Eric Corey Freed, architect and principal of Organic Architect, has a new book in stores this month — Green$ense for the Home — and Allison Arieff was able to pry a list out of Freed of simple green home projects for renters and homeowners. This is the low-hanging fruit, to use the proverbial phrase, but that doesn't mean there's no impact or benefit. To paraphrase Freed’s responses to Arieff, here are the nine green projects:
Whether its urban farming or backyard chickens, there’s a movement afloat to raise and grow food locally and organically. If you’re interested in running a chicken coop — and speaking from personal experience, it’s not easy — you might have a look at the Modern Coop by John Wright. His stylish, sporty coop is made with reclaimed cedar, and it’s mobile, so you can move it around every couple weeks. The standard roof is a translucent fiberglass or durable metal, but you can opt for the green roof version, too.
Today, in Palmdale, California, Walmart (NYSE:WMT) flipped the switch on 17 small wind turbines in the parking lot of bulk retailer, Sam’s Club. Based upon estimates, Walmart and Sam’s Club believe the turbines will generate about 76,000 kWh of energy annually, which is enough to power more than six average homes over the same period of time.
Last time we mentioned Reclaimed Space, the company had just finished selling a small home on eBay for about $75,100 (after a bidding war involving several celebrities). But business is good for the Austin-based company that builds homes out of materials reclaimed from deconstructed homes and old projects. This home was recently delivered to its owners and will be used as a custom sewing space in Marfa, Texas.
Older homes frequently aren't very energy efficient because power used to be extremely cheap and building codes varied widely. In mild climates, that tended to happen even more. Our home in Oakland was built in 1948 and was far from energy efficient when we bought it: single-pane windows and doors, some of which didn't close well; original floor furnace; no insulation in the ceiling or walls; drafty fireplace.
I thought it would be fun to take a look at this container home designed by Ken Kwok for the distant locale of Malaysia. Using six shipping containers, Anand Bungalows developed the 2,551 square foot project, which includes rainwater harvesting, natural ventilation, water-efficient fixtures, dual-flush toilets, and abundant natural lighting to minimize energy consumption. Check out the rest of these images Kwok was kind enough to share with us.