The new American Dream: 100K(+ 20) | Starter Home

Recycled Glass Countertops
September 5, 2008, 6:52 pm
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glass countertops

Vetrazzo is a company who makes recycled glass countertops. If you have ever been to Merchandise Mart you have definitely seen these. Each countertop panel uses more that 550 pounds of crushed glass. The countertop comes in many colors as they use glass from beer bottles, traffic lights, and windshields.

Any other information can be found on the company’s website:

Solar Thermal Grant Program
August 31, 2008, 8:28 pm
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As in the “Solar Energy Post” there are many grants and state programs for building or going green. It is unknown why people do not take advantage of these incentives. In these programs you must meet certain requirements to gain a certain incentive. In this program you must have solar-thermal water-heating and space-heating systems that are approved by the SRCC or a comparable certification organization. Also the systems must have a total cost of at least 50,000 dollars. The incentive for this program is 30% of the total project with a maximum incentive of 400,000 dollars. These programs make going green easier when it comes to finances.

To view this specific program visit this site:

To view other programs just like this visit this site:

Solar Energy Rebate Program
August 31, 2008, 7:48 pm
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Illinois has several grants and rebate programs for building green. It is unknown why people do not take advantage of this but the state makes some serious contributions if you meet certain qualifications. The program is administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. This specific program is about solar energy and requires you to have a required design capacity of 1kW. You must also produce 50,000 BTUs a day or contain at least 60 square feet of solar collectors. This program’s incentive is 30% of the total project and has a cap of 10,000k.

This specific program’s details can be viewed at

To view other grants and state programs you can visit this site:

Solar Shingles
August 31, 2008, 7:15 pm
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Unisolar has created a photovoltaic shingle system. This system has numerous benefits including a lower electric bill and in some cases the electric company will actually buy the power back from you. This product is interesting to me because often times I hear of cases where people do not want large solar panels on there roofs. In this case you can be environmentally friendly, and have a streamline photovoltaic system.

solar shingles

solar shingle system

To look more at this system go to:

MatrixAir Cladding
August 31, 2008, 6:25 pm
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perforated cladding 

MatrixAir Cladding is a passive conditioning system. It is placed approximately six inches from any south, east, or west wall, thus creating a cavity. The cladding is perforated and draws air into the cavity. It then collects solar rays to heat the air. At night when the unit cools this warm air is drawn through duct work to heat the space. In the winter time snow will actually help the system as it collects reflective light as well.

The website did not allow pictures to be copied and pasted, so to explore this concept visit this website:

Straw Bale House
August 29, 2008, 8:58 pm
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Straw Bale House

This is one example of Straw Bale construction. Since energy efficiency is going to be a major goal in my project straw bale construction is extremely relevant. Straw Bales are essentially a waste product. The material is normally burned in the fields after harvest. Benefits include super insulation, which allows the unit to be cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and an overall inexpensive construction process.

For more information on this specific unit you can visit this site