This 5,900 square foot home for a family of four that looks onto the Bright Leaf Preserve in Austin, Texas is a recipient of the 2013 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Housing Award in the One and Two Family Custom category.
Looking for a green way to spend your summer vacation this year? Less than a one-hour drive east of Seattle, Washington, you can find the Tolt MacDonald Park & Campground nestled in the Tolt River-John MacDonald Park, which is run by King County Natural Resources and Parks.
The Tolt Campground unveiled its first new Camping Container last September, an upcycled surplus 24-foot shipping container that utilizes recycled and sustainable materials to provide comfortable accommodations to visiting families (it sleeps up to four in a double/single futon bunk bed and a futon chair that converts to a single bed).
Built with recycled and salvaged materials from a dilapidated and deconstructed cottage that was already present on the 0.35 acre lot, the west side of this 2,000 square foot home faces Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont. Sweeping views of the lake are broken only by a granite fireplace.
Following the original footprint of the cottage, with the addition of 375 square feet on the east side, Ernie Ruskey, AIA, of Tektonika Studio Architects worked with builder Tim Frost to minimize energy use during the cold winter months while protecting the landscape. They have achieve a 50 percent total energy savings over a 2004 IECC code-level home, an EPA Energy Star 5-Star Plus rating, and a HERS rating of 57. Ninety-five percent of the home is daylit and can be ventilated or cooled with operable windows. Total energy used is approximately 104.2 MMBtu.
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.
Kaplan Thompson Architects were challenged by their clients to build a farmstead home in the mountains of Virginia that could not only meet standards for Passivhaus and LEED, but include a roof on which sheep could graze.
The solution: Earthship Farmstead is a house that is nestled in the east-facing hillside with a floorplan that fits the contours of the surrounding fields. The dining and living room extend out onto the hill to allow south-facing shaded windows to capture warmth and light from the sun. Recently, Earthship Farmstead received Passive House certification and is gathering data toward LEED Platinum certification.
Since 1995, Bill and his wife, Sue, had been designing and building homes as Blue Sky Ventures and, in 2011, they began constructing little buildings with reclaimed materials and decided to shift focus with Hobbitat when they began work on thirteen cabins for the Blue Moon Rising eco-tourism retreat on Maryland’s Deep Creek Lake.