Archive for the ‘Interior Design’ Category
July 5th, 2009
Written by Susan Kraemer, courtesy of GreenBuildingElements.com
If every building had a white roof, we would be able to cool the surrounding areas. That is the reasoning behind a California law about to go into effect next month requiring light reflective roofs on all new buildings. It is already the law for new flat roofs here.
Here, architect Richard Meier and his partner Michael Palladino have apparently created a design to go one further. It’s entirely white; roofs, walls, and interiors.
So this luxury design of a cool and airy Southern California beach house is glamorous and climate friendly.
Well, no. The McMansion-sized size of the thing at 4,280-sq.-ft is not so planet friendly; because it takes more energy to heat and cool a larger space. But this house would be well suited for a ground heat exchange to passively heat and cool itself with 55 degree air cooled from 10 feet under the ground.
As architects in California get closer to 2020, they will need to think more about passive cooling and heating and zero energy houses, as that will be the law by 2020. All new building must be zero energy by then.
Incorporate solar roofing on the white roof, and this could be a zero energy house.
The blue of a solar roof would visually extend right out to the ocean. (And conceal that horrible mess of mechanical contraptions on that roof.) White elastomeric cool roof paint under the solar panels would help cool the modules making them more efficient on hot days.
But are architects thinking about these things?
With 2020 almost upon us: “The beams at the roof, located above the horizontal framing, express the structural rhythm and layering of components,” explains the architect. “This cadence is repeated with the joinery of the painted aluminum exterior wall panels and modular windows. The mass of the exterior plaster walls are juxtaposed to the transparent glazed facades, creating a mosaic of layered materials.”
Blah, blah, blah.
Popularity: 21% [?]
July 1st, 2009
Dwell Magazine has partnered with some very well-known architects and builders to develop a signature line of prefab homes. The homes not only focus on sustainable design and building, but look amazing as well. Turkel Design in collaboration with Lindal Cedar Homes and then Marmol Radziner Prefab each designed three modern prefab homes to be featured as part of the Dwell Home Collection. Dwell’s recent selection of these particular prefab home designs indicates the quality of design, modern amenities and most importantly the integration of sustainable features to create a efficient and eco-friendly home. (more…)
Popularity: 35% [?]
April 10th, 2009
Written by Brian Liloia, courtesy of GreenBuildingElements.com
My jaw dropped when I first watched this video tour of a beautiful owner-built green building construction project in Oregon. This particular green building is made entirely out of cob, a mixture of clay, sand, and straw.
Meka Bunch of Wolf Creek, Oregon built this stunning cob house over a four year period. Complete with hand-sculpted furniture, shelves and nooks built directly into the walls, arched windows, and a killer custom staircase, his cob building is a divine artistic achievement.
Check out the video and photos of Meka’s cob cottage for yourself:
This couch is made of cob and features wood storage tucked underneath, right next to the stove.
The kitchen features many shelves and nooks built directly into the cob walls, and also includes a small compost chute. (Look for the tilted latch.)
The wood stove is surrounded by cob for thermal mass, and includes a warm nook with shelf to culture yogurt.
Gorgeous custom-made cob staircase.
The north porch of Meka’s cob cottage.
I must say that Meka’s cob house design is one of my favorite projects that I’ve seen. This is truly a beautiful hand-built green building.
For more information, visit the Artisan Builders Collective.
(Image credit: Artisan Builders Collective)
Popularity: 48% [?]
April 2nd, 2009
For a few days last week, a rustic green cabin popped up in the middle of a metropolis. Behind the iconic Pacific Design Center and in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art in West Hollywood, designers and architects walked in and out of the HOM 1 manufactured home, taking a close look at the cork floors, FSC-certified walnut wood beds, and recycled glass-and-aluminum lamps.
HOM 1, the $235,000, 1000-square-foot, 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom modular home designed by KAA Design Group, was on display as part of WESTWEEK 2009: The Business of Design, a big annual symposium for the design world. Although the model drew a crowd in the city, the HOM 1’s intended as an escape home: “HOM is about living outdoors and in, with a close connection to nature,” declares the HOM website.
