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Wentworth Commons Sets Standard for Green, Low Income Housing

Wentworth

Wentworth Commons is a 51-unit, 65,800 sf affordable housing complex in Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood.  As a home for at-risk and formerly homeless families and individuals, Wentworth Commons has been recognized for its trendy aesthetics and functional green design.  The $13 million project has a slew of green features, including a 33 kWh PV system that provides 25% of the building’s power, a hyper efficient mechanical system, extensive use of locally sourced materials and rapidly renewable materials, and native plantings and bio-swale to reduce storm water runoff. 

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Taliesin Green Prefab Prototype Now Taking Shape

Rendering

Since mid-January, Taliesin students have been blogging on PrairieMod about their project to build a small modern home on the grounds of Taliesin West.  The students, with Dean Victor Sidy and Jennifer Siegal of OMD, designed a simple but elegant home with sustainability in mind.  At first, they were going to prefabricate the structure, but later decided to go instead with on-site, panelized construction using SIPs for the walls, roof, and floor.  Now, the exterior is certainly taking shape and the interior will be finished throughout the summer.  When done, the structure will demonstrate passive and active environmental control systems, water catchment, top-tier insulation, a gray water system, native landscaping, and a solar power system.

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Impressive Vader Garage Rehab in Philly

Cor-ten Facade

The folks at 100k House noticed this green garage rehab that’s for sale on Craigslist.  As background, three University of Pennsylvania Master of Architecture majors agreed to forgo the traditional route of finding summer internships and decided to buy, design, and rehab a house in Philly.  The result is this stylish renovation with undeniable appeal.  My two favorite aspects of the design are (1) the Cor-Ten facade that provides both privacy from the outside and visibility from the inside, and (2) the courtyard area that separates the living room, kitchen and office, and bedroom area (it’s nice to have a buffer between the noisy tv room and sleeping areas).

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[Video] Smart Features of MKD's Green Prefab @ MSI

The mkSolaire is currently the featured attraction at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) as part of the Smart Home: Green + Wired exhibition.  As you can tell from the above video, it’s a prefab that includes cutting-edge green materials, energy efficient systems, a living roof, and a smart technology system.  I love those rectangular, green tiles in the bathroom — check it out. 

++Smart Home: Green + Wired Debuts at MSI [JG]

Stunning Green Design of a Smart Box

Smartbox

Thanks in part to the recent launch of FreeGreen, I think I’ve found the green house of my dreams.  The home rendered above and below is called the Smart Box and it’s a stunner.  Designed by FreeGreen, Smart Box is the newest free home plan that’s going to be available from the website in the next couple weeks.  Smart Box was designed for practically any climate and can range in size from 1000 – 2200 sf.  In addition, the plans will identify do-it-yourself type opportunities so that you can find ways to do more on a tighter budget.

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Edificio BIP Computers, Simple Transitivity Design

Edificio BIP Computers

I was blown away by Alberto Mozó‘s simple and clean design for the Edificio BIP Computers building in Santiago de Chile.  It’s an unassuming three-story structure built on a lot that’s zoned to allow a larger structure of up to twelve stories in height.  Knowing that the building may not last very long (due to the favorable location and zoning), the design makes use of standard-sized, laminated timber beams that can be dismounted and used to reconstruct the entire building somewhere else.  Mozo calls the idea "transitivity" — designing structures that can be easily broken down and reconstructed elsewhere.

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