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Coal + Climate Change, ASLA's Green Roof, Sprawl Costs, Nanotechnology, Greener Homes + LEED Criticism (WIR)

Week in Review
  • 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

ChooseRenewables.com, Site Specific Energy Analysis

Hypothetical Installation

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.

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[Video] PowerPod, 500 sf of Modular, Green Living

CNET PowerPod Video

Recently, I wrote an article about the energy efficiency of the PowerPod, and now, CNET’s Martin LaMonica has a video of the first PowerPod demo resting in a defunct coal power plant in Lawrence, Massachusetts.  Clicking the picture above will take you directly to the video.  I really like the PowerPod.  It’s modular, green, and very simple in design.  The PowerPod could be used as a home for a bachelor or intimate duo, but it’s more likely going to be used as an office, vacation abode, lake cabin, or something like that.  And as far as cost is concerned, with your basic residential green finish out, you’re talking about $100k for 500 sf.  You can also view more info and photos at CNET

1940s Era Home Conversion: Boxhouse

Boxhouse

This is Boxhouse, an award-winning modern home in Boulder, Colorado, designed and built by Rob Pyatt as a University of Colorado College of Architecture & Planning project (advised/sponsored by Rick Sommerfeld).  Boxhouse explores adaptive reuse and recycling of an existing 900 sf home built in 1948.  Tons of images below …

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Green Building A to Z by Jerry Yudelson; Book Give Away

Yudelson Just a quick note on a new book that’s out by Jerry Yudelson called Green Building A to Z.  I received an advance copy that I’ve read through and want to give away to a random commenter.*  As the preface explains, "[this book] is designed for you, intelligent reader, who may not be actively engaged in architecture or building engineering, but who needs a quick introduction to the rationale for green buildings and the language of the field."  I’d like to describe it as a dictionary of everything relating to green building, but it’s more than that.  Yudelson has an approachable perspective and breaks everything down nicely.  After reading through explanations of biophilia, thermal energy storage, and commissioning, you’ll be hitting on all cylinders.  I think this is a good book to have on hand as a reference, almost as a checklist of things to think about with a project.  It’s also a good book for building owners, investors, or lenders that want to know more about green building principles. 

*After 48 hours, I’m  going to pick a number out of a baseball cap and give this book away to the comment number corresponding to the number pulled from the hat.  Since you leave your email when you comment, I’ll email you for your address and shipping’s on me to anywhere in the U.S.  Not sure what to say in the comments?  Tell me where you’re commenting from: "Salt Lake City, Utah here!"

Seattle Off-Grid Concept Combines Chickens, Crops + Sustainable Living (S2)

Center for Urban Agriculture

In the heart of Seattle, the design professionals at Mithun see a farm rising vertically into the sky.  Although it may never be built, the Center for Urban Agriculture (CUA) won “Best of Show” in the Cascadia Region Green Building Council’s Living Building Challenge.  Vertically constructed on a .72 acre site, the off-grid building is designed to be completely energy and water sufficient and will include 318 affordable apartments (studio – 2 bedroom).  And on top of that, there will be greenhouses, rooftop gardens, a chicken farm, and fields for growing vegetables and grains. 

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