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25+ Shipping Container House Plans

This article has been arranged so the shipping container house plans are first, because that is probably what you want to see. Below the plan information are a number of tips and issues to familiarize yourself with so that you can make good decisions before you spend a lot of money on the containers and getting the contractor help you might need. Dozens of Shipping Container House Plans 1 Container Bunkhouse A very simple design for a cabin or hunting…

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Scientists Developing Paint-On Coating For Energy Efficient Windows

US Dept. of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientists are developing a new paint-on coating that will help building owners improve the energy efficiency of their windows, without the need for trained installers. “Instead of hiring expensive contractors, a homeowner could go to the local hardware store, buy the coating, and paint it on as a DIY retrofit—that’s the vision,” said Berkeley Lab scientist Raymond Weitekamp. “The coating will selectively reflect the infrared solar energy back to…

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New Water Heater Tech Saves Energy and Money

A recent study shows that the humble water heater has the potential to save its owners, and the environment, significant energy and money. With two new technological upgrades, smart and heat pump water heaters, homeowners can expect to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30-50 percent. “Smart” water heaters are hooked up to the electrical grid and have the capability to turn on the heater when the draw on the grid is lowest, saving costs by using electricity during non-peak hours. They…

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Hilton and Whole Foods Partner with US DOE To Launch Better Buildings Challenge SWAP

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has unveiled its Better Buildings Challenge SWAP. In the launch, Hilton Worldwide and Whole Foods Market have swapped energy management teams at their San Francisco facilities. As part of the SWAP, each team has been charged with identifying innovative ways to save energy in these two target facilities: Hilton San Francisco Union Square, a 1.8 million sq.ft. hotel Whole Foods Ocean Avenue, a 25,600 sq. ft. grocery store For fun, a reality style web series is being made…

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Reasons To Choose Natural Slate For Sustainable Building

As far as materials go, there is nothing quite like natural slate. It is beautiful, graceful, and long-lasting. Spanish slates, in fact, have traditionally been regarded as one of the best materials for roofing and cladding. According to geology.com, slate is a fine-grained, foliated metamorphic rock. Used since Roman times, natural slate is remarkably durable, fire resistant, and naturally waterproof. Because of its durability and attractive appearance, it is popular for a wide variety of uses, including roofing, cladding, flooring, and flagging Natural slate…

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Remarkable $20K Houses From Rural Studio

Auburn University’s design team at Rural Studio has achieved the lofty goal of building affordable houses for somebody living below the poverty line. Here’s how: The team did so by completing two pilot project houses priced at $20,000 apiece. Materials for the homes totaled $14,000 each. The Design Challenge For over a decade, architecture students at Rural Studio, Auburn University’s design-build program in West Alabama have worked on a daunting problem, reports FastCompany. “How do you design a home that someone living…

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Nano Membrane Toilet Turns Waste Into Clean Power

In the news of the weird in green technology, this product has to be out there! Cranfield University in the UK has developed a toilet, called the nano membrane toilet, that produces clean energy and clean water as by-products of human waste. Here is how Gizmodo describes the “waste processing:” The toilet’s magic happens when you close the lid. The bottom of the bowl uses a rotation mechanism to sweep the waste into a sedimentation chamber, which helps block any…

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Wood Design Awards Are Worth Watching

WoodWorks, an initiative of the Wood Products Council, has announced winners of the 2016 Wood Design Awards, celebrating excellence in non-residential and multi-family wood design. “WoodWorks Wood Design Awards celebrate projects and design teams that showcase the innovative use of wood as both a structural and finish material,” said Jennifer Cover, executive director of WoodWorks/Wood Products Council. Cover stated this awards showcase ranges from mass timber to traditional wood-frame. “This year’s winning projects exemplify wood’s many attributes, from structural performance…

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Study Shows LEED-ND Fails To Provide Affordable Housing

A study recently published in the Journal of the American Planning Association (JAPA) by Nicola Szibbo, PhD, a planner with the City and County of Honolulu, found that only 40 percent of LEED-ND certified projects included affordable housing. With very little incentive in the credit structure, many developers choose not to include affordable housing, and there are no consequences for doing so. LEED-ND is a green certification program for neighborhood developments, sponsored by the US Green Building Council, the association that…

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Greenhouse with legs

Try This Greenhouse With Legs For Flood Control

For those having a proclivity for flooding paranoia, this greenhouse with legs might arrest some of those fears. Conceived and developed by BAT Studio, we are told this UK structure has been constructed in an area which experiences frequent flooding. The Greenhouse That Grows Legs incorporates a novel approach to flood protection. “The building is fabricated on a bespoke steel frame with four hydraulic legs, capable of lifting the building 800 mm from the ground on command.” The story of…

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Home design trends

Top 10 Home Design Trends

The American Institute of Architects recently came out with its Top 10 list of upcoming Home Design Trends. Here is what we all have to look forward to in homes built in the next 10 years: Technological integration will become more prevalent, with dedicated support for personal devices, along with automated controls for temperature, security and lighting. Increased consumer awareness about environmental health issues, leading to more widespread use of low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for paint and…

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Analyzing Exterior Deck Options

When asked what is a highly desired feature outside of the house, a good number of people will first select an exterior deck or porch. Here’s why: if done well, it makes an inviting place to visit with family or friends to enjoy summer cookouts, or simply as a great place to sit back, relax, and savor the wonderful natural world outside the house. If you happen to be one of those wanting to build something like this, you are…

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ICEhouse(TM) (Innovation for the Circular Economy house) (C) 2016 William McDonough + Partners (PRNewsFoto/William McDonough + Partners)

Designer McDonough Debuts ICEhouse at World Economic Forum

Famed designer William McDonough, of Cradle to Cradle fame, will debut his latest creation, ICEhouse, in Davos, Switzerland, as a place for those attending the World Economic Forum annual meeting to gather and discuss the future of Innovation for the Circular Economy. The structure has been designed to demonstrate the positive design framework described in the book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, the sustainable development goals of the United Nations, and the reuse of resources implicit in…

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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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