Saturday, 2 April 2016

My go-to list of Resources on building practices and renewable energy

In thinking and researching issues of energy, green building practices, architecture, and more, I find that there are a number of sites that I find myself visiting very regularly. I thought that I would share that set here, for anyone else who is exploring similar paths.

Renewable energy, developments and analysis:
  • Cleantechnica. This is a renewable energy news posting site, putting up perhaps a dozen stories a day on solar, wind, batteries, and electric vehicles, both at the consumer and utility scale.
  • Ramez Naam's blog. This blog is not limited to only energy issues, but there are a series of excellent blog posts about the past and future of wind, solar and battery technologies. Of particular interest to me are the estimates that he makes for future price decreases for these renewable energy technologies.
Architecture and green building design:
  • Dwell. This is a magazine and website dedicated to modern and contemporary home design. Though they discuss green building some, I mostly look at this site for design inspiration and the eye candy of photo spreads of interesting homes.
  • Ecohome. A local (to me) organization that tries to increase the use of a variety of green building practices. Some of the guys from Ecohome also did our LEED certification.
  • Green Building Advisor. Green building design articles and forums. Very comprehensive and this site is frequented by many green building professionals. This site features many excellent articles, though some of their best material is behind a paywall.
  • Houzz. This site has perhaps the most extensive database of photos of homes, inside and out, in just about every style. I used this site extensively in the planning phases of our home in order to both find inspiration as well as to find photos that illustrate ideas that I thought of.
  • Inhabitat. A website that features all manner of sustainable ideas, though I go there mostly for the architecture section. The articles are sometimes overly commercial and often too light on details, but it is a very good place to keep track of new developments in sustainable thinking.
  • One Step Off the Grid. An Australian website about renewable energy, especially solar power. This is also one of the few sites that I have found with relatively extensive information about going off grid that is fully up to date with upcoming new technologies. In case you weren't aware, Australia has turned into a hotbed for solar and even off-grid adoption largely due to the twin facts of great climate for solar (high sun, moderate temperatures) and high utility power costs.  
Books that I would recommend on these topics:
Organizations of Interest:

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