July 15th, 2010

Mahiga High School Rainwater Court

On the central plateau of Kenya, near the lush city of Nyeri, the windswept arid town of Mweiga stands in the shadow of Mount Kenya.  Locals diligently farm the land, but their livelihoods are beholden to an average of 6” of rain per year.  Despite the lack of water, the people have a thirst to [...]

May 24th, 2010

Sink or Swim – Architecture for a Warming Planet

Comprising 70 percent of our bodies, covering 70 percent of our earth’s surface, and providing more than 50 percent of the world’s ‘renewable’ energy, water is also the ultimate adaptor: evaporating, condensing, crystallizing, icing, melting, flowing and filling, according to its environment. The beauty of water, and its emotional power as a latent energy force, [...]

May 11th, 2010

Emerging Practices Highlight the Demand for Water Recycling

Competitions give us a chance to elevate the ideas of transforming our existing cities into something new, inspiring and green.  Tackling the environmental challenges of dense living has been a theme of the eVolo Magazine’s Skyscraper Competition for the past few years.  Their forms reflect idealism and digital visualization, yet the ideas face real-life problems. [...]

March 5th, 2010

Grasping the Importance of “Watergy”

With so much buzz surrounding the modern green movement - grant money, tax credits, and an ever increasing market demand - there is an important question of the associated role of water and where it stands.  Energy, for the most part has been a topic that has elicited an enormous political response, especially, at the federal and [...]

December 14th, 2009

It’s All Water


Green Building Practitioners are noticing three trends that, while not new concerns, truly speak of the momentum gathering within the sustainable design movement. One is the issue of water scarcity, second is the issue of environmental chemicals emitted by and residing in our built environment and third is the interest in adding the component of [...]

November 30th, 2009

Greywater: A resource

a greywater garden

It’s Saturday morning laundry time. The washer spins and shakes, clothes are cleaned while the dirty water flows outside to irrigate fruit trees. There’s something satisfying about this simple shift: a slight change in a mundane chore has reduced water consumption, taken a load off the sewer treatment plant, promoted food security, and saved time [...]

June 25th, 2009

Rainwater Vessels: the good, the bad and the ugly

Rainwater Hogs at Nundah

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 [...]

April 26th, 2009

Rainwater Harvesting


There are a number of exciting design trends that are quickly becoming mainstream in architecture and development around California.  Mostly due to the continuing drought and concerns over water availability, these trends are simply implemented and have an enormous impact on a broad scale.  One of the latest trends to receive publicity is the re-emergence [...]

April 23rd, 2009

Green In a Tough Economy


1. The weak economy will greatly reduce new construction starts in the short-term, but coming out of the recession there will be enormous pent-up demand for new green product. 2. A significant number of green projects are still in the pipeline (under construction), and USGBC reports a large backlog of completed green buildings awaiting certification. [...]

April 23rd, 2009

Living Machines’ Water Management

Banquet Hall Exterior overlooks the Meadow. (Photo by Jeff Caven)

Banquet Hall Exterior overlooks the Meadow. (Photo by Jeff Caven)  Proudly located in Taos, New Mexico, El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and SpaTM is renowned for its hospitality, as well as for its commitments to ecological preservation and sustainability. In 2003, the resort was designed with 36 suites and guest casitas.  In 2008, Living Designs [...]