Even us gardeners with Black Thumbs, understands why plants love to live in green houses. They are basically no different than your average vacationer, they want to sunbath all day and be wrapped in a warm blanket of air? Wouldn’t it be nice if we humans could live in our own version of a green house. Something bathing in natural light, which always stays nice and toasty, even in the coldest of climates. Turns out we can do just that, even in a frigid place like Belgian, green houses are the perfect people growers. The home pictured above is a greenhouse in every sense of the word. As in a typical gardening greenhouse, this one is constructed from a prefabricated steel frame, alternating series of super-insulating transparent glass and translucent polycarbonate plates and extra insulation in the back of the house. The insulation in the back also serves the purpose of obscuring the views into the house.
Through the clever use of the insulating glass, the same heating effect that is found in a real greenhouse is successfully mimicked. This occurs when heat from the sun’s rays passes through the glass walls and warms up the interior whilst the insulation in the glass prevents the heat from escaping.
Los Angeles is really a playground for modern architecture. Architects like Whitney Sander and firms such as Lean Arch are free to live out their wildest architectural dreams, in this landscape of cracker shacks and mansions. The city has no defined architectural voice, so almost anything goes. Which in a city like L.A. with its plentiful deep pocket and creative home owners, can be a good thing.
The project: A counter-attack on the developer supplied housing stock where the norm for a single family residence is driven by the mentality that “bigger is better”, Kuhlhaus 01 redefines the prototype for housing in the Manhattan Beach area. Located on a half lot with a floor area of under 1800 SF, the three bedroom, three bath residence incorporates an open design with flexible living spaces to mitigate the smaller floor plates. Expanses of floor to ceiling glass provide breathtaking 270-degree views of the Pacific Ocean. The project also integrates a 2 KW array of photovoltaic modules that will supply 100% of the required electricity for the home.
Modern? Luxury? Green? Wow. Sounds like a job for G Living! And send me, please. We’re excited to be invited to the first ever Wired LivingHome. Off to Brentwood, California, taking you (wherever you are) to a residence that promises to serve as the benchmark for how we can live NOW. The future is here. NOW. We may not be fulfilling upon my vision of the future: the Jetsons with flying cars and instant pill meals (just add water)… but iPhones and electric cars come pretty close, and if you’re a total construction/architecture slut like me, these homes (if you’ve never seen one) make me want to swear. They’re cool. And this one is open to the public. We can get in, and you can, too.
BMW is getting in on the action by sponsoring the event, shuttling people and offering test drives with their CleanEnergy Campaign. And %s of the proceeds go to Global Green USA, the champions that enable people like you and me to afford a home like this. Look for them coming to visit us soon on The Real G.
The time of the green prefab is quickly approaching. And the bright young minds of emerging architects are clearly focused on the key elements, which make a modern green building so appealing. Design, form, function and sustainability. Elements which make up the core of this house. But this shiny new green home wasn’t built in Venice California, or even Portland Oregon. No this one is in the dry desert just outside of Phoenix Arizona, at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.
The building was designed and built by students of Taliesin West, in collaboration with Venice based Architect Jennifer Siegal and the schools Dean, Victor Sidy.
The building was constructed on site, using pre-fab structural insulated panels, know as SIP panels. A SIP panel is typically made by sandwiching a core of rigid foam plastic insulation between two structural skins of oriented strand board. This type of system allows the entire shell of the building to be delivered on a truck and erected in just a few days.
London’s Docklands. Those two words used to strike fear in my heart. I once worked for a television network in the Docklands, and the only transport link to our studio was the dreaded DLR (Dockland’s Light Railway). This computer-controlled light railway was stationary as often as it was moving, for reasons as inexplicable as “leaves on the track”. God, I miss England.
But with opening of the Jubilee Line several years ago, transport links to the area are much improved. Ditto for local housing.
I don’t read Popular Mechanics very much, but seems like they are dabbling in green topics these days. Which is great, really, but they always seem to have a little edge about the subject. This latest green article is about a Monster Size Adobe semi-green house, which is the show case house at the New American Home Show. Popular Mechanics writer Harry Sawyers, doesn’t like the house, not because of the green details, but simply because it’s a bloated 8,000 sqft home, advertised as green.
I think Harry is missing the positive side of the bloated house. Yes, it’s big, fancy, expensive, but how is that any different than all the other bloated houses out there? At least now people who own a house like this, also want to buy green mass amounts of Green Stuff. See what I mean? More they want Green, the faster we all head to a green future, in our stylish, fancy, super green, petite houses. So, more power to the bloat house people! Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
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.
If living in an apartment is your excuse for not having a garden, you can always move to China and take up residence in Knafo Klimer’s Agro-Housing. It’s about as sustainable as a building concept can be, from the construction materials to the design. Plus each unit has its own greenhouse.
Your own personal greenhouse. In an apartment.
Designed to make multi-complex living more enjoyable and self-reliant, even in crowded cities, Agro-Housing was among the winners of the 2nd International Architecture Competition for Sustainable Housing. It’s basically a high-rise apartment building with plenty of personal space for the growing of food — which is good news for the Chinese, since a UN report estimates that 50 percent of their population will be fighting for city space by 2010.
“If people are going to change their lifestyles to be more green, I think the alternatives have to be exciting and fun,” says artist and designer Michael Jantzen when asked about the frequent use of wind in his work. It’s a comment that immediately jumps out, and then later strikes me as an apt thesis of sorts for his vast body of intriguing work, whether wind-utilizing or not.
Jantzen’s designs have gained national attention for their exploration of alternative energy as a standard architectural feature; his projects have graced the pages of Newsweek, Wired, Architectural Digest, House Beautiful and other publications. While all environmentally beneficial, forward-thinking concepts merit mass public attention in my mind, something about Jantzen’s projects always manage to stand out.
Despite my strong aversion to clutter, I’d hardly consider myself a minimalist. Conceptually, I’m all for it as I like basic and I like fundamental. But in terms of design, I find that most minimalism is just too darn minimal for my taste.
Take for example, Curiosity Inc.’s C-1 House in Tokyo. It’s an amazing structure with custom furnishings so minimal that the entire house and its innards seem to fade effortlessly into one another. It’s like a house you might visit in a dream if you were a character in a Fellini movie. So seamless is it all that it’s almost as if none of it exists. (If I’m sounding philosophical here, it’s no accident.)
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. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
Well, I’ve never been to Spain, but I kinda like the… green design that seems to abound there. The latest in Spain’s seemingly endless parade of green architecture is definitely a place I would like to call home. It’s called the Casa OS (don’t ask me what OS stands for) and it was designed by Madrid-based Nolaster Architects.
The design is totally green – the basics of which include reduced energy and smart water use. To reduce energy, the home is built over a dug-out cavern, taking advantage of thermal massing and reducing the wind profile. It also has a sod roof, perhaps the coolest (literally and figuratively) of all green home features. The construction materials are green, too, using modular zinc panels which last longer in the salty air and can be easily disassembled, reused, or replaced. Finally, the home has in-floor radiant heating that can be controlled room by room, making it über-efficient.