Nonprofit teaches communities how to build homes out of straw, clay and soil

May 31, 2017 by  
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Emily Niehaus was working as a loan officer when she see realized that there was a need for affordable, sustainable housing options in her community. So she founded Community Rebuilds – a nonprofit that teaches people to build affordable homes out of “dirt cheap” materials like clay , straw and soil . Interns participate in a 5-month program, completing two homes from foundation to finish using sustainable living principles. Community Rebuilds started in Moab, UT as a way to ease the financial strains of people living in the community. Since then, the project has spread to southwestern Colorado and the Hopi Reservation in Arizona. The initiative has constructed 25 homes in four communities with the goal of expanding knowledge about valuable natural building skills across the US. Homes are built out of natural materials like straw, soil and clay using passive design techniques. They are equipped with green tech like solar arrays and sustainable features like adobe floors, earthen plasters and greywater systems. Related: Navajo mum gets new lease on life with this solar-powered home The first home was built in 2010, and since then the internship has evolved to include 16 people over a five-month term. Interns build two homes from the ground up. In exchange for their labor they get housing, food and an invaluable education in sustainable building. + Community Rebuilds  

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Nonprofit teaches communities how to build homes out of straw, clay and soil

Dwell on Design 2017: The West Coast’s largest design event is coming to Los Angeles!

May 24, 2017 by  
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Dwell on Design , the West Coast’s largest design event, is back and better than ever for 2017. The highly-anticipated three-day design event to be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center June 23 – 25 will feature 300 exhibitors, continuing education opportunities and onstage programming from design’s foremost leaders. Visitors will be able to tour homes curated by the talented editors at Dwell and attend conversations hosted by notable architect Sir David Adjaye , designer-to-the-stars Martyn Lawrence Bullard and founder of DwellStudio, Christiane Lemieux. If you don’t want to miss this treasure trove of design-goodness, register here to reserve your spot and you can use the code INHABITAT to get a $5 discount. For it’s 12th year, Dwell on Design will welcome 300 new and returning exhibitors in 100,000 square feet of space. In order to foster a shared experience, all sessions and featured panels will be hosted on the main stage, with more intimate fire-side chats and panels taking place throughout the fair. These conversations will focus on five themes: Technology/Smart Home, Health & Wellness/Aging, Urban Space/Densification, Resiliency, and Business of Design. Every year, the home tours are a real highlight of the show. This year, attendees will be treated to yet another inspiring series of Dwell-worthy home designs, including the minimalist Drexel home, cleverly remodeled Kuehl House and the mnmMOD-constructed Sherbourne Residence. Returning pavilions will include the ever-popular prefabricated Cocoon9 and Method Homes . Other exhibitors will include Benjamin Moore, Ergotron, Build.com, Hansgrohe, Humboldt Redwoods, Koble & Koble, Marvin Windows, Smith & Fong, and Stokke. The fair will also feature the AIA LA Photography awards, book signings by Sir David Adjaye, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, and more, Meet the Architects Night, and a silent auction. Architect Sir David Adjaye of Adjaye Associates will be the keynote speaker on Friday, June 23. He’s known for his ground-breaking use of materials and has created such noteworthy designs as the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, the Moscow School of Management, and the stunning, recently-opened Smithsonian Institute National Museum of African American History and Culture . Then there’s Martyn Lawrence Bullard, star of Million Dollar Decorators and designer to Hollywood’s A-list, who has received international acclaim for his impressive mastery of style, and Christiane Lemieux, an acclaimed designer who founded DwellStudio  and Cloth & Company, as well as acting as creative director of Wayfair. Ongoing education partners include such respected names as the American Society of Interior Designers , U.S. Green Building Council , Sustainable Furnishings Council , and the National Kitchen and Bath Association . Attendees will be able to expand their knowledge on emergent topics, including the latest color trends, NetZero building practices, Passive Design principles, psychological effects of color use, sustainable landscapes, modern prefabricated design, living in small spaces, and sustainable housing. Year after year, Dwell on Design showcases groundbreaking and life-changing designs that end up transforming the industry. We can’t wait to see what is turning heads this year, but until then, you can check out all of the best Dwell on Design coverage from past years here . And don’t forget to nab your tickets for this year’s fair before they’re all gone,

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Dwell on Design 2017: The West Coast’s largest design event is coming to Los Angeles!

