It’s time to revisit Colorado architect Doug Eichelberger’s trash barn and comment on the refreshing economic and sustainable philosophies that are behind the outbuildings he’s created using little more than scrap that was destined for the landfill or found materials.
For those sustainability designers and innovators wanting a net-zero product, take a look at the Chip House, a 2011 entry in the DoE’s Solar Decathlon, placing sixth.
This article on gabion walls was previously run on GBE. We bring it up again as a repost because the methodology is very sustainable and cost-effective. Good nutrition for the thought process!
Ryan’s primary goal for the circHouse has been to this end: to manufacture a durable and secure shelter that can be rapidly deployed to help assist with emergency aid efforts in places like Haiti, where citizens are still recovering from a massive earthquake almost one and a half years ago, many without any kind of decent shelter.
A good line of green composite building products can be found through Elma, WA-based NewWood Manufacturing. The company’s innovative composite panels provide a glowing example of putting waste and scrap to good use. Panels are made using 50 percent recycled plastic and 50 percent recycled wood.
Custom homebuilder Clark Johnson, founder of Apex Mountain Homes in Silverthorne, Colorado, is living in one of his very own sustainable creations. Johnson’s states his NET ZERO home is one of the most energy efficient homes in the country, producing more energy than it consumes.
The disposable writing industry has undergone significant changes in an era that now takes into account measures like green and sustainable performance. Part of the Pentel initiative with an environmental focus mandates using both recycled content and post-consumer recycled content in the products it manufactures. Company reports that all products in its Recycology line are made from a minimum of 50 percent recycled content
If using a banking analogy for the untapped and clean geothermal energy our planet provides, we discover that the world lives on top of a remarkable energy safe deposit vault. In 2008, geothermal power supplied less than one percent of the world’s energy. However by 2050 it is anticipated that geothermal power will meet between 10 and 20 percent of the world’s energy requirements, according to a report from Renewable Energy World.
A finely constructed house or building hides the vast majority of its inner parts. Like the skin on a body, typically either a drywall or plaster are constructed to conceal a complex web of plumbing pipes and joints, electrical wiring and outlets.
Such concealment is not always common today. The ceiling components in many new stores and restaurants – once discreetly hidden by a drop-ceiling grid containing 2’ x 4’ panels – now reveal a run of girders, PVC pipes and smartly painted ductwork for the HVAC system.
Those looking for sustainable heating alternatives might wish to look at the clean-burning line of Tulikivi soapstone masonry heaters that use wood for fuel. Some public buildings in this country that heat with a Tulikivi have been recognized with LEED awards.
Gabion baskets, traditionally used for building retaining wall and controlling erosion, also can be used as a homebuilding product for emergency settlements or by those wishing to construct walls using new material approaches.
InterContinental San Francisco – recently featured by GBE – has been awarded LEED Gold certification under the U.S. Green Building Council “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (LEED EBOM).”
The methods by which any village, town or city treats its toilet wastewater may not be a pleasant olfactory issue, but necessary, nonetheless. “Poo isn’t something generally talked about in polite company but like it or not, all of that human waste has to go somewhere,”
Not all trash plastic is going straight to the landfill. A Denver company, Repurposed Materials, sells used vinyls from billboards as construction tarps. Price? $60. Not too bad, considering a new vinyl tarp of comparable quality costs approximately 75% more than the used tarp.
Modular homes or pre-manufactured kits (see left photo: Shelter-Kit barn and pool) may be appealing because of lower costs and the speed with which the final product can be assembled, but what differences do they have when it comes to measuring how green a home might be.
Two considerations for building a modular, or prefabricated home involve shipping size and cost.
We have written about some interesting portable power generating options available by plugging into the sun or from pedaling a stationary bicycle. We now look at some of the other options that might be considered “a little farther out there.” This list includes a portable wind generator and a hydro-powered backpack.
Energy and lighting efficiency questions are plentiful on whether or not to make a transition from traditional incandescent lighting systems to LED alternatives.