Since 1995, Bill and his wife, Sue, had been designing and building homes as Blue Sky Ventures and, in 2011, they began constructing little buildings with reclaimed materials and decided to shift focus with Hobbitat when they began work on thirteen cabins for the Blue Moon Rising eco-tourism retreat on Maryland’s Deep Creek Lake.
The recently opened Dubai Energy and Water Authority’s (DEWA) Sustainable Building in Dubai has been awarded LEED Platinum status, becoming the largest public sector building in the world to achieve that status and set a new standard in sustainable building construction. It is also the United Arab Emirates’ first public sector green building, was constructed with 36 percent recycled materials, features high-efficiency insulation, and has been designed to reduce water consumption by 48 percent and energy consumption by 66 percent.
Next year’s SUPRASTUDIO program at UCLA Architecture and Urban Design will be all about going off the grid on an urban scale.
In a recent discussion with Dennis Shelden, Craig Webb, and Andrew Witt of Gehry Technologies, Frank Gehry talks about how, early in his career, he would get upset when electricians came into his buildings and punched holes in the walls to put wires in. Considering that the aerospace industry is developing systems for Skylab that were miniaturized and light, Gehry started to think about how to change the way we solve problems in urban design to be less dependent on distribution systems.
Earlier this year, the World Record Academy awarded a home in Dillingham, Alaska with the record for the Tightest Residential Building.
In a video that documents the blower door test, the home’s owners and residents, Dr. Tom Marsik and Kristin Donalson, who designed and built the extremely insulated building, explain their motivation to push the limits of green building methods. The blower door test, which used a special attachment to get the most accurate reading, pressurized the building and then measured the flow that was needed to maintain the difference in pressure from the outside.
Designed by Charles Wright Architects to satisfy a desire for a carbon-neutral home, the Stamp House is located on the edge of the beachfront rainforest in Far North Queensland (FNQ), Australia, a region that includes over seventy national parks and contributes up to AU$700 million annually in agricultural products that include sugar cane, bananas, mangoes, and coffee.