Colorado-based Ice Energy today announced an infusion of Series C financing in the form of $24 million, according to a press release.  The company will use this money to support the deployment of utility-scale distributed energy storage products and a 53-megawatt project in California.  Ice Energy also wants to explore new products and expand to a wider set of customers. 

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Spanish Lookotels is on a mission to build a new kind of hotel for modern consumers seeking quality at a low cost.  Each energy-efficient hotel will be prefabricated with up to 100 rooms and Lookotels has financing with plans to build 10 hotels in the next five years throughout Spain and Europe.  The company told us in an email that they're also looking for partners in the U. S.

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Notwithstanding the economy, I imagine there are folks in Manhattan that would drop $6.8 million on a green townhouse without batting an eyelash.  Here’s such a place, now listed with Michael Pellegrino of Sotheby’s, that received a mention in the Wall Street Journal.  The home includes 12 rooms, 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 15 closets, 2 laundry rooms, 1 wine cellar, and a personal elevator.  It comes with LEED Gold certification.

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William McDonough is one of the greatest minds the environmental movement has to offer. He’s the co-author of Cradle-to-Cradle, Time’s Hero for the Planet, and a recipient of the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development. And, perhaps more importantly, he’s extremely influential. McDonough shares ideas with compelling clarity, and listeners can’t help but pass the message along. I had the opportunity to listen to McDonough’s keynote at West Coast Green yesterday and took down the following quotes.

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TerraChoice recently released a new report, The Sins of Greenwashing: Home and Family Edition, and published some interesting findings.  The company found that big-box retailers stock more "green" products and products with legitimate environmental claims than smaller boutique-style stores.  TerraChoice also found that over 95% of consumer products with a "green" claim are committing at least one "sin" of greenwashing. 

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For those of you near San Francisco, this Inspired In-Law Cottage is on display at the Fort Mason Center through West Coast Green 2010. Designed by Larson Shores Architects, the structure – an accessory dwelling unit designed to help folks age in place – was built by Eco Offsite in eight days and, after some button up work, completed one day later.

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The Natural Balance Home is in its last months of construction on San Juan Island in Washington.  Owners Glen and Deb Bruels are building this retirement home with the assistance of Blue Sky Design, Ravenhill Construction, and a slew of sponsors.  The showcase features a curvy SIPs roof from Insulspan and a dramatic green roof over most everything else. 

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Other than this Racing Against Time article, which got a boost from Honda, our most popular article on Facebook last month was this one on the hen coop with a green roof, while the most shared article on Twitter was this one on the world’s first Living Buildings. For more green coverage, stay current with the weekly email newsletter delivered every weekend. Below you’ll find a gathering of links from October.

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It’s official, construction is complete on the first Passive House project in California and the first Passive House retrofit in the nation. Designed by Lail Design Group and built by Solar Knights Construction, the O’Neill Passive House is an example how to greenly renovate an older home to superior energy efficiency standards.

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Last April we mentioned a noteworthy project called the Passive House in the Woods. It’s a Wisconsin home with carbon-neutral ambitions designed by Tim Delhey Eian of TE Studio. It’s also the first Passive House in the state. PHitW meets the requirements of the Passive House standard, i. e. ultra-tight envelope, high efficiency heating and cooling, and minimal energy demand.

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This article is a contribution to Honda’s “Racing Against Time” thought leadership series.*

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I like to watch the prefab world closely, but there’s one company that I haven’t mentioned yet. That company, Deltec Homes, pops up in the news every other week or so. Indeed, I noticed these homes are selling well in Canada, according to the National Post, and folks in Florida like that the round homes hold up in powerful hurricane weather, according to Wink News.

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Leave a comment below through the end of Friday, October 22, 2010, to be considered for this random book giveaway.*

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Shown is a new installation of three Origin series prefabs by Blu Homes. Each with a mixture of standard and custom elements, these modules were installed behind a company co-founder’s existing home in Wayland, Massachusetts. The prefab cluster is used as a photo studio, art studio, and media room and was built with radiant floor heating, cedar sunshades, a roof deck, galvalume siding, heat recovery ventilation, and bamboo flooring.

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Earlier this year, we took a look at four projects racing to meet the requirements of the Living Building Challenge. Now, the International Living Building Institute has completed third-party certification audits and announced the world’s first Living Buildings. The Omega Center for Sustainable Living (NY) and Tyson Living Learning Center (MO) both earned full certification, while Eco-Sense (BC) earned Petal Recognition for meeting four of six petals.

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In the rapidly changing landscape of automobiles, what will your garage look like to accommodate all electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles? Ford has worked with many partners in the development of their home charging system for the electric Focus, to be released this year, and the upcoming plug-in hybrid and electric versions of the all new C-MAX.

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American singer Ke$ha is the latest celebrity to join a growing European campaign to outlaw the sale of cosmetics that are tested on animals. She joins stars Leona Lewis, Ricky Gervais, Dame Judi Dench, Mary McCartney and Melanie C, in urging the European Union (EU) politicians to keep their promise to eliminate animal tested cosmetics.

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What the hell was George Clooney thinking dumping this beautiful animal-loving Italian babe? Elisabetta Canalis, gorgeous Italian television personality and model, is the latest in a long line of beauties to go naked in protest against the barbaric fur industry.

