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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

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

Site Sensitivity

Posted by Suchi Rudra

Sep 15, 2014 4:57:00 PM

WHEN KAREN AND DAVE DAVIS decided to build a second home in Martha’s Vineyard with absolute minimum environmental impact, they chose to work with local design/build firm South Mountain Company. Founder John Abrams and his team had been building finely crafted and sustainable houses since 1975, and quickly realized that the site for this particular house near Chilmark Pond was a designer’s dream: a south-facing slope with wonderful views of the south shore. However, this very slope and the narrowness of the site also proved challenging to work around.
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Topics: net-zero energy, graywater, passive solar, 2600 to 3400 square feet, green roof, Low-E Window glazing, salvaged materials, Building Envelope

Energy Efficient for Peace of Mind

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Sep 4, 2014 2:11:03 PM

IT'S NOT ALWAYS easy to build an affordable green home without a glaring compromise or two. But architect Eric Hughes and builder Dan Vos somehow beat the odds.

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Topics: net-zero energy, Bamboo, High-Performance Windows, LEED, SIPs, Indoor Air Quality, ICFs, 1500 square feet or less, passive solar, zero-VOC, 2011 Green Home of the Year Awards

Cubist Fantasy

Posted by Green Builder Staff

May 29, 2014 7:25:00 PM

In 2009, Revelations Architecture conceived the E.D.G.E. (Experimental Dwelling for a Greener Environment) House, a 360-foot modular concept home that won the AIA Small Projects Award in 2011. Last year, principal architect Bill Yudchitz collaborated with his son, architect Dan Yudchitz, on the Essential House. A more pragmatic and affordable version of its predecessor, this year’s two-story cube measures 1,000 square feet, and includes a sleeping loft, storage and a utility room. “The Essential House could be put on any infill site in the U.S.,” asserts Bill Yudchitz.

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Topics: 1500 square feet or less, passive solar, rainwater harvesting, urban


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