Dawn Killough

Dawn has over 15 years experience in the construction industry and is the author of Green Building Design 101, an e-book available from Amazon. She is a LEED AP and Certified Green Building Advisor, and has worked on the LEED Certification of three projects in Salem, Oregon.

Celebrate Earth Day By Planting a Tree

Lands’ End and Joe Lamp’l, the host of PBS’s Growing a Greener World and the expert behind @JoeGardener, invite everyone to celebrate Earth Day this year by planting a tree.  The #PlantATreeLE campaign is a tree planting initiative that will involve Lands’ End employees and a social movement instructing and encouraging consumers to plant trees across the country. “For more than 50 years, Lands’ End and the company’s employees have been dedicated to sustainable practices. It all started with our company’s…

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Canada To Reduce HFC Emissions By 85% By 2036

HFC (hydrofluorocarbon) emissions contribute to climate change, and Canada and many other nations are taking a stand to reduce their emissions by 85% in the next 20 years. HFCs are commonly found in refrigerators, air conditioners, foam products, and other items world-wide. Current global HFC emissions are the equivalent of approximately 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually. That is the same as emissions from nearly 300 coal-fired power plants or over 200 million passenger vehicles driven for one year, and…

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Cheap Off-Grid Cabin Built For Under $300

Alyssa Craft and Jesse Stafford completed a cheap off-grid cabin-add-on to the trailer they are living in while setting up their homestead in the Western US. The cabin was built to allow them to heat the air around the trailer and prevent the plumbing, and themselves, from freezing during the snowy winter months. The majority of the building materials for the cabin are reclaimed from a demolition project and found by scouring the internet, thus the low cost. Alyssa and…

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SolarWindow Window Coating – Versatile Solar Power Generation

SolarWindow™ window coating generates electricity from light, both from the sun, and artificial light, as well. It is extremely versatile, able to be printed onto glass, plastic, or even paper, making it easy to install this wonder material in many places. This coating sets itself apart from others we have featured, as it can be applied on a wider range of surfaces, and the power production can actually be tuned to the specific needs of the building. John A. Conklin,…

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Artificial Turf Is The New Green Landscaping

Artificial turf isn’t just for mini golf and football stadiums anymore! It has become the go-to product for homeowners suffering through drought or trying to reduce their water consumption. Tanner Shepard, owner of LawnPop, an Austin, TX turf installation company, says that their brand has been growing at a rapid pace. “Synthetic grass was a great option to help conserve water during the drought,” Shepard said. “Turf is very versatile, and people are getting more creative when it comes to…

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Brownfield Development Web Site Links Project Team Members

Brownfield developments, sites or buildings that have environmental contamination, are not usually the most desirable projects. However, a web site called Brownfield Listings is giving these projects a new lease on life. A small town in Missouri wanted to convert an abandoned school into a community center and emergency shelter. It put out three requests for proposals for their brownfield development to find contractors and designers willing to work on the site that was contaminated with lead paint, asbestos, and…

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Pig Manure Bioadhesive Produces Alternative To Asphalt Paving

A newly discovered pig manure bioadhesive has been developed by civil engineer Ellie Fini and a team at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Turns out the oils in swine manure are similar to petroleum, but are too low-grade for gasoline and perfect for asphalt. First, just to be clear, the asphalt created with this pig manure bioadhesive does not create an offensive odor. The odor-causing parts of the manure are removed during processing. “It is different from petroleum refinery,…

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NEXT Solar Window Coating Generates Free Electricity From Sunlight

NEXT Energy Technologies has developed a scalable solar window coating that allows commercial glass products to produce clean energy from the sun. The product pays for itself in a year and provides clean energy for up to 30 years. “It is certainly not an overstatement to describe this technology as a game-changer with far-reaching implications for architecture and buildings of the future,” said Daniel Emmett, CEO and co-founder of NEXT Energy Tech. “We foresee a time in the near future…

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Top 10 Green Projects 2016

AIA’s Committee on the Environment (COTE) has announced its list of the top 10 green projects for 2016. Biosciences Research Building, Galway Ireland The design of the BRB embraces the moderate climate of Ireland. By locating low-load spaces along the perimeter of the building, the project is able to take advantage of natural ventilation as the sole conditioning strategy for the majority of the year and is supplemented less than 10% of the year with radiant heating. Due to this…

