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Inhabit, Growing Prefab into Green Apartments

Inhabit Finished

UPDATE: 5/1/08 – you can buy the original Inhabit now at Dwell.

Imagine stacking 50 to 100 prefabricated, modular units to create a high-tech, green, multifamily apartment building.  That’s what Unico is all about.  Over the last 18 months, Unico has been perfecting the development of a 15′ x 45′ foot box referred to as "Inhabit."  The company started with idea of using shipping containers, but they later decided to build the box from scratch (and may revisit the use of containers later on).  They partnered with Mithun and Hybrid Architecture, both major innovators in the modern and green space. 

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WAV Project, Affordable Artist Green Loft Living

WAV Project

The Working Artists Ventura (WAV) Project by PLACE is a $57 million, state-of-the-art community designed by Adele Santos, Dean of Architecture at M.I.T.  In total, the project will include 69 affordable artist spaces with monthly rent from $388-963; 13 market-rate, for sale lofts from $686,000-1,050,000; and 6,000 sf of arts-friendly businesses.  The 130,000 sf, 4-floor building will be LEED certified and two blocks from local transit.  The community will also have the area’s first car sharing program.  Also check the video below.   

++Working Artists Ventura Project PDF Brochure [PLACE]
++Affordable LEED Live/Work Space for Artists [Building Green TV]

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Stroh Haus, Unbelievably Modern Straw Bale Home

Stroh Haus

Stroh Haus is a home in Switzerland made of compressed straw bale and designed by Felix Jerusalem.  As you can see from the images below, the staw bale is used not only for the external walls, but also as a sound barrier insulation on the inside.  What’s incredible, though, is that green tint, translucent sheeting on the exterior.  Quite compelling, isn’t it?  I wish I had more to say on the home, but there’s not much information, other than what I’ve seen at Architechnophilia

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Hammarby Sjöstad: A Legitimate Eco-City

Sweden Stockholm Hammarby

There’s a lot of talk about eco-cities and we’ve mentioned at least two of them (Dongtan + Masdar).  But an unassuming Swedish suburb, known as Hammarby Sjöstad, has received high praises as a legitimate sustainable community.  In Hammarby Sjöstad, houses use half the energy and water than normal Swedish properties.  Plus, all the homes are built to sustainable standards and will house roughly 25,000 people by 2015 (11,000 units).

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REI Boulder Continues Green Building Tradition

REI Boulder

Over the weekend, REI opened the doors on a brand-spanking new, LEED-CI Silver certified, green retail store in Boulder, Colorado.  Designed by Gensler, this store is an extension of REI’s commitment to green building.  REI’s director of store development, Dean Iwata, said, "REI’s Boulder store builds on our more than 10 years of green building experience, and helps us test concepts that will pave the way for how our stores are built in the future, including design, material selections and use of technology."  I couldn’t be happier for the company — I think I’ve found a justification to splurge $165 on a new North Face Denali jacket.  Vote with your money, right?!

The store has tons of green technology, such as specially-designed Solatubes (which save major deniro and energy).  Also, using efficient, low-flow fixtures, the store uses 30% less water than federal code mandates.  70 percent of the store’s hot water is heated through solar energy.  REI Boulder is the first retail integration of Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) and uses recycled, renewable, and low-VOC materials throughout.  Plus, as many responsible builders do, REI diverted 75% of construction waste from the local landfills by using it in other areas of the store or recycling it. 

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Bahrain WTC Wind Turbines, Coming Soon (S2)

Bahrain WTC Turbines

The word on the street is that the three wind turbines on Bahrain World Trade Center will starting generating electricity the last week of October.  As you can see from the images below, construction of the towers is moving along nicely.  The turbines are expected to generate roughly 11-15% of the buildings’ energy needs, or 1100 to 1300 megawatt-hours per year.  Architecturally, this building explores new territory by integrating large-scale wind turbines with the structure.  I’m sure Atkins Architecture has worked out all the modeling on noise and vibration, so the world is excited to learn from this experience.  Enjoy the images below. 

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