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Verdi Award-Winning Modular Landscape System

Verdi Lawnscaping System

First, it receives a 2006 red dot design award, and now, the Verdi Lawnscaping System has received a 2007 Gold IDEA Award.  Verdi is a low-maintenance, modular landscaping system that hopes to become the alternative to traditional grass lawns.  Verdi tiles are pre-seeded with built-in irrigation and they interlock for easy installation.  Once completed, the entire system can be attached to a grey water pump, which uses certain recycled water from the home to irrigate the landscaping.  The Verdi system also has other modular parts, such the solar-powered light tiles, shrub planters and path tiles, recycled glass composite inserts, and bamboo or molded recycled plastic inserts.  The technology is compelling because it has the capability to transform the process of landscape design in the backyard, terrace, or even on the roof.  And the built-in irrigation system reduces inefficient use of water, too.  This is a cool product concept to keep an eye on. 

The Intrigue of Green Roofs

Greenroofs

Pretty much everyone is talking about green roofs these days, so I thought I would round up a few of the good articles.  Just as a refresher, back in March, I wrote an article summarizing the costs and benefits of green roofing.  The benefits are numerous in comparison to the costs, but a green roof may not be right for every application.  I'll let you decide, but to get you thinking, here are some of the most thorough articles on green roofing that I've read and studied.  There's also some eye candy with each, too. 

Also, read other articles about projects involving green roofs in our archives.

Brad Pitt's Hypnotic, Green Holy Cross Project

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My wife sent me this article from Perez Hilton about Brad Pitt, who will be appearing on NBC’s Today with Ann Curry to talk about his green development project in New Orleans.  I’m not a reader of the celebrity sites, so I would have missed this, but the New Orleans development project is really moving along.  And the green houses they are building are 100% incredible.  Brad has good style — it fits so well with Jetson Green, we should just bring him on as a regular writer! 

Global Green broke ground on the Holy Cross Project on May 10.  Yesterday, they unveiled the progress on this first home, which is still under construction.  It’s going to be a showcase home, but in total, the Holy Cross Project will have 5 homes and 18 apartments.  All of them will be affordable and green.  The goals of the project are to achieve LEED Platinum certification (LEED-H for the single family homes and LEED-NC for the other buildings), net zero energy, and carbon neutral building. By using solar panels, high performance building design, HVAC systems, energy and resource monitoring systems, and energy efficient appliances, the buildings in the Holy Cross Project will use at least 75% less energy than typical buildings. In addition, Global Green is also exploring the use of river turbines in the adjacent Mississipi River.

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Jellyfish House, Future Sustainable Structures [Video]

I watched this video of the Jellyfish House by architects Lisa Iwamoto and Craig Scott, and needless to say, I was kind of blown away.  It’s quite compelling to watch, but at the same level, it’s complicated.  I can’t say I understand everything that’s going on but I like it.  Jellyfish are responsive to the environment around them, so like jellyfish, one concept with this house is that water is filtered and harvested through the actual structure of the home.  The structure uses UV light filtration, which could come down in price in the future, and titanium dioxide, which is now used for self-cleaning glass in tall skyscrapers.  This concept prototype for the future of sustainable living was designed (hypothetically) for Treasure Island, a decommissioned military base in San Francisco Bay with toxic top soil. 

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Even Montana Has LEED Platinum Buildings

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Although it’s not all that attractive looking from these images, it’s the greenest building in Billings, Montana, and one of a select few buildings certified "Platinum" under the LEED-NC (new construction) certification system.  Using technology such as solar panels and composting toilets, it offices the Northern Plains Resource Council and consumes about 21% of the energy and 41% of the water of a similarly sized building.  Financially, the building cost about $140 psf, which is about $35 psf cheaper than if the older building had been demolished and a new one put in its place. 

In all honesty, there are only three other buildings in Montana that have green certifications from the USGBC.  BUT, this building, known as Home on the Range, has created a gathering place for local architects, students, and the public.  Now, there are 18 LEED projects in the registration phase in Montana.  That’s incredible.  We’re really getting some serious momentum behind this thing, that’s for sure. 

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Power Pod Can Reduce Energy Costs Up to 80%

Powerpod

And that’s pretty incredible.  It can be used for personal, business, or industrial applications.  The Power Pod arrives on a single flatbed truck and sets up in a day.  But what’s so special about it?  Well, it can outfitted with rooftop solar, the butterfly roof collects water for use in radiant floor heating, and the highly insulated walls (SIP R-28) keep the temperature just right.  Plus, there’s also the typical energy-efficient lighting, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and building performance monitoring system.  Keeping track of things helps to optimize efficiency.  And with the sculptural steel pier foundation, setup should be pretty quick, too. 

Can you feel the modern, green prefab-type options increasing?  Almost out of control?  Well, competition is good and this company is based in Lawrence, Massachusetts.  It’s not really practical to be shipping homes all the way across the country, so there’s going to be lots of options in places that demand this type of construction.  The working prototype, as you will see below, looks pretty good, too.  Via Treehugger.

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