Articles - March, 2011

Embrace a Lush Vertical Plant Wall

Plant wall pioneer McRae Anderson recently introduced this new ebook publication called “Embrace the Vertical” on the topic of vertical green walls.  It’s free, colorful, and concise – just enough to whet your curiosity for more.  Anderson provides a list of plants, some basic case studies, and a little background information on his own Greenwalls product.

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Low-Cost Solar Thermal by Sunnovations

Sunnovations, a Virginia-based start-up, is seeing more and more interest in its unique solar thermal technology and just closed a Series A round of financing led by Two Seven Ventures.  That technology is explained in the attached images, and it may just make solar water heating a no-brainer for every home in the country.   The system is relatively affordable, easy to install, and simple to maintain, according to the company.

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Join Us in Giving Aid to Japan

I find myself more introspective every day as events unfold in Japan.  I lived there for an extended period of time and tried to master the language.  I see the faces of thousands of people that I met in my mind.  I’m on this planet to make a difference, to help people, and it hurts to see neighborhoods gone and air polluted.  What can be done?  Here are a few efforts that I’m seeing:

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Two-Container Backyard Office in Oakland

In 2005, Stephen Shoup, founder of design-build firm building LAB inc., bought a furniture and woodcarving building to convert it into a live-work space.  But Shoup’s firm outgrew the space — and Shoup went from singlehood to fatherhood — so he concocted a plan to create more room in the backyard.  He fashioned a modern, green office space from a retired freezer and a corrugated shipping container unit set in an L-shape.

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Natural Modern Flat Pack Cabin in Canada

Form & Forest recently announced the completion of their beautiful, proof-of-concept, flat-pack cabin on the banks of the Blaeberry River in Golden, British Columbia.  The Pioneer model prefab has 1,740 square feet, a mono pitch roof, 180 degrees of floor-to-ceiling glass, and a smart design with large overhangs and cross ventilation.

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Three Modern Chicken Coops by Studio H

Students in Studio H, a design-build program for high school students in Bertie County, North Carolina, recently completed their second major project.  The project required the design and construction of three, unique, full-scale, chicken coops to house six chickens each.  Students had a budget of $500 per coop, but they also incorporated reclaimed and repurposed materials.  Here are the chicken coop designs:

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