June 25th, 2009

Rainwater Vessels: the good, the bad and the ugly

Select a rainwater vessel for maximum LEED points and maximum karma.

Good on you for deciding to capture and reuse rainwater and take a load off city systems!  Saving water, saving “watergy”- the energy to used to push city water around the grid - and unloading the stormwater system downstream are just some of the benefits [...]

May 28th, 2009

Windows for Passive Solar Homes

Although much has been written about passive solar design, and some mention is made of selecting glazings appropriate to the building aspect, sourcing windows with glazing both optimized for passive solar buildings, and reasonably priced can be less than straight forward.  Window manufacturers in the U.S. tout the insulative properties of their windows (their u-value) [...]

May 14th, 2009

The Envelope, Please - Cost Effective Energy Savings in Buildings

First and foremost, green building needs to be about energy savings.   The Architecture 2030 challenge provides milestones for the reduction in energy use in new buildings and retrofit projects with the goal of zero energy buildings by the year 2030 - www.architecture2030.com.   The explosion of green building as a concept confronts reality in this challenge.  [...]

April 29th, 2009

Advances in Living Architecture

It has become increasingly clear that the design and building of living roofs is making a transition from early adoption to mainstream application. Driven by environmental policy, economic necessity, and social responsibility there is increasing emphasis on a “living systems” approach to building and vegetation design. The designs integrate and complement mechanical and plumbing operations. [...]

April 28th, 2009

Rammed Earth

Rammed earth has been a part of the alternative materials scene in Northern California since the mid 1970’s, when we first broke through the building permit barrier. Initially our goal was to develop a resource-efficient construction system that would be affordable and widely adopted by the building industry.  We began with a strong commitment to construction [...]