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Oulu Bar & EcoLounge, Brooklyn's First Living Wall

Oulu Bar & EcoLounge

This is Oulu Bar & EcoLounge in Williamsburg, home to Brooklyn’s first living wall installation.  The 2,500 sf building was designed by Evangeline Dennie and it’s currently seeking LEED Gold certification.  You’ll find a few different photos below, including a before shot, for your viewing pleasure.

What do you think?  The green wall makes quite the design statement, doesn’t it?  It’s tough to deny the modern appeal of vertical greenery, I say.   

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Whitehead-Elniski Residence, Green Adaptive Reuse!

Roof

This is a refreshing story of a another innovative green home in Chicago.  Frances Whitehead and James Elniski recently had their green home featured in NY Times.  It’s a fantastic rendition of green adaptive reuse.  Check the images of the living rooftop and two twirling turbines (by Windside).  Those turbines cost about $40,000,including installation, and provide about $500 per year in savings.  Still, the owners don’t mind the payback of 80 years because their perspective is guided by the realities of a carbon cluttered world.  Drastic times require drastic actions?

This live/work residence has some of the following green features: cellulose insulation, geothermal heating and cooling, solar thermal hot water and cooling, photovoltaic panels, rainwater collection cisterns, and water-saving appliances and dual-flush toilets, etc.  Perhaps the greenest feature of all is that the building used to be a blighted, 3000 sf, brick warehouse on a chunk of land with a contaminated underground gasoline storage tank.  Ugh … removing USTs can be nasty, expensive, and fraught with administrative burdens, too. 

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Dwell to Launch Silicon Valley NextHouse Prefab!

If you’re on the West Coast and want to check out modern prefab a la Dwell, the experts of modern prefab, now’s your chance.  The Dwell NextHouse by Empyrean – Silicon Valley will be open for tours to the public March 29-30, 2008.  The 2,400 sf prefab was designed to accommodate natural light, solar orientation, seasonal shading from vegetation, and prevailing wind movement, and also to contribute to passive heating and cooling. 

Plus, for a sneak preview of the inside of the Silicon Valley NextHouse, I’ve embedded a little video from sallyTV founder, Sally Kuchar, interior designer for the project.  I think you’ll enjoy the over dub …

Viesso – Speedy, Custom Green Furniture Options

Viesso Chairs

Viesso, a Santa Monica based company, makes custom green furniture that’s ready to ship in three weeks.  All furniture is made right in Los Angeles.  They offer 17 couch and sectional shapes and 9 armchairs in a practically endless variety of fabrics.  You then also have the choice of leg shape and cushion interior materials, spring type, etc., and you can build and price out your exact piece on their website.

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Concourse E Projects, Super Modern and Green [ATL]

Weatherby1 Weatherby3

Concourse E broke ground on two super green projects last December in Atlanta that intend to move beyond LEED and into a greener realm of living.  Committed to the Architecture 2030 Challenge, Concourse E homes will consume roughly 60-90% less energy than comparable sized conventional homes.  Concourse E owner Jeff Demetriou instilled the company with the idea that a modern home is not truly modern unless it takes the environment into account.  Hence, Concourse E uses its own green building classification system called Greensphere.  The company rating system has three levels, 1-3, with 3 being the best.  Both of the projects you see below have descriptions from the website and are Greensphere 3 rated projects. 

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The Green Audacity of Lifestyle Minimalism

Minimalist

Photo by Internet Power Lunch.

I’ve been thinking a lot about minimalism lately for some reason.  We all have an idea of what "minimalism" is, but I wanted to dig a little deeper.  According to Wikipedia, minimalism describes a movement where "work is stripped down to its most fundamental features … it is rooted in the reductive aspects of Modernism, and is often interpreted as a reaction against abstract impressionism and a bridge to Postmodern art practices."  Strip it down to the fundamentals. 

I like the concept of stripping stuff down to the fundamentals.  You can strip down anything and literally find that "less is more."  Try it.  I honestly believe that with the right amount of less, less can be more.  Why is that?  Well, quite simply because less equals the fundamentals and enjoying the fundamentals — with no excess — feels good.  Let me explain my thoughts on the lifestyle of minimalism. 

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