A solar and wind powered green substation isn't the only project in Portland to receive federal funds. The Edith Green/Wendall Wyatt Federal Building is getting well over a $100 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to renovate all aspects of the building. The most noticeable change will be a vast wall of greenery covering the westerly facade.
After seeing these in Dwell, I’ve noticed Woolly Pockets popping up all over, including on Flora Grubb Garden as a do-it-yourself vertical garden. For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out how a flexible, breathable, modular gardening container made from recycled plastic bottles would work without gushing water all over the place. But it does (watch the video below), only if you do things right. Woolly Pocket Gardening Company has various options available from $29 – $350.
CalStar Products recently introduced a fly ash brick and fly ash paver that’s been getting major attention in the industry. The innovative fly ash products are behind the company’s attention in the Wall Street Journal and finalist nomination for the Crunchies in the Best Cleantech category. They’re made from 40% fly ash and 60% local aggregates, together with some proprietary ingredients.
This school in the village of Granados in central Guatemala is a fascinating display of ingenuity and recycling. According to an article in The Oregonian, Peace Corps volunteer Laura Kutner came up with the idea of finishing the construction of a school with the abundance of plastic waste in the area. With the help of the local community, volunteers from Hug It Forward, and $3,000, the school was completed and painted in a vibrant orange color.
When searching for a green exterior cladding material, you may consider a corrugated, recycled, or composite material. But if you're really looking to wear environmentalism on your sleeve, natural bark is gaining popularity these days. The best bark shingles can last 75 years and contain no chemicals. Recently, Nan Chase, co-author of Bark House Style, recently contributed an interesting article to The Christian Science Monitor about using bark shingles on her new home in Asheville, North Carolina.
If there's something we're seeing more of it's container projects. And nothing brings out emotion like a shipping container project. Some argue that the benefits of using containers for a structure's framework are negligible, if any, while others argue that container projects are too austere. Or industrial. Nonetheless, as long as you're building with old containers, we'll likely keep talking about the greener ones. In the mean time, feel free to review the best of this year (click the text links for more images and information).