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Energy-generating pavement, plants on roofs and less obnoxious wind turbines

By John Kirchner November 2, 2009

We’ve come across some cool advances in the green world, so let’s get stepping (that’s a little pun — you’ll get it in just a second).

Energy-generating pavement: An untapped renewable?
Pavegen is a “slab of concrete that harnesses kinetic energy whenever it is stepped on.” The energy, created by the small amount of flexibility in the material, is either stored in batteries or transmitted to streetlights and other electronics located nearby. Based on some of the company’s number-crunching, five units of Pavegen pavement can be enough to power the lights at a bus stop all night.

Green Roofs Are Changing the Way Architects Design Buildings
Until recently, green roofs have just gone about their work, providing valuable benefits like keeping buildings cool in summer and warm in winter and reducing the urban “heat island” effect. But now, they’ve become a bit more commonplace, and they’re changing the way architects design buildings. This report from Inhabitat shines some light on this green trend.

The New NIMBY-Defeating Wind Turbine
Have you heard the term NIMBY? It means “not in my backyard,” as in, “No, don’t put the city’s new landfill in our neck of the woods” or “I don’t want you putting that big, ugly windmill right in front of my nice lake view!” Well, a design team The Power Collective has designed a wind turbine that can power your home without irking your local NIMBY types. Pictured at right, it’s designed to fit nearly seamlessly within the shape and flow of your roof while still catching about as much wind as other mid-size turbines.