Net-zero home brings sustainable design to a walkable Iowa City neighborhood

August 31, 2018 by  
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A 1960s home has been reborn into an eco-friendly abode with an impressive net-zero energy footprint. Designed by local architecture firm Neumann Monson , the Koser II is a single-family home that combines forward-thinking sustainable strategies within a contemporary envelope in a leafy and walkable Iowa City neighborhood. Powered by solar and geothermal energy, the home doesn’t sacrifice comfort or luxury in its pursuit of energy efficiency — it even includes a beautiful backyard pool. Covering an area of 2,850 square feet (including a 420-square-foot finished basement), the Koser II house is mainly spread out over a single level. To provide privacy, the street-facing facade is primarily clad in dark cedar planks and punctuated with few windows. A long slatted timber screen near the entrance also shields the home from views and frames an outdoor dining area. In contrast to its introverted exterior, the home’s interior is bright and airy with full-height glazing that lets in plenty of natural light and views. “The design bears the mark of the 1960s home that came before it,” the architecture firm explained. “Removing the existing house’s superstructure and incorporating its slab-on-grade foundation into the new construction makes the most of the predecessor’s limited potential. Additional foundations and a concrete collar support exterior walls of nine- and 10-foot pre-cut studs. Their height differential provides adequate slope to the 14-inch truss-joists spanning the 20-foot width. Operable windows extend to the ceiling plane, maximizing daylight penetration and encouraging cross-ventilation .” Related: After a makeover, this local “shack” becomes the envy of the neighborhood The renovated home also features foamed-in-place insulation and a continuous rigid insulation shell with R-24 walls and an R-40 roof. The light-filled interior is supplemented by LEDs at night and equipped with EnergyStar appliances. Radiant floor heating is complemented with a geothermal climate control system connected to an underground horizontally bored loop. A rain garden in the backyard mitigates stormwater runoff, while a 10.08kW solar array brings the home to zero-energy building performance. + Neumann Monson Images by Cameron Campbell Integrated Studio

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Net-zero home brings sustainable design to a walkable Iowa City neighborhood

Metal-clad Treehouse for "no-commute lifestyles" mimics Portlands forests

February 15, 2018 by  
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With projects like LEVER Architecture’s recently completed Treehouse, it’s little wonder Portland, Ore. scores high marks for livability and sustainability. Located on the Marquam Hill campus of the Oregon Health & Science University (OSHU), Treehouse caters to those interested in a “live/work/no-commute lifestyle”. Designed for mixed use , the seven-story houses 69 apartment units as well as retail on the ground floor. Taking cues from the forest, Treehouse is wrapped in a textured metal skin that mimics the color and form of tree trunks. The facade’s consistent texture and pattern give the building a dynamic depth and appearance that changes throughout the day. “The design bridges the urban and topographical qualities of the campus by placing the building as an “in the round” object in the forest,” wrote the architects. “Instead of cutting into the hill, the building form is carved to follow the landscape. A continuous carved building skin is achieved by eliminating the expression of floor levels by incorporating all expansion joints into the custom window surrounds.” Related: Nation’s tallest timber building to rise in Portland The apartment units are clustered around a compact central core housing the stairs and elevator. Glazing can be found on all sides of the irregular octagonal building and maximize daylight into the studio and one-bedroom units. A rain garden landscape and deck on the lower level handles all stormwater runoff. + LEVER Architecture Via ArchDaily Images via LEVER Architecture

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Metal-clad Treehouse for "no-commute lifestyles" mimics Portlands forests

