Articles - May, 2009

Sadly, Green Prefab Firm Michelle Kaufmann Designs is Shutting Down

Smart-home-green-wired

Update 5-27-09: Michelle Kaufmann explains what's next.

A short few hours ago, an article popped up on the LA Times website breaking the unfortunate news that Michelle Kaufmann Designs is shutting down by the end of this week.  Despite the fact that the article was written by Christopher Hawthorne — pretty much the most authoritative architecture critic on the West Coast, the news was hard to process.  This is the firm that's built 40 green prefab houses, including the mkLotus, mkSolaire Smart Home, and a number of other beautiful green prefabs!  MKD can't close its doors!  But in an email late this afternoon, Michelle confirmed the news. 

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Seattle Ellis Residence Seeking Platinum

Seattle-leed-platinum

In Bainbridge Island, Washington, there's a slick modern home under construction that was designed by Coates Design for owners Ed and Joanne Ellis.  Although Seattle has roughly 13 LEED Platinum homes as of today, the Ellis Residence has been designed to achieve LEED Platinum and could be the first single-family residence in the Western Puget Sound region to achieve such a lofty designation.  As you can tell from these renderings, the home has a number of active, passive, and green elements in store:

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Hella Efficient Exterior Venetian Blinds

Window-ext-louvers

I noticed BuildingGreen added these exterior venetian blinds to the GreenSpec Directory recently.  Hella exterior blinds are distributed in the U.S. through Savannah Trims and available in slat sizes of 2", 3.1", and 4".  The blinds are aluminum, have lateral tension, and can be controlled manually or electrically.  They're slick looking and come in a variety of heights, widths, and colors. 

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