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Victoria, British Columbia now has the unique honor of being home to what just may be the world smallest vegan curios’ shop. Sarah’s Place, opened by the famous author and vegan activist Sarah Kramer, is a mere 7.5ft (2.3m) wide and 30ft (9.1m) deep and is simply chock a block with all manner of quirky, interesting and intriguing vegan paraphernalia.

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Popular American television personality Ellen DeGeneres is lending her considerable clout to raising awareness about the cruel plight of turkeys during the holiday season. The compassionate vegan, for the second consecutive year, is serving as Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey Project spokesperson, inviting everyone to adopt, not eat, a turkey during holiday season.

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Can sex sell the environment? Well, sexy celebrities can certainly help to get the message to the masses. The Environmental Media Association (EMA), in conjunction with Lionsgate Films, are running a campaign to get people to stop throwing their cellphones in the trash. We caught up with Greg Baldwin, Director of the EMA, to ask him about cellphones and celebrity spokespeople.

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After years of North Americans being subjected to endless stories and information about Oprah Winfrey’s endless battle with weight issues, she is finally getting to the heart of the collective eating disorder in North America. America is a country that consumes more meat than any other nation on earth and practices some of the cruelest factory farming methods on the planet. The American talk show host with the most influence (an estimated 10 million viewers), is looking at the ugly reality of meat production and factory farming in the USA.

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On October 29, 2008, Nobel laureate and former Vice President Al Gore will call on young people across the country to get out the vote and hold elected leaders accountable for climate change and clean energy campaign promises. His call to action will be broadcast via a live webcast, as thousands of students across the country begin a national get-out-the-vote effort.

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He may not be Al Gore, but he is managing to mobilize a nation. One of Canada’s favorite television personalities, CBC The Hour’s host, George Stroumboulopoulos, in partnership with Cisco, is encouraging Canadians to do One Million Acts of Green (OMAoG). The idea behind the campaign is that one small act can make a big green difference.

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The hottest eco-ticket in Hollywood takes place on November 13th (Thursday) when the 18th annual Environmental Media Awards (EMA) honours those eco-warriors who are setting a green example and making a difference. Since the EMAs started in 1991, the awards have evolved into a prestigious event, honouring individuals and organizations, as well as films, and television productions that increase public awareness of environmental issues.

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President-Elect Obama certainly does seem committed to changing the American government and holding true to his promises of changing the way politics are done in Washington. And his weekly address is just one example of the coming changes.

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Leonardo DiCaprio is being honored for his contribution to spreading the green message with the International Green Film Award at the Berlin International Film Festival. The award is given each year to the recipient who draws attention to green issues and raises the public consciousness about the environment.

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In amongst all the green noise is a new website that is focusing on simple acts instead of radical changes. Elizabeth Rogers, author of The Green Book, and creator of the Shift Your Habit website, is showing people how simple changes in your lifestyle can add up to big changes for the planet and the wallet. We caught up with Elizabeth to ask a few questions about her super cool new website.

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Finally, some high quality porn for environmentalists. The delectable Isabella Rossellini is back for a second season of Green Porno on April 1, 2009. The critically acclaimed short film series on Sundance Channel continues with Rossellini exploring the sexual habits of another group of critters.

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Al Gore has announced a new book called Our Choice that will pick up where An Inconvenient Truth left off. A co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his environmental work, Gore’s new carbon neutral book offers comprehensive solutions to global warming.

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Green-guy Leonardo DiCaprio is set to receive the first ever Big Green Help Award at the Kids' Choice Awards on March 28th. DiCaprio has long been outspoken on all things green and lately has been receiving some recognition of his efforts.

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Former Vice President Al Gore is losing the CEO of his popular climate change organization – the Alliance for Climate Protection.

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The makers of Segway, in conjunction with GM, have unveiled their latest in personal urban transportation – the Project P. U.M. A (Personal Urban Mobility & Accessibility) prototype vehicle. The electric two-seater, zero-emission vehicle (during operation) is capable of transporting two people at 25 and 35 mph (40 - 56 kph) for an estimated 25 and 35 miles (40 - 56 km) on a single charge.

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The future of inner city traffic could belong to three wheeled vehicles, explains Swiss designer Daniel Julier of his 3wheeler concept design vehicle. Considering that most vehicles used for individual transport are occupied by just one person in urban areas, Julier’s 3wheeler design is a perfect vehicle for city driving.

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One of the world’s longest hydrogen highways has just opened in Norway, spanning nearly 600 kms (375miles) between Oslo and Stavanger. It officially opened May 11th, 2009 when StatoilHydro's new hydrogen station opened in Oslo. The opening was celebrated with a hydrogen car rally.

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Ohio State University gets first place in the first round of the EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge, just beating the University of Victoria into second by the very slimmest of margins – by just 1%.

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The pace of electric vehicle development is increasing with Toyota planning to produce up to 30,000 Prius plug-ins by 2012. The Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) will have a 12.4-18.7mile (20-30 km) all electric range using a lithium ion battery pack. The range is limited because Toyota wanted to maintain the load carrying capacity of the Prius and not let the battery module get too big. The price is likely to be several thousand dollars more than a regular Prius due to the cost of the battery and recovery of research and development costs.

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The ATNMBL (Autonomy with the Automobile) is a concept design vehicle for 2040 that represents the end of driving and the future of car design. Mike and Maaike, an American industrial design studio, have created the driverless ATNMBL automobile for urban driving.

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