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.
MossFrame, from Italy-based Benetti Stone, is a decorative interior wall panel that is embedded with self-sustaining, low-maintenance lichen that does not require water, sunlight, or pruning to grow in lush green patterns wherever a fifty-percent room moisture level can be maintained.
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.