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Carbon Neutral Lighthouse in the UK

Lighthouseuk

In England, a handful of efficient demonstration homes have been built on the grounds of the Building Research Establishment Ltd, including “The Lighthouse,” which is the first net zero carbon house in the UK.  The house is also the first to attain level six in the Code for Sustainable Homes, which indicates that it is carbon neutral. The two-bedroom house is only 93.3 square meters (barely over 1000 sq. ft.) in a 2-1/2 story building.  The building has solar panels and evacuated solar tubes on its roof, as well as making use of passive measures with ventilation chimneys.  It also incorporates rainwater catchment as part of the building design.
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Grand Rapids Art Museum, First LEED Gold Museum

Grand Rapids Art Museum

Grand Rapids, Michigan is one of the greenest cities in the country, at least if you go by the number of LEED certified buildings it has.  A couple of years ago, Grand Rapids was #5 on a list of cities with the most LEED certified buildings, surpassing even cities such as Chicago, San Francisco, New York, and Washington DC.  Grand Rapids also has embraced renewable energy for the city.  But Grand Rapids’ latest claim to green fame is that it is now the home to the first new construction LEED-certified art museum in the country. 

The building is a 125,000 sf structure designed by Kulapat Yantrasast of Workshop Hakomori Yantrasast (wHY Architects).  The Grand Rapids Art Museum opened just a few weeks prior to David Adjaye’s Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, which is also expecting a LEED Gold.

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Adaptive Reuse for LEED Wis Tavern

Roof

The first Gold certified LEED-H home in Illinois is built from the renovation of an old neighborhood tavern.  The 3,800 square foot building is used by the owners as both a residence and as the offices of their company:  Smog Veil Records.  The label has adopted an "eco-friendly" set of principles, and the owners felt their home/office ought to reflect those values as well.  Daylighting, recycled materials, and efficient appliances were all part of this project.  Inside, some of the floors are made of a terrazzo made from recycled glass and chunks of old vinyl records.  (That's probably the only kind of vinyl flooring anyone should have.)

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Extreme Recycling in the Big Dig House

Bigdighouse

The Big Dig House by Single Speed Design is a testament to recycling.  More than 600,000 pounds of material were recovered from the massive Boston transit project known as the Big Dig and were reused to make this 3,400 square foot house.  Temporary road sections (formerly used as access ramps for a bridge), support beams that shored up a slurry wall, and other pieces were saved from being sent to a landfill and instead became the bones of this unique home.

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