Articles - News RSS Feed

More Than Another Prefab: Muji Prefab

Muji_concept

My values and beliefs were partially created through my experience living in Japan.  I like minimalist.  I like clean, sharp lines.  I like modern.  I like small, but functional.  I appreciate that a grain of rice means something, especially when times are tough.  And this is why I’m excited to hear the news of Muji coming to America.  Technically Mujirushi Ryohin, roughly translated as no-name quality goods, is the full name.  Muji is coming to the US to influence consumers that dig the no-brand, minimalist style sans in-your-face product identifiers.  I wear shirts inside out just so the brand doesn’t show sometimes, so I’m looking forward to seeing what they have to offer.   

Muji has 387 outlets in 15 countries, including 34 stores in Europe.  America is next on their expansion plans with a store starting in Manhattan, and the possibility of stores to follow in Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco.  Muji sells all sorts of stuff, such as socks, a front-loading washer/dryer combo, cardboard speakers, aluminum business card holders, and even a line of prefab homes (starting at $115,000).  Not all their products are green, but they are of the modern aesthetic.  Choose wisely, I say.  Also, we’ll have to wait and see, but I’ve heard rumors that their stuff isn’t cheap.  Some people compare them to IKEA, but with a Japanese flavor.  Let’s see how the Manhattan opening goes.  See BusinessWeek + Muji (Japanese). 

Mujiinfill_houseToyohashi_house

Jetson Green in D.C. this Weekend, Ideas?

100x100_question_2I’m going to be in Washington D.C. with a team of MBAs for a real estate case competition this weekend.  I have some free time both Friday and Sunday and would like to delve into the greener side of D.C.  Any ideas?  I’m up for anything. 

Green Building = Buzz, but Localization = Key

Cameron_armstrong_metal_home_2 Green building articles abound, but it’s important to note the subtle differences in perspective, which may change depending on the writer’s geography.  An article may give green building advice that doesn’t make sense in your geography.  Take this Houston article for instance.  It’s a good read.  In Houston, the climate requires an innovative balance of green building techniques.  Houston is hot and humid.  I won’t say it’s the armpit of America, but it’s hard to keep dry in that place.  Here are a couple examples of localization in green building. 

  1. Passive Design – Houston architects suggest putting most of your windows in a north/south orientation because the east/west orientation draws too much heat into the home and doesn’t allow exposure to the cool breezes that blow from the southeast in the summer. 
  2. Materials – Houston architects will building with metal, as opposed to brick or stucco.  Metal reflects the sun, while brick holds in heat and stucco is prone to mold.  Unfortunately, metal doesn’t work for all applications, so you have to balance and make trade-offs. 

Rule:  Consult a knowledgeable professional to pick the optimal green building strategy that effectively considers the ramifications of the local geography and materials on your site.  It’ll pay dividends later when you actually start to occupy the building and use it.  Pictures via Cameron Armstrong Architects, a Houston architectural firm with several metal homes in their portfolio. 

Zero-Energy Issaquah Town Homes, GreenSource + ENR Get Neals, + Bahrain Wind Turbine Towers (WIR)

Week in Review
  1. Ten "Zero-Energy" Town Home Community Planned in Issaquah, Washington [Seattle Times]
  2. McGraw-Hill Construction’s GreenSource Magazine and ENR.com Win Neal Awards [PRNewswire]
  3. Bahrain Twin Skyscraper Complex Becomes World’s First Commercial Development to Include Large-Scale Wind Turbines in its Structure [GE Eco-Business]

Quotable: RK Stewart, FAIA

Rk_stewart_faia_2 "Climate change, carbon emissions, greenhouse gases, green design–call it what you will.  The need to change how we inhabit the planet to avoid catastrophic consequences is now widely accepted…in the year ahead I plan to work with the AIA board’s Sustainability Discussion Group to aggressively advance sustainable design and the key role the AIA can and our members must play to engage the great challenge confronting our generation–the future of our planet."  – RK Stewart, FAIA, Principal at Gensler, AIA President

Via Eco-structure

Motto Magazine: 6 Gurus of Eco-Chic

Motto_logo I’m picky about what I read.  Are you?  Henry David Thoreau once said, "Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all."  I sincerely believe that.  I anticipate that Jetson Green readers feel the same way, so when I write, I try to provide short, concise, informative posts that lead readers to quality information and learning.  Well, I recently purchased the magazine Motto.  Initially, I bought it to read the article called "6 Gurus of Eco-Chic," but when I sat down to delve in, I was shocked by the content.  I’m talking about high-quality, positive, entrepreneurial content.  I still haven’t finished one magazine because I find myself reading every page (not just looking at pictures in this one!).

But I had the thought.  I just read a copy of Good Magazine a week or two ago, and I thought that magazine was good.  It really was good.  In Texas, good means okay.  Good means fine.  Good means pedestrian.  Good means neutral.  And that’s what it was to me.  It wasn’t all that positive either, it was rather sobering.  Full of information and sobering.  So I took HDT’s advice and decided that I probably shouldn’t read good magazines anymore.  I think Motto is in the best category of reading.  What do you think? 

Extra Links:
Motto Blog + Motto Manifesto

Page 71 of 78« First...405060«6970717273»...Last »


Popular Topics on Jetson Green