Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
- - [ Tradueix aquesta pàgina ]Jul 9, 2008 ... PHOTO BY ROBERT ANDERSEN Called Reddi-Form blocks and made of Styro-Foam, the partially hollow blocks making up this foundation are fitted ...
www.nantucketindependent.com/news/2008/0709/other_news/028.html - Pàgines semblants
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Google search for: buy "Reddi-Form blocks"
Housing Office building green houses for rental stock
BY PETER B. BRACE INDEPENDENT WRITER
July 9, 2008 nantucket independent online
A case-in-point is the nearly 1,000- square-foot house that the Nantucket Housing Office is building at 2 Clarendon St. out in Tom Nevers.
Island builder Rob Andersen, the contractor for this project is building the foundation and exterior walls to the top of the gables ends of this house with expanded polystyrene Styrofoam blocks called Reddi-Form blocks that link together like Legos to create the most energy-efficient house possible.
This first green house for the Nantucket Housing Office will also employ an alternative technology septic system, bamboo flooring, low-volatile organic compound paints, Energy Starrated appliances, low-flow faucets and a solar hot water system with radiant heating in the floors.
The Reddi-Form blocks, four feet long, nine and five-eighths inches wide and one foot high with up to six chambers in each, come with channels on their bottoms and tabs on their tops that allow the Reddi-Forms to be connected to each other while being built into a wall. Reinforcement bar is placed down through the chambers of the Reddi-Forms and concrete is poured in to solidify the wall, said Andersen, providing extremely strong, durable walls and a continuous insulation barrier inside and outside that makes the house 30 to 70 percent more efficient than a traditional woodframed house.
"We're really looking forward to doing this," said Andersen. "I think it's the right move for the Housing Office. It's easier to heat and cool, and if the town is going to invest our money to do affordable housing, it needs to be affordable. I wish I could go back and retrofit my house with it."
Marcavitch said that he is trying for the silver Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design rating from the U.S. Green Building Council for this house and that he wants this first green affordable housing project to be as much of a benefit to the people to whom the Housing Office would rent it as a learning experience on which to build.
"The intent is to take all of the things we're learning from this project and apply them to other projects," said Marcavitch. "This isn't just about affordable housing, this is about housing in general, looking at different ways people can build houses."
The Reddi-Form blocks will work in concert with the solar panel hot water
panels, radiant heat floors and energyefficient
appliances. The solar panels are packed with evacuated tubes that absorb the heat from the collection surface of the panels, transferring it to water in the tubes for all household hot water needs. This heat exchanger system serves a dual purpose of providing hot water that is pumped through radiant heating pipes that will be laid in the floors of the house.
A super efficient propane-fired boiler controlled by a microcomputer kicks on when it determines the solar panel water is cooler than the chosen temperature settings for the house.
Andersen said that this system would be most active during the colder months of the year, specifically Sept. 21 through June 21.
"That, coupled with the insulation of the Reddi-Form blocks and we'll be able to use smaller appliances; it won't take as much energy to heat the building as it would with a conventional building," said Andersen.
The project is being funded by a grant for $245,000 from the Community Preservation Committee and some financial help from Energy Star, which is also helping the Housing Office with the costs of its LEED certification. With a second grant for $235,000 from CPC, the Housing Office is going to build another green house but with more traditional wood framing on Norquarta Drive.
Marcavitch said the Housing Office is trying to keep the size of these houses within reason to lessen its impact on the island environment and limit heating and cooling bills.
"In terms of green, obviously one of the most important things is keeping the size down, so to keep it at 676 square feet on the first floor, we're meeting a lot of LEED standards right off the bat," he said. "The Reddi-Form process makes it inherently very energy efficient."
Nantucket could take a giant leap toward meeting its state-mandated 10% affordable housing quota with the construction of housing at the town's 2 Fairgrounds Road property. If you want to learn more about this quota, attend tonight's Board of Selectmen meeting at 6 p.m. on the second floor of the Town & County Building at 16 Broad St. At this meeting, John Ryan of Development Cycles of Amherst, Mass. who wrote Nantucket's 2002 Housing Needs Assessment, will update the board on his plan for affordable housing at 2 Fairgrounds.
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- - [ Tradueix aquesta pàgina ]Jul 9, 2008 ... Housing Office building green houses for rental stock ... The Styro-Foam blocks forming the foundation and walls of this island house, ...
www.nantucketindependent.com/news/2008/0709/other_news/028.html - Pàgines semblants
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Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Ikea Homes in a Box
Yes- its true! Ikea is selling prepackaged 'flat-pack' homes in the UK. These cost effective lego-like homes might be a good solution for an easy low-cost diy home.
check out the following article courtesy of treehugger.com
IKEA is taking flatpack construction to a new high – the BoKlok is a flatpack house offering hope to hundreds of thousands of people currently unable to buy a house in the UK. These timber frame, 1 or 2 bedroom homes will be available.. ..for lower income families. Affordable housing is a testing issue for the government as high house prices over a decade forced key workers and local people to the urban margins. Well-tested in Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden, where 2,000 BoKloks occupy 45 sites, a new Anglo-Swedish venture aims to offer the flatpack housing at 13 IKEA outlets. Most BoKloks will be offered through the Hyde Group housing association, Paramount Homes and Skanska, IKEA’s partner in Scandinavia. Brits have shown considerable enthusiasm for minimalist Swedish design, with a stampede of 6,000 customers recently at a north London IKEA store. Whether the BoKlok (translating as Live Smart) aesthetic, a hybrid of country-and-western meets summer holiday home, will meet the romantic and practical aspirations of the British public, let alone the planners, remains to be seen. A glance to the post-World War II ‘Cornish Unit’ prefab concrete homes, and others of the same ilk, designed over fifty years ago to meet similar urgent housing needs, still sit awkwardly in the landscape. Whatever happened to ‘local is beautiful’? ::Hyde Housing and ::Ikea Boklok [by © Alastair Fuad-Luke, 2005.]
