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Note: Design Forward LLC is proud to have served the Southern California area designing straw bale homes for over 15 years. However, we have moved on to other business ventures and have closed the business as of January 2017. We will not taking any new projects or responding to phone and email requests. This website will be left up as an archive of data for straw bale and design. You may find that some of the links are broken or out of date, but we will not be updating this site any longer. Thank you!
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March 2007 - [Sustainable Concepts] Wind Power & Urinals
Sustainable Concepts )
Design Forward Newsletter March 2007, vol. 48
in this issue
  • Backyard Wind Turbines Get Affordable
  • Urinal for Home Use
  • Design Forward is celebrating 5 years
  • Feedback


    Welcome to the March 2007 newsletter from Design Forward. Please take some time to enjoy this month's features.

    Quote of the Month: "I think that fundamentally architecture is really about wellbeing -- every building you make, people should feel good in it."
    - Zaha Hadid

    Lisa A. Swan

    Backyard Wind Turbines Get Affordable

    Homeowners will soon be able to generate clean power in their yards while reducing electricity bills, thanks to a small, quiet, and affordable wind turbine developed by Arizona-based Southwest Windpower. The company designed the turbine in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, has 120 orders already, and expects to sell 1500 units later this year.

    The turbine can be designed with a tower as short as 35 feet. It delivers 1.8 kilowatts of power and gives best results when installed on a property of greater than 0.5 acre with wind speeds above 10 miles per hour, the manufacturer says. The costs of the turbine plus installation fees add up to $9,000– 12,000, about half the price of other similar-sized wind generators.

    Trial runs show that it trims $500–800 off of an average home’s yearly electricity bills, depending on the wind speed in the area and the local price of electricity.

    Company officials say the system will pay for itself in 5–12 years. States such as California and New Jersey are helping to promote backyard wind power with consumer rebates that cover half the installation cost, says Miriam Robbins, the company’s marketing manager. Plus, where possible, customers could sell any extra power they don’t use to utilities.

    The key to encouraging home-owners to invest in wind energy is “getting the cost down even more through more mass- produced pieces,” Robbins says. The company is pushing for more state-sponsored rebates. But interested buyers might face additional challenges—local zoning rules that prohibit wind turbines in a backyard and municipalities that restrict the tower’s height, not to mention neighbors and bird enthusiasts who object to the sight of a turbine in their neighborhood.

    Article © Prachi Patel-Predd, Organic Consumers Association. Picture © Southwest Windpower.

    Urinal for Home Use

    The Mister Miser is the only urinal designed for in home use. It is an economical alternative, designed for water and space conservation, sanitation, and durability. It has a in-wall, white porcelain design that allows for a pleasing, aesthetic look for any residence.

    Advantages & Benefits:
    • requires just ten ounces of water to flush
    • more sanitary than conventional urinals
    • made of recyclable ABS-Structural Plastic
    • weighs only six and a half pounds
    • manufactured in the USA
    • simple and inexpensive installation
    • no splashback
    • space efficient
    • five year warranty
    • quiet operation
    • installs behind the wall

    Article © Mister Miser

    Design Forward is celebrating 5 years

    Happy Birthday! On March 1, 2007, Design Forward celebrated 5 years of business and working towards a more sustainable community. We want to thank everyone who has helps us come this far. We are looking forward to many more years of business.


    Design Forward works toward promoting Sustainable Design. If you know of a project that should be featured, please contact us. Let us know why you think it should be featured and give us a basic intro to the project, the sustainable elements and any websites or contact information.

    If you would like to submit a fun and/or entertaining quote about architecture, building, the environment or such, send it in! If it at all possible, include the author.

    If you have any other feedback concerning this publication, please feel free to send an email or use the form.

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    Revised June 1, 2010