April 2008

Monthly Archive

Wisdom from the Wild

Posted by on 30 Apr 2008 | Tagged as: biomimicry


Fortune’s David Kirkpatrick interviews the always-brilliant Jane Benyus, the woman who coined the phrase “Biomimicry” and who continues to inspire a generation with wisdom from the wild. See also CNN post.

Photo credit: TED.

San Jose Home Show Gets Greener

Posted by on 27 Apr 2008 | Tagged as: events, green building

Joshua Foss

It was a relatively small event in downtown San Jose, but still a number of green products on show, and a great daily one hour introduction to green building and remodeling by Joshua Foss of Thrive Design Studio – check out his blog that goes by the name “Metro Hippie“.

EcoCity Wrapup

Posted by on 27 Apr 2008 | Tagged as: events

Closing Slide - EcoCity 2008 Conference in San Francisco

This closing slide says it all!

EcoCity World Summit

Posted by on 24 Apr 2008 | Tagged as: events

Ecocity World Summit 2008

Dang! Two important events crossing over. Web2.0 Expo and EcoCity World Summit. I recommend the later if you can make it – runs through Saturday in San Francisco.

A Green City is an ecologically healthy city. No such city presently exists. ..

…Instead of trying to improve an unhealthy automobile and oil based infrastructure, this conference calls for the city, town and village to be redesigned around the measure, needs and potential of the human being and based upon ecological principles.

…Specifically it calls for urban diversity at close proximity, instead of scattered uniformity. It calls for land uses, architecture and a steadily and rapidly growing infrastructure for pedestrians, bicyclists and transit, powered by renewable energy sources and balanced with preservation and restoration of natural and agricultural lands and waters.

I’ll be at Web2 till mid-day Friday, then down to San Jose for the Home Show and back in SF for EcoCity on Saturday – if you’re attending any of these let me know and lets connect!

Home Comfort Zones

Posted by on 21 Apr 2008 | Tagged as: energy efficiency, green building

Cleve Reeves from Home Comfort Zones called by the new house today to demonstrate their solution indoor climate control.

Nothing impacts your comfort at home more than maintaining the proper temperature. Unfortunately most homes don’t have the control to ensure every room is the temperature you want it to be. Home Comfort Zones provides a room-by-room temperature control and energy management system that guarantees you’ll always be comfortable in every room of your home….

…No more cold or hot spots and uneven temperatures upstairs or downstairs; just perfect temperature control … and that’s just the beginning. The MyTemp™ temperature control system is “zoning” taken to the next level. Simple to use yet powerful and flexible, it can provide energy savings of up to 40%.

Builders are a fairly skeptical bunch when it comes to new fangled devices, but my (green) builder was nodding in agreement as Cleeve presented his solution. Its not inexpensive, but when you add up the energy savings plus the increased comfort…seems like a smart choice. Check it out at Home Comfort Zones.

New Wave Monitoring

Posted by on 18 Apr 2008 | Tagged as: energy efficiency, green building

Energy and water monitoring systems were once the exclusive purview of facilities managers responsible for industrial buildings and large office blocks. More recently some high-end green buildings have adopted the technology to showcase the impact of efficiency and alternative energy sources. Earlier today I talked with the founder/CEO of Agilewaves about a new system that is scaling down to the residential home level and I think they have a winning product.

Agilewaves’ flagship product, the Resource Monitor, constantly monitors electric, gas, and water consumption of a home or office and reports consumption and carbon footprint through a built-in touchscreen interface or a password protected web page.

The system measures the ecological footprint of a property in real time. It monitors each electrical circuit, water line, and the main gas line, as well as temperature in key locations throughout the building. In addition to the overall footprint, it tracks the performance of major appliances and calculates the resource consumption by room or floor. Current and time-series information is displayed and stored for future reference, allowing the user to compare data with any past period. More at http://www.agilewaves.com/.

You’ll find a good picture of the dashboard over at CNet. This looks like a comprehensive solution that will be ideal for my new home. More as I dig deeper…

Picture Credit: Agilewaves

Wind in the City

Posted by on 16 Apr 2008 | Tagged as: green building


Cnet reports that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom recently toured the ‘Sunset Idea House’, talked with some “green” bloggers, and announced a “strike force” of business and government leaders to discuss ways of encouraging more homeowners to install wind turbines.

Wind turbine

Video via Cnet/ZDNet…

Here’s hoping they have more success than with the currently stalled Solar Incentive Program, which of course I hope to tap. Its said to be a ‘tax break for the rich’ which in a way it is, but the $4k rebate represents a tiny fraction of the property tax I’ll be paying (tax basis for house quadrupled with change of ownership), so come on SF, get with the program!

Photo Credit: CNet.

Green Theme Abounds At KBIS 2008

Posted by on 13 Apr 2008 | Tagged as: events, green building

I’m just back from the annual Kitchen and Bathroom Industry Show and I’m pleased to report that green was the theme. Of course much of it is ‘light green’, but many of the exhibiting companies are taking the work seriously.

More signs of the time: http://picasaweb.google.com/DavidWFox/KBIS2008GoesGreen

Former EPA Head Talks at Kitchen/Bath Industry Event

Posted by on 11 Apr 2008 | Tagged as: business, energy efficiency, events, news, water

Christie Todd Whitman

This weekend I’m attending the 2008 Kitchen/Bath Industry Show and Conference (K/BIS). I was booked on American Airlines and my flight was cancelled so I missed the Friday morning opening keynote, but here’s what I’ve gleaned from other reports:

Christine Todd Whitman, former administrator of the EPA delivered the keynote address focused on sustainability. She said that kitchen and bath professionals can play a key role in educating the public about lessening environmental impact. “…selling green kitchen/bath design and products is very similar to selling eco-sensitive public policy: it’s about getting people to do something for the common good.”

By explaining the long-term benefits derived from an upfront financial investment, architects and designers can help open their clients’ eyes to green design “…they aren’t sacrificing anything by going green.”

A green theme is said to be present around the vast show floor and I’ll be checking out the “Implementing Sustainability” seminar Saturday to see just how quickly this old, old industry is taking the message to heart.

Looking over the Cleantech Horizon – May 9th

Posted by on 11 Apr 2008 | Tagged as: events

This sounds like an interesting event if you’re trying to stay at the leading edge of the cleantech:

California Clean Innovation 2008 (CACI) provides an unprecedented opportunity for attendees to expand their knowledge of the clean technology landscape, network with industry leaders, and participate in a fast pitch business case competition.

  • Get an inside look at the latest research within leading California universities & global businesses
  • Participate in a multi-disciplinary discussion that addresses key challenges in Clean Technology
  • Observe early-stage entrepreneurs as they compete in a dynamic Fast Pitch business case exercise
  • Develop new partner, financing, employment and investment relationships from a diverse network of private & public sector professionals

The conference has been organized by MBAs and Faculty/Staff from the following university programs: the UCLA Anderson School of Management, the Center for the Science & Engineering of Materials at Caltech, and the Rady School of Management at UCSD.

See my earlier post for other upcoming events of interest.

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