Green Roof Trends, Smart Buildings, Passive Houses, + Green Stimulus

Week in Review

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With Nature at Hidden Creek Eco-Village

Crabapple

This is Hidden Creek Eco-Village.  It's a little bit different kind of suburban development that attempts to reconcile the demands of single-family home buyers with the problems of sprawling housing developments.  First, Hidden Creek is full of communal features, such as neighborhood trails, car parks, front porches, central mailboxes, and shared streetscapes.  Plus the homes are densely sited to maintain open, natural spaces.  Second, Hidden Creek is surrounded by the natural environment: there's a nature preserve on the north, a creek on the south, and natural grasses and trees everywhere else.  To maintain the integrity of the site, homes were placed around existing trees and landscaping.  Third, all the homes have been custom-designed for each site to allow views of the surrounding landscape and nature. 

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Adam Kalkin Maine Container House

Kalkin

This Brooklin, Maine home, designed by architect Adam Kalkin, may not be brand new to the green scene (it was built in 2003), but its unique design still looks so fresh today that I had to write about it.  The beautiful home stretches the boundaries of modern design and is truly a work of art.  It was created by stacking a dozen orange "reclaimed" shipping containers in a T-shape while replacing some of the steel pannels with large windows looking out over the rocky peninsula to Blue Hill Bay. 

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Alter Eco LEED Platinum Luxury Home

Dundee Exterior

Alter Eco, an eco-lifestyle and makeover show hosted by Entourage's Adrian Grenier on Planet Green, features the green makeover of a 1926 Spanish-style home in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.  The build was done in only fourteen weeks to keep up with the show's aggressive shooting schedule.  This is particularly impressive because an extra week was needed just to properly divert the construction waste from the initial demo.  The finished project received a Platinum rating through LEED for Homes and is now available for $3.5 million.

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Green Home Prefab Cottage in a Day

Cottage

We've been watching the prefab scene as close as anyone, and it seems the recreational variety is honestly taking hold.  This company, Cottage in a Day, provides factory-built, energy-efficient, green homes.  They currently provide roughly four models, which, not counting the included decks, range in size from 182 – 375 square feet or more.  The homes are made in Traverse City, Michigan and built with locally sourced materials (except the bamboo).  And the idea is that they can be put up quite quickly, assuming the concrete pier foundation is ready to go.

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Green Buildings and The Obama Effect

[Video - 2:19] Noted green building expert Jerry Yudelson explains how the Obama administration will impact green buildings.  In short, according to Mr. Yudelson, the Obama administration will make green buildings a permanent part of the economic, cultural, and financial landscape.  Every new, large federal building will be LEED certified, and at least 25 (if not 35) states will mandate green certification for all new buildings.  We'll see green measures for hundreds of local, state, and federal buildings, and a lot of money will be going into this area.  And because of this, people will gravitate towards the green building industry — we'll see green jobs and a boom of sorts.

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