2005, vol. 31
Welcome to the October 2005 newsletter from Design
Forward. Please take some time to enjoy this month's
Quote of the Month: ""When we mean to build, We first
survey the plot , then draw the model; And when we see
the figure of the house, Then we must rate the cost
of the erection; Which if we find outweighs ability,
What do we do then but draw another model The fewer
offices, or at last desist To build at all?"
- William Shakespeare
Lisa Van Veen
better abode, bale by bale
Steve Miller has heard his share of three little
No big, bad wolf is going to blow Millerís straw
house down, though. Neither is the Wyoming wind
that huffs and puffs through Harmony.
Building a house from bales of straw is Millerís
passion, his entertainment, his responsibility and,
some say, his mania.
ďI think youíre crazy not to build a straw house.
With the price of lumber, why would you want to
spend the money on lumber when you could build a
house cheaper?Ē Miller said. ďPeople think Iím more
crazy for having five border collies than for building
a straw- bale house.Ē
The bright-eyed and energetic dogs dominate the
unfinished interior of Millerís house and, to cat
lovers, would likely be seen as overwhelming. On
September nights when the temperature dipped below
freezing and the straw house didnít have doors or
windows, the dogs kept Miller snug and warm in bed.
(Even though the house now is buttoned up, and heat
radiates from the floor, Miller said his gut still
clenches a little when he sees geese migrating south.)
Miller reciprocates the companionship. He designed
the house with his dogs in mind. The two features
that the house was designed and built around were
the courtyard - and the doggie door. The courtyard
is a couple years from completion. The doggie door
is already well-used.
Article © Micah Sturr
Picture © Barbara J. Perenic
Damage Highlights Renewed Interest in Renewables
With Hurricane Katrina shutting down an estimated
five percent of American oil refining capacity,
and oil prices already at an all-time high, investors
are starting to look seriously at renewable forms
of energy as the next big thing. Share prices in
several small American companies producing solar
panels and related equipment--including Evergreen
Solar, DayStar Technologies, Energy Conversion Devices
and Spire--have more than doubled over the past
year. Meanwhile, Cypress Semiconductor hopes to
raise more than $100 million for a spin-off IPO
of its solar subsidiary SunPower this fall. Analysts
think that the damage from Katrina will only help
these companies raise more money via the public
markets and close the cost gap between traditional
forms of power and renewable sources.
"The solar market is projected to grow 35 percent
a year for the next three to five years," said Walter
V. Nasdeo of Ardour Capital, a New York-based investment
bank specializing in energy companies. "As these
technologies get better, we're seeing things being
developed like solar panels integrated into roofing
tiles. That way, they don't look like a science
project hanging on your roof."
Article © Roddy Scheer/E - The Environmental Magazine
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