Green House Effect

Trailer park trash

Trailer park chic is nothing new. From restaurants in New York City (serving Philly steak sandwiches and Sloppy Joe’s) to renovated trailers gone upscale in spectacular spots, this architectural type has been culturally decriminalized.

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ReUse me

Dan Phillips has long hair, a scraggly mustache, calloused hands and a heavy Texas accent—he looks the part of old school green building guru, before green buildings were more likely to conjure images of skyscrapers than off-the-grid yurts. His work falls somewhere in between those poles, or maybe he’s doing green building of another kind altogether: making homes out of leftovers—and for cheap. A homeowner can start with as little as $500 to put down, as long as he or she has good credit and a stable job. Continue reading ReUse me

Everything’s smaller in Texas

Everything’s bigger in Texas, they say. Well, almost everything. Out in Gonzales, Texas, a local architectural salvage company has decided to put a few of its own offerings to use to make something small—something tiny, in fact. Discovery Architectural Antiques keeps 130,000 square feet of salvaged stained glass, doors, windows, beams, shiplap, tin ceiling, tubs and sinks in stock, but now they've decided selling the salvage isn't enough: they're building with it.

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Green office space

The world’s greenest building uses only 16 kilowatts of energy per square meter, a whole lot less than the 80 to 250 kilowatts so common among traditional office buildings. Energy Plus, a 70,000 square meter complex in the Gennevilliers area of Paris, looks a little bit like a dismantled Pentagon, reassembled in the wrong shape. Its arms jut at awkward angles to maximize roof space—holding more solar panels than any other building, the largest solar array in the world—and exposure to the sign, inviting daylight inside to offset use of energy-guzzling artificial lights.

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More precious than Platinum (LEED’s highest honor)

Omega Center for Sustainable Living, Rhinebeck, NY

What’s on the other side of Platinum? Those who feel that even LEED’s highest honor isn’t quite precious metal, or green, enough—or who feel it could use a supportive cousin to raise the bar for green building aficionados everywhere—have designed the Living Building Challenge.

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Issue 25

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