Tiny houses are popping up all over the country. Students at Green Mountain College built one with reclaimed materials last semester. They spent $1,927 on materials, acquiring insulation at half price and lumber and windows from the local salvage store. The 8-foot by 12-foot house still needs a solar-powered electrical system, which will be installed early next year.
Earlier this year, we took a look at four projects racing to meet the requirements of the Living Building Challenge. Now, the International Living Building Institute has completed third-party certification audits and announced the world’s first Living Buildings. The Omega Center for Sustainable Living (NY) and Tyson Living Learning Center (MO) both earned full certification, while Eco-Sense (BC) earned Petal Recognition for meeting four of six petals.
This article is a contribution to Honda’s “Racing Against Time” thought leadership series.*
Recently, I was approached by Honda to tackle the topic of “peak oil” in relation to the normal conversation on Jetson Green. This site is devoted to green building innovation, and you may be thinking the subject of peak oil — specifically, the idea that oil is a finite resource — is a little tangential.
But it’s not. In fact, oil is used to make all sorts of products and to power residential and commercial buildings. Honda’s invitation has given me an opportunity to brainstorm on the subject and, after some contemplation, I believe there are six ways the building, design, and construction industry can eliminate the use of oil entirely.
William McDonough is one of the greatest minds the environmental movement has to offer. He’s the co-author of Cradle-to-Cradle, Time’s Hero for the Planet, and a recipient of the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development. And, perhaps more importantly, he’s extremely influential. McDonough shares ideas with compelling clarity, and listeners can’t help but pass the message along. I had the opportunity to listen to McDonough’s keynote at West Coast Green yesterday and took down the following quotes.