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Mashup: MKD + SketchUp + Google Earth

MKD SketchUp

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:

  1. 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. 
  2. 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). 
  3. 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. 

Video: Hive Modular in Germantown, Nashville

[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. 

Good Links:
+Hive Modular [website]
+Hive Modular on HGTV [Youtube]
+Hive Modular + Rosenlof/Lucas Video [Youtube]

Rowhaus Condominiums, Modern + Green Living by Blue Conservancy

Rowhaus

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. 

Josh Dorfman: The Lazy Environmentalist

The_lazy_environmentalist 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

GreenSource: The Magazine of Sustainable Design

Greensource 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. 

Good Links:
+GreenSource, April 2007
+GreenSource Online Page
+GreenSource Magazine Wins a Neal Award [PRNewswire]

Atkins' Al Sharq Office Complex in Kuwait City (S2)

Al Sharq Tower Recently, an Atkins office complex concept received big-time coverage by being awarded the 2007 MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects Award in the Office category.  I’m blogging about it because I like some of the sustainable elements.  The 180 meter Al Sharq tower includes an executive gym, health club, spa, and swimming pool at the top.  The building also features planted sky gardens in strategic locations where people can step outside, take a break, soak in the view, and think.  Commenting on the building’s unique green attributes, Nicholas Bailey of Atkins in Bahrain said:

This is a green building – literally – because of its foliage camouflage.  Vertical fins to the street elevation, formed in colored glass, are fitted with integrated solar panels that contribute to the building’s energy needs.  The project showcases a new way of building the working environment.  It is no longer a cage to confine workers, but a creative living environment to encourage productivity.  The groundbreaking concept of the project is the provision of different scenarios where business can take place.  More images below. 

Good Links:
+Atkins Office Concept Wins International Award [atkins global]
+Kuwait Office Development Short listed for MIPIM Award [WAN]

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