For those addressing food issue on a crowded planet, this is exciting news. Japanese homebuilder Daiwa House has introduced a line of prefabricated hydroponic vegetable factories, aimed at housing complexes, hotels, and top-end restaurants. Called the Agri-Cube, these units are said to be a first step in the industrialization of agriculture. Instead of farm or garden land,…
Adaptive re-use plus brownfield reclamation are key factors in land conservation and reducing unnecessary sprawl. These are good for the economy, communities, and the environment. More plans need to be implemented and the importance stressed that this is our one chance to re-do and un-do our environmental impact so that future generations can make their choices.
The Atherton House in Atherton, California is an ideal example of how to incorporate manmade elements that pre-exist on a site to benefit that site.
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…
It's full-blown summer now, and people are spending more time outdoors on their patios and decks. So let me offer a summertime question for discussion. Which is better to use for an outdoor deck: wood, or a manufactured product (like Trex, Timber Tech, etc.)?
This is no more a black and white issue than most other green building questions. This can depend on the particular situation and the specific needs of a particular project. I'm not going to give you a definitive answer, because I don't think that there is one, any more than I do for most green building topics (other than greener is better).
First, there is the issue of material content. On the one hand, the manufactured products often use some combination of wood fiber (which is often sawdust and other scrap that would otherwise go to waste) and plastic (sometimes incorporating post consumer recycled material). On the other hand, wood is a natural material. It is sustainable, in that wood can be grown and harvested. There are some deck materials that have natural rot-resistant properties, but these tend to be more expensive. There is also the question of whether or not they are sustainably harvested, as well as the issue of shipping these materials.
<p><img src="/files/images/rosetrellis_0.png" border="0" width="198" height="198" />A few years ago, when we started getting our garden together my wife wanted to have a trellis for some roses to climb on. We looked at various options. There are pre-built or kit trellises, but those are expensive. We could build one with wood, but it would need to be treated with preservatives (nasty chemicals) and would need maintenance. We ended up deciding to build one using simple copper pipe.</p>