Ultra-green house in Seattle marries aesthetics and sustainability

March 22, 2017 by  
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This ultra-green house for a Seattle family of four has achieved an exceptional level of sustainability without compromising on aesthetics. Shed Architecture & Design designed the Madrona Passive House as a net-zero residence for former Microsoft program manager and renowned environmental advocate Jabe Blumenthal. With a super-insulated envelope and passive design features such as heat recovery systems, photovoltaics, green roofs and stormwater and rainwater harvesting, the house minimizes its energy consumption and act as a stellar example of climate-friendly living. The 3,700-square-foot home relies on solar panels , high-performance construction and a contemporary design for its energy efficiency. A well insulated envelope which includes a Zehnder ComfoAir heat recovery ventilator that pumps fresh air into the interior contributes to its low energy consumption . This technology also recovers 90 percent of thermal energy from exhaust air for reuse inside. Rainwater from the home’s roof and the green roof on the garage goes into two cisterns via permeable pavers, while mechanical shading system and triple-pane windows regulate solar gain . The owners can also tap into the building’s real-time consumption by using the circuit-by-circuit energy monitoring system with dashboard. Related: Seattle’s Palatine Passive House consumes 90% less energy than a conventional home Achieving the world’s most demanding building energy standards – Passive House – the building is expected to also receive the Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready and Living Building Challenge’s Net Zero Energy Building certifications. The project was recognized by Green Builder Media as winner of the 2016 Green Home of the Year Award in the Best Energy Efficiency category. + SHED Architecture & Design Via Green Builder Media Photos by Mark Woods

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Ultra-green house in Seattle marries aesthetics and sustainability

C.F. Mller unveils new images for sustainable and garden-filled vertical village in Antwerp

November 28, 2016 by  
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9NBzc3LaMc Located in Antwerp’s Nieuw Zuid area on the river Schelde, the residential tower breaks from traditional design with its community-oriented structure that encourages social interactions beyond just chance encounters in the lift or lobby. The building will contain a variety of housing types to encourage diversity that range from small, shared flats suitable for students to larger family homes and live-work studios . The 15,000-square-meter tower block will include 154 homes as well as a mix of shops, offices, and communal facilities. Related: Zaha Hadid Architects renovate a derelict fire station into Antwerp’s new BREEAM-rated port headquarters The compact volume will be wrapped in a light-grid that defines the vertical mini-communities to give “a sense of intimate neighborliness across the stories, with the opportunity for both privacy and social interaction, as is known from traditional horizontal neighborhoods,” write the architects. Greenery will be woven into the terraces, winter gardens, and rooftop terraces to create a cooling microclimate . Shared facilities include a bicycle workshop, laundry room, community room, and a roof landscape on the fifth floor. The building is expected to achieve passive-house standard. + C.F. Møller Images via C.F. Møller

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C.F. Mller unveils new images for sustainable and garden-filled vertical village in Antwerp

Asias largest passive house settlement breaks ground in China

November 11, 2016 by  
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Following their award-winning holistic living project at Heidelberg Village , German design studio Frey Architekten unveiled their design for one part of a large passive house settlement in Qingdao, China. The pilot project, Asia’s largest passive house settlement to date, will provide various types of housing which will cut carbon emissions by 2.376 tons and save 12.72 million kilowatt hours of electricity. German architect Wolfgang Frey and his team, together with their Chinese and German partners, are working on developing Asia’s largest passive house settlement in Qingdao’s Sino-German Ecopark. Various designers and decision-makers participated in last month’s groundbreaking ceremony for the nearly 200-acre construction site. Related: C.F. Moller’s Saeby Strand Apartments Win Award for Outstanding Social Housing Developmen t The ceremony marked the beginning of construction, in accordance with German passive house standards, for the residential area. Upon the project’s completion, the houses are expected to be certified by the German Passive House Institute . + Frey Architekten

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Asias largest passive house settlement breaks ground in China

This clever treehouse was designed to dodge natural obstacles and local building codes

October 12, 2016 by  
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The house is located on a small plot in Dursley, Gloucestershire , surrounded by trees. After the previous owners failed twice at getting planning permission for a conventional residence, Jon Martin and Noreen Jaafar commissioned Millar + Howard Workshop who have a great track record for coming up with smart design solutions for problematic sites throughout the Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The design team came up with a design that won the planners over and embody the owners’ desire to live in a certified Passive house . Related: These 12 enchanting treehouses are what dreams are made of “We’re used to incorporating passive house principles however with this build, rather contrarily, the listed trees on the site meant that the steel supports required to reinforce the structure caused a few problems,” said Tomas Millar, co-founder of Millar + Howard Workshop. “We love conundrums so we got out our sketch books and started inventing. Soon we’d resolved the problem on paper and before too long in reality too,” he added. + Millar + Howard Workshop Via World Architecture News

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This clever treehouse was designed to dodge natural obstacles and local building codes

