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The Small, Modern kitHAUS (F2)

kitHAUS K1  kitHAUS K1 Interior

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.

American Dream 2.0: The Phoenix SUT

Side_profile

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.

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Chicago's LEED Silver Green Exchange: Viable??

Chicago_green_exchange

There’s a reason GreenBuild 2007, the green building industry’s major conference and expo, is going to be in Chicago. The city is just busting at the seams with progressive thinkers and eco-entrepreneurs. Recently, I noticed a news report about Baum Development rehabbing the old Cooper Lamp Factory in Logan Square into a one-stop, live-work, shopping center of green businesses and activities. It’s going to be called the Green Exchange.  The four-story, 250,000 square foot building, located at 2545 West Diversey Avenue, will be renovated to LEED Silver standards with a variety of uses including retail, showroom galleries, office, and incubator lofts. 

The Baum Development team is planning on some aggressive green renovations. The parking spaces will have electrical outlets for hybrid cars, but that’s not all: hybrids have priority parking privileges. There will be a 9.000 square foot sky garden, solar panels on the roof, and a roof garden. A rainwater cistern will collect water for the gardens and landscaping. Some other green features include the high-efficiency HVAC system, eco-friendly paints and stains, bike room and showers, car sharing services, and energy-efficient doors and windows. In total, Baum will spend about $30 million outfitting the old facility with the latest and greatest in green building technologies.

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Platinum BASF Near-Zero Energy Home – Paterson, NJ

BASF Near-Zero Energy Home

That’s right, Platinum.  LEED-H Platinum, that is.  The Near-Zero Energy Home in Paterson, NJ, is quite the achievement.  I first saw a picture of it in BusinessWeek, if I recall correctly.  The home’s website at www.betterhomebetterplanet.com has a pretty good bank of construction and finished photos, as well as general info relating to the construction of a high-performance home.  An interesting note about the Near-Zero Energy Home is that it will serve as a template for a project to build over 3,000 affordable housing units in Paterson. 

Green Features:
Green building requires a holistic approach, where the aggregation of several energy efficient, environmentally conscious, and resource efficient pieces come together to create a home of high-performance.  Here, there are three main systems (building envelope, solar power, and mechanical HVAC) that interact to create a home that’s 80% more efficient than your typical abode.  Click here for a visualization of how each system works.  The Near-Zero Energy Home has solar panels, solar water heating systems, cool metal roofing, Energy Star windows, insulated concrete forms (ICFs), structural insulated panels (SIPs), an Amana air conditioning system, and more…

BASF + China + McDonough?
Another interesting note relates to the future cooperation of Eco-tect William McDonough and BASF.  Over the next 12 years, McDonough is charged with building seven cradle-to-cradle cities in China, housing +400 million people.  Many of the technologies used in this Near-Zero Energy Home will also be used to help China achieve 65% reductions of energy use by 2020.  Must be good. 

BASF Kitchen BASF Living Room

My Green Options: Toilets, Zero Energy Homes, Financially Smart Green Building + More

Greenoptions

I’ve been writing an article a week for Green Options and wanted to pass on the links to some of my articles.  I think the toilets article is the most light-hearted…go give them a look if you’re interested in the content. 

1926 Hyde Park Home's Green Renovation Televised in This Old House

1926_austin_bungalow

Sometimes, I’m amazed at what technology can do.  Recently, I read an article about Michael Klug + Michele Grieshaber’s 1926 bungalow in Austin’s historic Hyde Park, which was renovated in accordance with the Austin Green Building Program.  The original home was about 1,500 sf, but after renovations and adding some space, the 2,300 sf home uses half the energy of the original.  The house is part of an 8-show feature on This Old House, and you’ll be impressed to find a time-lapse video of the renovation project.  The DMN article suggests that the eco-friendly additions to the renovation added a price premium of about 10%, but let’s not forget that this home is outfitted with some pretty good stuff, including photovoltaics. 

Here are some of the green features:  rainwater reclamation for irrigation and landscaping; spray-foam insulation for added energy efficiency; recycled glass tile and countertops by IceStone; formaldehyde-free wood composites; milled wood from deconstruction used throughout the home in various places; James Hardie fiber cement siding, which can be a good substitute for wood siding; low-flow bathroom plumbing and high-efficiency kitchen appliances; a heat-reflecting standing-seam metal roof; and an array of photovoltaic panels on the south-facing roof.  Below, you’ll see pictures of the water reclamation tank and the cabinets that were made with Lyptus, a eucalyptus hybrid plant that grows fast.  DMN Article + Pictures

Steel Blue Lyptus Rainwater Reclamation
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