Healthy home

9 Keys to Building a Healthy Home

Using the right materials is one step in ensuring good indoor air quality and a healthy home. It also takes a range of building science-based strategies—from proper ventilation and moisture control to radon mitigation and conscientious construction practices–to make sure a home is healthy. Thanks to Brandon Weiss and Evolutionary Home Builders for sharing this list of strategies. 1.      Conduct a third-party laboratory certified indoor air quality test. Testing for the indoor air quality by using a professional third-party lab will…

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Bullitt Center

Net Zero Case Study: Bullitt Center – Changing the Status Quo

The Bullitt Center in Seattle, Washington, is one of the most self-sufficient buildings on the planet.  It is net zero energy and, after the water reuse system is approved by city authorities, net zero water.  Net zero means that the building uses the same amount as it creates or generates – it is self-sufficient.  In a series of posts here on GBE, we will look at what makes this building tick. Policy Changes As we’ve seen in this series, the…

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Green Alternatives to Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation can help save up to 50% in energy costs, protect a building from moisture intrusion, and provide sound insulation.  In addition, it provides two to three times more insulation that traditional fiberglass. However, according to Environmental Working Group, most common spray polyurethane foam insulation contains methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, or MDI, a synthetic chemical linked to asthma, lung damage and even death. “Because of the chemical’s risks, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set the maximum legal…

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Proposed "No Shadow" skyscrapers by architecture firm NBBJ

No Shadow Skyscrapers Proposed

No shadow skyscrapers proposed by architecture firm NBBJ for London’s Greenwich Peninsular would light the space between them with reflected sunlight.

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Bullitt Center in Seattle

Net Zero Case Study: Bullitt Center — Water

The Bullitt Center in Seattle, Washington, is one of the most self-sufficient buildings on the planet. It is net zero energy and, after the water reuse system is approved by city authorities, net zero water. Net zero means that the building uses the same amount as it creates or generates – it is self-sufficient. In a series of posts here on GBE, we will look at what makes this building tick. Rainwater Catchment System Rainwater falling on the PV panel…

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Eco classroom at Benenden School

Eco Classroom Gets Drinking Water From Green Roof

This 230 square foot eco classroom, built in the trees at the Benenden School in Kent, United Kingdom, is in demand from students and faculty alike because of its view and its interesting construction.  Built by treehouse builders Blue Forest, the classroom is completely self-sufficient, using solar power for electricity and water harvested from its green roof. Rainwater falls on the sedum (rock flowers) green roof, is collected, and then run through six reverse osmosis filters and a UV light…

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Introducing the Floor Plan Light Switch

Have you ever been faced with a gaggle of light switches placed side by side in a large home or building and wondered just what each one was for? Sometimes a newer home or office space can have 4, 5 or more switches without labels on a single plate! Even if it’s your own home that you have lived in a while, it’s easy to forget which one turns on the outside lights, the chandelier in the dining room or…

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Mumbai City Museum to Get a New Green Extension

The Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum, Byculla, is all set to get a green extension. It was established in 1872 as the erstwhile Victoria & Albert Museum and is a sister museum to the V&A in London. The museum is city’s oldest and country’s third oldest. The Mumbai city museum had appointed Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) to run a design competition for a proposed wing to be added to the museum. Expressions of interest were received from 104 architects across the world. Eight…

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Check it Out: Sustainable Mountain Home in Emerald Bluffs

Designing a sustainable mountain home within a nature preservation zone requires a deft touch. That’s the challenge architectural firm RTA Studio faced recently when it was asked to create a house that took advantage of a hillside location overlooking Lake Wanaka in New Zealand‘s Central Otago region. The main entrance to the Emerald Bluffs house is a subterranean doorway leading to a staircase that borders an inglenook fireplace on one side and digs into the mountain rock on the other. Its design…

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Net Zero Skyscraper For Jakarta

Indonesia’s state-owned energy company, Pertamina, began construction on its new headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia in January, 2014. Designed by US architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the 1740′ tall, 99-story net zero skyscraper will generate as much energy as it uses, have zero waste discharge, and feature reduced water demand. The architects say this is “the world’s first supertall tower for which energy is the primary design driver.” The tower’s design is heavily influenced by its location close to the Equator. Exterior sunshades block…

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Carbon Fiber is Architecture’s Lightweight Future

Carbon fiber is a miracle material. It is stronger than steel but weighs 90% less. Anca Trandafirescu and her husband, Glenn Wilcox—both assistant professors of architecture at University of Michigan and principals of Area in Ann Arbor, Mich. have won an award for an impressively strong, 14′ tall design that uses just 30 pounds of carbon fiber string pre-impregnated with resin. (!) Trandafirescu and Wilcox wanted to see if carbon fiber could be used as a building material in buildings of…

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Dunkin' Donuts green building program DD Green

Dunkin Donuts Goes Green With New Building Initiative

Dunkin Donuts recently announced the launch of “DD Green,” a green building initiative that hopes to build over 100 new certified restaurants by the end of 2016.  Could this eventually lead to healthy donuts?  We sure hope not! “We are delighted to be able to launch the DD Green initiative, a green-building certification program that is customized for our various store formats and designed to enable us to meet our long-term environmental targets,” said Paul Twohig, President, Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. and…

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New BioDome For Singapore Airport

Construction has begun on a new BioDome for Singapore’s JewelChangi Airport. Designed by Moshe Safdie Architects, the glass dome will cover nearly 1.5 million square feet of space and have retail, leisure and entertainment facilities as well as green spaces open to travelers and local residents. A Canopy Garden will hover over the main floor on tree-like columns and feature a natural environment filled with plants and flowers. Its focus will be an enormous waterfall at the very center. The Singapore BioDome will be constructed from glass panels…

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