VIDEO: World’s tallest Passive House building rises in NYC

July 11, 2016 by  
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The world’s tallest Passive House building is steadily rising in New York City, and Inhabitat recently had a chance to check the revolutionary tower out for ourselves. When complete, Cornell Tech’s super energy-efficient residential building is expected to save a whopping 882 tons of CO2 (the equivalent of planting 5,300 new trees) per year thanks to its ultra-tight envelope and on-site geothermal and solar energy systems. Keep scrolling to take your own short video tour and get a glimpse of the breathtaking views from the tower’s top floor. When complete, Cornell Tech Residential will provide housing for 536 of the school’s students and faculty on their new Roosevelt Island campus . Designed to meet the requirements of the stringent Passive House standard, which focuses on the use of airtight building envelopes in order to achieve a 60- to 70-percent energy usage reduction compared to traditional construction, the tower will also be a reflection of Cornell Tech’s commitment to innovation and trailblazing technology.

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VIDEO: World’s tallest Passive House building rises in NYC

VIDEO: On top of the world’s tallest Passive House building

July 8, 2016 by  
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The world’s tallest Passive House building has been rising steadily in New York City, and Inhabitat recently had a chance to check the revolutionary tower out for ourselves. When complete, Cornell Tech’s super energy-efficient residential building is expected to save a whopping 882 tons of CO2 (the equivalent of planting 5,300 new trees) per year thanks to its ultra-tight envelope and on-site geothermal and solar energy systems. Keep scrolling to take your own short video tour and get a glimpse of the breathtaking views from the tower’s top floor.

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VIDEO: On top of the world’s tallest Passive House building

Chic net-zero energy home in Arizona takes the edge off life in the desert

July 7, 2016 by  
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The Loma Linda 2 single-family home mimics its neighbor with the same rusted-metal gates, which keep direct sunlight at bay for those enjoying a day outside on the stylish patio. A four-foot overhang keeps the southern exposure cool, while the east and west exposures are limited. Using biomimicry , the artfully designed, one-inch thick steel siding prevents the sun from heating the walls. EPS insulation along the metal edges and cellulose in the 12-inch thick walls themselves help to keep the home airtight. The architects boast 90 percent energy savings over traditional homes with these features. Related: This Canadian passive house factory was built from its own prefab wood panels An air filtration system expertly pulls stale and moist air from the home, especially where it accumulates most, in the kitchen and bathroom. Bringing in filtered air from outside means the residents can enjoy a comfortable in-home environment 75 percent of the year, without using any heating or cooling elements. The sight of the space alone is enticing, as the indoor and outdoor flow together. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook a pleasant, zero-water courtyard. The modern appliances and clean lines of the interior appeal to any urbanite’s senses and create a space for updated living. + VALI Homes Images via VALI Homes

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Chic net-zero energy home in Arizona takes the edge off life in the desert

North Americas first fully prefabricated passive houses could revolutionize the housing market

June 13, 2016 by  
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The Ecocor-RPA partnership launched today with the unveiling of eleven prefabricated passive house model home designs that range from a 323-square-foot one-bedroom cabin to a 2,685-square-foot three to four-bedroom house. Passive House , a term which refers to a set of rigorous standards for ultra low-energy homes that provide high levels of comfort, has been used by manufacturers in numerous European countries but has yet to be popularly adopted in North America. Ecocor is the first company in North America to begin manufacturing prefabricated Passive Houses, and is also the only company in the continent to have Passive House Institute (PHI)-certified opaque prefabricated building components. Ecocor’s foundation and wall designs can reduce energy consumption for heating and cooling buildings by an incredible 80 to 90 percent. “Richard Pedranti and I are looking to establish industry best practices for delivering beautiful certified Passive Homes in the United States,” said Chris Corson, Founder and Technical Director at Ecocor. “RPA’s designs combined with Ecocor’s state-of-the-art equipment and proven processes allows us to deliver the highest quality energy efficient homes available domestically.” The homes will be built in a controlled environment at the Ecocor factory before they are delivered and assembled on sites evaluated and optimized for Passive House construction. The prefabrication and assembly process minimizes construction time and site disturbance . Related: 12 brilliant prefab homes that can be assembled in three days or less In addition to the eleven house models, clients will have the chance to work with RPA to design a unique and custom Passive House build. Any changes in design will be plugged directly into Building Information Modeling (BIM) software, which reduces costs and shortens the pre-construction phase. That data is directly integrated into the manufacturing software used in the machines that build the home’s prefabricated components. Ecocor and RPA aim for PHI and Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) certification for all the Passive Houses produced. + Ecocor + Richard Pedranti Architect

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North Americas first fully prefabricated passive houses could revolutionize the housing market

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