

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gulf hair campaign photo
Volunteers produced a lot of boom at Felix’ Fish Camp, Mobile Alabama, to absorb oil. Photos courtesy of Matters of Trust

Since the Top Kill method has failed, cleaning up the continuously leaking oil in the Gulf of Mexico is clearly a nonstop effort until the gusher is somehow capped. Marine toxicologist and author Riki Ott left her home in Alaska to bring her expertise to the Gulf as well as her experience with the Exxon Valdez oil tanker spill 21 years ago, especially in stopping the use of <a href="… Read the full story on TreeHugger
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Dwell Development Design + Build, a firm in Washington state focusing on urban infill development, recently completed these four homes located at 1105 23rd Avenue South in Seattle. Targeted to exceed 5-star Built Green certification, the modern homes at 1105 Dwell are being offered for sale from $479,000. Sizes vary from 1,647 to 1,772 square feet.


As modeled, 1105 Dwell homes should outperform code homes by about 45% on energy consumption. But your everyday homeowner may not understand what this means, so Dwell Development is using the above Environmental Facts Label to communicate the potential for energy and water savings (click to enlarge).

The project was built “as green as possible without any sacrifice in design or livability,” according to a statement by the developer in an email to Jetson Green.

1105 Dwell homes were constructed with SIPs, in-floor radiant heat, recycled glass tile, rift cut oak flooring, roof gardens, Energy Star appliances, tankless hot water, low-VOC paints and finishes, heat recovery ventilation, and rainwater collection.






[+] Visit Dwell Development for Sales Information.

Photo credits: Tucker English.

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Copeland Casati, founder of Green Cabin Kits and Green Modern Kits, is busy these days.  When she's not working on her own passive solar casa ti, she's helping folks across the country with theirs.  Casati also just unveiled a revamped and newly engineered Dogtrot Mod Kit House, which is an energy-efficient 1,500 square-foot home with a 500 square-foot screened porch in the middle. 


Green Cabin Kits aims to provide an affordable option for homeowners in need of something that's well-designed, energy-efficient, and not necessarily custom. 

The Dogtrot Mod kit, for instance, is available nationally for $35,795.08.  The price includes design documents and SIPs for the floor, walls, and roof (while the homeowner purchases and determines how the rest is finished). 

Upon delivery, the homeowner then works with a local contractor to put everything together and button up the home to code. 





[+] Learn more about The Dogtrot Mod from Green Modern Kits.

Media credits: Green Cabin Kits.

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The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) recently released its annual Global Market Study [PDF] of the small wind market, and I thought I'd share this information considering the intersect of green building and small wind.  According to the study, the U.S. market for small wind turbines — those with a capacity of 100 kW of less — added 20.3 MW of new capacity on $82.4 million in sales in 2009. 

This new growth comes from sales of 9,800 new units, pushing national capacity beyond the 100 MW mark.  In fact, AWEA estimates that half of all small wind capacity was installed in the last three years. 

For comparison, in 2008, the U.S. market for small wind turbines added a total of 17.3 MW in new capacity.  So, even in tough economic times, the industry recognized more than 15% year over year growth. 

Additionally, according to the Global Market Study, 95% of all systems sold in the U.S. were made by U.S. manufacturers, while two-thirds of all small wind systems sold nationally were made by U.S. manufacturers.  

The top three U.S. manufacturers of small wind systems include Southwest Windpower, Northern Power Systems, and Bergey Windpower Co

The study found that 187 units were installed in urban and rooftop settings (e.g., Twelve West and Adobe) with a total capacity of 400 kW — less than 2% of the U.S. small wind market.  Due to turbulent and unpredictable winds near buildings and structures, these turbines have performance problems that the industry is still trying to solve. 

The primary driver of growth was perhaps the expanded investment tax credit.  With the 30% ITC, the industry was able to focus on other issues, such as net metering, permitting, interconnection regulation, and installer and equipment certifications.  

[+] Download the 2010 AWEA Small Wind Global Market Study [PDF]. 

Photo credit: Southwest Windpower.

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Recently we mentioned Studio Shed, a startup that builds eco-friendly prefabricated sheds for equipment, storage, and office sheds.  The company just installed its sixth modern shed in Boulder and has delivered four others to California.  In completing these ten projects, Studio Shed has perfected the overall prefabrication and shipping experience provided to customers and is now offering a 5% discount on orders through June 15, 2010. 


Studio Sheds are built green with FSC-certified lumber, recycled aluminum frame windows, HardiPlank siding, and low-VOC paints. 

They install in a day and, depending on where you're located, can be ordered and fully built in about two to four weeks.  Indeed, for a cost starting at about $4,500, you could be shedworking in style in less than a month. 




[+] Learn more about these modern prefab Studio Sheds.

Photo credits: Studio Shed.

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