What technologies are available now that can make a home more sustainable (lower impact and more economical)? Can these solutions not only fit in with design but even enhance it? There are new solutions emerging every day that we can intergrate.
Lighting: Very efficient and emerging LED. Development cycle follows Moore’s law so prices will drop in the near future.
- LED lamps: Read More, and note the first comment as it gives very useful specs for first time LED bulb buyers (hat tip Lance Cole).
- Low cost (under $5), no frills LED bulbs for those interested in trying. Read more.
- Philips announces availability of 10 Watt L Prize LED bulb to replace 60 Watt incandescent bulbs (a 50 Watt savings). Keep the Watt savings and lifespan of the bulb in mind when comparing bulbs. This is good for household lighting. Read more.
- I put together a page on water systems and harvesting for world water day. Some communities have laws defining regulation for water harvesting so be aware of these but a smart design can help in addressing issues. Read more.
- Solar Thermal has a 70% capture rate in commercial and residential uses today. Although rapid advances are occurring in R&D, solar photo-voltaic only has about a 20% capture rate from the sun. Solar thermal is a very simple, low tech and cost effective technology. It is used in several New England houses during the winter which illustrates its effectiveness. Integrating solar thermal for hot water, radiant floor and base board heating can significantly reduce your on-grid energy use and help you focus on incrementally replacing the remaining on-grid energy demands with emerging efficient energy supplies (e.g. wind, photo-voltiac…). New England Solar Hotwater www.neshw.com is an example of an active solar thermal system integrator.