A Positive Energy Landscape Hub

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Yes, it has a Wilson bi-fold garage door.  Yes, it has translucent photovoltaic panels that also illuminate the interior workspace.  Yes, it's heated and cooled by a geothermal system.  And yes, it's pretty much the most amazing landscape storage shed around.  Designed by Gray Organschi Architecture, this storage barn — more appropriately a storage rack that doubles as an 800 square-foot building — is the central hub for a landscape business in Washington, Connecticut. 

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Modern Green Concept Home in Bellevue

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Owners Millie Leung and David Huang just broke ground on this modern green home in Washington.  "The Green Concept Home" is the first single-family home registered under LEED-H in Bellevue, and the owners hope to obtain Built Green certification, too.  David (of Modus V Studio) designed the home, and both Millie and David will direct its construction over the next year.  Here's the layout and what they're planning in terms of green elements:

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Kebonization Process Creates an Alternative to Tropical Hardwoods

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The photograph above may not be what you would expect.  The outdoor bench in this detail is not made from an unsustainably harvested tropical hardwood.  The wood itself is actually maple, a widely available species that can be farmed and harvested without ripping up acres of rainforest.  But maple and many other similar woods are too susceptible to decay and rot when used unprotected outdoors.  The usual alternative has been treatment with chemical pressure treatment.  Now, through a method called kebonization, a Norwegian company, Kebony ASA, treats soft woods in a non-toxic process that allows readily available woods to be used for outdoor uses.

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11 Net-Zero Energy Workforce Homes

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One of the islands off the coast of Washington, Lopez Island, has seen rising land prices, which in turn, has put the squeeze on teachers, health care workers, and others in need of affordable housing.  In an effort to help, Mithun partnered with the Lopez Community Land Trust to create eleven economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable homes.  These homes are now complete and the community, Common Ground, is absolutely incredible.  The net-zero energy homes feature some of these green elements:

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Elements, a New Green Surface Option

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When it comes picking a green surface material, there's a lot out there to choose from.  And we're going to give you another option, Elements by Durcon.  Elements is made with 10% post-consumer recycled glass, an epoxy resin, and fine quartz.  Available in five main colors, Elements is non-porous and has inherent anti-fungal and anti-microbial characteristics.  The surface does not require sealing, and according to Durcon, it will not off-gas. 

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A Solar-Powered Green Microhouse

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Hot on the heels of our prior coverage of the Rainscreen Shed and the International Shed of the Year comes this solar-powered beauty, the Microhouse.  According to Naomi Seldin of Simpler Living, the 100 square-foot tiny house is part of the Human = Landscape exhibit going on in City Hall Park in Burlington, Vermont.  The Microhouse was built by Alex Carver and Christopher North of Northern Timbers Construction with the design help of landscape architect and metal artist H. Keith Wagner.

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