GreenDesignCollective

building a sustainable and resilient community

At Home With HEMS

(Originally posted on January 10, 2012; this topic has evolved since and will be updated in subsequent blog posts) Working in the energy efficiency industry means – much as it does in other industries – that I deal with a lot of acronyms on a daily basis.  One of my favorite subjects, in fact, is […]

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(Never too late for some) Lessons Learned from the 2011 DOE Solar Decathlon

(Originally posted December 12, 2011) There is a village, once every two years, where you can not only see, but take a tour of, 20 of the world’s most technologically advanced and energy efficient high-performance homes.  This village is not, as you might imagine, at Epcot Center (although who doesn’t love a spin through Spaceship […]

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Living Building Challenge IRL

Last week was our penultimate topic week in the Sustainable Buildings class, and it was an important one:  we covered the Living Building Challenge, one of the “deepest green” sustainable building standards in the world.  It was even more appropriate a topic when you consider that it was started in our own backyard in conjunction […]

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Passive House!

In class this week our topic is one of my favorite things, the Passive House standard.  Started in Germany as “Passivhaus” roughly 20 years ago, and validated as a way to create buildings that use as much as 90% less energy than their code-built counterparts, this is a simple way of building more energy-efficient, sustainable […]

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Midterms in the Sustainable Buildings Class

This past Tuesday, we all got to see for the first time what buildings the students are modeling for their Term Projects, the primary objective of which is to evaluate a building’s energy consumption using three different methodologies.   The students will then derive from this process a better understanding of that building’s interaction with its […]

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Things that keep me up at night

The title of this post is really a bit deceptive, because, having been through six years of architecture school, there are very few things that can keep me from sleeping.  But, IF I had insomnia, I think the following things might contribute.  And it’s not that I am a perpetual worrier, but I’m just all […]

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Living Future 10

Greetings from the Cascadia GBC’s Living Future 10 “unConference”. This annual event in Seattle is a chance for many “deep green thought leaders” from around the country to gather and talk about how much energy and resources our buildings require, what this means for our potential as a society, and how we can try to […]

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Bundling up your house

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about insulation lately.  Part of that is because of HOME STAR, which provides incentives for homeowners if they choose to upgrade the insulation in their house, among other things.  My explanation of HOME STAR inevitably leads to explaining some of the measures available for incentives, and insulation […]

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Living on a giant crusty earthen raft

So, there’s been a lot of earthquakes lately.  Haiti back in January; Chile, last weekend; Japan, back in February; California, constantly for about the past month; and Taiwan yesterday.   I know many scientists will say “these events are not related”, but, as I reminded my friends yesterday, people act like we don’t live on a […]

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HOME STAR: This is kind of a big deal

There are several energy and climate bills floating around in the Congress right now, including the Kerry/Boxer (or Kerry/Graham/Lieberman) Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (which has been in the works since – but not because – I thanked them here) ; the Bingaman/Murkowski American Clean Energy Leadership Act, or ACELA; the Cantwell/Collins CLEAR […]

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