In England, a handful of efficient demonstration homes have been built on the grounds of the Building Research Establishment Ltd, including “The Lighthouse,” which is the first net zero carbon house in the UK. The house is also the first to attain level six in the Code for Sustainable Homes, which indicates that it is carbon neutral. The two-bedroom house is only 93.3 square meters (barely over 1000 sq. ft.) in a 2-1/2 story building. The building has solar panels and evacuated solar tubes on its roof, as well as making use of passive measures with ventilation chimneys. It also incorporates rainwater catchment as part of the building design.
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Mod Green Pod offers a burst of modern fun to the eco-fabric market. The company also produces wonderful wallpaper patterns. Their fabrics are 100% organic fabric and the wallpaper is vinyl-free. The fabric is hand silk-screened, which is an incredibly tedious and artful process. You can view photos of the printing process at their site. They currently offer 8 pattern choices in about 30 colors. The signature prints are bold, colorful, and totally modern.
In the tradition of the Worldwatch Institute’s State of the World annual summary, Greener World Media producers of GreenBiz.com (among other websites), last month released their first annual State of Green Business 2008 Report. Joel Makower and his team of editors examined multiple categories in the green business arena from alternative energy vehicles to toxic emissions to determine the true state of green progress. Although the report provides a mixed review, green building was identified as one of the more tangible signs of forward progress. This is especially important given the downturn in the construction economy.
According to the report, the “green [building] market, [expanding] for years, began soaring in 2007, as several marquee projects opened their doors and some big-time initiatives were born.”
Foster + Partners has quite the pipeline of projects and this supertall skyscraper, Russia Tower, is one of them. Russia Tower is expected to be the tallest building in Europe, and one of the tallest in the world, coming in at a whopping 2,009 ft tall, just behind Taipei 101 and Burj Dubai. Even further, it’ll be the largest building in the world with a natural ventilation system. Foster + Partners designed the building with an "energy cycle" system, which is a hot water circuit that runs through the building distributing the energy to regulate temperature and heat water. The energy cycle system is intended to chart new territory in sustainable architecture.
Stanford is progressive in its commitment to the environment, so it’s not surprising that they swapped out 1,827 showerheads in the dorms over Christmas for low-flow, eco-friendly ones. The retrofit reduces water flow from 2.5 gallons per minute to 1.3 gallons per minute per showerhead, saving Stanford an estimated total of 12 million gallons of water per year. And California isn’t exactly gushing with surplus water supplies, so it makes sense, right? Seems like a smart move.