2007 Lifecycle Building Challenge Winners

Pavilion in the Park

At West Coast Green in San Francisco last week, U.S. EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response Assistant Administrator Susan Bodine announced winners of the first inaugural Lifecycle Building Challenge competition.  Winners were recognized for their cutting-edge green building ideas that aim to reduce environmental and energy impacts of buildings.  Ideas from the design contest will jumpstart the building industry to help reuse more of the 100 million tons of building-related construction and demolition debris sent each year to landfills in the U.S.  The winners are listed below:

Congratulations to all the winners, honorable mentions, and participants.

Pirates Bay House, Partially Prefab + Green

Pirates Bay House

Many of you have probably seen this house by Stuart Tanner Architects, it was the Architectural Record House of the Month in July 2006.  But I just noticed it and want to post a few images.  It’s a small house of 1,184 sf located near Eaglehawk Neck on Tasmania’s Tasman Peninsula.  As you can see, it juts out into the air, blending the boundary between the wildlife and sea.  I’m sure the owners have witnessed the grandeur of nature at its best, being enveloped by the eucalypt forest and the sea.  Due to the location, the architect had the home partially prefabricated — framing was complete in two days.  The home also has many of the green features most homes should have, such as energy-saving lights, heating, and appliances.  It’s well-insulated throughout and designed to maximize cross ventilation.  And there’s an on-site waste management system, greywater recycling, and fresh water catchment and storage, too. 

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Before Buying a Prefab [Blogging NYT]

PrefabArtWeb by Nancy Doninger

Over the weekend, I noticed another good article in the NY Times by Amy Gunderson, with the above illustration by Nancy Doninger.  The article makes some salient points about prefab, things that must be considered before getting into it.  For instance, one customer said "there is no substitute for seeing a house in person," because what you see online or in a rendering, may not be what you actually get.  The same customer opted for Rocio Romero, and the home took 10 months to build at a cost of $300 psf (including installation and finishes).  That price ends up being pretty decent, when compared to the cost of going after a custom-design modernist home. 

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Office Depot, Staples follow Best Buy’s LEED

LEED Big Box Retailers

Hot on the heels of Best Buy’s announcement to build new stores to LEED standards, we have Office Depot and Staples jumping into the LEED game.  With these announcements, we’re seeing two main trends: (1) the mainstreaming of green buildings and (2) the business case for green buildings, especially in the retail context.  It just makes sense.  But as many other commentators have mentioned, these so called green stores will be energy efficient, made of renewable materials, and will use less water, BUT they’re huge and a by-product of American sprawl.  Without passing judgment, I have the belief that a green retail store is better than a non-green retail store.  It’s a step in the right direction.  More on each company below.

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My WCG Emails: Perpetual Water, Design Solutions, Celadon + American Clay Enterprises

West Coast Green

I hope readers enjoyed the West Coast Green and Jetson Green partnership … personally, I’m glad this website was able to participate in a small way.  In the few weeks leading up to the event, I received a flood of emails for products to be showcased at WCG, and I wasn’t able to research each product and do an individual post.  So, I’d like to share with you some of the leads I received.  Feel free to check them out, if you have time. 

  • Perpetual Water, an Australian water conservation technology company, introduced their breakthrough high-efficiency water conservation technology, including The Garden Angel. 
  • Design Solutions introduced two new lines of green, earth-friendly cabinets. 
  • Celadon Energy Systems featured their highly efficient, environmentally-friendly, "green" lighting systems designed for affordable mixed-use, residential, and commercial applications.
  • American Clay Enterprises returned to showcase their all natural, eco-friendly earth plaster.  They had a joint exhibit with Green Planet Paints, a company we talked about here

I can email you my press releases, if you’re looking for more information (just drop a comment).  Did anyone have a favorite product or gain any particular insight? 

9,800 sf Luxury Home Raises the Green Bar?

Look How Big My Driveway Is!!

I’ve got a press release on "One of the Greenest Luxury Homes Ever Built," a home that is "sure to raise the bar for building green in the high-end market."  Folks, in our day and age, why spend $2,000 per month on heating and electricity for your 9,800 sf home, when you can trim that bill right down to a paltry $350 per month?  At a time when luxury living is scrutinized for excess energy consumption, why not build a 5 bedroom, 6.5 bath high-end home with a "small environmental footprint"?  Seriously, with smart, energy-efficient design (read: 4 extra solar panels), you can generate enough electricity to run all 6 interior refrigerators.  And by using recycled and reclaimed wood (where possible of course), non-toxic blow-in insulation, and low-VOC finishings, this home is going to surpass Built Green standards.  Designers worked their hearts out to build the greenest home possible without sacrificing precious square footage, and this home could house at least four regular sized families by our calculations.  You’ll be glad to know this hulking home, located at 995 Longbow Place in Larkspur, Colorado, is on sale for the very reasonable, and very green, price of $4.5 million. 

Are we confusing the words "green," "sustainable," "energy efficient," and "small footprint"?  You tell me, is this green?

Relevant Links:
++Complete Masterpiece Located at Bear Dance
++995 Longbow Place MLS Information [Legendary Property]

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