Dow helps build net-zero energy home
Dow Chemical Co. and Cobblestone Homes have opened their new net-zero energy home for the first time during the Midland, Mich., Spring Parade of Homes.
Built for under $250,000, the home, dubbed “InVision Zero,” makes sustainable living an affordable reality for more homeowners, as it is priced at the current U.S. average new-home selling price. Using a portfolio of energy-efficient home-building materials and technologies from Dow that are designed to work together to seal the entire building envelope, the home is expected to save $2,441 in energy costs and avert 30,233 lbs. of CO2 annually, according to Dow.
“Dow Building Solutions has been providing advanced building science expertise to the industry for decades,” said Dale Winger, marketing manager, Dow Building Solutions. “By collaborating with industry leaders like Cobblestone Homes, we are able to showcase that employing the latest available insulation and air sealing technologies can reduce a home’s energy requirements so dramatically that net-zero energy homes reach an attainable price point for mainstream new home buyers.”
Cobblestone Homes is a Great Lakes Bay region home builder focused on energy efficiency.
Net-zero energy homes typically use about 60% to 70% less energy than a conventional home, with the balance of its energy needs supplied by renewable technologies. The InVision Zero home uses a wide range of Dow materials and sustainable technologies, including Dow Building Solutions’ Styrofoam SIS Structural Insulated Sheathing and DOW Solar Shingles.
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Colorado IKEA lights up solar energy system
IKEA officially plugged in the solar energy system installed at its future Denver-area store opening July 27, 2011, in Centennial, Colo.
The 60,000-sq.-ft. array consists of a 498-kW system, built with 2,212 panels.
IKEA Centennial’s solar program will produce approximately 740,000 kWh of electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing at least 564 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 100 cars or powering 62 homes yearly.
“We are thrilled at how this solar energy system furthers our sustainability commitment at this future IKEA store,” said Kelly Frieze, store manager.
The project — the largest single-use rooftop array on a commercial building in Colorado — will contribute to the local utility’s renewable portfolio goals and lower the carbon intensity of the electrical grid. With this Centennial effort, IKEA now has six solar PV programs in the United States, with installations pending at eight other stores. IKEA Centennial also will be the first U.S. IKEA store to incorporate a geothermal system for heating/cooling the building.
IKEA contracted with California-based REC Solar, one of the largest U.S. solar electric providers with more than 6,000 systems built nationwide, including 16MW in the commercial retail sector in the past two years. REC Solar specializes in grid-tied solar electric design and installation, and offers the latest technology, state-of-the-art equipment and financing opportunities for all commercial and residential customers.
This is great news. Just
This is great news. Just think the huge amount of co2 emission could be reduced. This would certainly be making a positive impact on the environment. Lowering the level of pollution is very important for us. Using solar energy in all parts of the world is needed. More Solar energy investing would help this industry to grow.
An ECO product gives new life to disposable batteries
Canadian distributor and retailer RONA introduced an alkaline-battery charger that works for regular disposable batteries. This new product, available under the RONA ECO brand, has been analyzed by the International Chair in Life Cycle Assessment at École Polytechnique de Montréal.
The device can recharge four AA or AAA batteries at a time. The recharge time only takes 90 minutes, and the charger can recharge the same battery up to 200 times, raising the average life expectancy of a battery from eight hours to 1,600 hours, according to RONA.
The product is an exclusive for RONA.
The retailer has done the math, suggesting a lifetime ownership cost savings in addition to its eco-friendly attributes. The RONA ECO charger also has considerable cost advantages. At a suggested retail price of $59.99, it allows a single battery, sold at an average cost of $1.62, to do the work of 200 batteries, which would amount to $1,296 for four regular alkaline batteries.
The RONA ECO charger can be plugged into an electrical outlet or powered using a USB cable (not included). If a battery has expired or is too damaged to be recharged, an indicator light will inform the user, and the device will simply cease to function.
Could you explain how we can
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