Posts Tagged With: low impact
Join us at the James River Green Building Council for lunch at City Space on December 10th as we learn more about Virginia Beach’s new Chesapeake Bay Foundation Brock Environmental Center which plans to be a model of sustainable and sensitive building for the future.
The latest version of the Ecovillage Charlottesville site plan is finally here! The project has picked up a ton of traction lately, so keep checking www.facebook.com/EcovillageCharlottesville for status updates.
If you feel like drawing your own idea for what the Ecovillage could look like, here are some 8.5×11 printable sketches that make it easy for the ideas to flow onto paper. Please share your ideas!
Strawbales are an excellent insulation material and because of their density, are also excellent thermal mass. They are also a rapidly renewable resource. Up to this point, however, they have been on the fringes of building technology because of the time it takes to build with the material. ModCell has come up with a viable way to turn stawbales into super-insulated building panels for commercial and residential use. They claim that these panels are zero carbon or better to create, which is infinitely better than rigid insulation can even think to claim. Brilliant!
I like this idea for how to re-purpose all of those ancient school busses. All you need to do is put up some insulation and better finishes and BAM! House.
In the quest to live simply, there are many online resources available. The Tiny House Blog is a great one, focusing on living in small spaces. They have compiled a fantastic directory of tiny house designers, builders, blogs, and more. If you’re really into exploring the vastly different styles and construction types of small housing, then this is a great place to start!
Architecture 2030 is a team of non-profit crusaders that want to radically transform the way that structures are built and how they interact with the environment. The 2030 Challenge is much like the EPA’s very successful CFC reduction program that let the Ozone Hole repair itself. Instead of CFCs, this challenge is to phase out the use of fossil fuels in buildings by the year 2030.
Not to leave everyone hanging wondering how to accomplish this goal; they are developing a great free resource of information on how to build carbon neutral and resilient structures and plan resilient communities which is called the 2030 Palette. The website is complete with pictures, descriptions and rules of thumb for many concepts vital to low impact built environments. Check out this fantastic tool for Architects, Engineers, Owners and people who want to learn more about how our buildings interact with the environment.
Think Big, Live Small
In our current society, everyone places too much value on their personal belongings. We build bigger houses to fit all of our stuff into and we are using energy to heat and cool those posessions. When you pare down what you need down to the bare essentials for daily life and then design your home for only daily life, then what you find is that you need a lot less space.
There are several benefits to living smaller.
- Home costs much less so you can pay it back in a resonable amount of time.
- Energy costs are drastically reduced or eliminated.
- The finishes in your home could be of a lot higher quality.
- You wouldn’t have to dread moving day.
- When your expenses are reduced, your house and therefore your job wouldn’t have to tie you down.
- You could afford to rent larger spaces when having a party or have it outside.
- Connection with the natural environment is enhanced.
- Impact on the planet is reduced.
There are a lot more benefits, just ask any 19th century Transcendentalist, early 20th century Arts & Crafts designer, or Tumbleweed Tiny Houses; they all say it better than I.