Articles - March, 2010

Green, Efficient, and Small West House

West-house-smallworks

With the economy the way it is, retiring folks are downsizing or losing their homes, while newly educated folks are graduating with slim pickings.  Not to be grim, but this is causing people to use property in new ways, such as with accessory dwelling units.  The space can be used for family or as a rental to cover loose ends.  In Vancouver, this is happening with laneway housing.  Smallworks, a Vancouver-based design and build firm, specializes in small and laneway houses, just like this one, the West House. 

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Affordable, Curvy, and Super Green

Block Blandscape

Across the pond in the London Borough of Hillingdon, this infill development of five ultra-green buildings continues to garner attention.  The project, Birchway Eco-Community, was built to Level 5 of the Code of Sustainable Homes (with 6 being the highest possible score) and provides 24 one- and two-bedroom affordable housing units.  These buildings were finished on site after being prefabricated and delivered with kitchens and bathrooms already installed. 

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Testing a New Dynamic Solar Facade

HeliOptix_wallsystem_exterior-syracuseCOE

Just a few days ago, the $41 million Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental & Energy Systems (SyracuseCoE), a 55,000 square-foot building designed to LEED Platinum certification, was dedicated.  The facility was built to be a living laboratory and platform to showcase technological innovation.  Currently, the south facade of the laboratory wing includes a spot to test building envelope and window systems, and it's currently testing this innovative integrated concentrating dynamic solar facade. 

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