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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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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…and I dropped the blogging ball! More about the Solar Decathlon…

Sorry for going on hiatus after my last post from DC about the Solar Decathlon.  The truth of the matter is that the weather was 100% miserable the entire time I was there, and I had not the time nor the space to blog:  my hands were numb and it was raining, thus making it […]

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Don’t know how to clad your building? Use a plant

…or at least, if you are French architect Edouard François, this is a frequent choice.  He builds with what are called “green facades”, which differ from “living walls” in that they do not require elaborate watering systems.  Plants on the exterior facade of a building are a great way to help moderate the interior temperature […]

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The 29 most important pages of the Waxman-Markey climate bill

Ed Mazria is a bit of a legend in the Architecture and design community.  He’s been in practice forever; he wrote a big, fat book all about energy-saving passive design in the 70’s entitled The Passive Solar Energy Book; and he’s the driving force behind the organization known as Architecture 2030.   Basically, when Ed talks, […]

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7 years toward zero energy

The Beddington Zero Energy Development – BedZED for short – is now seven years old in England and a report has been drafted that describes how much its residents have reduced their carbon footprints.  I won’t get too far into the report, as Treehugger does a great job of that already, but I think it’s […]

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Aktivhaus!

From Treehugger comes news of a “passive house” with solar hot water collectors and a heat pump that actually generates more energy than the house consumes.  A typical passive house is designed with lots of insulation and less windows, in order to absorb heat and trap it in, thereby conserving solar energy and reducing the […]

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Passive homes make a comeback

Although not a new concept, passive homes have been sprouting up more frequently lately, even appearing in the New York Times as part of their Energy Challenge series.  Passive design strategies form the basis for many of the renovation strategies suggested in the GreenDesignCollective’s Green Your Home tool; essentially, they rely on sunlight, natural ventilation, […]

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