I was blown away when I found out about this online blog at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’s called From the Ground Up and the journal is tracking Jason Hammond’s quest to build a unique, modern home in the Twin Cities. The blog also includes information from the project’s architect, Michael Huber, and the project’s builder, Corey Benedict. From the Ground Up has become a huge success, with people of all backgrounds and interests chiming in to figure out what it takes to live in something modern + green. What I really like about the blog, however, is the pragmatic approach to building green. For many of us, myself included, it’s expensive to get into a well-designed, green home. So the process from beginning to end must be comprehensive and calculated, especially if you don’t want to waste money. From the Ground Up will "consider the balance between [Hammond's] family’s needs, the project costs, and the environmental considerations that go along with new home building." I already like what I see and can’t wait to continue reading about their home as it approaches completion. Via rolu | dsgn.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to put a Michelle Kaufmann Designs home on your piece of land? Now you can do it, and you’re going to love this. Here’s what you do:
- Step 1: Go to the Google 3D Warehouse and type in "MKD." You should see designs for the mkSolaire, Sunset Breezehouse, and Glidehouse. Nice. These files are for use with SketchUp. Download the design you want for your home.
- Step 2: Download a free copy of Google SketchUp and use SketchUp to open the file you downloaded in Step 1. Using SketchUp, modify the landscape of your home. (I must admit, I’m still learning how to use this program and do this step).
- Step 3: Download a free copy of Google Earth. Find the location of your site. Plop your SketchUp model on the site that you’ve located.
That’s the process. It’s a pretty cool mashup allowing you to envision the land of your dreams with the home of your dreams. If anyone does anything cool, drop a line below.
$5B Clinton, Eco-Yahoo!, Health-Care Constuction, Nevada Ungreens, Porous Paving, Ed Begley Jr.'s Green Website, & Green Building Studio (WIR)
- Clinton Climate Initiative Offers $5B to Green Municipal Buildings at Cities Nationwide.
- Yahoo! Issues ‘Greenest City in America‘ Challenge with Reward of Hybrid Taxi Fleet.
- $41B Health-care Construction Industry Going Green to Save Energy, Cut Infection Rates.
- Nevada State Board Hopes to Change (Remove) Green Building Standard, Mislead About LEED.
- Porous Paving Grows in Popularity as a Stormwater Management Solution.
- Ed Begley, Jr. Launches a Truly Unique Sustainable Living Website at FixingThePlanet.com.
- Green Building Studio being dubbed A Google for Green Building Products.
- Commentary on Why Green Buildings Cannot Save the Planet.
Do you read GreenSource? There’s a free read of the April 2007 edition of GreenSource online. I highly recommend it, if you have a little free time and a fast connection. It’s a quarterly production, supported by the editors of McGraw-Hill Construction, BuildingGreen, Inc., and the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). GreenSource has a circulation of about 42,000 readers. In March 2007, it was given the prestigious Neal Award for Best Start-Up Publication. I spent way too much time online reading the articles…it just sucked me right in.
I’m not sure if this concept will make it into practice, but I like the idea. We have zoos right? Why not create a botanical visitor’s attraction of the tropical rain forest? That’s the concept that Grimshaw Architects created and was rewarded with a 2007 MIPIM/AR Future Project Award in the Sustainability category. Generally, here’s how it works: the enclosed greenhouse will create a tropical zone, a rain forest of sorts, housing both plant and animal life that people can walk through and study. The goal of this man-made rain forest is to mimic the ecosystems from tropical regions of the world. It will have 50 meter high gabion walls around the enclosure that contain composting tubes for heat generation during periods when the passive solar gain isn’t enough to sustain the tropical environment. The idea is to harness the energy created by the decomposing biodegradable matter and re-create a tropical rain forest. Grimshaw hopes that by doing so, the Rainforest will have the potential to grow fruits and vegetables with vastly reduced food miles.
Transporting goods has a carbon cost associated with it, so people want to buy locally. But climate can vary dramatically from one place to another making it tough to get some things locally…that is, unless you can recreate the climate of another area. Think: oranges in Canada. To a small extent, this is what happens with a greenhouse. Here, however, you are creating a greenhouse on a grand scale, one that is carbon neutral and cyclical. It’s a good idea.