Category Archives: Design

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Green Builders, Inc. Bringing Green Homes to the Masses

Austin, Texas builder Clark Wilson has been in the homebuilding industry for over twenty five years, serving as president of Doyle Wilson Homebuilder, Inc. and then as CEO of Clark Wilson Homes, Inc. before retiring in 2002. Eager to get back into home building and aware of the growing demand for green homes, Mr. Wilson…

Permeable Pavers Protect Water Quality

Stormwater management is an urban logistical requirement. Rainwater and the water from melting snow have to be dealt with. When plants and soil, which absorb water from rain and snow are replaced with buildings, roads, and other impervious materials, the water from a storm no longer goes into the ground where it can recharge the…

Programmable Thermostats Save Money and Energy – EPA Shows You How

As part of their year-long “Change the World, Start with ENERGY STAR” campaign, EPA has launched a website to help you save money and and energy with your programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat properly programmed and used can reduce 1,847 lbs of green house gas emissions a year. According to the EPA, maximizing household energy…

Low Impact Living: Save Water with the Rainwater Pillow

Editor’s note: Just like our friends at Low Impact Living, we’ve got passion for saving water… so we were very happy to see this post about a new technology for homeowners interested in doing just that! LIL writer Jason Pelletier originally published this post on Wednesday, May 28, 2008. I’m often pleasantly surprised at how…

Rastra or Durisol? Eco-Alternatives for Construction

Let me first preface this post with the following: I’m not a construction professional. I’m just a curious homeowner seeking out the best building materials for my home. With that said, I was familiar with three options in residential construction – concrete block, wood frame or the super green alternative, rammed earth. Turns out there…

The Casey: A High-Rise Condominium Earns LEED-Platinum

In addition to being the first high-rise condominium in the country to achieve a LEED-Platinum rating, The Casey represents a partnership between the building’s developers, designers, and the local arts community. In 2000, Gerding Edlen Development selected GBD Architects to renovate 5 blocks of historic brewery buildings located in a former industrial area of Portland,…

GreenBuildingTalk: Energy Efficient Appliances

Editor’s note: With energy prices on the rise, efficiency has to be a key element of any new appliance purchase. Our friends at GreenBuildingTalk have the low down on several new products for your home that use energy more wisely… and keep those utility bills low. This post was originally published on May 6, 2008….

Certified Green Broker: Helping Buyers Find Green Buildings

Many of my recent posts have touched upon the theme that the building industry cannot accomplish major advances in sustainability by itself; first its market must change. But there is ample evidence that consumers are now driving a change in the market. The USGBC website has printed a report by CoStar Group which has found…

Book Review: Off the Grid Homes – Case Studies for Sustainable Living

Off the Grid Homes combines beautiful images with technical information for sustainable homes. The book by architect Lori Ryker is less of a manual for systems to be used in off the grid homes (though it does include good information about the systems and strategies that are used in sustainable off the grid living) and…

Touchless Faucets for the Home?

Seemingly relegated to airport and stadium bathrooms, touchless faucets are starting to make their way into homes, with plumbing manufacturers moving to offer more design options.  It’s an idea that may seem strange at first, but touchless faucets are actually quite practical, especially for a children’s bathroom.  They are clearly beneficial in that they limit the…

It’s Time to Rethink Tub Sizes

As I mentioned in my KBIS Report, I was struck by the sizes of bathtubs on display at this year’s kitchen and bath trade show. Though green was king thoughout most of the convention, companies that pitch themselves as catering to a luxury market seem to be sending the message that if you have enough…

Earth Day Movie Premiere: The Greening of Southie

On Tuesday, April 22, the Sundance Channel will present as part of their The Green series “The Greening of Southie,” a documentary on the construction of Boston’s first green residential building, the Macallan, which is seeking a LEED gold rating. If the idea of watching a documentary on the construction of a condo building doesn’t…

Grand Rapids Has the First LEED Museum

Grand Rapids, Michigan is one of the greenest cities in the country, at least if you go by the number of LEED certified buildings it has. And now it adds to its distinction with the first LEED Gold certified art museum in the country. Grand Rapids is tied with Pittsburgh and Washington at #5 on…

KBIS Report: It’s Getting Green in Here

As I walked around last year’s Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas, I asked where I could find the green products. I was encouraged to put on my walking shoes and make the trek to a minor hall where I found about twenty square feet devoted to five or six products that left…

Green Counter Culture

If you attended the Greenbuild conference in Chicago last November, you would have been hard pressed to find a green cabinet manufacturer among the exhibitors – but you couldn’t turn around without bumping into a new type of green countertop. They nearly outnumbered the waterless urinals. Over the past couple of decades, countertops have evolved…

Ban on Garbage Disposals? Really?

In a move that had many residents bewildered, the Raleigh, North Carolina, city council voted to ban garbage disposals in all new construction and to prohibit residents from replacing broken garbage disposals. The ordinance, which took effect this week, has its roots in over 100 large sewage spillovers in the last three years within the…

Metropolitan Home Goes Green

As green design becomes mainstream, it faces the challenge of having to appeal to an ever wider audience. To do so, it must adopt a diverse vocabulary, and not remain limited to — or associated with — a subculture. It is invaluable, then, when designers who are working to reinvent green are showcased in traditional…

Green Cabinets: When Wood is Good

So you’re building or remodeling green, and you’re trying to decide what to do about the cabinets. Scanning the requirements for various green building programs, you seem to have two choices. First, you can try to find cabinets made with Forest Stewardship Council certified wood from companies like Neil Kelly Cabinets. But if the company…