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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State and Local Programs and Codes, and Assignment #2

In today’s lecture, we dialed down into discussing state and local programs and codes, after having discussed the breadth and reach of federal programs in last week’s class.  There are many, many programs across the country, and even more codes and variations on codes in each jurisdiction.  But, since we’re in Oregon, it’s fair to […]

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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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Assessing the Performance of Sustainable Buildings

Today marked a new chapter in my quest for greener buildings, in the life of this blog, and in the college careers of 15 or so students at the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts.  Today I started teaching a class called Assessing the Performance of Sustainable Buildings at OU’s Portland White […]

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2011 Reboot

Hi all… If there are any of you out there actually reading still, I clearly fell off the face of the earth for the last 4 months of 2010.  It was a hectic and crazy time at the office and I really only had energy for the work that I do with, well, energy. That […]

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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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