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20 Green Building Innovations of 2011

Our team had the great opportunity to report on hundreds of green building innovations in the form of new technologies and advanced materials.  We see these innovations as contributors to a world where it’s important to reduce waste and resource consumption.  I hope you enjoy this unordered review gathered from our archives of the last year.

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15 Terrific Tiny House Projects of 2011

I’ve seen the tiny house thrive in 2011 like none other.  People behind these structures — whether a tiny home, shed, backyard office, ADU, or off-season retreat — seem to have a little Thoreau inside.  Nonetheless, please keep this in mind: only about 5% of the population would ever dream to live in a tiny house.  Is this for you?  Here’s a little round up of the built projects that we covered in 2011, in no particular order.  Click the text below for more and use your tabs for hours of reading.

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How Europeans Build Greener Homes with Offsite Construction and Manufacturing

By Gerry McCaughey, CEO of Infineco LLC*

As Americans debate whether prefab is a greener way to build, those active in the discussion should not be surprised when their dialogue receives puzzled looks from their European counterparts.

In Europe, this very question was asked and answered nearly two decades ago. The resounding findings were that prefabrication creates higher-quality structures that reduce both the embodied energy content and the amount of carbon produced annually during the operation of traditional onsite-built homes. The reduction in carbon emissions can be as much as 40 to 60 percent.

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Recap: 10th Annual Greenbuild in Toronto

Greenbuild Conference & Expo

Greenbuild 2011 marked the first international Greenbuild Conference and Expo, driving the importance of a global solution to sustainability.  It was also, quietly, the 10th annual Greenbuild, where was that celebration?  While the mood was upbeat, we were also alongside over 23,000 leaders of the green building industry, or as Thomas Freidman put it in his opening plenary (31:00 in), the dumb ones who keep on fighting for a green revolution!

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Get the Complete Picture at Greenbuild

InterfaceFLOR’s new introduction, Raw is composed of 100% recycled yarn. It contains 40% less embodied energy and requires 85% less water to produce than carpet made with only 11% recycled fiber.

By Peter Greene, Vice President of Marketing, InterfaceFLOR*

As we head into Greenbuild this week, looking forward to learning about the industry’s latest “green” products is at the top of everyone’s minds. But how do you sort through all the “green” claims that have proliferated?  How do design professionals (and savvy consumers) know if there are hidden tradeoffs or if their decisions actually lead to a more sustainable world?

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Eight Reasons for Passive House Growth

It’s no secret that Passivhaus, or Passive House, is exploding in popularity right now.  This site is publishing more about Passive House every week and readers seem to be more interested in these ultra-efficient homes than ever.  In fact, the volume of news references for “Passive House” and “Passivhaus” is up in recent years, according to a simple search using Google Trends.

So, what’s the secret behind the success of Passive House?

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