I was blown away when I found out about this online blog at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’s called From the Ground Up and the journal is tracking Jason Hammond’s quest to build a unique, modern home in the Twin Cities. The blog also includes information from the project’s architect, Michael Huber, and the project’s builder, Corey Benedict. From the Ground Up has become a huge success, with people of all backgrounds and interests chiming in to figure out what it takes to live in something modern + green. What I really like about the blog, however, is the pragmatic approach to building green. For many of us, myself included, it’s expensive to get into a well-designed, green home. So the process from beginning to end must be comprehensive and calculated, especially if you don’t want to waste money. From the Ground Up will "consider the balance between [Hammond's] family’s needs, the project costs, and the environmental considerations that go along with new home building." I already like what I see and can’t wait to continue reading about their home as it approaches completion. Via rolu | dsgn.
[Run time: 1:09 min.]I found this blog dinking around with my Blackberry’s feedreader software. David Hunter has a blog called "Nashville Modern Prefab," and he’s documenting his experience trying to build a modern Hive Modular home near downtown Nashville. For anyone that’s interested in some of the hurdles of getting approvals, etc., for a non-traditional home, this is a great blog to scan over. Check the video above, which is a 3D rendering of Hunter’s future home. Hope the approvals finally come through! For those of you that like Hive Modular’s work, you may enjoy some of the videos and links below.
Well, I’m a little behind on posting because I’ve just moved from Dallas to Salt Lake City. It was a good two-day road trip. We saw lots of two things: sunny land and road kill. We saw a few wind farms as well. We started thinking about the drama over birds being killed from turbine blades. Why doesn’t the same standard apply to cars? Think of how many dead squirrels, deer, cow, dogs, birds, snakes, etc., one sees on the road. It’s okay for cars to run over animals, but it’s not okay for turbine blades to catch the occasional bird? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a problem either way and life is valuable, but I wonder about the sincerity of the anti-wind debate. Any thoughts?
I’ll be up and running soon, just looking for a place to live. Right now, the blogger at Equity Green is putting me up.
$5B Clinton, Eco-Yahoo!, Health-Care Constuction, Nevada Ungreens, Porous Paving, Ed Begley Jr.'s Green Website, & Green Building Studio (WIR)
- Clinton Climate Initiative Offers $5B to Green Municipal Buildings at Cities Nationwide.
- Yahoo! Issues ‘Greenest City in America‘ Challenge with Reward of Hybrid Taxi Fleet.
- $41B Health-care Construction Industry Going Green to Save Energy, Cut Infection Rates.
- Nevada State Board Hopes to Change (Remove) Green Building Standard, Mislead About LEED.
- Porous Paving Grows in Popularity as a Stormwater Management Solution.
- Ed Begley, Jr. Launches a Truly Unique Sustainable Living Website at FixingThePlanet.com.
- Green Building Studio being dubbed A Google for Green Building Products.
- Commentary on Why Green Buildings Cannot Save the Planet.
The bloggers over at the Practical Environmentalist just bought a non-green building in Dallas for their business, Clean Air Gardening. The 13,000 sf building was built in the 1960s and they have a budget of about $50,000 to make it green. We’re talking LEED, Energy Star, etc., you name it, they want to go green in an economically pragmatic way. I figure we can tap the wisdom of the crowds and find a way to help them out, citizen wisdom style. Feel free to drop your ideas into the comments here, or go over to PE directly and leave a comment. Also, if you’re a Dallas business and want to get involved helping them do their thing, make sure to let them know.
Already, PE seems to have this situation under control. I like that they are signing up with Green Mountain Energy, using low-VOCs inside (good for indoor air quality), replacing old toilets with more water-efficient ones, adding a rainwater cistern to avoid using new water for landscaping, and replacing the door with a more energy-efficient set up. Here are a few additional suggestions I have:
- Consider a commercial-grade energy audit to determine where you may be losing air or energy. Use that information to seal up cracks and fix stuff as needed (which will allow you to rely less on the dated HVAC system).
- Like you say, go with the Commercial Solatube lighting, if possible. The more natural light, the better. Why pay for light when the sun gives it away for free?
- For the interior design, use low-VOC carpets tiles and adaptable workstations/furniture from a company like Haworth (big-time commitment to recycled and sustainable products). Haworth has a strong Dallas presence.
- Before making the investment in solar, try using a thermal energy storage product (like the ones offered by Dallas-based Trinity Thermal) that captures cheaper energy during off-peak times for use during more expensive peak periods. This can contribute to LEED certification and has good $$ benefits.
- If you’re renovating the exterior, continue using a light color to reflect heat from the building. Also, landscape in ways to shade the hottest parts of the building. You guys are experts here, but natural landscaping will help with water conservation, too.
That’s what I have so far, but I’m sure there are Dallas experts out there waiting to get your business and showcase their products. Good luck!
I love blogging. I really do. But maybe it’s because I look at my own blog everyday, I don’t know, but I’d like to mix it up a little bit. Is that taboo for a fledgling blog? What you see is 100% home-job by me. I worked up the banner, picking through Photoshop the best I know how. The sidebar content is 100% me, too. Here are the constraints: (1) I’m still going to use Typepad, (2) I’m not going to hire anyone or pay anyone (at least not right now), and (3) that’s it. I don’t really enjoy widgets, either. I’m thinking about changing to the format with posts on the left and the two sidebars on the right. Any thoughts? I’m also thinking about a banner redesign. Maybe a new logo? It’s going to be consistent with the underlying framework of Jetson Green: modern + green, with a business perspective. Any thoughts? Cool ideas? Should I just keep it the way it is? Be gentle…