Environment News Service (ENS)

Environment News Service (ENS)

National Sustainable Design Expo Opens Today


Source: Environment News Service (ENS)

WASHINGTON, DC (ENS) - The U.S. EPA's National Sustainable Design Expo opens today on the National Mall in Washington, showcasing innovative energy technology such as generating energy from ocean waves and producing fuel from algae. It is open to the public without charge today and tomorrow.

'Green designs not only help protect our planet by using renewable fuel sources and less toxics, but they also ring up big sales at the cash register.' said Dr. George Gray, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development. 'There are great environmental challenges facing the U.S. in the coming decades. Smart companies are seeing these challenges as a golden opportunity to create a brand new market - green technologies.'

The Expo showcases novel, commercially available products for green buildings and construction materials, innovative alternative energy technologies, strategies for rainwater collection and purification, and the latest in consumer products.

Co-sponsored by the Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education, the Expo will include exhibits by government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

A highlight of the Expo is EPA’s third annual People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Award, a national competition involving 41 teams of college and university students who will exhibit their novel design projects.

Former P3 projects proved that green designs save energy and are profitable. Several of those projects have become new commercial ventures.

The 2005 P3 team from Oberlin College team founded the Lucid Design Group after designing a real-time energy monitoring system. Within two weeks, the technology reduced electricity consumption by 32 percent and water use by 20,000 gallons in two dormitories. Oberlin implemented the project campus-wide and is now the first college in the U.S. to save energy through real-time monitoring.

Last year, Duke University students designed a house with enough audiovisuals for a theater that ran on electricity generated by solar panels. Home Depot was so impressed that it partnered with Duke to create The Home Depot 'smart home' as a live-in laboratory where the company can learn how to construct green, energy efficient homes, and then market the technology through its stores.

More than 40 partners in the federal government, industry and scientific and professional societies support the EPA’s P3 Award competition.

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