The $30,000 Recycled Cabin Manifesto


Starting earlier this month, the NY Times began publishing the blog of Lou Ureneck, chairman of the Journalism Department at Boston University.  The blog was given a name we’ve seen before, From the Ground Up, and will document Lou’s journey building a cabin in some picturesque scenery of western Maine.  Take a gander at what he’s written so far and it may conjure up thoughts of Henry David Thoreau’s own cabin near Walden Pond.  That’s a purposeful analogy, though, because Lou channeled a bit of Henry while pushing the envelope of frugality with this interesting endeavor.  All in, the $30,000 cabin and $32,000 swath of property promises to be quite the retreat. 

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BD+C White Paper Takes a Hard Look at Green Building, Climate Change


Last month, while everyone was still coming down from presidential election frenzy and ramping up for Greenbuild, Building Design + Construction offered up another distraction: their annual white paper on the State of Green Building.  This is the sixth in an annual series that was initially inspired by the success of Greenbuild 2002.  While reports from the early years included remarks on the chances for the green building movement to keep rolling, the editors get a little more definitive this time around, starting on page four: "…no matter where you stand personally on the social, economic, political, or environmental issues related to climate change, you will soon have no choice but to factor it into your professional work."

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Former Bathhouse Gets LEED Platinum

Kerr Foundation

Located in a formerly desolate area of downtown St. Louis, the William A. Kerr Foundation building is a showcase for sustainable renovation strategies.  It started out in the late 1800’s as a bathhouse (it sits above a natural mineral spring), and thereafter as a paint warehouse — over time, it fell into disrepair.  The neighborhood was blighted when it was acquired by the owners, and they wanted to restore the building for the foundation’s offices and educational activities.  Subsequent to remediation and renovation, it was awarded 58 out of a possible 69 points by the USGBC and received LEED Platinum certification.  The William A. Kerr Foundation building has the following green features:

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Polished Turds, Economic Opportunity, Golden Era, + GSA Green Buildings

Week in Review

Blogs worth reading: Green Building Law Update + Bright Green Blog.

EKLA HOME: Impressive Green Furniture

ELKA Green Furniture

Emily Kroll, CEO and founder of upholstered furniture company EKLA HOME, has furniture design and environmentalism in her blood.  The granddaughter of a furniture designer on one side, and an architectural and scrap metal recycler on the other, Kroll says she is "passionate about changing the way the furniture business works in the United States."  She plans to do this by eliminating toxins, limiting waste and using sustainable materials.  And EKLA certainly has a very impressive list of sustainable practices, perhaps one of the most impressive on the green furniture market today. 

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Rock Row Small Lot Eco Town Homes

Rock Row Renderings

Last month, Heyday Partnership began construction on a slick small lot development called Rock Row.  Located in the Eagle Rock area, which is north of downtown LA, Rock Row will feature town home-esque (no party wall) properties at affordable-ish ($475k-$550k) prices.  Believe it or not — those of you outside of New York and California, Rock Row is considered one of the first, reasonably-priced, green housing projects in Los Angeles.  The development team includes an architect, developer, and builder working in collaboration, so Heyday is able to pass on affordability to future home buyers.

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