Houses

Swiss Earth House

Swiss Earth House

Well, I’ve always wanted an underground lair. Luckily, I’ve found one that looks more pastoral than evil and gloomy. Made of concrete and earth, this Swiss estate is a cluster of grass-blanketed houses encircling a pretty little lake. According to Inhabitat, aside from using natural and recycled materials and having […]

Green Remodeling Tips From Sarah Susanka

Green Remodeling Tips From Sarah Susanka

In 2008 author and architect Sarah Susanka published The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live and this year her follow up Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way You Really Live has been met with raves. It seems she was prescient […]

Get Creative With Unconventional Building Materials

Get Creative With Unconventional Building Materials

One of the most common ways to incorporate green building practices into a project is to adapt or reuse existing materials or entire structures. Although toxicity or structural integrity can sometimes be an issue, experts generally agree that reusing materials or buildings is less expensive — and more sustainable — […]

KC Shipping Container Home Is Eco-Friendly

KC Shipping Container Home Is Eco-Friendly

Debbie Glassberg, a Kansas City resident and toy designer, has been the talk of the town since construction began on her modern, eco-friendly home made entirely of steel shipping containers. The building process began in early 2009 after the containers arrived from China, with Glassberg and her boyfriend serving as […]

Can Earthships Solve Haiti’s Housing?

Can Earthships Solve Haiti’s Housing?

This is one way to solve a housing crisis. Using discarded tires and bottles to create walls of a home. Architect Michael Reynolds has applied this green building construction technique to more than 1,000 homes and thinks it will be the answer to rebuilding Haiti. He calls his homes “Earthships” […]

Can You Live in a Passive Home?

Can You Live in a Passive Home?

I recently read an article on Treehugger about the successful completion of a passive house in the south. A passive house you say? What the heck is that? These homes are built without a furnace. They rely on insulation and sunshine to keep it toasty and warm. In the summer […]

What The Heck Is Rurbalization?

What The Heck Is Rurbalization?

You may have heard this term before. It’s also been called “the new urbanism” or “agrarian urbanism”. The idea is that city neighborhoods could be built and restructured in order to be self-sustainable, a harmonious blend of urban and rural. Daniel Nairn wrote a compelling article about the concept over […]

Green Building Upgrades in New Homes

Green Building Upgrades in New Homes

If offering a chance to win Justin Bieber tickets wasn’t enough motivation to tour a new home development, more home builders are now touting “green” features in some of their models. According to the Wall Street Journal these home developers are taking the extra step to entice buyers. Beazer Homes […]

Can You Live in 220 Square Feet?

Can You Live in 220 Square Feet?

A lot of design in green homes often raises the question – how much space do we really need? Architect Michael Katz and designer Janet Corne offer the L41 (“all for one”) that squeezes everything you need into 220 square feet of awesomeness. According to Treehugger, Katz didn’t intend to […]

Must-Have Home Gadgets

Must-Have Home Gadgets

Going Green, Simple and Cheap: Basements & Attics

Going Green, Simple and Cheap: Basements & Attics

Many people are completely intimidated by the concept of going green. It really feels like if you don’t start using a rain barrel, install solar panels on your roof, eat, drink and breathe 1000% organic, and compost every living thing under the sun, you’re a failure. But I’m here to […]

Green Building Hawaiian Style

Green Building Hawaiian Style

We’re in Maui this week checking out a few green building projects that will all meet various residential needs achieved in different ways. Hawaii has always been a leader in eco-friendly building projects and protecting the environment for future generations has always been a priority here. This week we will […]

Does LEED Certification Lead to Toxic Air?

Does LEED Certification Lead to Toxic Air?

As builders and developers rush to attain LEED accreditation for their new homes, some wonder if the LEED certifications need to be amended to allow for testing of indoor air quality. Tom Silva of This Old house always stressed the air exchange within a home. Keeping a home energy efficient […]

Urban Warehouse Renovation

Urban Warehouse Renovation

In my recent issue of Natural Home, I fell in love with a revamped warehouse-turned-home in Chicago. I was most impressed with the home’s exterior elements. Outside is a greenhouse and a roof garden surrounding solar panels. An outdoor boardwalk overlooks the courtyard and connects to the homeowner’s studio. There’s […]

Recycling Materials from Teardowns

Recycling Materials from Teardowns

An industry we’d love to see grow is recycling materials from demolished buildings. In the past the ROI on sorting and recycling demo materials hasn’t made sense/cents but now that LEED certification can help the bottom line of a public building, more organizations are doing what they can to recycle […]

Sustainable Dog Houses for Your Green Pet

Sustainable Dog Houses for Your Green Pet

If you’re gonna go green when designing your home, you might as well do it for your pets too. Sustainable Pet creates unique pet homes that have vegetated roofs. These eco-roofs provide insulation, filter run off water and look beautiful. Each pet home they build is custom for your pet’s […]

Adding An Outdoor Room

Adding An Outdoor Room

I spotted these mini additions over at Remodelista and I think they’re a great idea if you’ve got the space. In lieu of an addition, Flexa Studio offers 10-by-12-foot prefab structures as an easy way to add extra space. All that’s required is a foundation on which to bolt the […]

Build-It-Yourself Shelter and Building Kits

Build-It-Yourself Shelter and Building Kits

Shelter-Kit produces kit buildings for “assembly by owners” with no prior building experience. Perfect for folks like myself whose only construction until recently had been assembling IKEA shelves. I think these might actually be easier than assembling a Billy thanks to their manual which includes drawings and step-by-step instructions. Every […]

An Unlikely Glass Garden Shed

An Unlikely Glass Garden Shed

I am so glad that Treehugger spotted this garden shed in World Architecture News, called The Wendy House. I read about so many new green designs and eco-homes that it takes a lot for something to take my breath away. But Amir Sanei’s renders me speechless. Situated in his own […]

Going Green While Saving Green

Going Green While Saving Green

One of the hardest things I’ve come across in my own home renovation is the struggle between “going green” as much as possible and staying within a reasonable budget. Much beyond buying green cleaners and recycling everything under the sun, it’s really hard to make the greenest choices without the […]

Are Modular Mansions Really Green?

Are Modular Mansions Really Green?

At one point, there was hope that the modular home craze would catch on. But most new buildings, like the modulars, have suffered since the crash of the housing market. According to the Washington Post, a new demand for them has come up. People are looking to build new modular […]