Posted by Patty Sylvana, Green Realtor at 8:59 AM
Monday, November 24, 2008
Landscape Architecture, Urban Ecological Design
* University of Washington
* College of Architecture & Urban Planning
* culturally based placemaking
* ecological infrastructure
* human & environmental health
* international partnerships
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE DESIGN BUILD PROGRAM IN GUATEMALA
Winter Quarter 2009: Outdoor Classroom
The Winter Design/Build 2008 Program offers students a unique service learning opportunity to study in one of the world’s most interesting countries, Guatemala. Rich in Mayan history and culture, Guatemala is an ecologically important with great swaths of forested land still intact and populations of endangered species threatened. This program is designed to meet two primary goals. First it offers students the opportunity to explore, observe and study in this unique country and gain insight into a unique culture and appreciate its vernacular environmental design. Second, the opportunity to work with a unique client and design and build an invaluable open space that will nurture and stimulate the children, their families and the community of garbage pickers.
Students will work with the client, Safe Passage (see description below), and the faculty to design and build an “outdoor classroom”. Students will learn the skills of small culturally appropriate site design and construction detailing through this intensive project. The process is formed around the collaborative model of inclusive design. Once the design is completed, each student will take on individual responsibilities for various aspects of the project. The rapid pace of both the design and construction will demand a deep level of commitment and responsibility. In the design phase, students will be taught graphics, site design, and construction documentation and learn what a “therapeutic garden” is and how it might function. In the building phase, students will be taught the principles and methodologies of construction, how to use tools, calculate materials and cost estimating. The students will also learn through the children and volunteers of Safe Passage and gain insight into how people survive in radically different cultures and in great depravation.
The park site is located in Zona #3, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the Guatemala City. The site, a former garbage dump has been partially cleared and a wall was recently erected around its perimeter to prevent land invasions and a pre-school is currently being erected on the park site. The park is surrounded on two sides by the squatter community, on another by the garbage dump; the largest in the city, where the families scavenge.
Goals of the Project
* The creation of a park (Children’s Peace Park) to be used by the children of Safe Passage to reduce their daily stresses, and accommodate a range of activities including vocational training, recreation and ecological awareness. The park will also serve as a therapeutic environment and safe refuge within the often violent and dangerous squatter community.
* In a working session with Safe Passage children and staff and the U of WA’s students and faculty develop a program that meets the needs of the existing and planned future programs for Safe Passage.
* Develop construction documents that articulate the design intent and can be implemented within the construction budget.
* Implement the third phase of the park and work with the Safe Passage’s staff and administrators to complete a maintenance plan.
Outcome of the Project
* The creation of a therapeutic learning environment that accommodates the therapeutic, academic, vocational, and recreational goals of the Safe Passage curriculum.
* The creation of a replicable community service model.
* Conduct a continuing evaluation based on follow up interviews over the next two years, to monitor and evaluate the park and document its use.
Landscape Architecture Design Build Program
The University of Washington Landscape Architecture Design Build Program has been asked by Camino Segura/Safe Passage a non-governmental agency based in Antigua Guatemala to design and build a number of components in a Park designed for children and to be used as a part of their educational outreach and support program. The children are from the families of the garbage pickers who were pulled out of school by their families to harvest garbage for resale in an effort to increase the family income. Safe Passage is supporting the children in their effort to gain an education and break the cycle of dropouts/garbage picking. The park will be integrated into the programs curriculum and is intended to offer therapeutic, educational, vocational and recreation support and opportunities.
Students will work with the client, Safe Passage (staff, administrators and children (see description below), and the faculty to design and build an “interactive landscape. Students will learn the skills of small site design and construction detailing, management, community participation.
The Landscape Architecture Design Build Program in Guatemala will be taught by Daniel Winterbottom, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Architecture. The Design/Build Program was initiated by Professor Winterbottom in 1995 and over the past decade has completed a diverse range of projects. The projects include a public wash facility for a rural community in central Mexico; several projects in Seattle including an intergenerational play and recreational area, an outdoor classroom and environmental learning facility, a community adopt-a-park in the Cascade neighborhood, two formerly paved spaces on the UW's west campus that were transformed into green space for staff and students; and a series of gardens for a foster home for children with AIDS in New York City.
Camino Seguro/Safe Passage
Located in both Guatemala City and Antigua, Guatemala, Safe Passage was founded in 1999 in an effort to help the poorest of Guatemala’s children break out of poverty in a dignified and permanent way through education. Working with children living near the garbage dump, Safe Passage has turned the dream of education into a reality for more than 500 children.
Children are the hidden victims of poverty. As innocent victims, born into poverty, they are forced by their parents to drop out of school and work aside their families to pick through the garbage and sell what they can, to eke out their minimal survival, amidst the domestic violence, alcoholism, and drug and sexual abuse that plagues their neighborhoods.
