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Enduring Appeal

Posted by Sarah Lozanova

Nov 7, 2014 2:08:46 PM

PIONEERS IN THE Nebraska Sandhills lacked trees and even good sod for home construction, so they used the material they had widely available: straw bales. A revival of this building method is underway, with homebuilders seeking the desirable qualities of these highly insulated, attractive and renewable homes.

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Topics: straw bale, energy efficiency

Earthen Elegance

Posted by Sarah Lozanova

Nov 5, 2014 10:29:27 AM

WHEN THE JENNINGS FAMILY prepared to build a family home on Bowen Island, British Columbia, sustainability was a top concern. “The homeowners wanted a home that would represent something that was more ecologically conscious, so that their children would grow up in that type of environment and recognize that it doesn’t take that much to achieve it,” explains Arno Schmidt, owner of Ecosol Design and Construction and a member of the North American Rammed Earth Builders Association (NAREBA).

Although Schmidt may be at the forefront of rammed earth innovations, this method has been used for many centuries. Even parts of the Great Wall of China were constructed using this technique, and the wall still stands after 2,000 years. Rammed earth has been regaining popularity since the 1970s, particularly in the American Southwest and Australia.
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Topics: durability, solar, passive solar, rammed earth, Resilient Housing

Streamlined Green

Posted by Sarah Lozanova

Nov 3, 2014 3:12:07 PM

WHEN RICKY CAPPE, a green building consultant, wanted to build a home on a modest budget, he started wondering how someone could build an affordable sustainable home. He found it impractical for each homebuilder to hire an architect and research the myriad of options on the market. He found the process very time consuming and expensive, which inspired him to create sustainable, affordable kit houses.

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Topics: SIPs, natural daylighting, energy efficiency, FSC Certified Lumber

Modular Marvels

Posted by Sarah Lozanova

Oct 31, 2014 10:24:14 AM

SEATTLE-BASED GREENPOD OFFERS factory- and site-built homes that are sustainable to the last detail. The WaterHaus, a 450-square-foot model home built in Port Townsend, Washington, exemplifies what the company is trying to accomplish with its compact, flexible homes. For starters, the floors, walls and roof of the home are made with structural insulated panels (SIPs).

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Topics: SIPs, Indoor Air Quality, passive solar, modular homes, multifunctional spaces

Energy Independence

Posted by Sarah Lozanova

Oct 29, 2014 2:46:33 PM

ENERTIA BUILDING SYSTEMS offers numerous floor plans and models, with customizable interiors. What they all have in common is Enertia’s unique double-shell building system, which utilizes the heat-storing capacity of solid wood walls and the constant temperature of the soil to turn the house into a “heat pump.”
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Topics: Geothermal Heating and Cooling, Building Envelope, thermal convection


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