This home isn’t necessarily modern, but it has all the modern conveniences one could ask for: solar panels, small wind, radiant floor heating, air filtration system, and a trombe wall, etc. Kent and Kathy Lawrence’s custom country home, which was completed in 2005, ended up costing roughly $300 psf. The wind turbine alone came in at a cool $37,100 (producing 13,000 kwh/year), and that’s without tax subsidies. And unlike many custom homes that tend to explore new boundaries of profusion, this home is only 2,200 sf. Not bad. But the Lawrence’s weren’t just concerned with smart design and energy efficiency. Currently, they’re removing invasive plant species and planting native flowers, just trying to be gentle stewards of the land they inhabit. I think this is a rather picturesque setting for a home … much the American Dream.
At West Coast Green in San Francisco last week, U.S. EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response Assistant Administrator Susan Bodine announced winners of the first inaugural Lifecycle Building Challenge competition. Winners were recognized for their cutting-edge green building ideas that aim to reduce environmental and energy impacts of buildings. Ideas from the design contest will jumpstart the building industry to help reuse more of the 100 million tons of building-related construction and demolition debris sent each year to landfills in the U.S. The winners are listed below:
- Sustainability by Design, Professional Unbuilt, People’s Choice Award
- Pavilion in the Park, Professional Built, Buildings
- GreenMobile, Professional Unbuilt, Buildings
- groHome, Student, Buildings
- Demountable Tape, Profesional Built, Components
- Deconstructable & Reusable Composite Slab, Professional Unbuilt, Components
- Guidelines for Building with Reusable Materials, Student, Components
- ATHENA Assembly Evaluation Tool, Professional Built, Services
- Deconstruction Engineer, Student, Services
Congratulations to all the winners, honorable mentions, and participants.
Many of you have probably seen this house by Stuart Tanner Architects, it was the Architectural Record House of the Month in July 2006. But I just noticed it and want to post a few images. It’s a small house of 1,184 sf located near Eaglehawk Neck on Tasmania’s Tasman Peninsula. As you can see, it juts out into the air, blending the boundary between the wildlife and sea. I’m sure the owners have witnessed the grandeur of nature at its best, being enveloped by the eucalypt forest and the sea. Due to the location, the architect had the home partially prefabricated — framing was complete in two days. The home also has many of the green features most homes should have, such as energy-saving lights, heating, and appliances. It’s well-insulated throughout and designed to maximize cross ventilation. And there’s an on-site waste management system, greywater recycling, and fresh water catchment and storage, too.
I hope readers enjoyed the West Coast Green and Jetson Green partnership … personally, I’m glad this website was able to participate in a small way. In the few weeks leading up to the event, I received a flood of emails for products to be showcased at WCG, and I wasn’t able to research each product and do an individual post. So, I’d like to share with you some of the leads I received. Feel free to check them out, if you have time.
- Perpetual Water, an Australian water conservation technology company, introduced their breakthrough high-efficiency water conservation technology, including The Garden Angel.
- Design Solutions introduced two new lines of green, earth-friendly cabinets.
- Celadon Energy Systems featured their highly efficient, environmentally-friendly, "green" lighting systems designed for affordable mixed-use, residential, and commercial applications.
- American Clay Enterprises returned to showcase their all natural, eco-friendly earth plaster. They had a joint exhibit with Green Planet Paints, a company we talked about here.
I can email you my press releases, if you’re looking for more information (just drop a comment). Did anyone have a favorite product or gain any particular insight?
Coal + Climate Change, ASLA's Green Roof, Sprawl Costs, Nanotechnology, Greener Homes + LEED Criticism (WIR)
- The highly respected Ed Mazria, founder of Architecture 2030, says, "The only fossil fuel that can fuel global warming is coal. If you stop coal, you stop global warming. End of story."
- The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) reports on their green roof: it retained lots of water, reduced building energy costs, and lowered the outdoor air temperature.
- Green Technology Forum report finds that nanotechnology can make green buildings more cost-effective, energy-efficient, and in tune with their environment.
- Greener homes mean much more than planting lots of trees.
- Texas Traffic Institute study says traffic congestion is worse than last year and cost the nation over $78 billion, including the cost of lost time.
BONUS: A Wave of LEED Critical News
Here’s a little shout out for a brand spanking new website called ChooseRenewables.com. I like the website because it empowers individuals with facts necessary to live in a more sustainable way. Included below are images of my experiment with CR, but this is all specific to MY HOME ADDRESS. Every location is different, so feel free to plug in your address and see what it provides.