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Dwelling Dock, Integrating Sustainability and Living

Dwelling Dock

Matt Allert took second place in the Cascadia Region GBC‘s Emerging Green Builders Natural Talent Design Competition this year with his idea, the Dwelling Dock [pdf].  The Dwelling Dock is premised on the idea that sustainability should begin with the most basic building block of our communities: the dwelling.  It’s an attempt to fully integrate the infrastructure of the housing unit with the environment.  Although purely in concept stage, the Dwelling Dock would be prefabricated, and would include all the accoutrements we’ve come to expect in green homes:  pervious paving, recycled materials, living roof, water collection, and photovoltaic panels. 

Allert’s goals for the Dwelling Dock project include some of the following: (1) collect rainwater for re-use, (2) produce energy on-site, (3) minimize site disturbance and preserve existing site resources, (4) use local materials, and (5) integrate sustainable design with recycled, low-VOC materials.  And I’ve got to admit, I really like the design elements.  Butterfly living roof.  3-level living.  A healthy mixture of privacy and transparency.  Would you live in one?

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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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A Thermally Efficient Matrix of Buildings (S2)

Abu Dhabi Plaza A few days ago, Foster + Partners released design details of their newest mixed-use project in Astana, Kazakhstan — Abu Dhabi Plaza.  This clustered matrix of multi-level buildings will include retail, leisure, hotel, office, and residential uses.  David Nelson, Senior Executive and Head of Design at Foster + Partners said, "We are extremely excited to be working on this important project for Astana that will provide a new urban destination – visually and functionally. The design has resulted from a rigorous analysis of the city’s extreme climate, which has generated the unusual cluster diagram and has determined a façade that is both distinctive and highly efficient."  In this geography, the temperature can get as cold as -40 degrees Celsius, and Foster + Partners found that the compact situation of buildings helped to maximize thermal insulation during the harsh winter months.  The development also includes a series of temperate, year-round gardens with a network of sheltered pedestrian routes throughout the site.  Light shafts between the blocks will have laminated glass panels that shower colorful light, shadows, and patterns on the lower levels.

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Celadon Green Townhouses Are Popular

Look5

Update 4/23/09: Celadon Eco Townhomes Now Complete!

This is a development by Origin Development called Celadon.  Celadon has 24 units of minimalist, modern, eco-friendly townhouses, and the good people of Charlotte are dang close to snatching up the entire lot.  Only two left.  Celadon was designed by a LEED accredited architect, so it looks to be green with a luxury twist  (certification will be through the NC HealthyBuilt Homes Program).  Green features include bamboo floors, natural skylights, recycled glass tiles, low-emitting cabinetry, energy-efficient appliances, fly-ash mixed concrete, unit submetering, high-efficiency HVAC, and xeriscaping, etc.

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Floating House by JM Finot, Clean Inspiration

Floatinghouse

To use the words of Bouroullec Design: the Floating House is a studio for resident artists and authors invited by the Cneai, national contemporary art center for publication.  Initiated in 2002 by a public commission and finished in 2006, this habitable barge was realized in collaboration with architects Jean-Marie Finot and Denis Daversin.  The simple lines of the structure are a pragmatic and poetic answer to the thin budget dedicated to this challenging project.  An aluminum skin enveloped by a wooden trellis delimits the long alcove laid onto the rectangular platform of the boat (23mx5m) … 

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mkLoft, Solar-ready Green Townhouse

Mkloft

Today, Michelle Kaufmann Designs officially announced their newest home, the mkLoft.  MkLoft is a townhouse loft home with 2 bedrooms, 1 loft, and 2 bathrooms, all wrapped up in a modern package.  The home has double-height living space, comes solar-ready, and has all the wonderful, green materials and interior details that come standard in MKD homes:  high-performance mechanical systems, low-flow plumbing fixtures, fsc-certified cabinetry, etc. 

One of the cool things about mkLoft is its scalability.  Units can be 2-story or 3-story, live/work or residential, and the lower level can be parking, retail, or studio.  You name it.  You can have one or one hundred units, depending on your project needs.  Developers can rely on the expertise of MKD for predictability in time and cost.  mkLoft prices out at $130 – $140 psf, and you’re in the lower price range if the project calls for +40 units.  mkLoft is the ultimate multifamily solution for developers wanting to go green.

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