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August 10 2011 14:00

Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue. No It's Not a Wedding, It's the All New Green Crossing at the Eco Experience-Minnesota State Fair

Contact: Pamela McCurdy, 651-757-2559

St. Paul, Minn.--Each year the Eco Experience showcases cutting edge design and technology in green building. This year the all-new Green Crossing area showcases four different concepts to demonstrate not only the future of green building, but what you can do to your current house.

The Passive House is a cutting edge home designed as a complete system. Passive house uses only the most efficient appliances, fixtures, and mechanical systems. Combined with super-insulated window and walls, this brings a 90% reduction in total energy costs.

Passive House is derived from the German term “Passiv Haus,” which describes a building with an extremely reduced (passive) heating system, versus conventional buildings with large (active) systems. Passive house heating comes from the sun, its occupants and household activities. While a certified passive house needs to meet rigorous energy standards, its lessons can be applied to any existing home. In your own home, consider energy efficiency, renewable energy, the use of recyclable or reused materials when available, and pay attention to indoor air quality. Come see how the Passive House works.

The Common Cottage will teach you how to improve the house you have. You’ll find information on how to improve the energy efficiency of your home and how to pay for energy improvements. A computer is set up to take you to websites full of information from government entities, utility companies, and community organizations. Did you have ice dams last winter? Learn what causes them and how to prevent them!

The Common Cottage also has beautiful and simple design elements, including overhangs that welcome sunlight in the winter and keep the house shaded during the summer. The kitchen featured in this house uses reclaimed cabinets, recycled-content materials, and healthy interior finishes. The final touch is a large patio with a rain garden, chicken coop, and patio shade made of salvaged fabric from the damaged Metrodome roof!

The Tech Tower exhibits ways to be sustainable using technology in the home. This building can be thought of as a new home or as an addition to your existing home. The Tech Tower focuses on energy efficiency first – with LED lighting, a handy wattage meter, and smart power strips. Then, it integrates three types of solar electric panels for renewable energy production: traditional PV modules, double-paned glass modules, and solar shingles. The energy monitoring system shows exactly what is happening at your electric meter – anywhere you have access to the Internet. You can also see how to design for passive cooling, how to use energy- and resource-efficient materials, and how to update old wood fireplaces, heating and water systems. This exhibit house is designed as a multi-purpose space that functions as a dining room, office, and guest room. Learn how to transform the rooms you have in to the rooms you want—without adding on.  

The Community Corner includes neighborhood features to support sustainable living, such as a bus stop, bike rack, solar-powered charging station for electric vehicles, and a community garden for producing food and spending time outdoors. The solar carport in the Community Corner is constructed with beautiful double-glass panels made in Mountain Iron, Minnesota.

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