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Green Building 157 Stories

The term “passive” is getting thrown around almost as frequently as the word “green” these days. But what does it actually mean? And how does the all-encompassing adjective differ from the measurable standards of the capitalized Passive House? I’ve mentioned before that the...
What's LEED All About, Anyway?
How can you tell the difference between houses that look environmentally friendly and ones that actually are? Home certifications can help. Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) is...
5 Common-Sense Ways to Get a Greener Home Design
Going green with your home design project is a decision made by degrees, with layers of opportunities to choose materials and methods that will yield improved energy efficiency, sustainability and functionality. It's a commitment with a potentially great...
What Is a Living Building?
We’ve all heard of a sustainable building, but what about a living building? That’s the focus of the International Living Future Institute’s Living...
10 Things to Know About Prefab Homes
Are prefabricated homes, which are constructed at least partially offsite, really more eco-friendly than stick-built homes? How do costs compare? If you’re wondering if a prefabricated home is right for you, or if you’re just curious, these 10 need-to-know...
Insulation Basics: Natural and Recycled Materials
Natural insulation materials, like wood fiber, expanded cork and sheep’s wool, tend to be more expensive than their more commonly used counterparts, such as fiberglass, polystyrene and rock wool. But they have a couple of advantages over synthetic...
What Is Organic Architecture, Anyway?
We know that our environments affect our moods, and that buildings play a major role in that, but how can we change the way we build our homes to help improve our sense of well-being? There is growing evidence that suggests being cooped up in...
Insulation Basics: Designing for Temperature Extremes in Any Season
When it comes to insulation, more is more. The more insulation you’ve got, the more efficient your house will be — not just in winter but all year. This year’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere was a bit tricky to characterize. Thanks to a return...
Design Workshop: Shutters, All Grown Up
Passive design strategies are becoming widely accepted as a way to drastically reduce the amount of energy a home consumes. And while advancements...
Living on the Edge of the Wild
Living at the edge of a wide-open ocean vista or a secluded forest is a dream for many people who want to get away from it all. Whether it’s your lifetime home or just a seasonal getaway, here are some tips for living next to wild areas in a way that...
Houzz Tour: Modern Efficiency in the English Countryside
Robbie McDonald and Caroline Keenan wanted their new house, in the English village of Horsley, to be as sustainable as possible, and to use local materials to keep their carbon footprint to a minimum. It was a challenge that architect Tomas Millar of...
Houzz Tour: Passive House Principles, Active Benefits in Portland
Architect Jeff Stern has spent much of his career designing ecominded houses and buildings, so when he decided to build his own home three years ago, he naturally chose an energy-efficient approach. Instead of striving for LEED...
The Future of Smart Design: Reuse, Reduce, Recycle
I’m always shocked at the amount of waste I see when visiting a typical project under construction. We all tend to accept that construction is a messy process, but stop to think for a moment about the message that a cluttered and wasteful jobsite sends...
Houzz Tour: Meet a Home Made With Minivan Parts
I’m not sure if Lee Iacocca sent him, but architect Karl Wanaselja spent countless hours searching car junkyards for America’s best-selling Dodge Caravan minivan. Fascinated by finding ways to use junked car parts in architectural designs for more...
Houzz Tour: New Twists for a Traditional New York Saltbox
Architect Stephen Moser took one look at the Shelter Island setting in New York and knew exactly what style of house he wanted to play with for the design of his artist sister and her psychologist husband’s new weekend home. It seemed only fitting that...
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