Last week, Willamette Week Online published an article called "Futurehaus," which we linked to in our Saturday Week in Review. The article describes an Oregon Passive House project in the works by Root Design Build. The house is referred to as the Shift House, which, awkwardly enough, is not to be confused with the other Shift Home that we covered recently. But that's not to take anything away from it. With construction set to begin next month, upon completion in September, it'll be one of only a few certified Passive Houses in the United States.
This whole thing started when Urban Re:Vision teamed up with the City of Dallas to create a sustainable city block. The location was announced last December, and thereafter, teams from all across the world participated in a competition to design the greenest city block in the country. Now, three winners have been announced (see below), and of these three, one will be chosen for construction. Groundbreaking is set for Fall 2010.
We've heard about ecocities in far away lands, but now there's one planned for the Unities States. Located near Fort Meyers, Florida, Babcock Ranch will be powered entirely by solar power. It's a bold and progressive plan, and if Kitson & Partners can secure all the necessary regulatory approvals, construction will begin this year. The city includes a 75-megawatt, on-site, photovoltaic facility constructed by Florida Power & Light for nearly $350 million.
It’s no secret that Good produces the best graphics to illustrate the most current and important points. They tend to go viral and get passed around. I like their popular graphic on vampire energy and guide to prefab construction. Good has a knack for distilling complex information, and I think their new guide to livable streets is worth reading. In it, they explain ten ways to redesign and transform streets to become livable:
With the glut of commercial space available today and the promise of stimulus money, some developers are looking at green building as a way to stand out. Brushing up on catch-phrases just isn't going to cut it; in the new construction space, they're competing with early adopters who have already embraced sustainable design, energy efficiency, and LEED and the like. They'll be competing with commercial projects like this.
Just recently, we mentioned Copeland Casati in regards to the launch of Green Cabin Kits, but I thought it was high time to take a look at her SIPs home under construction near Appomattox in Central Virginia. The home is actually a prototype of the Casa Ti house kit designed by architect David Day. Designed to be off-grid, net-zero energy, and modern, the home has 1200 square feet of space with three bedrooms.