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    HOUSE ON THE WATER

    After torrential winters rainstorms, a cliff facing Puget Sound, Washington subsided, and the cabin at its base was washed away. The city allowed the owners to rebuild on the condition that the new house could withstand a similar event. Seattle architect Tom Lenchek and engineer Jay Taylor came up with a design that uses giant trusses anchored to massive concrete retaining walls. Next week author Robert W. Knight will explain their approach to building on the water.

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    DO-IT-YOURSELF ELECTRICITY

    After a failure of the electrical grid in the eastern part of North America in August 2003, many energy "experts" were quick to recommend repairing and improving the old infrastructure. But they may have been ignoring better solutions in the form of decentralized power and conservation. Increasingly, homeowners are producing their own electricity. Next week we'll see how some are even creating a surplus power — using roof-mounted photovoltaic arrays — to sell to local utility companies.

     
     

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