Choosing Green: Homebuyer's Guide to Good Green Homes [Giveaway]

Choosing Green Jerry Yudelson, renown green building expert, was kind enough to send us a copy of one of his latest books, and as is the tradition on this website, we’re giving the book away to one lucky commenter below.  Just leave a comment before midnight on Monday, September 22 to be considered for the giveaway.*  The book is called Choosing Green: The Homebuyer’s Guide to Good Green Homes and is printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper.  It is what it’s called: a homebuyer’s guide.  If you’re a homeowner or are thinking of becoming one (even in this market!), you should give this a read and get educated.  Yudelson will walk you through some of the following concepts:

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Beautiful Green Roof at Chicago's Residences 900

Residences900

In Chicago, Illinois, The Residences at 900 have something unique to offer their residents, a lush green rooftop garden.  This environmentally friendly rooftop, designed by renowned landscape architect Douglas Hoerr, offers nearly fourteen thousand square feet of garden paradise. 

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REX House Accomplishes 100% Reuse

Rex House

Shannon Quimby, as far as I can tell, is the first to successfully reuse 100% of an old dilapidated home in a new home construction project.  The REX House, or Reuse Everything eXperiment, is located at 2030 SE Rex Street in Portland, Oregon and Shannon has been documenting the entire process since December 2007.  What she’s doing is quite difficult, especially if/when you’re deconstructing a house that has toxic materials, lead, asbestos, and other damaged parts.  But that’s the goal of the project: to share with everyone how to recycle and keep landfills from overflowing with useable construction materials. 

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Prefab is Not the Answer to Affordable, Modern, and Green Homes

This article was authored by guest Chad Ludeman of Postgreen Homes. 

Prefab homes seem to be showing up more and more in the media these days, especially with two large exhibits in Philadelphia showcasing their history this year.  Like many, I hoped that prefab would be the answer to bringing modern architecture to the masses in the US and beyond.  I thought that finally, modern home design would be attainable by those of us who aren’t pulling in lofty six figure incomes. That was until I conducted extensive research into the possibility of starting a development company in Philadelphia using only prefab homes.

Don’t get me wrong, I love prefab and many of the firms out there with cutting edge designs in the prefab realm.  There are also a variety of building lessons that can be learned from the prefab methodology.  I just don’t believe it is the best way of delivering modern design to the average new home buyer.

Below we will look at this issue from two points of view.  First, we will look at the prefab industry and try to dispel some of the myths that have arisen around it.  Second, we will take a quick look at how the housing industry may be able to learn from both prefab and site-built homes to create a hybrid approach that will provide a better, more accessible solution to the home buyer and hopefully reduce the barrier of entry to modern, green, and unique residences.

Names and firms have intentionally been left out of this post in an effort to discuss only the facts, dispel some of the myths of prefab, and possibly look towards a better method for bringing modern homes to the average American.

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Father of LEED Takes Future Serious

Check out this video with Rob Watson, a green building leader often referred to as the Father of LEED.  Watson discusses general green building and current market trends.  Towards the end of the video, he kind of eases into a discussion of Serious Materials, but that’s okay because Serious Materials is a legit company in terms of sustainable building materials.  Most recently, Serious Materials took the category award at 2008 GoingGreen 100 for green building materials.  I’ve transcribed some of the interesting quotes from this video below:

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Putting Parking Lots to Good Use

Envision Solar Parking Garage

University of California, San Diego is in the process of installing Solar Trees by Envision Solar on the roofs of two of its parking garages.  The Solar Trees are designed to provide clean energy for the campus, shade for vehicle parking, and future infrastructure for electrical vehicles.  Each Solar Tree at UCSD will generate more than 17,000 hours of clean energy per year, which is enough to power more than four single-family homes.  In aggregate, with two parking garages topped with Solar Trees, you can imagine the power they’re generating. 

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