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).
Tom Bassett-Dilley recently sent us these photos of his prototype green garage on a 30' wide lot in south Oak Park, Illinois. The garage was built with FSC-certified lumber, a salvaged concrete slab, locally produced recycled content steel siding, and salvaged cedar siding. There's also a Live Roof green roof, which was designed to channel water into rain barrels for collection.
At the end of each year, Environmental Design + Construction magazine reviews products mentioned in its New+Notable and Products Focus sections. The magazine next examines these products for the fifteen that received the most reader requests. ED+C's 2009 Top Products contains a number of entries designed to save water or manage water. You've probably seen some of these products already, whether on BuildingGreen's Top-10 Green Building Products list or in our green materials archives. If not, check these out:
Kids with special illnesses, disabilities, and other challenges received a new toy this summer at Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge, Georgia. Designed by Amy Leathers, senior associate at Lord, Aeck & Sargent, the treehouse serves as a play area and educational space for learning about nature and sustainability. It's wheelchair accessible and outfitted with a number of environmentally-sensitive features.