Safe Passage offers a wide range of services for the children of these families. By providing ongoing school support in the form of school enrollment, supplies, books and uniforms, Safe Passage supports children in twelve area public schools. Each child can earn assistance with clothing, shoes and other needed items, by regularly attending school and the daily reinforcement program. Safe Passage also provides home and school visits to provide each child with additional support and a powerful awareness that someone cares deeply about them and their future.
The reinforcement program assists children with their homework and provides creative, meaningful hands on activities to reinforce their skills. Safe Passage depends on local and foreign volunteers to provide the children with individual attention they so desperately need. Volunteers are instrumental in the planning and administration of these activities. The park will play a significant role in the activities Safe Passage administers. It is intended to be a place of learning, recreation, exploration and healing. As a safe place, where children can express themselves as children, they will also learn about their local culture and ecology. The park will be a unique refuge in a neighborhood torn between poverty, violence and despair.
This collaborative relationship between the Safe Passage and the University of Washington offers a wonderful opportunity to combine teaching, research and to develop across discipline interaction between the Safe Passage personnel and the Department of Landscape Architecture. The design/build program represents an innovative model for teaching, intellectual exchange and service learning, and when realized, will provide a valuable community asset for the people of Zona #3 Guatemala City. (more & photos of the "Garden of Hope" 2006)
Students design residence for Guatemalan street kids
In architecural studio course, 'real world situation' brings challenges, constraints
BY BARBARA PALMER
A blizzard of drawing paper covers the big table in Room 219 in Encina West on Mondays and Wednesdays as the 11 students enrolled in Civil and Environmental Engineering 137 -- an architectural design studio -- produce flurries of floor plans, site designs and scale drawings for their course project, a residential and institutional campus.
But in the words of Jeff Luney, a local architect who's serving as a design critic for the course, this is more than "paper architecture." Students are wrestling with the demands of a real site -- a hilly, irregularly shaped, 3-acre plot cut by a deep ravine -- and the needs of a real client, Estela Solis.
Seniors Luis Trujillo and Lucy Goodnough discussed the parcel of land upon which the Center for the Restoration of the Multitudes in Guatemala hopes to build a residential campus for former street children. Photo: L.A. Cicero
Solis is the founder of Center for the Restoration of the Multitudes (CEREM) in Chichicastenango, Guatemala, which provides shelter, drug treatment, counseling and occupational therapy for former gang members and prostitutes. Solis, a counselor, founded CEREM after witnessing the condition of women and children living in a garbage dump in Guatemala City.
Solis' foundation, which houses 20 to 30 individuals and treats dozens more, currently is based in a rented house, from which residents operate a bakery and a cafe. Solis plans to expand the program to include a residential campus on a site 20 minutes outside Guatemala City, where former prostitutes and street children could safely live, go to school and work.
It's the design of that campus that students are creating, with the help of architects Luney and David Nieh, lecturer and architect Marga Jann, and other lecturers and faculty who serve as visiting design critics. In addition to group-home-style residences, students are designing classrooms, spaces for small businesses, a church and a retreat center. Solis, accompanied by Guatemalan architect Alberto de Leon Escobar and a CEREM resident, will travel to campus next Monday for a design review of the project.
The course is titled Architectural Design of Individual Buildings: Ethics, Community Service and Social Responsibility, and students, drawn from backgrounds including medicine, history, urban studies, human biology, and civil and environmental engineering, take an interdisciplinary approach to the project.
Their designs, which use Guatemalan vernacular architecture and textile art as a springboard, address residents' needs for privacy and community, recreation and security, along with the need for square footage. "I love how architecture combines art with functionality," wrote Ben Palmquist in a description of the course project. "It takes into account everything from psychology to structural engineering."
"It's not just a place for kids to eat and sleep," added senior Luis Trujillo, a 21-year-old history major who brought the foundation to Jann's attention and serves as a board member. He has conducted research on education, poverty and street children.
The project is a rare opportunity for students and far different from more typical architectural projects that address problems like "How many offices can we fit into this space?" or "How many cases of Coca-Cola can we push out the back?" Luney said.
Their designs for the campus are imaginative, with curving walls and vine-shaded patios, rendered in a rainbow of colors. Yet in their critiques, architects Luney, Nieh and Jann keep students rooted in prosaic realities like drainage and sewer systems. "Are we using septic tanks? We have to think about the utilities," responded Nieh, after Palmquist presented a site plan sketch.
Students also are working to identify funding sources and are creating a business plan to generate income through the manufacture of clothing. The older residents will design and sew skirts, to be sold through organizations like the Fair Trade Federation, and class members are hoping to help CEREM to begin exporting Guatemalan crafts and tapestries, Jann said. (Students will take orders for Guatemalan textiles at the June 2 design review, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wallenberg Learning Theater. The design review is open to the community.)
A project like the CEREM campus has a lot of constraints, said Jann, who has previously worked with student designers to create blueprints for a residence at a Mexican orphanage, now under construction. The project is ambitious and has little funding, and the student architects, who come from a wide variety of backgrounds, are amateurs, she said. On the plus side are the students' commitment and ability, she said. "They are really motivated and are hard workers."
"It's not really even a class," said Palmquist. "It's a real-world situation. Most of us plan to stick with the project after the class is over."
