Seattle’s Bullitt Center Stands As The Greenest Model

At the headquarters of the Seattle-based Bullitt Foundation, author Mary Adam Thomas documents the building of the Bullitt Center, a structure she regards as the world’s greenest building in her recently released book, “The Greenest Building: How The Bullitt Center Changes The Urban Landscape.” The Bullitt Center stands as an eye-catching model of environmental design. Using the Living Building Challenge, created by the International Living Future Institute, an organization dedicated to making green building the new normal as a guideline, a team…

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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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Designed For The Future: Eco Lodges – Jordan

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. Create models that mix old and new; they will be…

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City Repair Project, Portland, Oregon

Designed for the Future: City Repair Project – Portland, Oregon

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. Create a really beautiful place, and people will slow down…

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Our Forests & Our Civilization: Interview Series With John Perlin – Part II – Forests Change the World

Welcome to Part II of our interview series with John Perlin on forests. Perlin is author of “A Forest Journey: the Story of Wood and Civilization,” an important book that has now come out in its third edition. Our topic? Our forests and our civilization. Perlin details the place of forests and wood in our civilization’s evolution. In case you haven’t read it, Part I in this series can be reviewed here. I believe this is important read for anybody who champions green…

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Our Forests & Our Civilization: Interview Series with John Perlin – Part II – Forests Change the World

Originally published on Planetsave. Welcome to Part II of our interview series with John Perlin, author of “A Forest Journey: the Story of Wood and Civilization,” an important book that has now come out in its third edition. Our topic? Our forests and our civilization. Perlin details the place of forests and wood in our civilization’s evolution. In case you haven’t read it, Part I in this series can be reviewed here. Perlin, a professor of physics at University of California Santa Barbara,…

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Updated Sourcebook for Solar Living Enthusiasts

I recently announced publication of the 14th edition of Real Goods Solar Living Sourcebook. Having now reviewed it, I am happy to report that this is an excellent tome to have in your renewable energy library. Written first in 1982, John Schaeffer’s sourcebook has been regularly updated to meet the information demand of solar living and building enthusiasts. This 463-page book, published by New Society Publishers, does not disappoint. Schaeffer is the founder of Real Goods, an international source for…

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Books for Change: Real Goods Solar Living Sourcebook – 14th Edition

Here is an updated book on solar living we look forward to receiving. Real Good Solar Living Sourcebook: Your Complete Guide to Living Beyond the Grid with Renewable Energy Technologies and Sustainable Living 14th Edition – Revised and Updated by John Schaeffer The 14th edition of Real Goods Solar Living Sourcebook is now available. This comes thanks to New Society Publishers. We have featured other books from them. This top-selling guide by John Schaeffer has been in publication 1982. Now in its…

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John Perlin Solar Energy History Series: Part III

I am pleased to post this third in a series of SOLAR ENERGY history articles from John Perlin, based on his ground breaking book, Let It Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy. Perlin discusses the major breakthroughs in solar energy throughout the millennia — here the solar heat trap. Third Major Breakthrough – Glass as a Solar Heat Trap Vitruvius, the preeminent architect of ancient Rome, saw Greek solar houses while a military engineer stationed in Greece. He reiterated what he had seen as advice…

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The Birth of On-Grid Rooftop Photovoltaics

Special thanks to author John Perlin for this contribution about the introduction of rooftop photovoltaics. The material comes from Perlin’s recently published book, Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy. John Ericsson had gained great fame in America for designing the Monitor, the first iron ship that helped save the Union forces during America’s Civil War. After the Union’s victory in 1865, he devoted the rest of his life to solar pursuits. Ericsson made a momentous discovery not very…

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The Compost-Powered Water Heater – Books to Buy

Gaelan Brown’s new book, The Compost-Powered Water Heater, is a work that demands being read by anyone interested in learning more about all the free energy available to renewable energy stewards who also happen to be composting champions. Brown provides plenty of detail in this innovative approach for heating rooms and generating hot water. Brown, who brings considerable background on this subject, attributes much of his interest in this technology to Jean Pain, a French agricultural scientist and innovator. Over the…

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Books of Note: The Wastewater Gardener – Preserving the Planet One Flush at a Time

“As ecologists say, everything is connected to everything, and how we manage and mismanage our shit, is a crucial part of the global challenge of our times,” writes Mark Nelson, author of The Wastewater Gardener. Since we at Green Building Elements write considerably about water, waste, and   Nelson brings a considerable background to the table. He is an ecosystem engineer and researcher, and one of the original “Biospherians.” Holder of PhD, he is chairman, CEO, and a founding director…

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Just Found! The Oldest Solar Device in the World

Special thanks to author John Perlin for this contribution about what is believed to be the world’s oldest solar device – a solar ignitor, or yang-sui . The material comes from Perlin’s recently published book, Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy. During the sixth century BCE, Confucius wrote about the common use of curved mirrors shaped from shiny metal to concentrate the rays of the sun for making fire. These became known as yang­­-suis ­­– translating to solar…

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The Role of Architectural History in the Development of Solar Passive Architect David Wright

The evolution of pioneer solar passive architect David Wright’s career demonstrates the importance of exposure to the solar works of the ancients, as provided in this guest column by John Perlin based on his new book, Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy. This is the first of five articles. David Wright was just another young architect trained conventionally in what he described as the school of just build it and then with heating and cooling equipment and…

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New Prefab Book of Note: Prefabulous World

As we have been writing a series about green prefab homes, the timing could be no better for the release of “Prefabulous World – Energy Efficient and Sustainable Homes Around the Globe,” a new book by Sheri Koones. As we have been writing a series about green prefab homes, the timing could be no better for the release of “Prefabulous World – Energy Efficient and Sustainable Homes Around the Globe,” a new book by Sheri Koones. Also, with Earth Day soon to…

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Smart Books for Builders: “Making Better Buildings”

“Making Better Buildings” by Chris Magwood is a smart and user-friendly book for green builders Ask a builder, architect, or contractor to look at the Table of Contents this guide to sustainable construction and they will feel confident in having a book like this on hand. This guide to sustainable construction for homeowners and contractors is well considered and easy to use as a reference tool. Starting with foundations, this tome then covers walls, floor and roof structure, sheathing and cladding…

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