Zero Cottage Reconceives The Townhouse

Zero Cottage Reconceives The Townhouse

From David Baker Architects, the Zero Cottage in San Francisco, California is an interesting space. The vertical construction was an addition to its neighboring building. Reinventing what the inner workings of a residence can offer, a multifunctional aspect was applied to the structure. The cottage portion consists of  712 square feet of residential living area, which is situated over a workshop. The addition also includes apartment space, 2 bedrooms and a studio, as well as a storefront at street level. In addition to achieving other green certifications, the Zero Cottage is a NET PLUS building, and the sustainable features create more energy… read more

Family Ranches With Sustainable Style

Family Ranches With Sustainable Style

Updating old buildings and redeeming them into livable, inviting spaces takes skill and planning. Reusing original materials and salvaged finds also takes a clever eye. The following brought-back-to-life farmhouses are examples of how a clean, fresh home can be established while still holding onto the characteristic elements from the past. From Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects, this home has distinguished details and a gorgeous design inside and out. Upscale but not stuffy, the Hupomone Ranch is set on a sprawling 160 acres of Californian farmland that is settled in the Chileno Valley. It remained unused for more than 3 decades when purchased for… read more

Stay On Top Of Your Home’s Energy Use

Stay On Top Of Your Home’s Energy Use

Love green construction and want to make your own home as energy efficient as possible? Get instant feedback on existing features and how to make them more effectual with energy focused apps and tools for the home. The following are examples that can make it easier to track progress and record patterns. To check out personal greenhouse gas emissions, use the EPA’s household carbon footprint calculator to find out current emission levels, how to reduce emissions and potential savings. Free for iPhone and iPad, GreenWave Reality lets users who set up an account observe and regulate their home energy use from anywhere, and can… read more

Grass Roof Looks Good and Reduces Bills

School With Green Roof and Biomass Power Plant

The Hotchkiss School in Connecticut in the US has cut a six-figure sum from its winter energy bill by replacing its outdated oil-burning boiler with woodchip biomass ones. Designed by Centerbrook Architects, the undulated green roofed building is situated at the bottom of a sloping landscape, blending beautifully with their own surrounding farm, golf course and marshes. As well as being a great insulator and attracting plenty of wildlife, the luscious green roof structure collects and filters rainwater that is used for the garden and flushing the toilets. Under its undulating top, a massive Biomass Power Plant produces clean energy… read more

When is green not so green?

Mark Evans alum.mit.edu

Answer – when it is done just for green’s sake. Nothing is sustainable if it cannot be managed financially and if it doesn’t support the end users while it respects resources and the planet. An ugly, poorly laid out green building will only be torn down in a few years, and frustrate all who use it. Yes, use local materials, but only if they work and if you can afford them! Seek to be greener by being creative in regard to balancing the budget, the benefit to the building occupants and staff, and the planet we call home.

Green Efforts: Intro

Green cities and communities

In the next few articles, I will attempt to address the efforts being made by various cities, towns, and maybe even villages, in the quest to ‘go green’. With these articles I hope to show what is currently being done worldwide to create a positive impact on the environment as well as discuss areas that need improvement in the green spectrum. Not all of these cities would make the top ten “Green Cities List”, nor can all of their Eco-friendly actions be considered intentional. Instead, these cities display varied levels of environmental awareness, and will contrast in size and location. By showing a wider… read more

Making Buildings Greener

Making a building greener

We’ve heard it time and time again in the news – “LEED is fine, but these touted green buildings use more energy than other buildings”. Or “LEED is great, but the buildings use more energy than predicted!”  Hold on – let’s take a look. First, many LEED buildings do use more energy than other buildings.  What is being compared? A science lab from 1940 will have entirely different usage parameters for energy, even if upgraded, than a science lab from 2012. A classroom of today employs better lighting and more controls and hopefully includes exceptional insulation and integration of daylight, but… read more

The Cost of Design

The cost of design

Integrative design processes are the most important aspect of successful green building, whether they are guided by the LEED rating system or another system, codes, incentives or a visionary owner. In any case, the “integrative” part is pivotal. The systems need to be optimized in tandem, not in their separate silos of control and importance.  When the glazing and window locations are being planned, the heating and cooling systems should be discussed.  When the ceiling heights move up or down, this may affect the furniture planning (bunk beds or not?) and the use of ceiling mounted radiant panels.  All of… read more