The class receives support from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Center for Social Innovation at the Graduate School of Business, the Institute for International Studies, the Program in Ethics in Society, the Haas Center for Public Service and the Program on Urban Studies.
Blog by Kelly Hart, Crestone, Colorado, United States
Sustainable architecture is an exciting and important field, with many people reviving traditional methods of building and others creating innovations to established practices. Kelly Hart, webmaster of the popular website www.greenhomebuilding.com, posts text and photos featuring what he discovers from around the world.
Kelly Hart has been involved with green building concepts for much of his life. He has also worked in various fields of communication media, including still photography, cinematography, animation, video production and now website development. Kelly has lived in an earthbag/papercrete home that he built (but is now mostly living in Mexico) and consults about sustainable building design.
Visit my green home building site and ecological house plans site.
Our little green house with lovely sunroom, gardens, daffodils, impatiens and outdoor fountains in Oxford NC. Who would have guessed this tiny little house would have turned out to be so nice? With windows and French doors throughout the entire space, it's like living in the garden, with views from every room. Absolutely Marvelous!
Note 11.08: This is the plan I want to use for my little houses in Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, although using the Spanish colonial character and designs. Can't wait to get started!
I have to find the Springtime photo with dogwoods blooming and 2,000 daffodils planted!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Cities Go Green.com
Hexayurt, Progressive Building Solutions (PBS)
Sam Taber McNeil Silver Bullet
Far from his home in Reykjavik, Iceland, at the height of a desert storm in Nevada, Vinay Gupta had an epiphany. He was at the 2003 Burning Man arts festival, inside a six-sided structure he had invented and named the hexayurt.
“I was inside, and I knew I’d changed the world,” Gupta said. “We’re comfortable in here, while outside there’s a whiteout dust storm, it’s 110 degrees Fahrenheit, and this cost $100.”
Since then, Gupta has worked on transforming the hexayurt into an easily transported, cheap and sustainable shelter for refugees, rural villagers, disaster victims, and others.
"Take 12 sheets of standard industrial board material, cut six in half, tape or screw them together, and move in,” Gupta said. “Boom: there’s your global housing.”
... Gupta has made the design and other information freely available online (see Resources). Videos on his website and Progressive Building Solution’s website show construction with box cutters and industrial tape, and YouTube also has numerous hexayurt videos, some made by enthusiasts, most by Gupta or Zwern. www.citiesgogreen.com/component/content/article/45-the-tech-fix/183-hexayurt
Progressive Building Solutions.com
Added: March 19, 2008
Two part folding 8 foot hexayurt in Eindhoven, The Netherlands
This is a folding hexayurt prototype being assembled at the Technical University of Eindhoven in spring 2008. It is being assembled as part of the Red Cross sponsored researching going on at TUE. You can see it takes less than ten minutes to assemble from start to finish.
The production hexayurt has a higher wall so people can stand at any point in the building, and several additional design features.
The Hexayurt is a prize-winning shelter you can build yourself for about $200 (backup link). Suitable raw materials include common building materials ( fire safe insulation boards,) hexacomb cardboard and plastic. You cut six 4' x 8' panels in half diagonally to make the roof, and use six more whole panels to form the walls. It takes about two hours. The design (backup link) is in the public domain.
Different materials are appropriate for different uses - insulation, extended life, low cost, durability in extreme environments and so on. The design is in the public domain, and is in active development as a Free/Open Source style project.
The Hexayurt Project also includes groundbreaking work (pdf) (backup link) on providing simple services like interior lighting at incredibly low cost.
Important safety notice. Please read the Hexayurt Safety Information page on Appropedia for news on using Tuff-R / R-Max to make Hexayurts for Burning Man and similar events. (more)
Monday, November 10, 2008
Better Structural Strength
Because steel has the highest strength to weight ratio of any building material, it is by nature a superior construction material. It doesn’t rot, warp, split, crack or creep. It doesn’t expand or contract with moisture content.
A steel framed home will always have straight walls and square corners. No aggravating nail pops or drywall cracks. Steel framing can take popular finishes like brick, stucco or siding, so a steel framed home looks every bit as beautiful as any conventional home.
(add photos +)
Steel Frame Model Home Showcase
Rhino Steel Buildings 4305 I-35 North, Denton, TX 76207 | T: (888) 320-7466 | F: (940) 484-6746 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to the
Rhino Steel Buildings
Steel Frame Model Home Showcase.
Select a home for detailed elevation shots, floorplans, and more. Overall dimensions of models is reflected by model number. Example: Sweetwater NS4059 is 40’ left to right and 59’ front to back.
Why is a Steel Framed Home Better?
1364 sq. ft.
The Canton offers both front and rear covered porches, a split bedroom and a 12' x 12' open kitchen.
Living: 1032 sq ft
Front Porch: 249 sq ft
Back Porch: 188 sq ft
List Price: $10,996.00
2706 sq. ft.
The Amherst features a large family room with adjacent spacious kitchen area. A wrap around porch can accommodate shaded comfort at different times of the day and different seasons. A front entry two car garage is included.
Living: 1504 sq. ft
Wrap around porch: 732 sq ft.
Garage: 470 sq. ft
List Price: $22,493.00
YouTube video, from: Bungalow In a Box.com
Added: November 10, 2008
Why Build a Small House
Weathertight, Panel-Frame Structures
Living in a small house helps its owners prioritize their needs when the time comes to expand. They design the perfect timber frame addition which nearly doubles the living space to add an adaptable guest room, workshop, and indoor shower.