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Masdar City Sets The Bar For Sustainable Urban Development

Masdar City, near Abu Dhabi, has set its sights on being the most sustainable city on the planet, and it is well on the way to meeting that goal. Development started in 2008 and is expected to continue for at least the next five years, with 40,000 people expected to live within its boundaries, and another 50,000 commuting to work there. “Masdar City is a template for sustainable urban development, and its evolution is taking place in partnership with a…

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Hobbit House Micro-Community Growing In Washington

Inspired by the earth-sheltered tiny homes, often called Hobbit Houses, created by Simon Dale and others, designer, dressmaker and tiny house expert Kristie Wolfe is building a micro-community of three houses in Chelan, Washington. The first Hobbit Home is complete, and Wolfe hopes to have the other two done by the middle of 2016. Wolfe’s Hobbit House is located on a 5.5 acre plot, and built into the mountainside so completely that it could be easy to miss on first…

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Winner of the tiny house competition

Chicago Tiny House Design Competition Winners

The winners of the Chicago AIA’s tiny house design competition were announced recently. Launched in November 2015, the competition solicited entries to address young adult homelessness in Chicago as part of the Tiny Homes Summit. The winning entry, “A House for Living In,” is composed of 11 336-square-foot units and one interior community space gathered around a central courtyard. The project costs an estimated $73 per square foot, which is substantially less expensive than typical affordable housing, which is in the…

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A Shipping Container Home With Solar Power: The Jagpod

This post, written by Jake Richardson, recently appeared on our sister site, Cleantechnica. The founder of Jaguar Containers, William Coit, has created shipping container homes with solar power systems and is currently running an Indiegogo campaign. Mr. Coit answered some questions about his shipping container homes for Cleantechnica. How many square feet of living space does a Jagpod have? The 20 ft. unit has 144 square feet and the 40 ft. unit has 300 square feet of living space. The 20-foot…

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Reversible Concrete Allows for Easy Removal

Yes, you read the title correctly – reversible concrete! It seems like an oxymoron – concrete is known for its stability and strength, and its permanence. Well, not anymore! Last October at the Chicago Architecture Biennial, Self-Assembly Lab at MIT and Gramazio Kohler Research of ETH Zurich showed off a process that might finally one-up concrete, using only a 3-D printing extruder, rocks, string, and smart design. The short, unscientific version is that the rocks are bound together by the…

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Study Shows LEED-ND Fails To Provide Affordable Housing

A study recently published in the Journal of the American Planning Association (JAPA) by Nicola Szibbo, PhD, a planner with the City and County of Honolulu, found that only 40 percent of LEED-ND certified projects included affordable housing. With very little incentive in the credit structure, many developers choose not to include affordable housing, and there are no consequences for doing so. LEED-ND is a green certification program for neighborhood developments, sponsored by the US Green Building Council, the association that…

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Designed For The Future: Media TIC – Barcelona, Spain

GBE will be featuring three posts highlighting projects from the recently published book Designed For The Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World. The book asks the question: “What gives you the hope that a sustainable future is possible?” Featuring responses by 80 innovators spanning architecture, urban planning, landscaping, journalism, and also environmental leaders, the resulting book is a compilation of their interesting ideas on how to create a better future.  Fully integrate new technology into building design. David Garcia is…

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Steelhenge, made of shipping containers

‘Steelhenge’ Takes Shipping Containers To Another Level

Swiss architecture firm Bureau A recreated the iconic Stonehenge with shipping containers for the first edition of the biennale for independent art spaces in Geneva, BIG. Using 50 containers, the firm was commissioned to create an open air venue that would function as a space for attendees to congregate. “We like to work with references, displacement or even direct quotes,” Bureau A’s Leopold Banchini said in an interview with Dezeen. “In this case, the ruins of Stonehenge and the pagan rituals that…

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Greenest Cities in the US in 2015

  WalletHub analysts recently released their list of the greenest cities in the US, based on their study of 100 cities across the nation. Cities were measured on thirteen key metrics across four dimensions: 1) Environmental Quality, 2) “Greenness” of Transportation, 3) “Greenness” of Energy Sources and 4) Green Lifestyle & Local Policies. Here are the metrics they used in each category: Environmental Quality – Total Points: 40 Median Air Quality Index: Full Weight (~10 Points) Greenhouse-Gas Emissions per Capita: Full…

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