GreenTeamTV is on the scene in Bend, Oregon with Cary Martinez, co-founder of Abacus GC, taking a tour through one of the homes in Newport District Modern House Project. We wrote about Abacus GC’s five-house project previously, which is pursuing LEED certification. The video shows the developer’s perspective of trying to build something to suit a lifestyle: lighter footprint, less reliance on automobiles, and healthy, green living. You’ll also see some cool products, such as PaperStone counters, Eco-Terr tiles, wheatboard cabinets, Design Within Reach lights, and Jenn Air Professional Series appliances.
Your version of the proverbial American Dream may not include a house, dog, and white picket fence, but I’m sure it’s something like that. But what happens to your American Dream when future development policies encourage greater density and vertical construction? Don’t get me wrong. Greater density is a good thing and it alleviates the harmful effects of sprawl. But, at the same time, our vision of the American Dream becomes more and more obsolete. Unless … you see greater density and vertical living as something similar to the above. Designed by Reinier de Jong, MoCo Loco reports on the concept: "Tuin project is a proposal that places a typical two storey dwelling with a garden within a highrise framework in order to keep those who flee towards suburbia in search of space firmly in the city." Why not, right?
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.
I put ‘green’ in parenthesis because the future is green, whether you, I, or anyone else likes it. That’s where this whole thing is heading. And several countries rely heavily on prefabrication for construction of homes and buildings. So I ask, after looking at the photos, does this Magic Box represent what’s to come in the future? The Magic Box is cubic and versatile and small. It can go anywhere and be used as anything. But is this the future of (green) prefab?
The Tulane School of Architecture Green Build program set about to research, develop, and construct an inventive and experimental prototypical house. A green house. Made in a factory. Specifically for post-Katrina New Orleans. Students first researched everything from construction processes to materials selection parameters. Above all, access to materials, affordability, and sustainability ruled the day. In the end, Tulane Green Build came up with a design for a 1,200 sf home with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.