Category: Howto & Style
addition design timberframe house plans
We build the shell weathertight so you can relax and take your time on the interior finish.
Our component kits make durable cottage-camps, garages, home offices and studios. Our unique framing technique joins low-maintenance, natural materials to create beautiful structures that last. Prefabricated interlocking, exterior-finish panels assemble quickly with minimal on-site waste.
A BungalowInABox goes up on your foundation with a finished exterior appearance in in one or two days. (Impress your friends and neighbors.)
Call (207) 443-5691 and let us impress you today.
IN THE NEWS Sept.19,2008: CHANNEL 8 WMTW
4-minute video: Snowy bungalow raising.
Mountain-Top Photos: Unfinished Retreat.
Studio Photos: Finished Office near house.
A slideshow of Montsweag Bungalows
Choose your own color combinations.
Call (207) 443-5691 or email email@example.com today!
We are easy to reach pretty much any time during regular business hours:
M-F 8am-5pm, also (less) available on weekends:
Montsweag Brook Corporation
425 Montsweag Road
Woolwich, ME 04579
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Sustainable Building with Trash
Calacirya Foundation is employing new building techniques using plastic trash in construction. This serves to hide unsightly, disease-causing garbage while creating community areas for all to enjoy. In addition, focus is placed on the importance of dealing with plastic trash in a more responsible manner and the long term effects of creating non-biodegradable garbage. Our two-fold goal is to affect a significant reduction in the use of plastics and to promote trash construction.
Community Garden Project .
In 2003, Calacirya Foundation, in cooperation with Kansas State University (Community Service Program), Rotary International and the High School in San Marcos, began a community garden. This project serves as our prototype for sustainable building projects of the future. The garden has not only beautified an area that was once neglected and unsightly, but is also serving as a classroom for the youth of San Marcos to learn about trash construction and other enviromental issues.
Ecological Sanitation Project
"Water and Sanitation is one of the primary drivers of public health. I often refer to it as “Health 101”, which means that once we can secure access to clean water and to adequate sanitation facilities for all people, irrespective of the difference in their living conditions, a huge battle against all kinds of diseases will be won."
Dr LEE Jong-wook, Director-General, World Health Organization.
About 2.4 billion people globally live under highly unsanitary conditions and have such poor hygiene behaviors that their exposure to and the spread of infectious diseases are enormous. Diarrheal disease alone amounts to an estimated 4.1 % of the total DALY global burden of disease and is responsible for the deaths of 1.8 million people every year (WHO, 2004). It was estimated that 88% of that burden is attributable to unsafe water supply, sanitation and hygiene, and is mostly concentrated on children in developing countries.
In the town of San Marcos la Laguna approximately 50% of the 450 families do not currently have bathrooms and there is no dump or solid waste disposal. Trash and human excrement are polluting the water ways and mountainsides. Calacirya Foundation has combined several ideas to make ecological sanitation facilities which not only contain human waste, but also make compost and use trash in the construction process.
This project is a grand opportunity to share with families how solid and human waste affects the health of the environment and in turn the health of the community. Families help in the construction of the bathrooms and are responsible for stuffing plastic bottles with trash to be used as fill for the bathroom walls. This allows ample time to instruct the family on better sanitation practices and proper care of their ecological composting toilet. They are also shown how to maintain a composting system for the excrement that is safe to fertilize crops. In addition, every family is given soap to emphasize the need to wash hands after handling trash or using the bathroom.
However, as stated above, black water is not the only environmental contaminate present. Grey water is also endangering local water ways. Calacirya Foundation is installing grey water filtration systems in individual houses so washing water does not flow away from the property. Using a permaculture system grey water is contained and broken down by a ring of bananas and flowers. In the meantime the “banana circle” also provides shade, food and a place to compost organic material; and the flowers create more of a “garden” atmosphere.
Ecological sanitation, trash education, composting and grey water filtration combined with the Calacirya Foundation stove project make a well-rounded household health system.
Calacirya Foundation goals are to:
Better community health through change in household sanitation practices
Promote ecological awareness in the house as well as the surrounding environment
Demonstrate the direct connection between the health of the environment and the health of families
World Health Organization Website, 2007.
“Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion: Programming Guidance,” Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council and the World Health Organization, 2005.
Co-Founders: Christian Nix and Emily Webb
US: 1-866-841-9139 ext.1011
Guatemala: (011) (502) 4060-9412
See the main organization: puravidaatitlan.org/english.html
The majority of villages in Guatemala have no trash dumps or system to collect and contain their trash. Trash is dumped on the ground, in lakes and in rivers. Vital drinking water is being contaminated. Children are playing in garbage; and disease is being spread.
Pura Vida teaches villagers to compact clean, dry plastic trash into used plastic bottles, thereby converting waste into easily-storable and transportable “plastic bricks” for construction.
