Articles - December, 2010

Home Office in a Tiny Green YardPod

Yardpod

The shedworking movement is growing with folks nixing the daily commute by carving out a little extra space at home.  One way to do this is with a YardPod, which is fabricated in a solar-powered factory in Rohnert Park, California.  YardPods are framed in light-gauge, recycled-content steel, insulated with recycled-content, natural cotton fiber, and covered with a cool roof.  Flooring can be either bamboo or cork.  A 10′x12′ DIY model starts at $2,100, while a complete kit starts at $11,000, not including tax or delivery.

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Tracking the Sun with the Wattsun

Wattsun-collage-solar-suntracker

Let's say you can't put solar on your roof.  One option to tap into solar power would be to purchase a share of community solar.  Another option, depending on your land situation, would be a pole-mounted setup with system that tracks the sun.  Wattsun, the residential arm of manufacturer Array Technologies, offers a few such PV systems worth checking out. 

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Prefab Sustainable Cabin in West Texas

005 Exterior Cabin (Urs Peter Flueckiger)

Inspired by Thoreau with his Cabin and Le Corbusier with his Cabanon, an interdisciplinary group of students at Texas Tech University was able to construct this Sustainable Cabin in a design-build program headed by Urs Peter Flueckiger.  The off-grid cabin was fabricated in a warehouse and is now stationed west of Wichita Falls, where it is being used as a laboratory for students to study sustainable design principles. 

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Solera Strikes LEED Gold in Denver

Solera-denver-exterior2

Solera Apartments in downtown Denver held its grand opening last month with 30% occupancy and a steady flow of potential lessees.  The 11-story, 120-unit project received LEED Gold certification — believed to be the first for a project of this kind in the Rocky Mountain Region — and was named Multi-family Project of the Year by Denver University's School of Real Estate.  Beyond that, Solera is expected to save about 60% or more on energy. 

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LEED Retains Status Quo of FSC Only

As you know, there’s been a lot of back and forth between wood certification bodies, stakeholders, and the USGBC relating to the certified wood credit applicable all commercial LEED rating systems.  The debate was documented in a five-part series in The Tyee recently, and led to the creation of the Forest Certification Benchmark.

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MEKA Container House in NYC [Video]

One of our most popular articles last month was a preview of modular container homes by Toronto-based MEKA.  The company planted a show house in the West Village area of New York City and the media took notice.  Reporting for Reuters, Kilmeny Duchardt offered this video and short interview with Michael de Jong, one of the entrepreneurs behind the company.

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