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.
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.
Renovating this 1960s ranch-style house in Maine is a “rags to riches” story that may achieve LEED Platinum. Jesse Thompson, AIA, partner at Kaplan Thompson Architects, and his wife Betsy Scheintaub, a fiber textile artist, collaborated on the Ranch Revival project while living in the run-down house with their two children.
Designed for private investor, Craig Ehrlich, by John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects, this 1,150 square foot single-family home was built on a lot that is adjacent to the Ehrlich family home that was designed by the same firm about ten years ago, which was built around a garden and featured a graywater recycling system, photovoltaic system, and radiant heating.
In a recent article on Indian Country Today Media Network, journalist Nate Seltenrich covered the sustainable building initiatives of several Native American tribes who were the country’s “original green builders.” Through efforts to improve upon substandard housing and economic hardships, indigenous populations are returning to traditional methods of home construction while incorporating modern technologies. Contemporary sustainability calls tribal members back to their cultural heritage and opens up avenues for attainable home ownership and lower energy costs, with the potential to revitalize communities.