All posts from Susan Kraemer

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Harvesting Rainwater From an Arid Future

AJC Architects have thought ahead to a hotter Utah in the sensible ideas incorporated into theirĀ  Wetland Discovery Point educational building that helps educate Utah schoolchildren about nature. These are the green ideas in order of importance to sustainable design: On-site solar panels for green electricity – to make net zero energy onsite; Solar thermal […]

July 16th

How to Get a Solar Roof for 80% Off

Move — to Louisiana: According to SolarPowerRocks! Louisiana has a state tax credit of 50% for solar roof installations, the most generous state subsidy for solar — Combined with the 30% Federal tax credit for solar that we all get now; (you knew about that, right?) so in Louisiana you can put a solar roof […]

June 25th

A Roof Designed for Our Hotter Future

Given the climate change coming to most regions of the US, this new roof idea is a great passive cooling solution worth looking at even if you don’t live in the desert regions… now. Because, by century’s end; you might. “Summer temperatures in Florida could rise by 10.5F, with the heat effect multiplied by decreased […]

June 25th

California Architect Thinks About White Roofs

If every building had a white roof, we would be able to cool the surrounding areas. That is the reasoning behind a California law about to go into effect next month requiring light reflective roofs on all new buildings. It is already the law for new flat roofs here. Here, architect Richard Meier and his […]

June 21st

Simple Tech = Common Sense Design

This is design that respects the users time. There’s no need for a 30 page manual in 12 languages to do 3001 pointless things with this gizmo that you don’t have time to do anyway. It’s simple. Technology does not have to be a time sink.

June 17th

Buffalo House to Weather Rainstorms in Kansas

We are seeing more climate conscious design in architecture: In this case; the rain screen.

A skin over the house is designed to manage and harvest occasional heavy precipitation, to provide protection from premature decay from moisture intrusion.

June 9th

Zero Energy Houses Creating a New Design Vernacular:

The traditional gabled roof that we are all familiar with was engineered to slough off snowfall. But in an uncertain post peak oil future of possible energy shortages and water shortages, more and more houses are showing up with roof-shapes engineered to harvest their own rainwater, and support solar power generation.

June 3rd

Lyrical Home for a Music Lover Evokes Forest Songs

Literally, a home for a treehugger. The musician client wanted a house that not only became part of the natural landscape but also suggested the flow of music. It is on a steep sloping grade which made it possible to set the main level of the house up into the tree canopy to evoke the feeling of being in a tree house.

June 2nd

Umbrella Design Harvests Desert Moisture for Childrens’ Hospital

This cooling effect is a bonus in addition to gathering rainwater or overnight dew for water use. In VisionDivision's prototype, the umbrella element will funnel the cool water to a central holding tank to supply the hospital with clean water. The hospital rooms are gathered in clusters around the tank to benefit from the cooling effect of the water.

May 27th

As Safe As Houses

Remember when we had the idea that investing in a house was a safe bet? It was such a commonplace idea that this would generate a return on the investment, that it became a cliche: "As safe as houses".

Now, despite our real estate values dropping like a stone, there is still part of your house that you can use to generate a certain return yearly.

That is that abundant farmland that you have on your…

March 26th

Consider A New Measure of Carbon Footprint

We know cars are responsible for carbon emissions. So we are used to sneering at hoggy cars that wastefully emit so many tons of carbon per year.

But this week; doing a pre solar (thermal) efficiency analysis for an apartment complex – I noticed a surprisingly huge source of wasted energy that has thus far escaped notice and ridicule (well, mine, anyway) and that is:

March 6th