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Latest Articles in Green Design

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bill mcdonough illustration graphic

Sixteen Ways of Looking at a Bedouin Tent

Architect, systems designer, Cradle to Cradle founder, and sustainability guru William McDonough talks entropy, Walker Evans, paper houses, and “buildings like trees” with science writer Alexis Madrigal.
March 22, 2012
zhome post11 thumb

A Zero-Energy Community: Final Post

Project Manager Brad Liljequist chronicles the building of zHome, a ten-unit townhome in Issaquah, Washington—the first multifamily zero-energy community in the United States. Part 11: The Last Post   This will be my last blog post for Dwell.  It’s been a lot of fun to share zHome and I know from the web traffic coming to the zHome site that a lot of you have been reading this.  I hope you’ve enjoyed it!zHome has been an incredible amount of work for all involved, but here at the end there is a ton of satisfaction that we’ve achieved and surpassed our goals.  Even in this down market, the project has inspired many thousands of people.  10,000 people have received on site tours, we’ve held over 100 classes throughout the region, and hundreds of thousands have heard about zHome nationally through various media.  The spring sales effort has begun, and one family is already moved in.
March 13, 2012
DIY design home in Kauai

Grateful Shed

A family discovers the joys of DIY design—and muddy feet—in their home made up of distinct pods that blends harmoniously with its surroundings in the rainy mountains of Kauai.
March 12, 2012
zhome post10 thumb

A Zero-Energy Community: Part 10

Project Manager Brad Liljequist chronicles the building of zHome, a ten-unit townhome in Issaquah, Washington—the first multifamily zero-energy community in the United States. Part 10: Designing for Disassembly Note from Brad Liljequist: Patti Southard has been involved in zHome since its beginning in 2006 and has helped inspire and leverage its core goal of market transformation in myriad ways. This is her second guest installment of the zHome blog, written with Kinley Diller.
February 19, 2012
The Cedar River Watershed is a working forest resource in King County for lumber products and drinking water.

Building a Zero-Energy Community: Part 9

Project Manager Brad Liljequist chronicles the building of zHome, a ten-unit townhome in Issaquah, Washington—the first multifamily zero-energy community in the United States. Part 9: Social equity through green material selection Note from Brad Liljequist: Patti Southard has been involved in zHome since its beginning in 2006 and has helped inspire and leverage its core goal of market transformation in myriad ways. She'll be guest-posting for the next two installments of the zHome blog.    
January 26, 2012
At our initial design charrette, we consolidated around the site plan concept that exists today. Integrated design over time proved to be challenging due to the run fast/stop/run fast aspect of the project, changing builder partners, and scheduling challe

Building a Zero-Energy Community: Part 7

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 7: Finding a new builder partner.   In our last blog, we described the early days of zHome. The story rolls on with us facing our first hurdle—finding a new builder partner.   In Spring of 2008, we were informed by our initial builder partner that they needed to pull out of the project. After working so hard to push the project forward quickly, including design team selection, initial design charrettes, energy modeling and finishing schematic design, it was a rough blow.   
December 21, 2011
backyard studio

Backyard Retreat

When sustainable building advisor Megan Lea set out to build a backyard retreat, she knew that reclaimed materials would figure prominently into the design. What resulted is a polychrome of salvaged 100-year-old barnwood by West Salem-based Barnwood Naturals that makes the facade of this Bernard Maybeck-inspired design as unique as it is enviornmentally friendly.
December 6, 2011
Fin Art's designs were displayed at <a href="http://www.zmodern.com">z|modern</a> in Denver. Photo by James Holden.

Denver's Fin Art Co.

One of the most interesting furniture companies I've come across lately is Fin Art Co. based in Denver, Colorado. When childhood friends Rob McGowan and Ben Olson graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder they were in a situation known to many—ready to leave the world of hand-me-downs and cheap thrift store finds behind. But then they encountered another all-too-familiar scenario. "We didn't have the money to afford the modern designs we liked," says McGowan. "So we decided to try our hand at building them."
November 21, 2011
Transparency SplashPage

Transparency from Perkins+Will

Transparency is a new website from the architecture firm Perkins+Will that launches on November 17th. The site looks to be an exciting new home for information about toxins, asthma triggers, and other nasty substances commonly found in the built environment. The most recent iteration of a research project that began in 2002, Transparency should be required reading for anyone hoping to learn more about removing carcinogens from the buildings they live and work in. I had a chat with Chris Youssef, a materials expert and interior designer for Perkins+Will who compiled much of the research for Transparency. Here's what he had to say about the project.
November 17, 2011
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