Green Building End-of-Spring Round Up!
In addition to some of the issues and pointers we’ve covered here on this humble green blog of ours, there have been lots and lots of excellent posts out there that talk about what’s coming next in the world of green building innovations, trends, news, technology. So, I thought I’d search the Internet high-and-low for some examples. One of the things that interests me in this area is that ideas about how to create a more efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally responsible world is a constantly evolving process, with a lot of voices adding to the discussion.
Without further ado then, here are a few links to stories of green building, adding to the greater story of where the idea of and practical application of green building is taking us.
Three cool green building projects
Three buildings that incorporate green technology set to be built in the Pacific Northwest are featured in this post by Kate Zemtseff of djc.com. One of them is based right here in the city I’m writing this – Vancouver, BC!
Did you know that our Nan Fischer has an entirely separate green building blog of her own? Well, she does. And this post about solar hot water heaters, how they work, and what their benefits are, was among one her most popular posts this year. Find out why!
Modular homes and architectural innovation have gone hand in hand in the green building stakes. Here’s a release from Miletus Group all about the earth-friendly, modular “Shotgun Homes” project, which seeks to solve the problems of building materials and skills scarcity balanced against the ongoing need to shelter large groups of people in the Gulf Coast area. Also, too, the modular approach is less invasive to construction sites and surrounding eco-systems.
Geothermal energy has become an important area in sustainable power. And its possibilities seem to be increasing! In Sweden where temperatures get pretty cold in the winter months, work is being done to use the body heat of the approximately quarter of a million daily commuters to heat Stockholm Central Station! Similar technology is being employed in France.
If you’re a homeowner, your experience and opinion in living in and maintaining a home in the 21st century is incredibly valuable. The people at Greenspiration home want to start conversations with homeowners about what the future of green building is going to look like when it comes to things like energy efficiency, for instance. Mother Nature Network featured a release from them on what homeowner imput means to the direction of the construction industry, and where green building should be taking us.
Homeowners in ‘coal country’ find success in implementing solar energy
Stories are powerful. And when you hear that one family has found success, it makes it possible to imagine that we all will. This is a story from the CalFinder solar blog that talks about one such family who implemented solar panels to supplement their energy needs, living as they are in the middle of America’s coal country, West Virginia. That “supplementary” green building strategy has shaved off 80% of their utility bills. The road to solar energy as a standard construction concern can’t be too far away, whether you’re in coal country or not.
A German-based idea has sailed across the pond to New York City – Passiv Haus. This is, as we’ve explored on this very blog, a set of standards that is centered around the idea of building residences to suit surrounding environment, among other principles, to ensure the most efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective use of resources.
This includes the home’s relative exposure to wind and sunlight. In this post on Inhabitat, New York Passiv Haus president Ken Levenson talks about the upsurge of interest in Passiv Haus standards, and the various projects that can be seen in New York City as a result. Will one of the biggest cities in the United States stand as an example for the whole country?
Flying across the country from New York, Los Angeles is the site of this story about a community that shows that green building is only the first step to green living. Take a look at this post, and watch the video embedded in it from Street Films to learn how living sustainably and growing relationships with one’s neighbours is possible and practical, even in established urban settings.
You know, even though we didn’t get our jet packs at the turn of the 21st century, it doesn’t mean that living in the future isn’t awesome! Science fiction is still becoming science fact. It’s just that the 20th century vision of the future is outdated, because what’s important to our world has changed. We no longer need cheap conveniences. We need air that will be breathable for the 22nd century (and sooner!). So logically, we’ve swapped jet packs for paint that is being designed to actually generate clean, solar energy! This is where green building and green design becomes a key to a continuing future.
It’s been said that green building not only makes sense because its ethically sound where local eco-systems are concerned, but it makes sense because it stretches a standard construction budget too. Here are some best practices for those in charge of construction sites who want to do just that.
Alright, everyone. I know that these are not all of the cool green posts and articles out there. Feel free to share links to your own discoveries (or material you’ve written!) in the comments section.