Category Archives: Design

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Shangri-La Construction Unveils World’s First Aviation Hangar To Achieve LEED Paltinum Certification

Shangri-La Industries has introduced its newly formed business unit, Shangri-La Construction, at today’s unveiling of their inaugural project: Hangar 25, the world’s first aviation hangar to achieve Platinum certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Rating System™ at the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California.

Eco Timber Offers Comprehensive Online Green Flooring Guide

Can your hardwood floors contribute to global warming?  Which hardwoods are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council?  Are some types of bamboo greener than others?  Eco Timber’s Eco-Friendly Flooring Guide is a valuable source for information on sustainable hardwood flooring and a must read for any green builder.  The Richmond, California based company has promoted…

Can a Modern Green Home Be Built for $100K?

Follow Philly’s Postgreen as they attempt to build a modern green home for $100,000. Just over a year ago, Philadelphia developer Postgreen undertook an ambitious project, to build a modern green home for $100,000.  Not only are they seeking to shatter the myth that green homes are unaffordable, but they are documenting every step on…

Built By Hand Book: Traditional Natural Building Designs Around The World

Imagine houses with six feet-thick seaweed roofs, deep-nestled and hand-carved cave homes, and pigeon-harboring huts made of mud. Sounds a little unreal, huh? Well, this and more is all vividly documented in Built By Hand: Vernacular Buildings Around the World, a most inspiring bit of natural building eye candy I recently had the fortune of…

Reciprocal Roof Frame Building: How-To, Materials, and Supplies

Earlier this year, I was introduced to the concept of a so-called “reciprocal roof frame”. After hearing about the concept from a friend, we later browsed the internet in search of natural buildings featuring this mysterious design. When I finally saw examples of different reciprocal roofs, I was immediately enamored: here was a roof structure…

Green Prefab From Across the Pond

I happened to live in France back in 2002, and during my year there I noticed a pretty significant gap between sustainability as practiced in Europe in the US. In Europe, I was working with large public companies who were already integrating the implications of global warming and sustainbility into their businesses. In the US…

More Cities Explore Modular Construction

Another Pacific Northwest city is exploring modular design as an option for supplying affordable, green housing. The Tacoma Housing Authority (THA) in Tacoma, Washington, is in the conceptual design phase with its 110-unit modular housing community known as Hillsdale Heights. The complex will be located on a 7.3 acre site formerly occupied by the Hillsdale Lumber sawmill; 60…

Building a DIY Wetland

A family in Australia has created their own tiny wetland as a part of a household grey water system.  It is a fairly large DIY project, but, as the article demonstrates, not an overwhelming project.  The writer even enlisted his young children to help in the construction. Black water is toilet waste and other water…

Are Extruded Houses Green?

For several years, Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis at the University of Southern California has been working on systems for rapidly creating buildings with system that is essentially a very large 3-dimensional printer.  Called Contour Crafting, the equipment is able to rapidly build up walls.  Already, test runs have been able to produce six-foot high concrete walls….

How Green Are the Beijing Olympics Buildings?

The 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing are supposed to be the greenest yet. There has been some coverage on television, and despite all the attempts to clean things up beforehand and to limit especially the air pollution during the games, pictures from the city show it still in many ways to be a smoggy, grimy…

Hansgrohe to Bring Simple, Compact Grey Water System to U.S.

Already a leader in water and energy conservation in bathroom fixtures, Hansgrohe is preparing to bring to the United States the Pontos Aquacycle grey water system.  Currently available in Europe, the Pontos Aquacycle is a compact and efficient way to convert bath and shower water into clean, filtered water for use in toilets, washing machines,…

Shaver Green Building to Offer Sustainable Workforce Housing

“Workforce housing” is a term being heard more and more, used place of the more familiar “affordable housing”. It differentiates between housing that is intended to accommodate people from the lowest income brackets, and housing for the lower middle class, people who have steady employment but have been priced out of the housing market in many areas….

Low Impact Living: My Solar Hot Water Experience

For the past few years there has been huge interest in Solar Electricity (photovoltaic’s, PV, or solar panels), there are lots of incentives at both a state and federal level, there are often photo opportunities for politicians, gazing towards the future over a vast array or solar panels. But there are problems with this vision:…

Build Your Ultimate Green Kitchen

A few weeks ago I offered my thoughts on green kitchens on a budget.  Today, I want to focus on making your new kitchen as green as possible, without regard for cost.  Remember, often the greenest options is to keep your current kitchen; many choose to repaint their cabinets with non-VOC paint or to tackle…

Low Impact Living: Green Prefab — Everyone’s into Modular Homes

Editor’s note: Modular (or prefabricated) housing is hot, and our friends at Low Impact Living have the lowdown on some of the companies driving this trend. This post was originally published on Thursday, June 12, 2008. It seems everyone is “going modular” these days with the rapid growth in the movement of green prefab design…

Cities Need to Offer Incentives for Building Green Roofs

The Top Ten Cities for Green Roof Installations In April, the not-for-profit industry association Green Roofs for Healthy Cities released its 2007 lists of the Top Ten Cities for Green Roof Installations. The Top Ten cities in the U.S. are as follows: Chicago IL Wilmington DE Baltimore MD Brooklyn NY Virginia Beach VA Royersford PA…