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39 posts from October 2008

October 31, 2008

Green Trailer Maxes Out Sustainability

McCownGordon Construction Green Trailer

This is the McCownGordon Construction Green Trailer.  Pretty nice, right?!  It was designed to use a fraction of the energy typically used by jobsite trailers and still provides a modern user experience on the inside.  The interesting thing about this trailer is that it was designed using Autodesk Revit to get everything just right: the panels were placed at the best angle to capture energy and clear overpasses, the composting toilet was modeled to show exterior vents, and the interior was modeled to perfect the wood patterns and overall design.  Plus, according to Brad Hardin, BIM Director for the company, this jobsite trailer is positive energy!

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Mesa Del Sol: New Urbanism in Albuquerque

Viewfromporch_streetscene

Mesa Del Sol will be located just outside of downtown Albuquerque and is comprised of twenty square miles of land, 3,200 acres of which are said to remain as open space.  Albuquerque is famed for it's 300 days a year of sunshine, was named by Forbes Magazine as one of the best places for businesses and careers in the U.S., is just under a three hours drive from world class skiing in Taos, and is a short two hour flight from L.A.  Mesa Del Sol's New Urbanism approach means that virtually everything you need will be within walking distance -- stores, work, schools, homes, and parks etc. 

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October 30, 2008

13 Innovative Green Building Designs, Lifecycle Building Challenge Winners!

Spoor House

Yesterday the EPA announced winners of the second annual green building competition known as the Lifecycle Building Challenge, or LBC2.  The challege issued a proposal for designs and ideas that support cost-effective disassembly and that anticipate future use of building materials.  It was open to architects, reuse experts, engineers, designers, planners, contractors, builders, educators, environmental advocates, and students in three main categories: (1) Building, (2) Innovation, and (3) Outstanding Achievement Awards.  The winners have been selected and listed below with a quick image.  There's seriously some excellent thinking at work here, so congratulations to everyone ...

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October 29, 2008

Schwimmhaus Modern Green Houseboat

Schwimmhausboot

I've seen houseboats -- boats designed or modified to be used primarily as permanent dwellings -- in Portland, Oregon and always wondered what it'd be like to live in one.  I could certainly live in something like this, what with the green roof and modern aesthetic.  It's called the Schwimmhaus and was designed by confused-direction in Germany.  Don't be fooled by the images, though, because this is just a model.  The real version should be finished in Spring 2009.  At a size of 14 m long, 4 m tall, and 3 m wide, Schwimmhaus will feature a spacious living room, kitchen, bathroom, and loft bedroom.   It'll also be eco-friendly, too, with features such as the living roof and wood reclaimed from an old farm barn.

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Eco Modern Chestnut Residence [Video]

It's been a long time, it seems, since our last video, so why not get back in the habit?  I noticed this high quality video of the Chestnut Residence, which was designed by Dan Heinfeld of LPA Architects, and thought all the eco modern enthusiasts would enjoy it.  All versions of the video that I've seen get cut off at about the three minute point, so I'll update it if I find a better version.  The house was created with an open passive layout to take advantage of the California climate and benefit from abundant natural light and ventilation.  The design is further married with the best of green technology, such as sustainable materials, smart systems, and a solar PV system (50% of power), to create one posh green residence.  I've included some screen shots from the video below.

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October 28, 2008

Off-Grid Emergency Response Studio

ERS South

I'm completely fascinated by this Emergency Response Studio.  The gist is that Paul Villinski created a solar-powered, mobile artist's studio from an old FEMA-style trailer -- it's off-grid, sustainable, and an excellent example of eco-reuse.  But there's more.  According to an article in the LA Times, apparently Villinski tried to buy one of the 143,123 FEMA trailers purchased by the government in the aftermath of Katrina, that is, until the government stopped selling them and began buying them back due to formaldehyde fumes from glues used to secure rugs, plywood, and other fixtures.  So he bought this one for $5,015 from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife through a GAO auction.  And after getting rid of the nesting rodents, he cleaned it up and pimped it out for an exhibit called Prospect .1 New Orleans starting early November 2008. 

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October 27, 2008

Green Hybrid Residence for a Briard

Residence for a Briard

Designed by Sander Architects, this part prefab, all custom-made home was recently profiled in the NY Times in an article entitled "Prefab, High-Concept, and Green."  The exposed denim insulation and loft-like interior caught my eye, so I decided to learn more about it.  Apparently, the owners retained Sander Architects to build something that was very green, on a super-tight budget, and amenable to the owner's large French Briard dog.  The resulting 4,200 sf home, according to the architects, is their greenest Hybrid House ever built.  It features a greywater system, passive heating and cooling, rainwater collection for landscaping, recycled blue jean insulation, sunflower seed wall board, bamboo flooring, marmoleum, structural steel frames from recycled steel, etc. 

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October 26, 2008

Living Building Costs, Materials Reuse, Green Construction, + Climate Engineers

Week in Review

Blogs worth reading: GrassrootsModern & Joel Makower.

Google Puts Plans for Beyond LEED Platinum Offices On Hold

Google Living Building Plans

Well over a year ago, I heard William McDonough was working with Google on some green design plans near the Googleplex (all hush hush-type stuff covered by an NDA).  Since that time, I haven't really noticed much information on those plans, that is, until I caught this article in Mountain View Voice talking about Google's extraordinary building plans.  It appears that SHoP Architects coordinated the work of several architectural firms to get these preliminary plans going.  But, for the time being, Google has decided to put the green office structure on hold. 

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October 24, 2008

Photo Tour: Swaner EcoCenter, the Greenest Building in Utah

Swaner EcoCenter

The other day I was able to tour Swaner EcoCenter with the Salt Lake City Professional Chapter of Net Impact.  I took several pictures in an attempt to let you see everything I saw, so scroll down and make sure to visit the Swaner EcoCenter flickr set for more views.  Although I'm an amateur when it comes to taking photos, I hope you get the idea how impressive this building is.  It has beautiful woodwork, artful touches of 3form, and incredible views.  The folks behind Swaner are seeking to obtain the first LEED Platinum certification in Utah, but nonetheless, the building is the greenest in Utah. 

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