3716 Springfield House by Studio 804, LEED Platinum and Off the Grid

3716-springfield

This is the first of a new series of articles from Robert McLaughlin, founder of House Virescent and co-founder of KCmodern, who will report on green building efforts in Greensburg, Kansas and Kansas City.

Studio 804, the graduate level design-build studio from the University of Kansas School of Architecture and Urban Planning, followed up its successful Modular 1,2,3,4 houses and the 547 Art Center in Greensburg, Kansas with the 3716 Springfield House.  It's another great looking house seeking not only to be LEED Platinum, but to be off the grid as well.  Also known as the Buffalo House, the Kansas City, Kansas project attempts "a holistic approach to sustainability" and uses active solar and wind technologies to power itself.

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Project Frog Breaks Ground on Net Zero Energy Watkinson School

Watkinson-Rendering-Summer

Last November, Project FROG demonstrated their FROG Zero classroom at Greenbuild 2008, and it was quite impressive.  Now, the company has a couple projects in the works, and they just broke ground on a new Center for Science and Global Citizenship at the Watkinson School in Hartford, Connecticut.  The 4,000 square-foot science center will generate more energy within its footprint than is required to operate the systems.  To do so, it will rely on some of the following active and passive strategies:

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Old 1920s Cottage Remodeled to Award Winning Green Duplex

Amherst-place-green-remodel

Earlier this month, Hardwick G.C. of Orlando received a Multifamily Remodeling Project of the Year award from the NAHB for converting an old single-family bungalow into a green duplex.  The existing 1920s home was about 800 square feet, and the renovation added about 250 square feet and a garage.  In addition, an attached home of about 2150 square feet (and its own garage) was added to the rear and second floor.  Here are some of the green features of Amherst Place:

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Sadly, Green Prefab Firm Michelle Kaufmann Designs is Shutting Down

Smart-home-green-wired

Update 5-27-09: Michelle Kaufmann explains what's next.

A short few hours ago, an article popped up on the LA Times website breaking the unfortunate news that Michelle Kaufmann Designs is shutting down by the end of this week.  Despite the fact that the article was written by Christopher Hawthorne — pretty much the most authoritative architecture critic on the West Coast, the news was hard to process.  This is the firm that's built 40 green prefab houses, including the mkLotus, mkSolaire Smart Home, and a number of other beautiful green prefabs!  MKD can't close its doors!  But in an email late this afternoon, Michelle confirmed the news. 

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Seattle Ellis Residence Seeking Platinum

Seattle-leed-platinum

In Bainbridge Island, Washington, there's a slick modern home under construction that was designed by Coates Design for owners Ed and Joanne Ellis.  Although Seattle has roughly 13 LEED Platinum homes as of today, the Ellis Residence has been designed to achieve LEED Platinum and could be the first single-family residence in the Western Puget Sound region to achieve such a lofty designation.  As you can tell from these renderings, the home has a number of active, passive, and green elements in store:

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Hella Efficient Exterior Venetian Blinds

Window-ext-louvers

I noticed BuildingGreen added these exterior venetian blinds to the GreenSpec Directory recently.  Hella exterior blinds are distributed in the U.S. through Savannah Trims and available in slat sizes of 2", 3.1", and 4".  The blinds are aluminum, have lateral tension, and can be controlled manually or electrically.  They're slick looking and come in a variety of heights, widths, and colors. 

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