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.
After the setting of 13 factory-built boxes and the completion of construction, these net zero energy homes were opened to three low-income families in Lafayette, Colorado. Referred to as the Paradigm Pilot Project, the development includes one single family home and a duplex. The project was designed by HB&A Architects and built by All American Homes of Colorado for the Boulder County Housing Authority.
It's always nice to hear how good companies are helping the world.* I've just learned about one to keep an eye on: Containers to Clinics. C2C is a start-up non-profit that's retrofitting shipping containers for use as health clinics that cater to women and children's needs in the developing world. Their prototype container clinic is currently under construction with Stack Design Build in Rhode Island and should be complete in mid-November.
In the past few weeks, the Brad Pitt Make It Right foundation in New Orleans has been blanketed with all sorts of good press. The USGBC declared Make It Right to be the "largest and greenest single family community in the world." One of the newest homes in this green community is the FLOAT House by Morphosis Architects, which was designed and built under the direction of Thom Mayne and with the help of numerous UCLA graduate students. The FLOAT House is a prototype for prefab affordable housing that is adaptable to flood zones worldwide.
Today at West Coast Green 2009, Green Horizon showcased their new SFH40 on-demand housing, and it's an impressive unit. Designed to be a self-sustaining home for a family of four, it can be shipped anywhere in the world in a standard shipping container and set up in less than two hours by unskilled people. Each unit has two bedrooms with built in furniture, a bathroom, and a kitchen area. But it's also designed to be a self-sustaining shelter in the aftermath of a disaster when infrastructure may be damaged, so it includes solar panels and batteries, a bio-diesel generator as backup, and water purification equipment. Units can be interconnected to share power and water.