Modus Development is an innovative development group that works with infill sites in good locations to enhance the value of the land by improving the quality of life for those that live on it. How do they do that? With modern, cutting-edge, green designs. Currently, Modus is working on a 9 townhouse project in Scottsdale, Arizona, called Array. Each townhouse in Array will have a 2-kilowatt photovoltaic system provided by American Solar Electric. The system is expected to generate about 28,800 kilowatt hours of electricity annually and offset roughly 30,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, Modus is building the project to LEED standards, which will make it the second LEED-certified project in the area. According to Ed Gorman, President of Modus Development, "By adding the solar panels to the rooftops of every home, we create homes that are both architecturally unique and cost very little to operate." Each 3-story townhome will have about 1,800 sf, with 2-bedrooms, a den/office/bedroom option, 2.5 bathrooms, and a detached 2-car garage.
Recently, I’ve run across the work of an environmentally friendly Thai architect named Singh Intrachooto. Singh saw a problem in the industry and decided to do something to close the loop. If you’ve ever been involved with construction of any form, you know there’s tons of wasted materials. That’s where Singh comes in. He takes left over scrap from construction sites and designs furniture with them, each piece being different depending on the size and shape of the materials that get salvaged. Now, Singh’s furniture has exploded and is on display in Los Angeles and Paris.
Singh sells the furniture via his website, OSISU, but I’m not necessarily advocating the purchase of his work. It’s incredible and inspiring, but we have our own construction waste here in the U.S. We have tons of it. And it’s going straight to the landfill. Why not find value in that trash? Let’s close the loop and put good materials to use. With Singh, it was just about 18 months ago that he decided to start making this furniture, and in his words, "people thought he was crazy." Now it’s getting big-time coverage all over the media. All it takes is asking the construction workers to set aside scraps like wood, steel, and concrete. The pieces pictured were made from reclaimed teak morsels. Via reuters.
This year’s Met Home Design 100 list has a ton of green projects and products and one of the magazine’s choices is the David Hertz LivingHome shown above. Built from a unique, aluminum-based panelized system, the Hertz home is about 2,650 sf with four bedrooms + four bathrooms. For ease of reference, I’m going to refer to this home as DH1 (see also RK1 and RK2), which I think works because in all likelihood, LivingHomes will feature more Hertz designs in the future. DH1 features a green roof and a private balcony that can be accessed by three of the four bedrooms. And like the other LivingHome prefab products, it will be LEED certified.
At a price point of about $215 psf, I hear LivingHomes is looking for the right client to take the plunge on DH1. What does it take? (1) land in or near Los Angeles, (2) intent to build within the next six months, (3) a budget of about +$750,000, (4) interest in building a green home, and (5) tolerance and patience throughout the process.
To me, this is a no-brainer. If I were out of college and established in business, I’d plop down a million in a heartbeat just to get the DH1 built and use it as a vacation home (at a minimum). I’d buy it for the joy of having one of the greenest prefabs in the country and I’d let all my friends stay in it. Actually, I’d probably hire a management company to lease it out by the day, week, or month, so anyone in the world could test out the joys of living in a modern + green home. I’d invite builders from all over the country to stay in it for free and showcase the green benefits. I’d make green viral. That’s what you can do with a great-looking, high-performance home like the DH1.
It’s free. Use it. Design with it in mind. Natural light = equity. More natural light = less artificial light. It feels good. Workers appreciate it. Light chases away inhibition. Natural light does not have to be hot. Natural light is from the sun. The sun moves. Design with natural light is more advanced than design with artificial light. Artificial light is fake. CFLs + incandescents are artificial light. Artificial light requires electricity. Electricity can be used for other things during the day besides artificial lighting. Artificial light is man made. Natural light is not man made. Animals are cognizant of day and night. The day/night distinction is irrelevant to humans. Natural light comes from one source. Artificial light radiates from countless sources. Natural light = gift. Artificial light = debt. Image via.
Riverhouse, or One Rockefeller Park, is slated to open in late 2007 in Manhattan, and the word on the street is that it could be one of the greenest, most stylish residential developments on the East Coast. The developer, Sheldrake Organization, is planning on LEED Gold certification for the building. To do that, Sheldrake has enlisted the help of Polshek Partnership Architects for the exterior design and Ismael Leyva Architects for the interior design. In addition, the famous Rockwell Group is working on interior design for the one-, two-, and three-bedroom residences and other aspects of the building.
Here’s a list of some of the things the developer will do: use recycled wastewater for cooling the tower and landscaping; generate electricity from solar photovoltaic panels on the roof; draw in natural lighting without heat gain by using low-E, double-pane glass; use Energy Star appliances to save energy and Toto dual-flush toilets to save water; construct the building with about 20% recycled materials and recycle over 80% of the construction waste; and acquire over 40% of the building materials locally.
- Small Wind Market Takes Off – Increasing Numbers of Homeowners, Small Businesses, and Farms are Installing Wind Turbines to Generate Electricity.
- BOMA Released its List of Top 10 Ways for Commercial Buildings to Save Energy.
- IBM is Hooking Up with The Nature Conservancy to Launch Software that will Help Businesses and Government Make Smart Environmental Decisions.
- The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., Announced the Launch of the Leading Green Initiative, a program to support Sustainable Travel International.