I was blown away when I found out about this online blog at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’s called From the Ground Up and the journal is tracking Jason Hammond’s quest to build a unique, modern home in the Twin Cities. The blog also includes information from the project’s architect, Michael Huber, and the project’s builder, Corey Benedict. From the Ground Up has become a huge success, with people of all backgrounds and interests chiming in to figure out what it takes to live in something modern + green. What I really like about the blog, however, is the pragmatic approach to building green. For many of us, myself included, it’s expensive to get into a well-designed, green home. So the process from beginning to end must be comprehensive and calculated, especially if you don’t want to waste money. From the Ground Up will "consider the balance between [Hammond's] family’s needs, the project costs, and the environmental considerations that go along with new home building." I already like what I see and can’t wait to continue reading about their home as it approaches completion. Via rolu | dsgn.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to put a Michelle Kaufmann Designs home on your piece of land? Now you can do it, and you’re going to love this. Here’s what you do:
- Step 1: Go to the Google 3D Warehouse and type in "MKD." You should see designs for the mkSolaire, Sunset Breezehouse, and Glidehouse. Nice. These files are for use with SketchUp. Download the design you want for your home.
- Step 2: Download a free copy of Google SketchUp and use SketchUp to open the file you downloaded in Step 1. Using SketchUp, modify the landscape of your home. (I must admit, I’m still learning how to use this program and do this step).
- Step 3: Download a free copy of Google Earth. Find the location of your site. Plop your SketchUp model on the site that you’ve located.
That’s the process. It’s a pretty cool mashup allowing you to envision the land of your dreams with the home of your dreams. If anyone does anything cool, drop a line below.
[Run time: 1:09 min.]I found this blog dinking around with my Blackberry’s feedreader software. David Hunter has a blog called "Nashville Modern Prefab," and he’s documenting his experience trying to build a modern Hive Modular home near downtown Nashville. For anyone that’s interested in some of the hurdles of getting approvals, etc., for a non-traditional home, this is a great blog to scan over. Check the video above, which is a 3D rendering of Hunter’s future home. Hope the approvals finally come through! For those of you that like Hive Modular’s work, you may enjoy some of the videos and links below.
I’m in the middle of trying to find a nice little home in Salt Lake City and don’t think I’ve ever seen the words ‘bungalow’ or ‘rambler’ so much in my life. Many (not all) of the places here are run down, beat up, smelly, oozing with latent mold and lead issues, and very expensive. There’s not much in the way of modern or contemporary offerings either, but there’s a small community of developers starting to turn that around. For example, if we were in the position to buy, we’d go after this place being developed by Blue Conservancy called Rowhaus.
Located at 1130 South West Temple, Rowhaus is a community of 24, 3-story, townhouse-style condominiums. With prices starting at $299,000, Rowhaus is one of the nascent green offerings in the urban housing market here in Salt Lake City. Some of the green features include the following: quiet, insulated concrete partition walls; large, thermally broken operable windows in all rooms; Energy Star appliances; and two minute walk to rail transportation. Each unit is about 2,000 sf, with separate 2-car garages and a private yard. Also, from what I understand, Blue Conservancy is a Salt Lake City Green certified business. Nice.
A couple months ago, I wrote about Josh Dorfman and his Modern Green Living directory, so I wanted to kick out a shout for his new book in stores now. For some reason I thought the book was coming out in August and had it on pre-order, but it never came. Today, I was surprised to see it on the shelf, so I bought it on the spot. With The Lazy Environmentalist, you’re not overpaying for the hardback variety just to get good information. It’s out in sturdy paperback. And if you’re wondering about taking the plunge, there are two good interviews of the author at Treehugger and Green Options. Josh is smart and extremely informed on the subject of environmentalism. Don’t be fooled about the "lazy" moniker. There’s nothing lazy to his approach. The way I see it, Josh is bridging the gap between idealism and behavior, finding ways for everyone to live happier, healthier, and more plentifully. $10.17-$14.95.
Do you read GreenSource? There’s a free read of the April 2007 edition of GreenSource online. I highly recommend it, if you have a little free time and a fast connection. It’s a quarterly production, supported by the editors of McGraw-Hill Construction, BuildingGreen, Inc., and the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). GreenSource has a circulation of about 42,000 readers. In March 2007, it was given the prestigious Neal Award for Best Start-Up Publication. I spent way too much time online reading the articles…it just sucked me right in.