The Oregon-based EcoNest Company is the manifestation of an holistic design concept that being implemented in the construction of homes using straw-clay walls, earth plasters, and non-toxic, natural finishes. The concept as a company encompasses Paula Baker-Laporte, FAIA and Robert Laporte, and has grown to become a resource for home building workshops and seminars, design and build assistance, a network of professional green builders, and access to other learning opportunities.
Sustainably-designed and featuring over 40,000 linear feet of wall, roof, and canopy that is covered in panels from Metal Sales Manufacturing Corporation, the country’s largest planned net zero energy community is UC Davis West Village, a 205-acre project that will be home to 662 apartments and 343 single-family homes, along with commercial and recreational facilities.
Team ASUNM, a collaborative effort between Arizona State University and University of New Mexico, has come together to address the inefficiencies of urban sprawl and to create a model for sustainable desert living that has been dubbed SHADE (Solar Home Adapting for Desert Equilibrium), which is an entry in the Solar Decathlon 2013 competition that takes place on October 3-13, 2013 in Irvine, California.
High in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the roof planes of this guesthouse are both meadow and super-insulated envelope, blending structure into scenery to be nearly imperceivable from a road above the site while preserving the view from the main house.
Last month, we posted an article about how to use interior sliding glass doors to increase home energy efficiencies in which we talked about how glass can add LEED points:
Glass doors can contribute to achieving U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) ratings. Use of glass can add LEED points for reductions in lighting power density. Using glass, especially if it is made of recycled and recyclable materials, instead of drywall is a good, sustainable, and eco-friendly choice and will promote better indoor air quality by reducing the use of emitting materials such as adhesives and sealants. In new construction or renovations, smaller living spaces can be designed by reducing the access space that is required by traditional doors.
The city of Minneapolis, Minnesota has set a goal of building 100 energy-efficient homes during the next five years in an effort to revitalize neighborhoods in the northern region of the city that have been suffering the most during the economic downturn. Homes will be built on vacant, city-owned lots and will be priced between $150,000 and $200,000. Energy efficient and designed to complement surrounding structures, it is expected that the new homes will contribute to increases in property values, along with owner confidence.