GreenDesignCollective

building a sustainable and resilient community

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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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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Architecture 2030 and Net Zero Energy Buildings

Today in class we talked about Architecture 2030, which is a private organization started by Edward Mazria to, in their words, “achieve a dramatic reduction in the climate-change-causing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the Building Sector by changing the way buildings and developments are planned, designed and constructed.”  Architecture 2030 is effectively trying to change […]

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Better Buildings and the Federal Government

In today’s class we discussed the various programs, standards, and incentives supported by the Federal Government to promote energy efficient, high performance and sustainable buildings.  We started off by talking about funding… the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency receive substantial funding, but it’s only a fraction of what “other” agencies receive.  Below is […]

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Why Assignment #7 is first, and Energy Modeling 101

Because we won’t see results for Assignment #7 unless we start it now! Assignment #7 is to sign up on the Web site EarthAid.com, to see how you use energy in your own dwelling, and to see if knowing how much energy you use will help you save it.  We’ll all “friend” each other on […]

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On the future of ecocities

Interesting news today out of the United Arab Emirates, where Abu Dhabi has been trying to build the world’s first real “ecocity” from scratch in the 50,000 person Masdar.   Applied Materials last week announced the end of its SunFab solar business, thus effectively killing the manufacturing lines on which Masdar PV was relying.  This […]

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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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Green buildings = higher rent

It’s been a while since I posted, a fact that I may have missed because I was busy enjoying my favorite holiday of the year, St. Patrick’s Day.  I wore a green t-shirt that said “The Future is Green”, which I hope everyone appreciated, especially since it glows in the dark!  But I digress.  I […]

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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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