Here’s the story: A handful of entrepreneurs nurtured a graduate school business plan into an actual company called PFNC Global Communities. The acronym stands for “por fin, nuestra casa,” which is translated as “finally, a home of our own.” PFNC’s purpose is to convert shipping containers into affordable housing for those who most desperately need it around the globe.
Google has just announced a new project: Project 10^100 (pronounced "Project 10 to the 100th"), which is a global call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible. Here’s how it works. You submit your idea by October 20th. Google will cull through everything and post 100 ideas. Starting on January 27, 2009, the world starts voting on those to choose 20 semi-finalists. From there, an advisory board will choose 5 finalists. Then, Google will spend at least $10 M implementing those final 5 ideas.
A few months ago, I became interested in Samsø after reading Elizabeth Kolbert's column in The New Yorker entitled The Island in the Wind. Then, just this week, I noticed a photo essay of Samsø in The Guardian with pictures from Nicky Bonne. What's interesting about Samsø is that it's a producer of energy — the entire island produces more energy from renewables than it uses. They sell the rest and have been doing so since 2003.
Weatherford Place is a small community of eight town and country homes in Roswell, Georgia. It’s seeking LEED for Homes Platinum certification on all homes, as well as Platinum certification for the community under the LEED for Neighborhood Development Pilot Program — a goal that could make it one of the first all Platinum communities in the county. But beyond certification, Weatherford Place homes will be 100% more energy efficient than typical houses and 50% more energy efficient than houses built to the 2006 Energy Code.
We’re very much intrigued by the white paper released yesterday by Michelle Kaufmann Companies. Officially entitled "Nutrition Labels for Homes: A Way for Homebuyers to Make More Ecological, Economical Decisions," the white paper presents the case for a universal label for homes. Note that last sentence, though. This isn’t a label for just green homes, it’s a label for all homes. It’s a universal label to educate people on a home’s sustainability (or unsustainability) profile. Every home gets a label — you can imagine the power this gives buyers and green home sellers.
When you decide to outfit a building with a green roof, the plants have to come from somewhere. In this particular case, 8,355 square feet of plants are growing at T & L Nursery in Woodinville, Washington for installation at the new Olive 8. Currently under construction, Olive 8 will be Seattle's first LEED hotel/condo (pursuing LEED Silver certification). In addition, it will have one of the city's largest green roofs with 20 different varieties of drought-tolerant sedums growing in 700 planters totaling nearly 24,000 plants. That's a lot of green to have on the fourth floor for everyone to enjoy.