Combating Climate Change by Tackling Sprawl

Sprawl There’s a lot of talk here on Jetson Green about the (adverse) impact that architecture and materials choice can have on the environment.  So it’s nice to know that housing can actually be an essential factor in combating climate change according to a new study from Smart Growth America.

While attending the recent EcoCity World Summit in San Francisco, I heard panelist Reid Ewing, research professor at the National Center for Smart Growth, discuss urban development and its (negative and positive) effect on climate change.  The study, published by the Urban Land Institute, documents how key changes in land development patterns could help reduce vehicle greenhouse gas emissions. 

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Wind Could Power 20% of US Grid by 2030

Palm Springs Wind Farm

Here’s some interesting news: a new Department of Energy report claims wind turbines could generate 300 gigawatts of electricity — roughly 20% of the US electrical grid — by 2030.  There’s already a website in support of the news at 20%Wind.org.  The report doesn’t necessarily predict the future of the wind industry, but it paints a picture of what a particular 20% wind scenario could mean for the nation.  The wind industry currently produces about 17 gigawatts of electricity, so we’re talking about significant growth over the next twenty-something years.  That said, wind industry growth has been fierce in recent years and is on track to meet these numbers if growth holds pace.

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Any Thoughts on Quick Crete's Greener Concrete Mix?

Ecocasttiles After extensive R&D, Quick Crete was able to come up with a house blend of greener concrete called Ecocast.  Ecocast is made of 70% post-consumer and industrial waste.  The blend may help contribute towards LEED credits for your project and contains recycled aggregates and other materials such as pozzolans.  The new formula produces an average compressive strength of 5000 P.S.I. in 28 days and comes in four colors: strata, geo, erosion, and stone.  Ecocast can be used in standard and custom designs, so check it out to see if it’s better than what you’re currently using.  Anyone have any experience using Ecocast?

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Énóvo House, Modular and At One With Nature

Énóvo House

I pulled out the April issue of Dwell this weekend and noticed an ad for the Énóvo House.  My interest was piqued by reading the copy, so I went online to research more.  There’s a website for the Énóvo House, which is currently being built just north of Montreal.  But from my research, the Énóvo name seems to represent something bigger — the idea that a green, modular home can evolve with the needs of the owner.  According to the website, Énóvo can be adapted to most any terrain, and because it’s configured by modules, the design can morph according to the various particularities of an owner’s life and needs. 

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YAWNs, a Smarter Grid, Oblivious Homebuilders, + the Green Building Market [WIR]

Week in Review

*WIR = Week in Review; a Saturday showcase of excellent links.

Smart Home: Green + Wired Debuts at MSI

Exterior_of_the_smart_home Exterior_of_the_smart_home_2

Architect Michelle Kaufmann has made a big splash in Chicago this week during the opening of her Smart Home: Green + Wired exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry. The PrairieMod crew and myself were fortunate enough to be able to spend the past two days previewing the home and are excited to share some details with you. If you’re interested, feel free to check out our podcast interview with Michelle where she explains how the project came to be and the 5 eco-principles utilized by her firm.

The showcase "Smart Home" is Kaufmann’s mkSolaire plan, which is designed for a city lot and has a loft-like feeling to it. Its goal is to address the space challenges found with infill lots and standard row home configurations. The brilliant thing about this exhibit is that it is fully functional, not just a shadow of what the design could be. And in case you’re wondering, the house will be dismantled after the exhibit closes in January 2009.

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