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Game-Changing Design

Posted by Juliet Grable

Nov 23, 2015 2:15:52 PM

Will the cookie-cutter McMansion give way to homes that are powered by renewable energy, reflect the environment and restore sites?

As important as energy efficiency is, it’s only one component of truly sustainable design. But other concerns are converging to drive a more holistic approach. Indoor air quality is one; resource conservation is another. Water is drawing up alongside energy as an urgent issue, as people are (finally) making the connection between water and energy use. Droughts in Texas and California are prompting change and opening up opportunities for graywater recycling, and demonstration homes that feature comprehensive water conservation alongside net-zero energy strategies are starting to trend. Onsite water harvesting and appropriate landscaping, including trends toward urban gardening and even animal husbandry—are becoming part of an integrated strategy that followers of permaculture have been promoting for decades.

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Topics: energy efficiency, renewable energy, design, Building Science, net zero

Alternative Construction Case Study: “Noopiming”

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Nov 16, 2015 6:02:06 PM

Noopiming means “In the woods” in the local Native American language, and bringing that element into the home was a priority.

DAN VOS OF Vos Energy Concepts designed and built this home for John and Marsha Traxler Reeves. The property is special: 11 acres that open out to an old oxbow overflow from Michigan’s Muskegon River.

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Topics: SIPs, ICFs, Alternative Building Materials, salvaged materials

An Architectural Publication from Europe You Don't Want to Miss

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Nov 4, 2015 12:27:16 PM

Explore some radical architectural ideas in a digital playground.

It's rare that editors gush about other publications, but this one is a new favorite of mine, and it covers buildings and topics far from our jurisdiction, so I'm happy to introduce you to it. The impressive thing about Uncube is that it's not predictable. You may find a completely obscure, radical design concept one month, and something you could actually use in another. In that way, it's like Green Builder, a mix of "big picture" and "small picture" ideas.

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Open Kitchen Be Gone

Posted by Christina B. Farnsworth

Oct 6, 2015 5:36:00 PM

Even the prettiest kitchen is often noisy and messy. As homes grow smaller, backlash is growing against the open kitchen.

Want to see if a design idea is trending? Check out broadcast commercials. One of the newest is for HomeGoods and features a young couple preparing food in a closed in kitchen and bringing it to a dining area to share with friends. See the link below to watch it.

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Topics: kitchen, design, efficient design

Timber Frame Construction: A Primer for Would-Be Homeowners

Posted by Tyler Linden, Guest Contributor

Oct 4, 2015 9:05:00 AM

A timber framing advocate suggest that homeowners looking to build new should consider pre-packaged timber house plans.

Building a home these days can be very challenging and complex. However, using timber frame house plans and materials, the process can become far more streamlined and waste-conscious. Read More
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