To promote environmental consciousness among the indigenous villages of Guatemala, in order to curb the contamination of air, soil and water, promote healthier living conditions, and preserve the beauty of the land. (more)
Friday, November 7, 2008
7 Haunting Deserted Hotels, Hospitals, & Churches
Written by Delana on November 5th, 2008 - weburbanist.com
Topics: Abandonments, Architecture, History, Street Art, Travel, Urban, Urbex
What is it about abandoned buildings that’s so alluring? What causes us to be fascinated by the forgotten ruins of structures that once teemed with life? It may have something to do with the original purpose of those buildings. Homes and towns where families once lived are fascinating, but there’s something tragic and amazing about hospitals, churches, hotels and asylums. These homes-away-from-home were often the setting of life-changing experiences. When they’re abandoned and left to return to dust, we can’t help but imagine what used to take place within those walls.
st johns lincolnshire county paupers home
North Wales Hospital
Build Your Own Flat-Pack House
Related Article: How House Construction Works
Watch this Reuters video demonstrating how a flat-pack house was moved from Congo and rebuilt in London. Flat pack houses begin as flat sheets of wood and metal, and they don't take a special degree in rocket science to build.
How House Construction Works
by Marshall Brain
Brain, Marshall. "How House Construction Works." 01 April 2000. HowStuffWorks.com.
Inside this Article
1. Introduction to How House Construction Works
2. Setting the Stage
3. Steps to Building a House
4. Site Preparation
See more »
7. Crawl Space
12. Windows and Doors
16. Rough Plumbing
17. Rough Electrical
20. Garage Slab
21. Finishing Up
22. Lots More Information
23. See all General Repairs articles
Go Green: Home Energy Plan (Play Video)
Go Green: Home Energy Plan
A big part of the green movement is implementing an efficient home energy plan. Learn more by checking out this HowStuffWorks video. (October, 2007)
* More Home & Garden Videos
* More Discovery Videos
Home DIY Projects
Ultimate Garage Wall System
Space-saving Cabinet Between Wall Studs
In the United States, there are more than 100 million housing units, and the majority of them are "single family dwellings," or houses. In cities, in the suburbs and in rural communities, houses are a very common sight.
Have you ever wondered how a house is built? What holds up the ceilings and the walls? What keeps the rain out? What parts go into making a house? How many different people are involved when a house goes up? If you would like to know the answers to questions like these, or if you have simply been curious to know all the steps that go into making a new home, then read on. In this article, you'll learn exactly how houses are built.
Gregg Fleishman's Flatpack House
by Lloyd Alter, Toronto on 06.27.07
Design & Architecture (prefab)
We do get excited about flatpack furniture, downloadable designs and CNC machines; California architect Gregg Fleishmann has brought them all together in his DH1 Distaster House and his Shelter system. All of the pieces are router cut from sustainable European birch plywood with phenolic resin on both sides. Pieces just fit together without fasteners or glue. It doesn't look too waterproof, but the architect says a plastic canvas or other skin is required. Fleishmann combines "fun and functionality to create innovative designs for shelter systems, play structures, furnishings and more." and considers his mission "to continue developing ways to make building easier."
Imagine a future where you go to the local router shop and walk out with a stack of plywood that you just piece together to build your home, no tools or training necessary. It might look like this.
It is available from Swarm Studios for US$ 22,000.
Google Sketchup 3D Tiny House Designs
Kent Griswold on 05 Nov 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
The WTN X-Prizes: Motivating Cathedrals of Achievement
October 24, 2004 4:24 PM
(WorldChanging ally Hassan Masum contributed the following essay:)
When SpaceShipOne cracked the 100 km barrier for the second time to win the Ansari X-prize, the significance of a cheap, reusable, suborbital launch vehicle was celebrated all around the world. As we reported previously, the WTN is following up by proposing a series of social X Prizes, and asking for suggestions. What challenges are worth setting up as prize targets? And as Nicole Boyer asked about prizes, "...under what conditions do they actually make a difference?"
Well, let's think about it a little differently: as an investment problem. Suppose you had from $10 to $100 million to spend, in social entrepreneurship or philanthropy. You want to create new technology or solve a longstanding problem - to bring something new into the world that increases the range of the possible. How could you get the best impact for your money?
As Nicole noted, there's the Nobel prize and MacArthur Fellows models. While the former has more name recognition, the latter probably has more impact - it gives 5 years of financial independence to cool people while they are still in their active and creative years. As they say, "the fellowship is not a reward for past accomplishment, but rather an investment in a person's originality, insight, and potential. Indeed, the purpose of the MacArthur Fellows Program is to enable recipients to exercise their own creative instincts for the benefit of human society."
Then there are the high-risk grants made by some funding agencies, like DARPA and more recently the NIH (National Institutes of Health). From the mission statement of the brand-new NIH Pioneer Award: "History suggests that leaps in knowledge frequently result from exceptional minds willing and able to explore ideas that were considered risky at their inception, especially in the absence of strong supportive data. Such individuals are more likely to take such risks when they are assured of adequate funds for a sufficient period of time, and with the freedom to set their own research agenda."
On a society-wide basis, putting social investment funds exclusively into high-risk grants is about as sensible as picking only startups for your retirement savings plan. But just as mixing asset classes is essential in finance to bound your downside while benefiting from potential upside, we need some degree of reaching beyond our comfort zone in experimenting with social systems and technology. If you can evaluate potential rewards well enough, the few stellar successes make all the rest worthwhile.
Of course, that's the whole trick - how to evaluate potential? The bottom-up grants above evaluate a person's work as an observable proxy for their future potential, on the theory that cool people will naturally keep doing cool work. Traditional research grants occupy a middle ground, using peer review to try to estimate how much value a proposed line of work will generate. The WTN X-prizes are then at the opposite end of the spectrum, with no evaluation of people (the starting point), or of proposed research (the journey) - instead there's only a big fat prize for success (the destination).
