Reader Randall Otulakowski walks around town in Toronto scavenging for gems thrown away by others in the community. He then takes that stuff to his 747 square-foot home and forms it into furniture and art — like the lath pieces here. Randall told me in an email he’s been getting good feedback on his reclaimed art made with hollow core doors and a lath patchwork. I think the feedback is right on; these are rich and full of statement.
Xero Flor is a lightweight green roof and system originally developed in Germany. A version was first supplied to Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant by Xero Flor America LLC, the exclusive manufacturer and distributor here in the states, and now the company’s announcing Cradle to Cradle Silver for the technology.
I’m fascinated by the work of Netherlands-based Dave Hakkens in a recent project called “Rubble Floor.” Interested in reusing old building materials as new building materials — and inspired by terrazzo floors — Hakkens conducted several tests on materials such as roof tiles, bricks, nails and screws, and glass. He used concrete as the binder and crushed old materials into pigments and fillers. In the end, Hakkens found it’s entirely possible to make new materials with the old.
San Diego-based DuChateau Floors, maker of luxe natural flooring, just announced a new collection that replicates the popular look of reclaimed barn wood. The Heritage Timber Edition is made with FSC-certified European white oak and then distressed with surface scrapes, nail holes, notches, and saw kerf marks reminiscent of salvaged textures. Heritage has an environmentally friendly, zero-VOC, preservative-free, hard wax oil finish with planks of 7-7/16″ wide. Pricing starts at $12 per square foot.
When the Museum of Science and Technology in Chicago wanted a “smart” house on their grounds to showcase energy-efficient and healthy living at its best, architect Michelle Kaufmann was a natural choice to design it. After all, her passion for sustainability, coupled with an impeccable eye for style and plenty of award-winning projects under her belt, has made Michelle an authority on good green design. The Smart Home: Green and Wired exhibit has inspired thousands of visitors with its perfect mix of high and low-tech green building techniques, materials and gadgets in a friendly, modern setting.
Current and recent projects for Michelle Kaufmann Studio include a sustainable neighborhood, a co-housing complex for some very with-it Franciscan nuns, and several private residences for green-minded clients. With so much hands-on experience with many of the materials and technologies we write about here at Jetson Green, I was eager to pick Michelle’s brain.
I proposed a series of open-ended questions starting with “What is the one green product …”, hoping the busy designer would find it a fun, thought-provoking exercise. Luckily she did — and I hope you find her responses as illuminating and insightful as I have!
When Vanillawood founders Kricken and James Yaker outgrew their home office and started shopping for a design studio in Portland’s hot Pearl District, opening a retail store was the farthest thing from their mind. Yet they happened upon a 1000 square-foot warehouse with beautiful natural light and too-good-to-pass-up lease terms, so the design/build team seized the opportunity to showcase their organic contemporary style.