Articles - September, 2006

September Green: Kicking Out the Shouts

Spacebox_development I can hardly believe another month of blogging has gone by, but it has.  I have links on my right sidebar of many blogs that I read, but I also receive significant stops from visitors from various blogs that I’d like to mention.  I’m going to list these in no particular order, but I must say that when I was mentioned on Treehugger, my traffic stats shot through the roof.  For those of you that are considering advertising there, I think it’s a good idea! Here are some of the others:

  • LEED Boot Camp – this blog is laying out some seriously helpful pointers for those preparing for the LEED Accredited Professional Examination. 
  • EE/RE Investing – Tom has expert information for investors and has a firm handle on the energy investment sector.  Let’s not forget that October 7, 2006, is the National Solar Tour of Homes day (one in each state, and Tom is helping with Colorado’s tour). 
  • Dallas Progress – Officially named Best Political Blog of Dallas, Michael dubbed me the best sustainable building blog in Dallas.  Really though, he’s talking about more than politics, he talks about development, real estate, and the economic future + safety of Dallas. 
  • Musing of an Eco-Entrepreneur – not much to say there…Shea’s going green wild with entrepreneurial endeavors. 
  • Matrix – I was mentioned in the Carnival of Real Estate and several real estate readers dropped in to read a little. 
  • LA Green Living – they kicked out the shouts to Jetson Green in the Carnival of the Green #43; thanks, by the way.  Carnival of the Green stops by a different green blog on Mondays and is pretty good to read. 

That’s about it.  I’m sure I missed someone, but that’s why I’ll have next month’s "Kick Out the Shouts."  Until then, I look forward to reading what y’all have to say and hope we can get closer to having more modern + green buildings. 

Ketchum, Idaho Contemporary Residence with a Lighter Shade of Green

Snow_image There was a home in Architectural Digest that really caught my eye.  Maybe it’s because the Roger Wade images perfectly captured how the house blends into the hilly landscape of Ketchum, Idaho.  I don’t know…maybe I was just intrigued by the hoops the architect Jim McLaughlin had to go through just to get the darn thing built.  The architect had height restrictions to deal with and still managed to squeeze in 9,000 square feet of space.  The interesting thing about this house is that it has a contempory-interior, modern-exterior, traditional home-type feel to it.  I mean, it doesn’t look like one of the prefabs I like to talk about, but it’s extremely contemporary. 

Roger_wade_interior_kitchen Roger_wade_interior_stairs

They excavated 25 feet into the hill and built from within the rock to make the house seem like it’s flowing from the rocks.  The architect designed the home to use local Montana stone on the facade and accented that with reclaimed beams inside.  With all the windows, the builder (Gary Storey) and architect found a way to incorporate motorized sunshades the shoot up from the floor to the top of the windows.  What that does, in turn, is blur the boundaries between the interior and exterior and provide an effective method to maximize the balance between natural light and shading. 

Roger_wade_driveway_view Roger_wade_bedroom_view Roger_wade_back_porch

While I know some of my devoted readers will scream because this place has a 9,000 sq.ft. footprint and doesn’t really use alternative energy, I think the house illustrates a lighter shade of green.  The place looks good and uses local materials and reclaimed wood.  That’s a start. 

As far as the interior is concerned, the kitchen has zinc counters and wenge-wood cabinets with white-bronze inlay.  Designed by Libby Brost, a former chef and restaurant owner, she recently sold her restaurant to concentrate on design.  She designed the kitchen so that it didn’t necessarily look like a full-blown kitchen.  It’s there, but it blends into the other room.  And that goes the same with the other rooms.  I think it’s a handsome place. 

Extra Links:
Roger Wade Photography
Architectural Digest [article not online]
McLaughlin Architects

Design: e2 "Grey to Green" — Rethinking American Construction Waste

Introducing "Grey to Green."  It’s a snippet from the Design: e2 series narrated by Brad Pitt.  We need a paradigm shift in the methods we employ to construct US buildings!  Watch this video on construction waste and think about the status quo.  Did you know that American buildings account for 10% of the world’s energy use?  They do.

Design_e2_logo_1 Part of the draw to modern prefab, for me, is that it presents the opportunity to efficiently, and relatively wastelessly, produce attractive, sustainable living spaces.  That’s very important.  Technology and process innovation can help us quit wasting energy, supplies, and materials, etc.  Construction waste is not only damaging the earth, but by continuing on the current path, we’re just throwing money away (both at purchase and trash points).  We need to understand the issues and find creative, innovative, positive, and attractive solutions. 

This video is extremely informative, and you can order the PBS series DVD from their website for $29.95.  The DVD includes all six episodes (The Green Apple, Green for All, The Green Machine, Gray to Green, China: From Red to Green, + Deeper Shades of Green).  I can’t catch it on TV, so I’m going to go ahead and purchase it.  Really, watch the video and you’ll realize why it looks to be a good series.

Extra Links:
Design: e2 Website
ABC News Article about Brad Pitt’s Narration
Wikipedia Entry for Design: e2

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