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The Arc House: A Resilient Prototype

Posted by Juliet Grable

Dec 2, 2016 6:06:46 PM

From urban-infill residence to off-the-grid retreat, The Arc House is at home anywhere.

JIM GREGORY, FOUNDER of Shelter Dynamics, likes to call The Arc House a “demonstration of a direction” in housing. Its small footprint, independence from the grid and versatile design make it an ideal solution for urban, suburban and rural settings. The Arc House can serve as a primary residence for a single person or a couple, or it can be used as a retreat, vacation home or “mother-in-law” unit. Clusters of Arc Houses can create small communities, based on the cooperative housing model, in which each household enjoys private space but also shares common areas such as courtyards and gardens.

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Tracking of Song Birds Shows Influences in Choice of Gardens

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Dec 1, 2016 10:30:03 AM

Birds prefer to fly between the gardens of leafy suburban neighbourhoods to visit bird feeders than city terraces or new-build estates, a ground-breaking study tracking the behaviour of hundreds of garden birds has found.

A year-long study into the behaviour of over 450 blue tits and great tits found that a suburban neighbourhood with trees, shrubs and hedges between properties attract far more birds to their feeders than a Victorian urban terrace or manicured, modern housing estate.

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Sustainability Symposium: Final Day for Early Bird Discount

Posted by Ron Jones

Nov 30, 2016 4:56:30 PM

There is more to Orlando than theme parks and trade shows. Our upcoming Sustainability Symposium on January 9, 2017 provides an opportunity to be a part of the solution.

Hardly a week passes when I don’t receive one or more promotional messages inviting me to sign up for some industry event or another that promises groundbreaking opportunities to join my peers and “learn from the experts”. 

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RESNET Goal: Bring Water/Energy Efficiency Ratings to More New Homes

Posted by RESNET

Nov 29, 2016 2:53:33 PM

A new set of goals and priorities has been adopted by RESNET board of directors this month.

RESNET Goals to Achieve RESNET Mission by 2020:

  • Through education, marketing and market demand, 50% of all new homes will be HERS Rated.
  • Through education, marketing and market demand, the average HERS Index Score on new homes will meet the target energy rating Index Scores of the 2015 IECC.
  • Through education, marketing and market demand, 25% of all HERS Rated homes are WER Rated.  
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Could Homes Made with Natural Materials Act as Carbon Sinks?

Posted by Luigi Serenelli, Guest Columnist

Nov 29, 2016 11:12:40 AM

Houses built with bio-based materials act as CO2 banks. Experts explain how citizens can become custodians of atmospheric carbon dioxide

DOMESTIC EFFORTS play an important role in curbing global warming. Besides producing and using renewables, homes can also act as banks that store CO2. This innovative building model exploits bio-based materials, such as timber, straw and hemp, which act as “carbon sequestrators.”

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Is Trump Taking a Step Toward Climate Action?

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Nov 23, 2016 8:01:16 AM

The President-elect seems to be shifting away from some of his hardest hitting campaign promises, including his threat to cancel the U.S.’s participation in the Paris Agreement, much to the delight of climate advocates. While the verdict about Trump’s sustainability polities is still out, mounting pressure from citizens, businesses, Mayors, and global leaders may be forcing Trump’s hand when it comes to the environment.

The President-elect seems to be shifting away from some of his hardest hitting campaign promises, including his threat to cancel the U.S.’s participation in the Paris Agreement, much to the delight of climate advocates.  While the verdict about Trump’s sustainability polities is still out, mounting pressure from citizens, businesses, Mayors, and global leaders may be forcing Trump’s hand when it comes to the environment.

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Video: Scathing ABC News Report on New Home Quality

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Nov 18, 2016 6:53:42 PM

NAHB CEO pushed on the question of "shoddy" building practices.

ABC News looks into new home quality nationwide.  Despite the NAHB CEO saying quality of homes is better than ever, big builders are setting aside hundreds of millions of dollars for defect claims and calling it an "ordinary course of business".