If the destination satisfies deeply held human needs, then grand challenges shore up failures of the market by creating a "social demand" for uneconomic yet necessary tasks, going beyond typical consumer demands to make manifest a latent, distributed desire. Think of it as making a market for goals higher on Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Monetary prizes aren't always the best motivating force, especially for inherently distributed ventures like Wikipedia...but at least they focus attention on issues.
To many of us, grand challenges lie in large-scale social technology - macro-relations, if you will. Take this group blog as an example. Many of you read Slashdot, and despite all its faults it does manage to filter contributions from millions of readers. How could a more action-oriented site like WorldChanging be scaled up into a self-managing SlashWikiBlogNoosphere community of millions, with the quality of output continuously increasing as users are added? How could social software enable a community so resourceful that it could, for example, use collaboration, filtering, and modeling tools to rapidly develop solutions for global emergencies and disasters?
Cathedrals in Europe still evoke wonder and admiration - what "cathedrals of achievement" can we build to match that in the 21st century, to remind us every day of higher goals that matter?
EcoBusiness Links Environmental Directory
Online house plans for sustainable construction. Key ingredients: passive solar, small, energy efficiency, sustainable materials. House types: earthship, straw bale, earth sheltered, geodesic dome, rammed earth, solar, monolithic dome,...
If you know of pages with sustainable house plans, please do send the url, thanks!
Eco House Plans (Various styles)
Wise Home Design The most affordable house plans you’ll find anywhere. You'll get a custom house design with the most energy efficient construction methods, and friendly, professional service.
Dream Green Home Plans Dream Green Homes is your complete source for alternative, sustainable, green or natural home plans.
LX & R Design
New Mexico LX&R Design does not build homes. LX&R Design specializes in the design of Custom Passive-Solar Adobe, Strawbale and Hybrid (Adobe /Strawbale) homes. LX&R Design utilizes state-of-the-art design tools.
Architectural House Plans Solar home plans, strawbale home plans, adobe house plans, small home plans
Earthship House Plans
High Thermal Mass Floorplan A high thermal house allows for proper storage of heat or cooling and is very appropiate to avoid overheating in solar houses.
Straw Bale House Plans
Passive Solar Straw Bale
Arizona Personal page with house plan, costs, construction pictures, materials used.
BaleWatch Straw bale house plans for sale.
Solar House Plans
OurCoolHouse Showcase site by the owner of this passive solar house that features earth shelter design, geothermal exchange, and energy recycling. Includes plans, documents the construction and explains the efficiency of the design.
SunPlans Our passive solar house plans are inspired by the movement of the sun.
Enertia House Plans Some plans for houses that intend to be energy producers rather than energy users.
North Carolina University Solar House Solar home design, includes plans.
Thanks in advance, Catherine Todd, CTodd1000@gmail.com
Found so far:
Free Straw Bale Emergency Shelter Plans
GEIGER RESEARCH INSTITUTE of SUSTAINABLE BUILDING ... Free plans are now available thanks to the efforts of Matts Myhrman, Judy Knox and Owen Geiger. ...
www.grisb.org/publications/pub1.htm - 14k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
Free Green Turns House Design Business On Its Head : TreeHugger
Nice that they have free plans, but their idea of a "modest" size is ... A1400 sqft single floor building is not modest and should certainly manage more ...
www.treehugger.com/files/2008/05/free-green-turns-house-design-on-its-head.php - 110k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
GRISB Sustainable Building Blog: Free Straw Bale Shelter Plans
The Geiger Research Institute offers the free plans on their website. ... He is an author and engineer specializing in sustainable building. ...
sustainablehousing.blogspot.com/2005/08/free-straw-bale-shelter-plans.html - 17k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
GRISB Sustainable Building Blog
This publication is now available from the Geiger Research Institute of Sustainable Building for $20 as a download. Visit the Contact Us webpage to place an ...
sustainablehousing.blogspot.com/ - 71k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
Free Printable Furniture Building Plans
Furniture green green building leed manufacturing material materials modular nau ... and meet many allows one to download free plans of a foldable stool. ...
iea.edu.ar/docs/tnt-prin6a/free-printable-furniture-building-plans.html - 10 hours ago - Similar pages - Note this
Low Impact Living » Blog Archive » Green House Plans from FreeGreen
Jul 2, 2008 ... (For instance to download you need to click on the “virtual tour” link ... this- how awesome - I can’t wait to drool over some free plans. ...
www.lowimpactliving.com/blog/2008/07/02/free-green-home-plans/ - 27k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
Dolls House Plans
If you are planning on building a doll house for yourself or as a gift there are free plan sources available in several scales. You can find free plans on ...
miniatures.about.com/od/dollhouseminiatures/tp/Doll-House-Plans.htm - 28k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
Ontario Equity Canada - Home Building and Construction
www.greenbuilding.ca; Green Building Case Studies (US) - Sustainable building case ... www.eole.org; PicoTurbine (US) - Site for free plans and low-cost ...
www.ontarioequity.com/ontario_links/homebuilding_and_construction.shtml - 44k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
Springwise newsletter | 28 May 2008
May 28, 2008 ... Consumers who download FreeGreen's plans get not just the very ... first to align with FreeGreen as your town's local green building expert. ...
