Recently, I saw this article about Howcast and was quite intrigued by the startup company. Howcast is run by ex-Googlers with the intent of becoming the YouTube of instructional videos. It’s a good idea, I think. After reading the article, I thought, it’d be nice to see videos on eco-friendly home renovations. Green kitchen rehabs. Eco-friendly landscaping. Do it yourself energy audits. Etc. Well, Howcast is already publishing some good green living and environmental instructional videos. You’ll find the videos helpful in that they tell you what you need, provide printable instructions, and allow you to skip to different steps in the video. Here are a couple others.
I’m seriously loving the Rapson Greenbelt here by Wieler. Wieler was founded by the owner of the Original Dwell Home and offers a nice selection of prefab designs for the modern, green home enthusiast. Speaking of the Rapson Greenbelt, Inhabitat reports: "Modernist architect Ralph Rapson has managed to reinterpret this 60-year old design with the green panache of a 21st century prefab. The Rapson Greenbelt, an articulate series of prefab dwellings, is derived from a 1945 design called Case Study #4, which debuted back then as part of Arts & Architecture’s Case Study House Program. Today, the Rapson Greenbelt is part of the modern home portfolio from WIELER, the award-winning providers of custom prefab homes."
Prefab company Eco-Infill and architectural services firm Studio H:T designed this modular, green home to be the first LEED certified, factory-built home in Colorado. The 32nd Street home was built with two staggered modules with the top module jutting out the back to create a shaded patio. It’s quite the great looking home, and as you can tell with the rendering above, it’s all done (took about 7 months total from start to finish). A recent article about the home in Rocky Mountain News reports that the home cost about $325,000 to construct and $150,000 for the land, which equals about $176 psf. Not bad in Colorado.
The 2,700 sf home is currently in the process of seeking LEED certification. Maybe I’ll drive down and check it out sometime. Looks pretty close to the rendering below, too.
In England, a handful of efficient demonstration homes have been built on the grounds of the Building Research Establishment Ltd, including “The Lighthouse,” which is the first net zero carbon house in the UK. The house is also the first to attain level six in the Code for Sustainable Homes, which indicates that it is carbon neutral. The two-bedroom house is only 93.3 square meters (barely over 1000 sq. ft.) in a 2-1/2 story building. The building has solar panels and evacuated solar tubes on its roof, as well as making use of passive measures with ventilation chimneys. It also incorporates rainwater catchment as part of the building design.
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For starters, when complete, Greenbelt will use roughly 40% less energy and 30% less water than a comparable building. And it looks fantastic, too — another case that living green doesn’t require throwing out your style. Located at 361 Manhattan Avenue, the eight unit building has one- and two-bedroom condos that range in price from $599k – $815k. In addition to all the green features listed below, I like how the developers plan to incorporate enhanced sound proofing and insulation in the walls, ceilings, and floors. People would probably be more willing to live in attached spaces, if they knew the extraneous sounds wouldn’t be a problem. Nevertheless, it’s clear the developers are setting a good example in that regard because Greenbelt will have the latest technology to minimize noise disruptions.
I just received a tip on this modern, LEED for Homes-built home being built and sold in Portland, Oregon. It looks like a great design for a tough, slanted site. Located at 9130 SW 7th, this 1,982 sf home has a cool, two-story, up-down feel that’s common in townhouses, without the hassle and noise of a party wall (technically, it’s in the garage). Nice. I’m just going to roll through some of the green features, just to get a general idea of how green it is: reclaimed Oregon Myrtle wood floors on second level, durable standing seem metal roofing, IceStone countertops, radiant heating system with solar hot water assist, whole house heat-recovery ventilation and air filtration, occupancy sensors for efficient lighting, rainwater catchment system, photovoltaic solar electric system, formaldehyde-free cabinets, and radiant concrete first floor, etc.