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38 posts from July 2007

July 31, 2007

The Orb Steps Up for a Younger Generation

Home Office The Orb

This is incredible.  It would be nice if someone here in the U.S. would put something like THE ORB into production.  According to the company's website, The Orb "is a new generation of mobile structures created specifically to fire the imagination of a younger, style conscious generation.  It has been designed to appeal across three distinct markets: commercial show units, holiday park homes and adaptable home offices.  Built to a standard far beyond that of comparable structures using marine technology, it is both incredibly durable, lightweight and transportable."  Appeal?  Done. 

Now, the website reveals some details on how The Orb is built (and Treehugger suggests that using GRP may not be that green), but I think one could use green materials to get it built.  Plus, you could toss up a few solar panels on a separate pole and provide renewable energy for it too.  Another positive aspect of The Orb is that it's small by design, but chances are, this will not be a primary dwelling, so size is not an issue.  Regardless, I dig it and think it could be used in a variety of applications.  Plus, it's kind of similar to Dasparkhotel (and we know that's been successful).  More images below.  Via CubeMe

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July 30, 2007

The Top Ten Green Building Blogs - Guardians of Green Building

Guardians of Green Building

I've been at the blogging thing for close to a year and wanted to celebrate some blogs that are doing a dang good job providing green building information.  There's nothing empirical about this list.  I didn't use Technorati or Google Page Rank, although these metrics are important to look at.  I based this list of the Top Ten Green Building Blogs on my experience reading, studying, and interacting since I started Jetson Green.  Is this list exhaustive?  No, but these ten are the Guardians of Green Building.  They are stewards of important information.  They protect it.  They keep it accurate.  They put in considerable time for the cause of promoting green building.  Plain and simple, they deserve a badge of appreciation for being good at what they do.  Here's my list in no particular order. 

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July 29, 2007

Hamiltons Castle House Will Blow Your Top Off (S2)

Turbines

This incredible design scheme is Castle House by Hamiltons of London.  Located at Elephant and Castle, the project will have two buildings: the 43 story tower with 3 nine meter diameter wind turbines at the top and the 5 story pavilion building on the side.  I'm not really sure what stage of development the project is in, but it was supposed to start in mid- to late-2006.  With completion projected for 2009, the residential project is targeting an "excellent" rating under the EcoHomes certification system.  When complete, Castle House will have 310 apartments comprising 247,500 sf and retail units on the ground level.  More images and modeling below the jump.  Via WAN + WAN

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July 28, 2007

Green Roofs, Cleantech Investments, Monster Homes + Stellar LEED Returns (WIR)

Week in Review
  1. Rooftop vegetation and gardens are catching on--though there are still many questions about how and when to apply the technique. 
  2. Cleantech venture capital investments are small but growing. 
  3. Monster Homes: Enough is Enough - some places will make you pay for that big thing. 
  4. Developer sells its LEED certified project and it was "certainly a stellar return." 

Stanford Yang & Yamazaki Green Building Coming Along Nicely

The Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building is coming along nicely.  Yang is the co-founder of Yahoo! and Yamazaki is a director of the Wildlife Conservation Network in Los Altos.  Needless to say, the powerful couple takes pride in their alma mater and the environment.  But back to the building.  Dubbed the Y2E2 Building, this $120 M building will be quite the eco-structure once completed.  Funded in part by a $50 million grant by Yang and Yamazaki, Y2E2 is expected to use 50% less energy and roughly 90% water of a traditional building of similar size.  Coming in at roughly 166,000 sf, Y2E2 is expected to be complete near the end of this year, say November or December-ish, and will become the future home for the Woods Institute for the Environment (and a couple other groups).  Y2E2 is located at Via Ortega and Panama Street.   Another image below the jump. 

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July 27, 2007

NASA Seeks 'Silver' Lining in Green Buildings

Cam_05_composite

This news isn't all that surprising because the government (at various levels) has shown significant support for green buildings, but recently, NASA set the wheels in motion to have a $54 million LEED Silver building built in Greenbelt, Maryland.  This three story office and laboratory structure will be the future Exploration Sciences Building at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.  And as a side note, NASA has determined that all future buildings will be constructed to the LEED Silver level, at a minimum.  Designed by EwingCole, the completed building will end up at about 265,500 sf.  Looks good.  UPDATED 8/23/2007:  new images swapped out. 

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July 26, 2007

Jeriko House Explores The Platform for Living

Jh1

I'm going to be talking with the CEO of Jeriko House, Shawn Burst, later this week, but I still want to post an update on what's happening with this Louisiana-based modern prefab company.  I broke the story on Jeriko House last January and a lot has happened since that time.  Right now, Jeriko House is smack dab in the middle of three different projects, with more on the development table.  Feel free to head on over the newly redesigned, updated website for current projects, the gallery, and other information on what the company has to offer.

Hypothetical: What Would it Take?
Jeriko House is prepared to adapt their designs for a variety of climates and sites, so they can go anywhere in the United States.  With that in mind, let me throw out a little hypothetical to satisfy my own curiosity.  Assume your are in the market for a new home and you have an empty lot.  What would it take to put a Jeriko House on your lot?  Any thoughts?  Unload in the comments.  Also, some incredible pictures below the jump.

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July 25, 2007

Royal Homes Modern Prefab: from Concept to Reality

Ks_lakeside1

This excellent story was originally published by Treehugger's Lloyd Alter on July 21, 2007.  Inconspicuously placed into the blog stream of information on a Saturday, it's particularly special in that it offers a glimpse of taking prefab from nothing to something.  I hope you enjoy the following information, links, and images as much as I did. 

Until recently my day job was working with Royal Homes to promote modern prefab. We commissioned Kohn Shnier Architects to design the small and efficient Q series, which was seen by a Toronto patron of the Arts, who asked for a larger version as a second home for two families in Muskoka, Ontario. I visited the site this week for the first time since the construction and installation, which can be seen here. Another disclosure: I am a terrible photographer and these pictures do not do it justice.

The building is essentially a sixteen foot deep wall; that the maximum width that can go down the road, and Martin Kohn took advantage of this to create the thin, long structure.

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July 24, 2007

New Books in the JG Sustainability Bookstore

Greenbooks The publishing world is going crazy with good eco-friendly content.  I've added some new titles to the Jetson Green Sustainability Bookstore, in case you're interested in keeping up with the latest trends and research on topics relevant to Jetson Green. 

I'm particularly interested in sitting down to The World Without Us near the end of the week.

July 23, 2007

Are Skyscraper Farms Part of the Solution? (S2)

Vue_nocturne

With a skyscraper farm, the idea is that one can control the environment and manner of producing crops.  Unless the building is wiped out by tornado or earthquake, vertical farms have the potential to reduce weather-related crop failures.  And with modern engineering, one could set up an elaborate system of rainwater reclamation and filtering to avoid water runoff pollution.  Plus, skyscrapers go everywhere.  You could have towers in Tokyo, London, Shanghai, Dallas, or where ever, growing organic goods.  Locally-produced organic goods sans the transportation premium and carbon emissions--now that has the potential to be disruptive!  Vertical farms use artificial light and with the right combination of renewable energy power a building, I could see this being a legitimate endeavor.  Experts suggest we're about 15 years away from realizing something like this, but hey, it's not one of the worst ideas I've ever heard. 

The above image is the Living Tower by Pierre Sartoux.  The first level below the jump is Gordon Graff's SKYfarm.  The second level is the Vertical Farm by Chris Jacobs.  Link for background story; link for images.

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