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Friday Finds 12.16.11

We're celebrating the holidays today in the Dwell offices, but before the bottles of wine are opened and gifts exchanged, we found the time to corral a few of our favorite design finds from the week.
December 16, 2011
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Mr. CHIP Goes to Washington

A highlight of this year's Solar Decathlon was the CHIP house, designed, built, and transported to Washington DC by a team of over 100 SCI-Arc and Caltech students. The uniquely puffy "outsulated"  CHIP house—the Compact, Hyper-Insulated Prototype—is an effort to "address the contemporary issues or sustainability, energy efficiency, and affordable housing through a built work." If you missed it during the Decathlon, you have a few additional opportunities to check it out, most notably an exhibition opening this Friday at SCI-Arc's Library Gallery. "Mr. CHIP Goes to Washington," running through December 16, displays through photographs, video, and time-lapse footage the "frantic month in Washington D.C. that is the culmination of the team's two-year effort to conceptualize and develop its proposition for a new sustainability."
October 25, 2011
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A Zero-Energy Community: Part 3

Project Manager Brad Liljequist chronicles the building of the zHome, a ten-unit townhome in Issaquah, Washington—the first multifamily zero-energy community in the United States. Part 3: A Q&A With David Vandervort Architects.   For our blog today I am going to interview David Vandervort and Mark Weirenga with David Vandervort Architects, the Seattle-based architectural firm that designed zHome. They have a long history of sustainably designed single-family homes and remodel projects along with extensive low-rise multifamily experience. Their projects include the sustainable demonstration project NEXTHouse and an award winning LEED Gold custom residence. I have really enjoyed working with David and Mark over the last several years and deeply appreciate the “homey modern” aesthetic they brought to zHome—modern design that you’d actually want to live in.
October 13, 2011
Amirah Shahid biking Cycle China

Cycle China: Week 5

In this special five-part series, we're riding along with SWA Group landscape designer Amirah Shahid as she cycles nearly 800 miles from Beijing to Shanghai (find the previous posts here). Join us as she tells about her journey and files exclusive photos from the road in an attempt to better understand China's urban and rural biking culture. Week Five: Back in the USA...   After three weeks of cycling from Beijing to Shanghai, landscape designer Amirah Shahid is back on U.S. soil. She traveled on dirt roads and newly paved national highways, around cows and drying bark on the road, on a ferry to cross the Yangtze River, and more. We caught up with Shahid over a cup of coffee, her first in weeks, to recount the 800-mile journey.
October 5, 2011
Cycle China Week 4

Cycle China: Week 4

In this special five-part series, we're riding along with SWA Group landscape designer Amirah Shahid as she cycles nearly 800 miles from Beijing to Shanghai (find the previous posts here). Join us as she tells about her journey and files exclusive photos from the road in an attempt to better understand China's urban and rural biking culture. Week Three: Arriving in Shanghai...   Landscape designer Amirah Shahid has dodged cows and poplar bark drying along roadsides on her nearly 800-mile cycling journey from Beijing to Shanghai. In this update, she makes it to her final destination—but not without a ferry trip to cross the Yangtze River (where bikes are not allowed on the bridge)—and contends with smog and rain along the way. Her SWA Group colleagues from the Shanghai office, however, were ready to toast her success upon arrival with glasses held high at an Oktoberfest Festival organized by a local Chinese development group. Read on!
September 29, 2011
Achieving zero net energy required integration with every aspect of zHome’s design. Even in initial site planning, we had to take into account solar heat gain and ensuring clear solar access to each unit’s roof.

A Zero-Energy Community: Part 2

Project Manager Brad Liljequist chronicles the building of the zHome, a ten-unit townhome in Issaquah, Washington—the first multifamily zero-energy community in the United States. Part 2: Building REALLY green... It's easier than you think. Forty percent. That’s the share of total CO2 emissions each year in the US that comes from energy used in buildings. Building operations—heating, cooling, lighting, and everything else inside the walls—are the single largest generator of carbon dioxide in the country. It’s an easy thing to forget about, sort of like background noise. But it’s there, humming along, 24/7.
September 28, 2011
Chicken Chapel

Chicken Chapel

Architect Keith Moskow grew up doing grunt construction work. His dad was a builder and after his first year of college, he helped build their family's summer home. "I was doing lowly work, but it was really good experience to think about architecture and building and how it goes together," Moskow says. A partner at Moskow Linn Architects for more than 20 years, he and cofounder Robert Linn decided it was time to help a new generation of designers. Earlier this year, they established Studio North, a design-build branch of their practice, and with five eager students, created and constructed the Chicken Chapel.
September 20, 2011
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A Zero-Energy Community: Part 1

Project Manager Brad Liljequist chronicles the building of the zHome, a ten-unit townhome in Issaquah, Washington—the first multifamily zero-energy community in the United States. Part 1: Introduction to the project.   I am writing this as I sit in the zHome Stewardship Center, which will open later this Fall as a hub of education and market transformation for radically green housing in the Pacific Northwest. I’m surrounded by the sounds of typical construction wrap-up on a residential community—the clink of rebar being laid down for the concrete walkways, Motown being played on the radio by a cleanup crew, and a trackhoe moving larger trees into place. There’s also non-typical sounds—those of drills on the roof, where the solar panels are being installed, and ground source heat pumps starting up for the first time.
September 14, 2011
izola laundry bag

Izola Laundry Bags

Have you heard about Izola? This utilitarian-retro company features five throwback lines of everyday home and bathroom products—appropriately named Scout, Maritime, Apothecary, Sport and Powder Retro—capturing clever idiosyncrasies from the good ol’ days. 
September 4, 2011
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