California Architect Thinks About White Roofs

If every building had a white roof, we would be able to cool the surrounding areas. That is the reasoning behind a California law about to go into effect next month requiring light reflective roofs on all new buildings. It is already the law for new flat roofs here. Here, architect Richard Meier and his partner Michael Palladino have apparently created a design to go one further. It’s entirely white; roofs, walls, and interiors. So this luxury design of a cool and airy Southern California Read more [...]

Cardboard Furniture: From Cheap to Artsy to DIY

Most cardboard has a pretty high recycled content — and can be easily re-recycled or composted to boot. Plus, cardboard’s also an inexpensive material that’s light and, usually, flat — characteristics that make cardboard furniture affordable (usually, at least) to make and ship. All these qualities are making cardboard — something we often think of as a low quality, one-use, disposable product — a popular material for serious eco furniture designers! Cardboard’s an especially popular Read more [...]

Dwell Prefab Home Collection Announced

Dwell Magazine has partnered with some very well-known architects and builders to develop a signature line of prefab homes. The homes not only focus on sustainable design and building, but look amazing as well. Turkel Design in collaboration with Lindal Cedar Homes and then Marmol Radziner Prefab each designed three modern prefab homes to be featured as part of the Dwell Home Collection. Dwell’s recent selection of these particular prefab home designs indicates the quality of design, Read more [...]

The 10 Dumbest Green Buildings on Earth

While any structure built in a way that lessens its footprint is welcomed, some of the buildings that people try to turn green simply make no sense. LEED certification, in all its greatness, does not take the building’s intended purpose into account; this leaves us with some hilarious, unabashedly self-contradicting buildings. Here are the ten of the most laughable green buildings: 1. BP’s Helios House Gas Station - Los Angeles, Cal. Yes, there is an LEED-certified gas station. It’s actually Read more [...]

Sears Tower to Get Green Retrofit

The tallest building in the Western Hemisphere will undergo a $350 million “green” retrofit that its owners said on Wednesday will make the 110-story office tower a beacon for environmentally sound space. Plans call for the 1,450-foot Sears Tower to reduce its electricity consumption by 80 percent and water usage by 40 percent. It will be renamed the Willis tower later this summer in a deal with new tenant global insurance broker Willis Group Holdings. To achieve the savings, owner American Read more [...]

Kansas City Prefab Home: A Green Gem in the Heartland

As a native of Kansas City you can imagine how thrilled I was to learn about the new green prefab achievement in my home town.  I learned about it from one of my favorite publications, Natural Home.  They did a wonderful feature on the house, which you can read in its entirety here. The 1,200 square feet house is a two-bedroom, one-bath home (remember in the eco-sphere small is good!) and is perched on stilts atop a hill. It has a wonderful view of downtown.  It was designed by architecture Read more [...]

Dwell Tour of Energy Star Homes in Brooklyn

As part of BKLYN Designs 2009, a fabulous green design event that happens every May in Brooklyn, NY, Dwell Magazine toured five homes in the area to showcase innovative, contemporary and thoughtful design. Of the 5 homes we were so impressed with two of them because of their energy efficiency and use of sustainable materials. Sadly, we weren’t there first hand to tour the houses ourselves, but we may just have to make a trip to Brooklyn next spring to be there so we too can tour gorgeous homes Read more [...]

A Steel Prefab Treads Lightly on a Desert Floor

Steel is just about the most recyclable building material on earth. You could be well reading this in an office building built with steel originally smelted from iron in Julius Caesar’s day. So it makes good green sense to build eco prefab houses with steel… Steel does not spread fire. Building with steel allows for a lighter load, so it does not require a huge concrete foundation. Making concrete is one of the most carbon intensive building industries there are, producing the heaviest carbon Read more [...]

Warren Buffett Company Debuts Line of Green Prefab Homes

Warren Buffett isn’t the world’s second richest man for nothing. He has an unsurpassed knack for picking good companies in strong industries at the right price. Most things he’s touched have turned into gold. So it’s exciting to see that a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary called Clayton Homes has just launched a line of green prefab homes (called the i-house) that start at under $75,000 (or about $105 / square foot) excluding site costs and shipping. Clayton Homes is one of the largest manufactured Read more [...]

The Most Beautiful Green Home Building Construction Project Ever?

My jaw dropped when I first watched this video tour of a beautiful owner-built green building construction project in Oregon. This particular green building is made entirely out of cob, a mixture of clay, sand, and straw. Meka Bunch of Wolf Creek, Oregon built this stunning cob house over a four year period. Complete with hand-sculpted furniture, shelves and nooks built directly into the walls, arched windows, and a killer custom staircase, his cob building is a divine artistic achievement. Check Read more [...]