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The Golden Hoof Farm: The Off-Grid Tropical Greenhouse

Posted by Lindsey Schiller, Guest Columnist

Nov 17, 2016 5:09:01 PM

A Case Study - of a 3000 Sq Ft Year-Round Solar Greenhouse in Boulder, Colorado

Step into the solar greenhouse at The Golden Hoof Farm outside Boulder, Colorado, and you’re greeted not by a monoculture of greens, but by a forest of fruit trees — guava, avocado, mango, banana, lemon, dragon fruit and cinnamon, to name a few. Taller trees create a canopy above, while shorter shade-tolerant varieties form the understory, mimicking the layers of a tropical forest. The floor of the greenhouse is covered with more conventional crops, like kale, chard, mustard greens and tomatoes. In between the vegetables, a green blanket of nitrogen-fixing clover borders pathways and fills in any excess spaces. On a spring day, you step from the dry Colorado landscape, surrounded by corn fields, into this lush humid forest, and it’s clear that this is anything but your ordinary commercial greenhouse.

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Green Building in a Trump Administration

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Nov 17, 2016 11:51:25 AM

As with every President-Elect, the verdict is out about whether President Trump’s campaign rhetoric will translate into action and result in policy. Green building professionals on both sides of the isle are asking the same question: will Trump negate the progress that has been made over the past decade when it comes to energy efficient, healthy, durable, and resilient structures?

Over the past decade, green building has transformed from fringe to mainstream, and it is now an intelligent and cost-effective building strategy.  Innovations in building science practices, advanced products and technologies, and business models (for example, in the solar financing space) have revolutionized the built environment. 

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Orlando Climate Symposium Offers a Life Raft in a Sea of Climate Denialism

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Nov 17, 2016 11:20:59 AM

If we can talk about climate change, smart cities and saving the world’s oceans in Florida during Trump’s first month in office, there’s hope for the rest of the United States.

Many of my New England friends don’t like Florida.

They see it as sprawl-ridden den of fast-food joints, pawn shops and used car dealers. But as former Floridian, I love the sunshine state, despite (or perhaps because of) its many fault lines. You can’t generalize Florida. It’s a place of contradictory ideas and demographics, a microcosm of the United States, where residents self identify and settle by age, race, religious and ethnic orientation.

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How Integrated Project Delivery Reduces Costs, Waste and Time for Construction Jobs

Posted by Cathy Rust, Contributing Editor

Nov 14, 2016 10:26:18 AM

To deliver a building under budget is rarely heard of, but throw in net zero while delivering a completed project four months early, and now you’re into territory that is pretty much uncharted in the construction industry.

At the Green Building Festival, Jen Hancock gave a presentation on how her company, Chandos, delivered a net zero building commercial project to the client, four months early, under budget.  I contacted Jen after the presentation because I wanted to find out more about how they accomplished this feat. Chandos isn’t like other construction companies and this is immediately evident when you see that Jen’s title is the Director of Innovative Construction. How many firms have that title on their roster?

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Developer Uses Goats to Clear Prickly Scrub from Property for Bridge Project

Posted by Rodney W. Campbell, Guest Contributor

Nov 11, 2016 11:50:32 AM

The goats, which are available for rent, work for months at a time for a very low rate: free range food and modest shelter.

A few dozen Slayden/Sundt subcontractors at the Sellwood Bridge project in Portland, Oregon, had horns, hooves and a healthy appetite for brush. They preferred night work, took daily power naps and never requested time off.

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A Choice of Progress

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Nov 10, 2016 11:38:01 AM

Given the results of the election, our sustainability work has become more important than ever. Now is the time for us to step up and fulfil our duty as a group of tireless change-makers that do not shy away from any kind of challenge—regardless of how daunting that task may seem at the moment.

The team at Green Builder Media, in partnership with friends and colleagues around the world, have worked assiduously for over a decade to affect positive change within and beyond the building industry.  With the Presidential election results, the urgency and significance of our work has increased exponentially.

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