Castaway House is a Deep Green Renovation

This is the Castaway House, a renovation in Phoenix, Arizona that’s also the first project to be certified under the Phoenix Green Construction Code. The team* behind this Gold-certified project transformed an existing 1,000 square-foot, abandoned house originally built in 1951 into a cutting-edge, energy-efficient abode with 1,970 square feet, four bedrooms, and two bathrooms. Here’s a little more background.

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By |April 26th, 2012|Renovation, Single Family|8 Comments

1G is a Water-Wise Tornado of a Toilet

TOTO just introduced a new toilet called 1G and announced that it’s the first manufacturer to break the one-gallon per flush barrier for a gravity-fed toilet, according to a recent statement.  1G is like a tornado in the toilet — less the noise of pressure-assist version — with a Double Cyclone flushing system.

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By |April 25th, 2012|Products, Water Efficiency|5 Comments

Passivhaus Apartments Built in Sweden

A couple years ago, Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture and builders Höllviksnäs Förvaltnings AB won an open competition for four Passivhaus homes on a vacant lot in the city of Malmö, Sweden.  The team won the competition and the low-energy houses are now finished.  The project may be referred to as Salongen 35 and includes a greenhouse, green roof, gray water treatment, and solar panels.

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By |April 18th, 2012|Passive House|1 Comment

The Reel Deal for These Three Mowers

If you have a lawn, you have several options to keep it neat this Spring, but the human-powered reel mower is probably one of more environmentally friendly ways to go about it.  These things have anywhere from 4-7 blades, 14-20-inch widths, and varying weights, depending on the build of the chosen model.  But what’s the best reel mower for your yard?  It depends on your situation, though Mowers Direct picked these models based on retail pricing, recent sales history, customer reviews, and company insight.

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By |April 16th, 2012|Energy Efficiency, Technology|8 Comments

A Wood Panel System for Passivhaus

The main driver for the performance and affordability of the recently-mentioned Rainbow Duplex is a panelized prefab system of construction that was designed to help projects meet the Passive House standard.  BC Passive House in Canada has a manufacturing plant that’s making these panels, and I thought it would be interesting to share what’s inside the company’s next-gen, high-performance panels.

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By |April 11th, 2012|Materials, Passive House|11 Comments

Passivhaus Rainbow Duplex in Whistler

This is a follow-up with new photos to our original coverage of an affordable Passive House duplex located near an affluent ski resort in British Columbia.  Referred to as the Rainbow Duplex, the home was designed by Marken Projects and built by Durfield Constructors with a high-performance, panelized prefab system by BC Passive House.

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By |April 9th, 2012|Condo, Passive House, Prefab|3 Comments