[Run time = 26 min.] I’ve posted about LivingHomes here, here, and here. Well, Steve Glenn is the company’s CEO and Founder and he has some interesting things to say. If you’re still unsure about his green cred, he built the first LEED Platinum home in the United States (with the design help of Ray Kappe). Enjoy…
This is the K1 from kitHAUS, which is a prefab company based in Van Nuys, California. The K1 is 289 sf and costs around $59,000. kitHAUS has a series of modules that can be paired (or not) to create a small weekend retreat, backyard office or study, or gigantic residence. Plus, it can be off-grid or grid-tied with the optional solar setup, depending on your tastes.
"F2" is short for "Flickr Friday," a weekly short posted on Friday with an image from Flickr and a quick description. Feel free to email me your F2 ideas.
Tonight, I had the great opportunity to talk with Ed Begley Jr. at the unveiling of the Phoenix Sport Utility Truck in Dallas, Texas. Ed is a really nice guy, and he’s smart, too. He knows his stuff. He was showcasing the Phoenix SUT, which is a five-passenger, all-electric, freeway-speed sport utility truck. I test drove it and had a good time. I see the future with this thing. I really do. Actually, I punched it coming off the line, and it had some get up and go.
Hot on the heels of news that Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) is going to develop a $1B green resort named "Ever Vail," comes news that Park City’s Newpark Community has pre-qualified for LEED-ND (Neighborhood Development) certification. These ski towns are really laying it on thick–and they’re doing more than flaunting offsets. When it comes down to it, they bank on the livelihood of snow, so it’s logical to consider the business implication of climate change. Having green neighborhoods and buildings is a smart way to lighten that environmental footprint.
Newpark is a 38 acre, mixed-use development with resort town homes, a commercial and retail walkable community, and a condominium hotel (opening January 2008). With respect to its green features, LEED-ND certification requires the incorporation of smart growth, urbanism, and green building principles on a neighborhood planning and design level. Projects are evaluated based on the following three categories (1) smart location + community linkage, (2) neighborhood pattern + design, and (3) actual use of green technology in construction. A notable accomplishment at Newpark is the site development to open space ratio of 1-4.5. That’s 9 times the LEED requirement for allocation to open space. I’ve seen it and it looks to be quite the lively, little community. Via.
I’m happy to report to you that I have the insider tip on a new website that the American Institute of Architects (AIA) is launching: How Design Works (http://howdesignworks.aia.org/). The website includes information and a series of videos on the entire process of selecting an architect and going from consultation to design to build to occupation. What I really enjoyed was the case study on Medora Woods’ sustainable home (pictured above) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Woods retained architect Sarah Nettleton to design a home to suit a difficult piece of land with a 28 foot falling slope from road to creek. What Nettleton did, using the words of Frank Lloyd Wright, was build "of the hill, not on it," and designed the house to the environmental standard of the Kyoto Protocol. Here are a few quotes of interest from the videos.
- There is no wasted space.
- Simple is sustainable.
- Small spaces can lead to ample lives.
- The house encourages me to keep simplifying my life.
In the last video, "occupy," Woods takes you through the house and really shows off some of the sustainable features. This new website provided by the AIA is nice tool for finding an architect, discerning the process of working with an architect, and discovering ways to incorporate sustainable building practices and energy-efficient design strategies into a plan. Go take it for a spin.
Photos via Sarah Nettleton Architects.
PVC Debacle, Green Affordable Housing, Home Depot + Green Roofs, + Corporate Environmentalists (WIR)
- Hugging the Tree-huggers: Environmentalists at the Corporate Table – BusinessWeek article on why so many companies are suddenly linking up with eco-groups. Hint: Smart business.
- Enterprise Encourages Legislation to ‘Green’ Affordable Housing – Enterprise joins Congressmen Adam Smith (D-WA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), John Lewis (D-GA) and Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) in support of legislation to "green" affordable housing by promoting energy efficiency, resource conservation and sustainable development in low-income communities across the country.
- The Home Depot Foundation Awards $300,000 Grant to Further Support Green Roof Development – Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) and Earth Pledge (EP) are pleased to announce the receipt of a $300,000 grant from The Home Depot Foundation to support their combined efforts to advance the green roof industry in three key cities: Minneapolis, Atlanta, and Los Angeles.
- USGBC’s Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee Issues Final Report on PVC – The Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee (TSAC) of the USGBC issued its final report to USGBC’s LEED Steering Committee (LSC) on the technical and scientific basis for a PVC-related credit within the LEED® Green Building Rating System™. The report raises broader questions; LEED Steering Committee to decide next steps, policy agenda, and potential actions.
The existence of this struggle between PVC supporters and the USGBC suggests that PVC is not so green. If you lobby hard enough, throw enough money at the cause, and wear enough people down, you can win in our day and age. Generally speaking, people don’t stand up for what is right because doing so would require taking a visible position. Taking a position requires persistence, diligence, ethics, and uncompromising, unwaivering fortitude. So I ask, Mr. USGBC… do you have what it takes? I hope you can swim upstream on this one or your existence will be completely and utterly futile. If you can’t decide what’s green and what’s not, there is no need to certify buildings according to your ‘green’ standards. imho.