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ECOBAY Focuses on Sustainability

Ecobay

One thing we’re seeing for sure is an increasing amount of activity in the masterplanned, sustainable city area.  Last January, schmidt hammer lassen architects won an international competition to design ECOBAY, a new town situated on the Paljassaare peninsula near the Estonian capital of Tallinn.  In collaboration with Buro Happold Consulting Engineers and Møller & Grønborg, ECOBAY has been designed with everything one would need in close proximity: housing, schools, local shops, businesses, and other amenities — all within walking or biking distance.  In addition, the town will utilize geothermal, small-scale wind, and surplus energy from the nearby wastewater facility. 

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Matching Modern with Energy Efficiency

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I’m in Huntington Beach this weekend taking a little r&r and didn’t realize how much of the housing here is built like the townhomes above: with an urban feel — tightly together with at least 2-3 levels.  These townhouses are located on 19th Street in Santa Monica and called Green on 19.  Three are already sold with the remaining two ready to go.  Green on 19 was designed by Jesse Bornstein to provide modern living while supporting the global community’s need for energy efficiency. 

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Ideabox Expands with Cubes!

Ideabox

Back in February 2008, Ideabox exhibited their Confluence Modern design at the Portland Home & Garden Show.  The images above and below are of the Confluence Modern at this show, with Design Within Reach furnishings and Nick Williams / Sycamore Canyon landscaping.  Confluence Modern, like the other Ideabox designs, is built to be just the right size.  It's a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom home that maximizes all of its 840 square feet.  And if you're not familiar with Ideabox (we mentioned them way back in August last year), they strive to build smart, efficient, and modern homes.  Energy Star everything.  Use less of everything and when used, using locally sourced, natural, and renewable materials. 

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MoMA Home Delivery Prefabs Debut This Sunday!

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A while back when we heard about MoMA’s prefab exhibit, Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling, we were pretty psyched.  I mean, if you can’t tell by our archives with over 135 articles, we’re pretty obsessed with green prefab as the future of home building.  The MoMA exhibit will tell an interesting story of the history of prefabrication starting in 1833.  I’m sure we’ve come a long way in over 175 years, but there’s also the possibility that we’ve forgotten a few lessons in the process.  So I like the juxtaposition of the historical with the modern.  The modern will include five contemporary prefab structures, all of which have been assembled on the museum’s 54th street lot.  Starting this Sunday, July 20 through October 20, visitors will get the chance to tour the below designs in real life. 

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UniCube Green Dorm Concept Takes Competition Prize

UniCube

I just noticed this interesting building designed by a college student in Australia and had to mention it.  Andrew Southwood-Jones conceived and rendered the building, actually a green dormitory, for an Autodesk competition and he took the prize in the architecture category.  Called UniCube, it was designed to maximize space, be sustainable, and look good.  Andrew designed the conceptual structure to use a number of sustainable strategies: drought-tolerant plant wall in checkerboard pattern on exterior; exterior "gabion walls" filled with rubble and stone; inner walls made from straw bales; a copper roof that catches wind for ventilation and air circulation (without requiring air conditioning); rotating solar panels generating power for the building’s lights; and rainwater collection for use in irrigation, toilets, and laundry. 

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Blue Ridge Parkway Center a Model of Ecological Design

Blue Ridge Destination Center

This is Blue Ridge Parkway Destination Center, a $9.8 million visitor’s center near Ashville, North Carolina.  As a modern structure seeking LEED Gold certification, it’s garnered significant press for its ecological design.  Designed by Lord, Aeck, & Sargent, Blue Ridge was modeled to use 75% less energy than a comparable, conventionally designed building.  That’s due, at least in part, to its incredible green features, such as the sawtooth Trombe walls on the southerly face, 10,000 sf green roof, natural daylighting, high-efficiency mechanical system, natural ventilation, radiant heating, rainwater reclamation system for on-site use, etc. 

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