- Change? Start by building greener.
- Utilities putting new energy into geothermal sources.
- Green plans in the blueprints for large retailers.
- Homebuilders are getting "green" religion.
- DOE reaches 50% milestone toward zero-energy buildings.
- It isn’t easy being green, but it doesn’t have to be ugly.
- Icelandic lesson: get 82% of energy from geothermal and hydro.
Kevin Rose sat down with Al Gore in a collaboration between Digg Dialogg and Current to talk about various crowd-sourced issues and topics. Other than some of the questions about marijuana, ManBearPig, and Futurama, I found the interview pretty interesting. Gore was impressively adroit, astute even, in his responses, showing a deep understanding of environmental issues and how they’re all interconnected. I’ve listed the questions below, in case you’re looking to hear Mr. Gore talk about a certain topic of interest. It’s a short, twenty-six minute video, so make sure to give it a view and enjoy.
We’re going to be on the scene at Greenbuild this year, are you? If you are, get ready for Project FROG‘s “FROG Zero” classroom, which will be on display as part of the “School of the Future, Today” demonstration. The 1,282 sf structure is the company’s new, zero-energy building that’s intended to raise the bar for green classrooms. Project FROG, an acronym for Flexible Response to Ongoing Growth, manufactures high performance, modular, green building systems that are rapid to deploy, affordable, and sustainable. Units can be purchased as individual classrooms or in combination to create campuses. The one on display at Greenbuild will include some of the following eco-friendly features:
Sustain, Toronto-based designer of the popular miniHome, is on a roll and just released renderings of their new Rapid Rooms suites. Buildings for the Future of London retained Sustain to design the 4 x 5 meter (16 x 13 feet, 215 square feet) modular unit that comes complete with an accessible bathroom, living area, bedroom, and kitchenette. It’s a turnkey solution that can be installed in your backyard or wherever for almost any situation. Maybe you want an extra work space. Maybe you need a spot for that extra family member. Or maybe you just need a little more room. Whatever your need, Rapid Rooms are super insulated (R40) and come with the same materials as other miniHomes. You can also grab the optional solar PV system, too.
This is The Union by architect and developer Jonathan Segal Architect. The project gets its name from its prior life as the union hall for San Diego’s textile manufacturing business. When the textile union moved away, the building fell into disrepair, and rather than demolish it, Jonathan Segal decided to adaptively reuse the structure to create sustainable live/work units and his own architectural office. The Union now includes additional buildings that, in total, comprise 13 residential loft units, of which some are market-rate and some are affordable. Also, the rooftop solar panels provide ~50% of the units’ energy needs.
Back in March, we mentioned the Silicon Valley NextHouse prefab, which was designed on the inside by Sally Kuchar. If you weren’t able to tour the home, no worries because Kohler sponsored several videos with Sally and the homeowners. The 2,400 sf Dwell Home: Silicon Valley was designed to accommodate natural light, solar orientation, seasonal shading from vegetation, and prevailing wind movement, and also to contribute to passive heating and cooling. It’s an incredible prefab home. In the above video, Sally explains some of the green materials they used, such as cork tiles, reclaimed limestone, FSC certified brazilian cherry, low-VOC paints, and earth plaster walls. Below, she talks about the kitchen and master bath design — how about those penny tiles in the kitchen? Nice. Enjoy the videos …