A lot of people in Pennsylvania have been talking about green building, but according to my quick research, no one in the state has received the USGBC's highest certification under the LEED for Homes program yet. But that could change if the stars align for Thin Flats — the developer is seeking LEED-H Platinum for all residences and waiting on Energy Star certification. Thin Flats includes eight, market-rate, up-down units split between four rows. The newly completed project recently received case study treatment by GreenSource Magazine, and from what I've read, observers either love or hate the exterior facade. Personally, I like it, but what do you think?
Just noticed a new product called Invitrum by high design, Italian kitchen maker Valcucine. Invitrum is being referred to as a 100% recyclable kitchen, which means the product can be recycled at the end of its lifecycle — but the consumer needs to make that happen. To help the consumer, as you can see with the image below, the cabinets have been labeled for recyclability. The structure is of drawn, recycled aluminum and the base units are of recyclable glass. Invitrum was designed to be manufactured with less material and energy. So slick …
The small house movement is going buck wild. Some say it's because of a concern for the environment. Others say it's because of the economy. We could all say it's a confluence of both the economy and the environment, but what's important is that people actually rethink what a home can be — including how big it needs to be. Just the other day, The Economist, published a story about two of the main players in the super small home genre, Tiny Texas Houses and Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. We've mentioned Tumbleweed previously, but I learned something new about Tiny Texas Houses.
This conceptual proposal for Chicago's Monroe Harbor was designed in honor of the great American architect Daniel Burnham, but perhaps more importantly, to secure Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympic games. The proposal is a modern interpretation of Burnam's 1909 master plan for Chicago. In a land locked city, the Chicago Eco-Bridge offers an extension of the landscape that would dramatically change the face of the city, and perhaps the United States.
Ecolect, a website that helps designers, architects, and builders discover eco-friendly material alternatives, has launched an interesting service called GreenBox. GreenBox is an annual subscription of green material samples that's shipped right to your door every three months. Each GreenBox delivery includes 8-12 material samples, material information, sustainability specs, performance overview, cost profiles, and distributor information. And it's all neatly designed to hang on the wall or cubicle or any other place you have in mind.