Featured Green Architect Michelle Kaufmann

michelle kaufmann designs 04 Featured Green Architect Michelle Kaufmann

We would like to introduce Architect Michelle Kaufmann and her green Architecture firm, MK Designs. Michelle, has established her self as something of a spokes person for green living as well as a full time Architect designing and building some interesting green prefabs. Over the next few weeks, we will post some of Michelle video tips, how to live a little green. But right now, why don’t we let Michelle tell us a little about herself.

Michelle Kaufmann

Growing up in Iowa, I have always had a deep understanding of the relationship between humankind and the environment. I strive to ingrain this awareness into everything I do. I believe that how we develop our landscape is such an integral part of our culture and that what we build, and how we build, should improve the environment rather than harm it.
After receiving my undergraduate degree from Iowa State University and my Masters from Princeton University, I was fortunate enough to work for both Frank Gehry as well as for Michael Graves. Both of these brilliant architects have engaged in product design as a means for bringing good design to the masses, Graves with his product work with Target and Gehry with his work for Tiffany & Co., Swatch and others.

When I relocated to Northern California, I found a lack of affordable, sustainable, well-designed homes. I soon realized I could make a difference through my architecture. In 2002, I founded Michelle Kaufmann Designs and began my effort to make thoughtful, sustainable design accessible to all.

Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to become a leader in the green design community. My commitment to sustainable living and design remains constant throughout all of my work, of which I’m very proud, including my sustainable home designs as well as through designing custom homes and holistic, green communities.

michelle kaufmann designs 01 Featured Green Architect Michelle Kaufmann

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Austin Architect Goes Really Really Old School With Rammed Earth

rammed earth house austin texas 01 Austin Architect Goes Really Really Old School With Rammed Earth

So, many of you might already know this, I am a product of the cow poking state of Texas. Yep, I know, it doesn’t seem possible, how could a good looking Twisted Green Juice Guzzling Black Monkie like me be from Texas? Well, I not from there, I was just trapped for a while. Most of my non-Monkie family still lives in Austin Texas, which just happens to be the greenest, most forward thinking city in that entire state. Austin is even the birth place of Whole Foods, how cool is that. So, when I saw this story about a green house made with Rammed Earth, in Austin, I had to post about it, even though it is not the type of place I would go for. It’s a very traditional designed home, and here at G Living we lean towards the sleeker modern side.

This 5000 sq. ft beast of a house is interesting because it uses one of the oldest building techniques know to man, Rammed Earth. Before humans ever figured out how to make concrete, they where using Rammed Earth, to build their cities, temples, and their high protective walls. By pounding a mixture of dirt, grass and clay between forms, ancient societies, build very efficient structures, which can stand for thousands of years. And since the rammed earth walls are so thick, they enable the buildings to maintain a steady temperature all year around.

rammed earth house austin texas 03 Austin Architect Goes Really Really Old School With Rammed Earth

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Sander Architects Enters The Pilot LEED Program

sanderarchitects 01 Sander Architects Enters The Pilot LEED Program

Interesting development closer to home: Sander Architects, the architecture firm we co-live (share office space) with and whose beautiful Canal House we use as our Studio for G Living Live, has taken their G building ideas and entered into the Leed Residential program. One of the firm’s residences, The Fin House, yet another Venice Canal house, was accepted into the pilot LEED program for residential architecture. This is the program by which LEED will develop their list of criteria for residential projects.

Greg Reitz, Green Building Advisor to the City of Santa Monica, is the consultant on the project.

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Introduction | Mr Whitney Sander, Architect

whitney sander architect 01 Introduction | Mr Whitney Sander, Architect

Hello and thanks for visiting the site. My name is Whitney Sander, and I am the architect of the House for a Briard. I have been working in architecture since 1974, and have been on my own for almost twenty years. My firm designs residential and commercial projects that are contemporary in design and green in ethos. We search for the leanest, most up-to-date materials for our projects, most of which are actually strikingly beautiful. I always try to start simply in each prjoect, because complexity will necessarily follow. I also give each project “good bones:” a regular rythm of structure which means it will be simply built. This means that many of my projects show columns at regular intervals, and walls and spaces move around them.Designing this house has been a magnificent experience.
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