LEED Silver visitor center is a portal to a historic American battlefield

December 12, 2016 by  
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Calling attention to a historic landscape can be difficult when there are few artifacts to differentiate it from its surroundings. New Jersey-based ikon.5 architects successfully brought renewed attention to a historic battlefield from the American Revolutionary War with their design of the Monmouth Battlefield State Park Visitor Center in Manalapan Township, New Jersey. Located on a high point, the building is a glazed LEED Silver -certified pavilion that frames views of the battlefield while maintaining a minimal energy footprint. The Monmouth Battlefield State Park Visitor Center replaced an underutilized structure built for the Bicentennial and comprises office space, a theater, museum store, exhibition space, classrooms, an archeology lab, and restrooms. Though the pavilion features many programmatic features, its thoughtful design keeps the focus on the landscape thanks to its custom-fabricated “mullion-less” glass curtain wall . The largely glazed building appears to float on the landscape and offers unobstructed views of the battlefield from the museum . “Sited at the top of Combs Hill overlooking the Battlefield, the pavilion is conceived as a modern day primitive hut, templar in its siting, but diminutive in its appearance,” write the architects. Related: University of Pennsylvania’s green-roofed New College House targets LEED Silver The building achieved LEED Silver certification thanks to the installation of triple-glazed low-e laminated glazing that wraps around the building and minimizes heat gain and loss. The roof features long eaves to shade the interior and further minimize unwanted solar heat gain. The new visitor center was built within the bounds of the existing property to minimize site impact and incorporates renovated portions of the original building. Rainwater collected on the roof is reused in a rain garden . A geothermal system is used to heat and cool the building. + ikon.5 architects Images via ikon.5 architects , by Jeffrey Totaro and James D’Addio

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LEED Silver visitor center is a portal to a historic American battlefield

8 Drought-busting ideas for your home

March 25, 2015 by  
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The drought in California is breaking records , and recent data suggests that the state may have just one year of water left . Local agencies have taken on a number of large-scale projects to ensure that the water keeps on flowing through farms and households, using everything from desalination plants to make seawater drinkable to massive water reuse and reclamation endeavors. But there’s plenty that the average person can do at home—from harvesting rainwater to retrofitting bathrooms—that can help to conserve water and make it through drier years to come. Read on for our top 8 water-saving ideas, whether you’re in the heart of the drought or beyond. Read the rest of 8 Drought-busting ideas for your home Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bath , bathroom hack , Bottled Water , California , Certification , desalination , dropcountr , Drought , Dual Flush Toilet , environmental protection agency , epa , faucet , graywater , groundwater , hot water , native plants , Nestlé , plumbing , rain barrel , rain garden , raingarden , rainwater collection , recirculation pump , retrofit , reuse , runoff , showers , smart phone app , stormwater , tankless hot water heater , toilet , turn off taps , Waste , water efficiency , water hero , water recycling , water relaimation , water saving , water sense , watersense

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8 Drought-busting ideas for your home

Britain names Pitcairn Island as center of world’s largest marine reserve

March 25, 2015 by  
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When it comes to protecting marine life, Britain is going big. After announcing in February it was considering several locations for preservation, the government revealed plans earlier this week to create what will be the world’s largest fully-protected marine reserve, covering an area of the Pacific Ocean nearly the size of France and Germany combined. Read the rest of Britain names Pitcairn Island as center of world’s largest marine reserve Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: britain , fish , marine life , marine reserve , mutiny on the bounty , ocean , pitcairn islands , seabirds , whales , world’s largest marine reserve

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Britain names Pitcairn Island as center of world’s largest marine reserve

Contemporary Bedford Park House modestly hides its many green features

March 25, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Contemporary Bedford Park House modestly hides its many green features Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , airtight insulation , Alex Tedesco , Bedford Park House , Geothermal power , green house , insulation , LGA Architectural Partners , low-e , Low-e windows , natural ventilation , passive design , passive solar gain , solar heat gain , sustainable house , toronto

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Contemporary Bedford Park House modestly hides its many green features

Plaza Diane in Wyoming is a LEED Gold Art Center Converted from a Former Gas Station

April 16, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Plaza Diane in Wyoming is a LEED Gold Art Center Converted from a Former Gas Station Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Green Art Gallery , LEED gold , rain garden , Solar Power , Wyoming green building

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Plaza Diane in Wyoming is a LEED Gold Art Center Converted from a Former Gas Station

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