Dallas Planning Nation's First Fully Sustainable City Block

Re:Vision Dallas Design Charrette

What would it take to create a fully sustainable city block in downtown Dallas?  That’s the question and discussion that will begin this Friday, December 5, 2008, at Dallas City Hall.  The City of Dallas, in collaboration with Urban Re:Vision and Building Community Workshop, is hosting a Design Charrette to examine the framework and community impact of a sustainable, urban square block.  And by sustainable, the vision is to create a place that is healthy in social, economic, and environmental terms. 

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Prefab by the Numbers

Prefab

A new article in Portland Monthly delves a little deeper into the prefab world and discovers some new territory.  For newcomers to prefab, pricing can be quite elusive and this article clarifies a little of that (in particular, page three provides some helpful comparative information).  Some people don’t realize that certain costs may not be factored in the often-cited price per square foot (i.e., transportation, foundation, crane, site contractor, site preparation, permitting and approvals, etc.).  That’s different from a buyer’s understanding of purchasing a home from a builder or developer …

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Embody Ups the Green Chair Ante

Embody Chair by Herman Miller

I’ve been a happy and devoted Haworth Zody user for over a year and my chair is time-tested, blogger-approved — it’s a beautiful hoss.  But my other chair, the office one, is quite hobbled and needs replacing.  So when I was walking the exhibit floor at Greenbuild, the Herman Miller Embody chair caught my eye in a big way.  Depending on the color you go for, it’s a loud chair, if not flamboyant, but that’s all part of its intrinsic ambition — and probably why Embody will be the next, must-have chair for stylish office types. 

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Johnson Creek weeHouse Prefab Home

Johnson Creek weeHouse Prefab

Wow, check out this stunning, prefab home located in Honesdale, Pennsylvania.  Just like the Marfa Weehouse, a home we talked about a long time ago, this home was designed by Alchemy Architects.  The Johnson Creek weeHouse is a 2,200 sf retreat home consisting of the main living area for daily activities and a small tower for less intenstive activities, like sleeping.  The two parts are connected by a patio bridge and the entire home is surrounded by the heavily wooded site.   

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IBM Predicts Solar Growth in 5 Years

IBM is becoming gradually more involved in the world of clean tech, so it’s not surprising that their third annual "IBM Next Five in Five" includes a mention of solar power.  The list includes five innovations that will change the way people work, live, and play over the next five years.  Accordingly, IBM thinks energy saving solar technology will be built into asphalt, paint, and windows.  Basically, with the advent of thin-film solar cells and advances in technology, everything everywhere will have solar cells and harvest energy.  And the technology to do so will be affordable, too. 

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Vatican Gets Serious with Solar

Solarpaulvihall

Maybe Samsø started a trend in becoming a net exporter of renewable energy because it appears that the Vatican is thinking about doing something similar.  The curvaceous roof of Paul VI Audience Hall, a building that's located right by the famous St. Peter's Basilica, has been topped with 2,400 photovoltaic panels to source energy for lighting, heat, and air conditioning. 

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