Desert Living
Thursday, June 24th ’09

It seems that the desert is getting greener.  I’m not talking about the plants, but the new homes being built here and the new energy efficient designs.

Sunlight is something we are not short on here in the desert. As summer temperatures rise so does the cost to keep our homes cool.   With the cost of energy rising,  residents are seeking cost-cutting alternatives.

This week in Bermuda Dunes new solar roof tiles are being installed on a home.  This is one of the first homes in the nation to test the new curved roofing components made by SRS Energy.  US Tile is the marketing and distribution company.  They are located in Corona, CA.

The solar roof tiles are made from amorphous silicon and they are 10% more effective than traditional solar panels. They also shaped like a roof tile, so they blend in with the style of the architechure.

A solar tile installation can offset a households energy use from  50% to 100%. All homes are built differently, so the savings between homes will vary. The resale value of your home will also increase with the installation of solar roof tiles.  It seems like a sound investment.  You can’t beat that!  For more information on Solar Roof Tiles visit SRS Energy’s Web site

Other green news includes the recently completed steel house prototype in the high-desert region of California.

First prototype in Yucca Valley.Yucca Valley was selected as the site for the first steel home prototype by Blue Sky Homes. The house was built using Blue Sky Home Building System which is designed with prefabricated elements.  The home sits on six legs above the ground, so very little impact was made on the environment.  No wood is used in the house except on a few doors and cabinets.  The steel beam system allows you to put doors and windows in any location, increasing the design options. The elements are assembled on the home site to create a house that is economical to build and to operate. It is also earth friendly and architecturally pleasing.

A 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 1000 sq. foot steel home was erected in 8 weeks. Palm Springs firm 02 Architecture designed the home using the Blue Sky Home System. Blue Sky expects to build similar homes in less time now that the process has been documented. For more information visit