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Building a Compost Pit - Creative Ideas for Green Home Improvement ...
Building a Compost Bin - Free Plans. Free plans - how to build a compost bin or .... Kitchen and Bath Association getting more into sustainable design. ...
greenhome.swicki.com/Building+a+Compost+Pit/ - 54k
(more, keyword search used (try others?): download "free plans" sustainable building
"Most Active Stories Today in Green Lifestyle tagged with architecture" Sample:
Returning to Our Roots: Scientists Claim They Will Grow Tree-Homes in a Decade
Green Lifestyle (tags: greenliving, eco-friendly, coolstuff, architecture, interesting, green, environment, technology )
- 39 days ago - dailymail.co.uk
Humans may one day be returning to the forests to live in ecological homes grown from tree roots.
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Turning House Roofs Into Solar Collectors
Green Lifestyle (tags: architecture, CO2emissions, conservation, coolstuff, eco-friendly, energy, goodnews, green, greenproducts, humans, interesting, Sustainabililty, technology )
- 46 days ago - technologyreview.com
A US company has created a metal roof system that generates up to 120 kilowatts of electricity from sunlight while protecting the buildings from bad weather. They can withstand over 160 mph winds. Noted in Doomwatch Legacy by Sunstroke author David Kagan.
8 comments | visit site | problem?
The Greenest Home in the World
Green Lifestyle (tags: eco-friendly, clothing, architecture, greenproducts, greenliving, green, sustainable, technology, goodnews )
- 49 days ago - msnbc.msn.com
Two green pioneers attempt to build the greenest house possible-- See the video!
Building An Eco-House
Green Lifestyle (tags: architecture, green home, sustainable )
- 164 days ago - alternativeconsumer.com
Lars Hundley of Clean Air Gardening and architect Bryan Welty decided to collaborate on designing an entirely eco friendly, energy-efficient home. Now, they're offering 5 construction plan sets (blueprints) with floor plans, exterior elevations ...
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by Lloyd Alter, Toronto on 05. 2.08
Design & Architecture in treehugger.com
There is an entire industry of stock plan books and plan sites. Some are created by architects and designers with talent; others are full of the usual faux manors. Very few are modern designs and fewer still are what one might call green. All of them are ripped off constantly by every builder and client who isn't willing to hire an architect and isn't even willing to pay a couple of hundred bucks for a set of plans.
David Wax and his team at Free Green turn the home design business model on its head. They are charging exactly what most people are willing to pay for design: Nothing. (click for photos)
And they are not bad plans at all; they say “Good home design comes from a collaborative effort in which aesthetics, performance, and value are constantly discussed, debated, and maximized” and it shows. They offer a fairly traditional three-bedroom 2-1/2 bath plan that would not offend anyone (having every standard feature that almost every house in North America has) and an interesting smaller "suburban loft" model, with the promise of many more to come- architects and designers are invited to submit plans for the catalog.
The business model: "we offer free, downloadable, buildable energy efficient and healthy home plans to everyone. Our revenue comes from the green product vendors that we specify into the plans (via an advertising and lead generation model)."
Architects can't make money doing one-off houses and most people aren't willing to pay for it, or don't even value it. The traditional model is broken, so why not market architecture like software or blogs and give it away, making money from the ads? Finally there is a model where somebody "looks forward to helping you [architects and designers] get the exposure and revenue you deserve."
Their construction documents are thorough, complete with "a Location Specific Energy Performance Report for over 200 cities across the United States, and Full Construction Document sets in 24 by 36 format (including all the details, and a LEED-H checklist for use on the job site)."
I downloaded the document package and as an architect who has done my share of them, I was pretty impressed. Getting work of this quality and thoroughness done for a one-off house would cost many thousands of dollars. Just the LEED analysis would cost thousands.
I so want this to work; it is a brilliant idea that could succeed where modern prefab failed, by making good green design accessible and affordable right across the country. Their timing is awful, smack in the middle of a real estate meltdown, and there is no guarantee that the person downloading the plans is going to implement any of the green ideas or use any of the products specified. Intellectual property has little value in the housebuilding game, so who knows what will actually get built. It is also almost completely a suburban and exurban business, which will be seriously affected by the price of oil.
However if it works, it could be game-changing. ::Free Green via ::Inhabitat
Thirsty for more? Check out these related articles:
* Design 21 Hosts Carnival of the Green
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* Will Green Design Retailers Survive the Recession?
Sustainable Architecture Resources
Linking you to 19 of the best Sustainable Architecture resources we've found.
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Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility
P.O. Box 9126
Berkeley, CA 94709-0126
* Topics: green materials
* Resources: publications: The Architectural Resource Guide, which includes extensive regional and national contact information for manufacturers and distributors of sustainable construction materials; and New Village Journal, a semiannual journal documenting progressive leadership in planning, architecture, and community revitalization. Also: library, research service, green materials display and database available to the public at 2000 Center Street, Suite 120, in Berkeley.
Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology
1200 18th St NW, #900
Washington, DC 20036
202/530-2202; fax: 202/887-0497 e-mail
* Topics: green materials; green design
* Resources: publications, databases, links, listservs, and software (Green Building Advisor)
Educating Architects for a Sustainable Environment
* Topics: architecture education
* Resources: recommendations, implementation strategies, model curricula, and links
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