One of the islands off the coast of Washington, Lopez Island, has seen rising land prices, which in turn, has put the squeeze on teachers, health care workers, and others in need of affordable housing. In an effort to help, Mithun partnered with the Lopez Community Land Trust to create eleven economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable homes. These homes are now complete and the community, Common Ground, is absolutely incredible. The net-zero energy homes feature some of these green elements:
Hot on the heels of our prior coverage of the Rainscreen Shed and the International Shed of the Year comes this solar-powered beauty, the Microhouse. According to Naomi Seldin of Simpler Living, the 100 square-foot tiny house is part of the Human = Landscape exhibit going on in City Hall Park in Burlington, Vermont. The Microhouse was built by Alex Carver and Christopher North of Northern Timbers Construction with the design help of landscape architect and metal artist H. Keith Wagner.
The portable classroom is just about as ubiquitous as the mobile home, so our ears perked when Toby Long, principal of Clever Homes and Toby Long Design, mentioned these first-generation, prefab, green portable classrooms. Working with the Chartwell School in Seaside, California — itself the first LEED Platinum campus in the country — Toby Long Design designed, fabricated, and installed two relocatable classroom structures on the Chartwell campus. Almost incredibly, the on-site work only took about four weeks.
I may be going out on a limb, but of all the real property types – whether multifamily, commercial, retail, etc – hotels probably have the most consistent focus on green operations. They’re always trying to find ways to save energy or water, and they know their footprint. When you add LEED certification, which in this case means (anticipated) LEED Gold certification for the new Hotel Indigo in Athens, there’s an interesting combination of the already existing concern for operations and the LEED emphasis on design and construction.
A little over a year ago, we took a look at the green roof planned for Olive 8. It's massive — one of the largest in the city of Seattle. Now, the hotel/condo tower in downtown Seattle has been open for several months and officially received LEED Silver certification. It's one of only twenty other green hotels in the country to receive certification from the USGBC.