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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Botanist Fuses Style and Sustainability

Margo Chase

I received an email about Orange22′s launch of the Botanist Blank Canvas Project at ICFF and it looks pretty interesting.  Orange22 enlisted the help of eight iconic designers to place their fingerprint on the popular Botanist line of indoor/outdoor furniture.  The designers include Yves Behar, Margo Chase, Milton Glaser, Kahi Lee, Karim Rashid, Joe Ricchio, Massimo + Lella Vignelli, and Claude Zellweger.  Pieces come in a variety of designs and can be used as end tables, benches, cocktail tables, or anything else you can think of.

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Projects Recognized for Green Roofs, Living Walls

Vancouver Aquarium Green Wall

Recently, several green roof/wall projects were honored by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. Green Roofs for Healthy Cities established the Green Roof Awards of Excellence in 2003 with an aim to increase general awareness of green roofs and walls and spread awareness of their benefits. This year, seven projects in various categories received Green Roof Awards of Excellence and here they are:

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[Video] Drivers of Green Building in Today's Market

Make sure to check out this short little interview with Kavita Gupta, Director of Business Development for Perkins + Will, an architectural firm with a solid reputation for designing cutting edge green projects. Ms. Gupta talks about some of the drivers of green buildings, many of which are listed below. Green buildings:

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Gulf Islands House Blends Minimalism and Green

Gulf Islands Home

This clever little house caught my eye the other day.  Designed by architect Matthew Woodruff, The Gulf Islands House was completed a couple years ago in what seems to be quite the serene location.  It’s a cozy second home that was built as an escape of sorts for Woodruff’s family.  I’m not sure the owners were trying to set any green building records with the home, but the two-bedroom pad has some green features we can all appreciate, such as its solar orientation and design, small footprint, and use of locally harvested materials.  The minimalist design seems to create just the right space for congregating with the family, too. 

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