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20 Ways Your Home Can Save the Planet [HGTV]

20ways

HGTV has this list of the 20 Ways Your Home Can Save the Planet.  Depending on where you’re at in the process of greening your home, you may find this list helpful.  I like some of the suggestions but also realize there’s a deeper level of analysis that goes into actually saving the planet with your home.  I bet the special presentation show on television was pretty interesting, though.  Without further ado:

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2008 AIA/COTE Top 10 Green Projects Announced!

2008 AIA/COTE TOP TEN GREEN PROJECTS

Every year, the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) invites electronic submissions of built projects and announces ten (10) award winners.  I’ve included direct links to each project below — after the links, you’ll find detailed case studies and background information.  Here they are …

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How Green Can Monster Homes Be? Topic Renewed.

Bighome

The topic pops up every month or two.  Last month, the issue of big green homes came up in the context of eco-terrorism.  Five luxury homes priced over $2 million each were set on fire with a sign left behind saying: "Built green?  Nope Black!  McMansions + RCD’s R Not Green – ELF"# #  The luxury homes were advertised as green, but clearly the eco-terrorists disagreed.#   The burnt homes were about 4200 to 4750 sf in size, which isn’t that bad, when compared to some so-called luxury green homes we’ve seen (this one being 9800 sf).  The incident highlights the tension between big homes and sustainability.   

Today the NY Times resurrects the issue in the context of a new development in Connecticut.  As you can tell from the image above, the homes are built in a style meant to evoke 19th-century English country houses.  I’m not really interested the style, but some people are and I understand that.  The above home is the model home — the first of at least twenty-four, extravagant "green" homes.  It’s 7,000 sf.

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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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Ten Critical Steps in a Green Remodel

Green-DIY

Existing buildings have tons of embodied energy and we can’t always go bulldozing them for brand-spanking new ones.  Lots of projects need to be rehabbed and renovated, but where do we go for best practices?  I like to follow other projects for ideas, such as this one that we recently featured:  World’s First LEED Platinum Home Remodel.  The guys behind this project, after going through a major renovation of a traditional home, posted a list of the Ten Most Critical Things to Do in a Green Remodel.  They make some excellent points based on true experience, so here it is:

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Eva Longoria Talks About Green Building

Eva Longoria This is seriously lowbrow, and I’m embarrassed to join the likes of celebrity media, but ole’ Mrs. Parker has something interesting to say about green building.  She’s building a new home in San Antonio, Texas, and wants to go as green as possible.  But the builders have been giving her flack.  Apparently, the problems were so bad that the project was nearly at a standstill.  She said, "Everything is going to be environmentally friendly. We are going to install solar panels for part of the house. All our water is recycled for the lawn for irrigation. It was a fight with our builders; a lot of people don’t want change. But it’s worth it.

You can do most things for the right price, so I can’t understand the issue here, but maybe she flat out hired the wrong builder.  Lesson is, get people with experience.  Green building is high-quality building.  And Joe Dirt probably can’t do it.  Maybe we can blog about her home when she’s done?  Eva?!

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