Energy Efficient Homes

Energy Efficient Homes

Efficiency focused home improvement projects can save energy and money. However there are also aspects regarding how a home is initially designed that can make a noticeable difference from the start. Whether you are thinking about building a new construction or remodeling an older one, certain design features can make efficiency easier to obtain. Considering the actual structure of a house or building is important in understanding how to make it more energy resourceful. For instance, one example of a basic, energy minded design that is typically an inexpensive option is an environmentally manufactured home. These are pre-built constructions which… read more

Architecture Meets Agriculture

Architecture Meets Agriculture

Living in the city doesn’t have to equal an automatic lack of outdoor greenery or gardening space. Perfect for small spaces or places with no outdoor access, vertical design allows the benefits of farming without the farm. In vertical growing, plants hang while their roots are submerged in nutrients, and the efficient ventilation allows a steady supply of fresh air. Developed by vertical farming forerunner Dr. Dickson Despommier, the Vertical Farm Project assessed that the population will have grown by an additional 3 billion or so by the year 2050, with an estimated 80% of people living in cities. With the… read more

Birds Nests For Humans?

"Spirt Nest" by Jayson Fann

When one thinks of birds nests, one usually does not think, “Hmm…I’d like to live in a giant version of that.” And yet, in the California coast in the U.S., a growing populace wakes up each morning thinking that very thought. And they’re not alone. It began with an idea, namely Californian artist Jayson Fann’s. He thought it would be keen to create “spirit nests”, as he calls them, for humans to inhabit.Obviously not as a permanent living solution, but as a getaway home or beach property. Something cozy to retire to after a long day’s work, or as a… read more

Why Skinny Homes Are All The Rage

Shaft House

Narrow homes are quickly becoming both a fashion statement and an effector of environmental change. Ranging anywhere from 5 – 15 feet in width, these tiny houses are great conversation starters, and make real on their ecological stipulations. These miniature houses usually only sacrifice width, and have the normal length of an average-sized home. They oftentimes have two or three stories, and come with the full range of amenities you would expect from a normal home, just in a smaller package. This means that everything from heating bills to water usage is cut in half. With less piping needed to… read more

Interior Design Tricks for Increased Energy Efficiency

Interior Design Tricks for Increased Energy Efficiency

Interior design is not only for aesthetics, but also considers the functional elements of a space. Knowing how to incorporate energy saving strategies in a home is a useful way to mix purpose with design. Color, an integral part of the decorative process, is one application that can be used for an energy conserving advantage. Painting an area with lighter colors can reflect heat from other objects in the room that gather it, like fireplaces, furniture pieces, ceilings, surrounding walls or other materials conducive to storing heats. Applying darker colors in a room absorbs some of the heat and can… read more

Interesting and Eco-Friendly Wall Designs

Interesting Wall Designs

Painting walls is a good technique to add color to rooms, but integrating wall designs in a space can add dimension and functionality. There are endless projects for wall decorations that can incorporate green design. One example of an increasingly popular wall display is a living wall. These feature arrangements of living plants and can be custom constructed to meet the needs of a space. Putting in a living wall can be as simple as securing a resalvaged pallet or shelving and adding potted plants. Designs like the ones available from a company called Benetti Stone add real live interest… read more

Lead Poisoning in U.S. Children

Lead Poisoning in U.S. Children

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued a report stating that 1 in 38 children in the U.S that are ages 1 through 5 have lead poisoning. This preventable health risk has most likely increased due to the CDC having changed the lead exposure guidelines last year. This has been the first change regarding lead levels in over 2 decades. The modification is now half of the previous amount, with a level of 5 as the newer cutoff. The number was reduced due to increasing research which shows how destructive lead is to the human system. Lead… read more

A House Made Of Earth

A House Made Of Earth

A team at the University of Oklahoma has obtained a grant to put an earthen home to a barrage of tests. The home would be composed of compressed earth blocks constructed from soil, clay, and cement mixtures. Earthen homes are said to be earthquake resistant, energy effective, and less costly than traditional homes. The team has acquired an EPA grant of $14,897 to erect a compressed earth block house and a traditional framed house to National Green Building Standards. They will analyze the energy, cost, and its overall impact on the environment. The materials are expected to be tested for… read more

Cardboard – Reinvented

Cardboard – Reinvented

When thinking of sustainable materials that can be constructed into myriads of different items, things like bamboo may easily come to mind. However, cardboard is being used for some neat applications. It turns out that it is a fairly versatile option and can be artistically turned into some unexpected objects. Sustainably made furniture is important to eco-conscious designers and homeowners. However, cardboard may not be the first thing that pops up when considering functional furniture material. Ingenious designs by students from the University of Idaho make cardboard chairs that more resemble art-forms than cardboard boxes. The inventive products, which utilized… read more

DIY Solar Water Heater

Thermosyphon Technology

Solar water heaters are one way to naturally warm water for household needs. This useful project can be installed do-it-yourself style with a bit of knowledge and some construction supplies. Designs can be basic or elaborate, depending on available budgets and materials. Thermosyphon technology occurs when water warms up, causing it to swell and rise. Containers like glass and plastic bottles can be incorporated with piping, panels and a tank to make a home solar water heater. The panels and water tanks have to be placed in a certain position for optimal efficiency and heat concentration. The water in the… read more