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11 Net-Zero Energy Workforce Homes

LH-houses

One of the islands off the coast of Washington, Lopez Island, has seen rising land prices, which in turn, has put the squeeze on teachers, health care workers, and others in need of affordable housing.  In an effort to help, Mithun partnered with the Lopez Community Land Trust to create eleven economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable homes.  These homes are now complete and the community, Common Ground, is absolutely incredible.  The net-zero energy homes feature some of these green elements:

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Elements, a New Green Surface Option

Durcon

When it comes picking a green surface material, there's a lot out there to choose from.  And we're going to give you another option, Elements by Durcon.  Elements is made with 10% post-consumer recycled glass, an epoxy resin, and fine quartz.  Available in five main colors, Elements is non-porous and has inherent anti-fungal and anti-microbial characteristics.  The surface does not require sealing, and according to Durcon, it will not off-gas. 

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A Solar-Powered Green Microhouse

Microhouse-exterior2

Hot on the heels of our prior coverage of the Rainscreen Shed and the International Shed of the Year comes this solar-powered beauty, the Microhouse.  According to Naomi Seldin of Simpler Living, the 100 square-foot tiny house is part of the Human = Landscape exhibit going on in City Hall Park in Burlington, Vermont.  The Microhouse was built by Alex Carver and Christopher North of Northern Timbers Construction with the design help of landscape architect and metal artist H. Keith Wagner.

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Über Green Prefab Portable Classrooms

Chartwell-entry-a-1024x523(2)

The portable classroom is just about as ubiquitous as the mobile home, so our ears perked when Toby Long, principal of Clever Homes and Toby Long Design, mentioned these first-generation, prefab, green portable classrooms.  Working with the Chartwell School in Seaside, California — itself the first LEED Platinum campus in the country — Toby Long Design designed, fabricated, and installed two relocatable classroom structures on the Chartwell campus.  Almost incredibly, the on-site work only took about four weeks. 

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Modern Green 555YVR in Walnut Creek

555YVR-Front elevation Twilight

In the California city of Walnut Creek, this stunning green project is nearing completion with occupancy planned for October 2009.  555YVR gets its name from its location — 555 Ygnacio Valley Road, which is conveniently located within walking distance of BART and a number of downtown restaurants and nightclubs.  Thompson | Dorfman Partners developed 55YVR with the architectural help of Kwan Henmi and KTGY Group, and the project was built to LEED standards.  Some of the green aspects include the following:

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Get Kirei with Chocolate Bamboo

Kirei-chocolate-bamboo

Alright, so it's not exactly brand new — Kirei introduced Chocolate Bamboo back in September 2008 — but it has this deep, sophisticated look and we just haven't had the chance to mention it yet (well, Re-nest jogged our memory).  The dark color is obtained through a secret, dark carbonizing process.  The bamboo is made from sustainably harvested Moso bamboo grass and a low- or no-added urea formaldehyde adhesive to create the panels.  If you're looking for something like this, look up a dealer

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