Residential designer, Keith Dewey, has designed what is considered to be the first shipping container building in Canada: a home in which he lives with his wife and daughter in Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia. Built on a 42 by 40 foot lot, the home comprises 2,000 square feet of living space and was constructed of eight twenty-foot shipping containers that were modified to include windows, doors, and a “proper roof.”
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.
The new, sustainably built, 15,205 square foot structure for the Jungers Culinary Institute on the Central Oregon Community College (COCC) campus, designed by Yost Grube Hall Architecture, was made possible by $3 million in grants and contributions from the Bend, Oregon community, for which students serve lunch, happy hour, and dinner in the 60-seat public restaurant, Elevation, alongside a three instructional kitchens that include a baking and pastry kitchen, a fifty-seat demonstration theatre, and classroom space for up to 100 students per year.
The recently opened Dubai Energy and Water Authority’s (DEWA) Sustainable Building in Dubai has been awarded LEED Platinum status, becoming the largest public sector building in the world to achieve that status and set a new standard in sustainable building construction. It is also the United Arab Emirates’ first public sector green building, was constructed with 36 percent recycled materials, features high-efficiency insulation, and has been designed to reduce water consumption by 48 percent and energy consumption by 66 percent.
Earlier this year, the World Record Academy awarded a home in Dillingham, Alaska with the record for the Tightest Residential Building.
In a video that documents the blower door test, the home’s owners and residents, Dr. Tom Marsik and Kristin Donalson, who designed and built the extremely insulated building, explain their motivation to push the limits of green building methods. The blower door test, which used a special attachment to get the most accurate reading, pressurized the building and then measured the flow that was needed to maintain the difference in pressure from the outside.