Saturday, November 21, 2015

Smart Phone Apps for Solar and Green Building

Using solar energy is a lot easier these days thanks to several great iPhone apps. Pictured is the screen for Easy Solar that offers design and measurement tools for professionals. On the other hand, Solar Panel Advisor app is fun for anyone who wants to see their phone behave as a solar panel. And the Pyranometer app allows you to measure the solar irradiance in watts per square meter for and education. Enjoy!

Dirty Laundry Exposed at Thrift Store Chain
Recycling clothing and small household items is a positive thing for the environment, right? So why is the Savers corporation and its Value Village thrift stores under fire? The $1.2 billion per year giant appears to be masquerading as a big do-gooder for non-profits with its slogan: "Good Deeds. Great Deals." In reality, a small fraction of between 8 and 17 percent of revenue goes to charities. Already in hot water in Minnesota, the Washington State for-profit thrift business is finally being scrutinized in Washington - as its board chairman, Tom Ellison, resides luxuriously in his waterfront mansion. Read the full investigation by Francesca Lyman and Investigate West.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Modular, Ultra-Green, Solar Classroom Inspires Sustainability

Unveiled in 2015, this could be the classroom of the future. Located at the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, this is one of the first completely sustainable, modular classrooms in the U.S. Fabricated by EcoCraft Homes and developed by the SEED Collaborative, the SEED Classroom features non-toxic materials, generates its own energy, and recycles water on-site. A hands-on sustainable learning space built to Living Building Challenge standards, it impacts thousands of children with its net-zero energy, net-zero water, sustainable materials, daylighting, urban agriculture and equity components.

TAGS: green architecture, green building, modular construction, passive house, solar, energy efficient, pittsburgh