Polar Bears International

9/6/2013 5:38:12 PM

Good News Friday {Tree Building, Wind Energy, Electrified Orlando}

This week's Good News Friday is all about green energy. In Seattle, designers of the "World's Greenest Building" mimic a tree, a "hippie" in Britain creates a wind energy empire, and The Electrification Coalition targets Disneyland, Universal Studios, and Sea World visitors to try out electric cars.

• If you must build, build green. The Bullitt Center, finished in the summer of 2013 and located on the edge of Seattle's downtown, is designed to mimic the Douglas fir forests that once stood on the site. Powered by sun and fed by rainwater, the building doesn't produce any waste. Its automated window shades open and close like an organism's pupil, regulating the amount of light that enters. The 600-panel solar array, which is expected to generate all the energy the building needs in a year, is arranged on the roof so that rays of sunlight can pass through and create a dappled pattern on the sidewalk below — similar to the way light passes through a forest canopy. And all the wood used in the structure came from local forests that harvest trees sustainably. Take a tour of the "worlds greenest building" with the video below. 

• He's gone from living off-grid on a bus to creating a wind energy empire that made him one of Britain's richest men. He's developed an electric car that broke the U.K.'s electric land speed record. A committed vegan, he bought a soccer club and banned meat from the stadium. And if that wasn't enough, he's invested in wave energy technology; developed new models for direct public investment in renewables; and created a nationwide electric car charging network running off renewables. Check out this Q & A to learn more about Ecotricity CEO Dale Vince. 

• The Electrification Coalition (EC), which set the lofty goal of having 75 percent of all travel be "electric miles" by 2040, aims to tap into some of Orlando's 56 miliion visitors and make the city a test market for electrifying tourist destinations. In Drive Electric Orlando, it's joined by Enterprise Holdings (the rental car giant), Sabre Holdings (travel agents) and Nissan (the Leaf electric car) on an ambitious plan to plug in the city's hotels (27 have installed chargers) and destinations (Sea World, Walt Disney World, Universal). We wonder when Mickey will start driving an electric car. 

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