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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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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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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Shopping second-hand is easy on the planet and your wallet

How many times have you had a themed party to go to or simply needed a very – shall we say – “specific” wardrobe item, and you decided that going to Goodwill was your best option?  If you’re like me, then you’ve had that internal conversation a lot.  (Although, granted, most people might not like […]

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Green designers do graphics, too

Behold, the new Seattle Department of Transportation Bike Map.  Made by my friend Erin, who is awesome. Erin did her first iteration of this bike map as part of her graduate thesis at the University of Washington.  Go see more of Erin’s awesomeness at her Web site and blog. And then ring your bike bell […]

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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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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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Q: What’s wee, made of straw bale, and awesome?

A:  The ModCell Straw-Bale Pre-Fab home! File this under “better late than never”… I just learned about this house and knew I had to talk about it here because it embodies many of the things that I love in one tidy, very livable package.  Observe: It’s a house, which is great, since I love house […]

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America’s Greenest Building Code

Last week, the California Building Standards Commission unanimously adopted the first-in-the-nation mandatory Green Building Standards Code, also known as “CALGREEN”.  The new standards take effect starting January 1, 2011 and will require all new buildings in the state to be more energy efficient and environmentally responsible.  The new CALGREEN code will require: a 20 percent […]

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