A Geodesic Dome Promises Fish from the Sky

Read the full story from GOOD.

Ever since R. Buckminster Fuller popularized the design in the mid-20th century, there’s been something captivating about the geodesic dome. While the structure typically makes architecture lovers salivate, now it’s conquering the heart of another type of urbanist: the city farmer. A new dome-based prototype promises an affordable method of rooftop aquaculture for apartment and commercial buildings—as the website calls it, getting “fish from the sky.”

The Globe / Hedron bamboo dome would house an aquaponics system—a mini-ecosystem in which plants clean the water where fish swim and fish waste fertilizes the plants—capable of feeding 16 people year-round. The unique structure of the dome, designed by Conceptual Devices, would support the weight of the fish tank, enabling installation on flat roofs without adapting the structure of the building. The design firm is partnering with Zurich-based group UrbanFarmers, which developed the aqauponic technology, and they’re currently fundraising on indiegogo to get the project off the ground.

United Supermarkets CEO on leadership, sustainability and how small companies are leading the economic recovery

Read the full post at SmartBlog on Food & Beverage.

Robert Taylor is CEO of United Supermarkets, a 10,000-employee, 50-store regional grocery chain based in Lubbock, Texas. I sat down with Taylor during FMI 2012 last week in Dallas to discuss leadership, sustainability and more.

Republicans Order Navy to Quit Buying Biofuels

Read the full post at Wired’s Danger Room.

On Monday, the U.S. Navy will officially announce the ships for its demonstration of the “Great Green Fleet” — an entire aircraft carrier strike group powered by biofuels and other eco-friendly energy sources. If a powerful congressional panel has its way, it could be the last time the Navy ever uses biofuels to run its ships and jets.

In its report on next year’s Pentagon budget, the House Armed Services Committee banned the Defense Department from making or buying an alternative fuel that costs more than a “traditional fossil fuel.” It’s a standard that may be almost impossible to meet, energy experts believe; there’s almost no way the tiny, experimental biofuel industry can hope to compete on price with the massive, century-old fossil fuels business.

Committee Republicans, like Rep. Randy Forbes, insist this isn’t an attempt to kill off military biofuels before they have a chance to start. “Now, look, I love green energy,” he said in February. “It’s a matter of priorities.”

But if the measure becomes law, it would make it all-but-inconceivable for the Pentagon to buy the renewable fuels. It would likely scuttle one of the top priorities of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus. And it might very well suffocate the gasping biofuel industry, which was looking to the Pentagon to help it survive.

VERGE Executive Series: Q&A with Boeing’s Tim Noonan

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Editor’s note: GreenBiz continues our series of interviews with business leaders that were conducted as the basis for the report, “Converging worlds,” produced in conjunction with PwC.

In the fifth installation of our series, PwC’s Don Reed spoke with Tim Noonan, Vice President, Phantom Works Ventures and Boeing Energy at Boeing. Here, Noonan shares his insights about how Boeing Energy is working to drive innovation by leveraging its own internal resources and tapping into key partnerships.


Why is sustainability seen as a rollercoaster for business leaders?

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Fears of being out of control, isolation or failure are some of the obstacles to overcome for a successful sustainability agenda

Careers in Wind Energy Webinar

Wednesday, May 16 at 3 p.m. EDT (1 p.m. MDT)

This free webinar is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America 2012 webinar series. It will provide an overview of the wind energy careers from an industry perspective. The webinar will focus on recent work in defining wind energy careers while highlighting some of the critical, but lesser known, career paths in the wind industry.

Andy Swift, with the engineering department at Texas Tech University, will discuss graduates entering the workforce in resource assessment and project design and development. Jonathan Miles, James Madison University, will discuss careers in policy and finance related to renewables. Derek Johnson, Redstone College, will discuss the career of a wind smith, where graduates are employed, and what the college is hearing from graduates and the industry about the technical training program. Jonathan Bartlett, Wind Powering America national director, will discuss wind-related careers in law, banking, archaeology, biology, environmental consulting, and more. The webinar is free; no registration is required. Log-in information is below.

Audio Access
Toll-free #: 800-988-9387
Toll #: 1-773-756-4665
Participant passcode: 5263973

Web Access
URL: https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join.php?i=RW9341550&p=5263973&t=c

If you have trouble with the above link, try going to this website and enter the information separately:
URL: https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join/
Conference number: RW9341550
Audience passcode: 5263973

Webinar: Whole-Building Energy Modeling: Reducing Modeling Time with the OpenStudio 0.8 User Interface and the Building Component Library

Thursday, June 28, 2012, 12:00–1:30 p.m. ET
Register at https://www.mymeetings.com/emeet/rsvp/index.jsp?customHeader=mymeetings&Conference_ID=5416129&passcode=6282631

The webinar will outline recent improvements to NREL and DOE’s free open-platform energy modeling software, OpenStudio. This webinar will preview OpenStudio version 0.8, which features integration with the Building Component Library, an on-line repository of reusable components for rapid and consistent energy modeling. The presenters will demonstrate a complete and easy-to-use modeling workflow using the OpenStudio SketchUp Plug-in and the stand-alone OpenStudio application.

Energy Department Announces Winners of Design Competition to Advance Energy Efficient Lighting

Winners of the indoor lighting category of the fourth-annual Next Generation LuminairesTM (NGL) Design Competition were announced late last week at the LIGHTFAIR International conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. The competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, and the International Association of Lighting Designers, was launched in 2008 to promote excellence in the design of energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) commercial lighting fixtures, or “luminaires.” Solid-state lighting (SSL), which includes both LED and organic light emitting diode (OLED) technologies, has the potential to save Americans $30 billion a year in energy costs by 2030. Advancing energy efficient lighting choices is part of the Obama Administration’s strategy to help families and businesses save money by saving energy, while ensuring American leadership in energy-efficient building technologies.

A panel of eight judges, including experts from the architectural lighting design community, evaluated the NGL entries based on lighting quality, appearance, serviceability, efficacy, value, dimming, and lifetime. The Best in Class winners came from three different manufacturers and covered three different lighting types:

  • Intense Lighting (Anaheim, California): Awarded Best in Class for its MBW2 LED Track accent lighting fixture.
  • Albeo Technologies Inc. (Boulder, Colorado): Awarded Best in Class for its H-Series LED high-bay fixture.
  • Lithonia Lighting (Conyers, Georgia): Awarded Best in Class for its ST Series LED utility/general purpose fixture.

Out of 114 entries submitted to the competition from 45 companies, 50 were recognized as winners, deemed by the judges to have met the stringent requirements of the competition, in addition to the three that were chosen as Best in Class. These winners represented a wide range of manufacturers and lighting applications, such as recessed accent lighting, recessed down-lighting, recessed wall washing, cove lighting, decorative lighting, linear lighting, pendant lighting, task lighting, and high-bay industrial lighting.

Design competitions are a key part of DOE’s national strategy to accelerate technology advancements from laboratory to marketplace and boost the adoption of energy efficient lighting products. More information on all of the winning entries is available at the Next Generation Luminaires website.

How much does solar cost? Infographic

View the infographic at Mother Nature Network.

Plenty of homeowners have asked this question, but it can be a difficult one to answer. One Block off the Grid took the estimates of more than 45,000 homeowners and came up with this graphic.