The modular home combines modern design with a rustic outdoorsy feel. Buy a HOM 1, and it’ll arrive 90% assembled as a single unit, fully equipped with the latest kitchen appliances, plumbing fixtures, and energy-efficient washer and dryer. According to HOM, the streamlined process of making this modular home means less wasted energy, construction waste, and transportation emissions.
Since HOM also makes eco-friendly furniture and accessories — all of which are designed to last a long, long time — you could get your HOM 1 fully furnished too. Then you can relax on your Wima Ottoman — made of FSC-certified ipe wood, turn on your Akira pendant lamp — made with 100% organic linen, FSC-certified walnut and recycled aluminum, creating the perfect relaxing setting for reading Thoreau’s Walden.
To see many other fine examples of green prefab homes, click here.
Popularity: 15% [?]
April 1st, 2009
If you’re tired of the same old bamboo flooring, some wonderful flooring materials have come out in the last year or so. These relatively new products are exciting, beautiful, environmentally friendly and are certain to bring warmth and style to your remodel or new home. Here are our suggestions for some beautiful new flooring materials.
Kirei is well known for its interior finish materials, including the well-known Kirei Board, an engineered panel made from sorghum stalks that is used for wall panels and cabinetry. Kirei is now making tiles from leftover coconut shells that would otherwise be sent to the landfill or burned. Coconut shells have a rich, nutty brown color that make for a durable tile that can be cut and designed into these beautiful patterns. An FSC certified wood is used for the backing material and the tiles are coated with a low-VOC resin to help protect them. These handsome tiles can be used for floors, headboards, walls, cabinets and decorative pieces.
While EcoDomo’s line of leather tiles is certainly not new, we thought them worthy of mentioning here on LIL. EcoDomo’s expansive line of tiles includes eight different colors, four different textures and a variety of shapes and sizes. The tiles are made from at least 65% post-industrial recycled leather, which has been ground up into fibers and reprocessed with natural binders like natural rubber and acacia wood bark. The leather pulp is then sheet extruded from a machine with coloring and texture. Tiles are very easy to install much like cork or vinyl, naturally sound absorbent and very luxurious looking. These tiles are not recommended for bathrooms or other rooms exposed to water and they should also be waxed occasionally to retain their natural shine.
Expanko is a well-known manufacturer of cork flooring and has recently come out with a few new styles for their Traditional Cork Flooring. Cork is sustainably harvested from the bark of cork trees every nine years, leaving the tree healthy and alive to regrow its bark. To make their flooring even more sustainable, Expanko uses 100% post-industrial cork for its traditional flooring line. Their newest styles include colored cork tiles rather than the traditional browns and also two new cork patterns designed by Italian Artisans. These new and nontraditional looking cork floors bring a fresh new look to a already great flooring choice. The style shown here is the Spinato Veneer.
EnviroMODE is a new line of recycled porcelain floor and counter top material made by EnviroGLAS. This colorful, resin-filled material is made from toilets and sinks that are crushed then formed into tiles and counter tops. Resin colors include red, blue, tan, black, gray and white. EnviroMODE is naturally heat and scratch resistant, has no VOCs and does not require a seal, which makes for a very low-maintenance and healthy material.
Showercork is yet another new cork flooring option that uses recycled cork material to create a rich mosaic tile. Sustainable Flooring uses post-industrial wine stoppers, cuts them into thin rounds and sets them onto a special backing material, which can easily be installed much like traditional mosaic tile sheets using glue and grout. A water-based polyurethane coating can then applied for water-resistance.
Mulberry is another post-industrial material sprouting up as for interior materials. The Mulberry tree and it’s leaves are used throughout China as food for silkworms. Each year silk worms devour the leaves off the tree, which stops the tree from growing anymore. To encourage new growth, the branches of the mulberry are trimmed, leaving a lot of leftover mulberry limbs behind, which can be processed into engineered composite wood similar to Kirei Boards. Mulberry makes for very interesting patterns and can even be naturally dyed for use as flooring, wall panels and cabinets. A number of companies have this product, but we like Engineered Timber Resources best.
To see many other excellent green flooring options, click here.
Popularity: 12% [?]