Monday, April 26, 2010

California Dreamin' at Claire's Bakery

A San Diego, California, business carried its mission of serving up organic treats and coffee to a higher level. Claire's on Cedros  went for a full-on sustainability assault on site development, water use and energy efficiency of its entire operation. The result is a LEED Platinum-certified suite of small buildings that includes solar panels doubling as carports and awnings to provide shading.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Passive House Standard Imports High Expectations

Alex Wilson writes about the aggressively energy-efficient Passive House program, imported from Germany. PHUS is a quantitative, performance-based standard for ultra-low-energy buildings—both residential and commercial. A recent Passive House Institute US event in Olympia, Washington, was sold-out, well-organized and informative - who could ask for more? We learned from experts about window placement within the wall (centered - not at outer edge), and how builders in the Pacific Northwest are achieving Passive House, along with many other useful bits of information. Wilson does a good job of distilling and comparing PH.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cooking with the Sun Growing in Popularity

Imagine the air pollution generated by some three billion people worldwide who cook with dung, wood and charcoal  - and the catastrophic effects on the environment. Cookers powered by the sun provide a cheap and clean alternative. Check out the video that begins with Eleanor in California who has been cooking with the sun almost daily for twenty years.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Mithun's Green Renovation Ten Years Later

in 2000, Seattle's renowned "green" architecture firm Mithun renovated an old warehouse building on Pier 56 in downtown, on Puget Sound. It uses no mechanical air conditioning and features all the sustainable strategies that the designers incorporate into their clients' designs. So how is it faring ten years later? David MacCaulay writes about it in Eco-Structure magazine.