The Commons Strives to be Nation's First Living Building Challenge Residence

Commons Project

In Portland two brothers, Dustin and Garrett Moon, have been getting some serious attention for their project, The Commons — it could just be the first residence in the nation to meet the standards of the Living Building Challenge.  The Living Building Challenge is about getting to something that’s truly sustainable, which is what I think the Moons are going after here.  If you look at their plans, The Commons will use green tech that you might not see in other so-called green homes. 

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[Videos] Some Green Prefabs by MKD

I’ve got 3 super-fresh, green prefab videos for your viewing leisure.  Two videos are of MKD’s Glidehouse, which is factory-built in roughly 10-14 months at a cost similar or less than traditional site-built homes.  The other is of the Sunset Breezehouse, which has the butterfly roof and central breezeway that blurs the interior with the exterior.  Pretty cool videos — it’s nice to have Michelle Kaufmann herself blogging these prefab experiences. 

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Water + Life Museums, World's First LEED Platinum Museum

Hemet Museum

In the process of digging the huge Diamond Valley Lake Reservoir in Southern California, some significant fossils were discovered.  The fossils have been sitting around for several years waiting for a super-modern museum to call home, so The Center for Water Education Foundation and the Western Center Community Foundation commissioned Lehrer Architects to design such a place.  The result is the Water + Life Museums, a complex that just so happens to claim a right to being the world’s first LEED Platinum certified museum. 

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Sophisticated Simplicity with Shipping Containers

Skinners Playground

The Skinners Playground project by Phooey Architects of Melbourne, Australia is a project that makes compelling use of shipping containers.  Many container architecture projects do little that breaks out of the strong rectilinear form of the component boxes.  While only four shipping containers were used for Skinners Playground, they are cut and amended in such as way as to make much more of them than simply four box-shaped rooms.  Even if the exteriors had been painted over, it would be immediately obvious that this was built from shipping containers.  But, at the same time, this is a case of the whole being far more than merely a sum of its parts.

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WORKac Vertical Farm Concept for NYC [S2]

Locavore Fantasia

New York asked four architects to generate ideas for an oddly shaped parcel of land at Canal and Varick Street in New York.  New York only requested that the ideas include a residential component and generally comply with zoning.  Of the four designs submitted, one of them caught my eye because it’s of something that’s being talked about more and more.  Vertical farms.  The design by WORKac entitled "Locavore Fantasia" features crops on each floor and four large water tanks for rainwater irrigation.  The idea here is just a concept, but it gets me thinking, which city will be the first to take the plunge on a vertical farm …
 

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Wow! Container Home in New Zealand

Wellington

Sure, this New Zealand home is heavy on the industrial, nuclear reactor look, but it has a certain draw to it, don't you think?  I was pointed to these images in a flickr photoset owned by petraalsbach and was struck by the interesting use of containers — as you can tell, the home was built right up to, and possibly into, the hill.  Containers are strong and stackable,and it seems like lots of people are using them right now in home design.  Container homes may just become more popular than modern prefab …

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