Posts Tagged Green & Eco Friendly

Osprey House

Here is a Tiny House that was designed to be eco-nomical, eco-friendly, and eco-logical.  Measuring at 523 square feet and $50,000-$100,000 this Tiny House is designed to be setup off the grid.

The Osprey includes a bedroom, bathroom, living room, galley kitchen, and integrated decks.  It can easily go off-the-grid, as well, if that’s what the homeowner wants or needs.  The standing seam metal roof has room for thin-film solar to generate some or all of the home’s energy needs.

  • Energy Star, low-e windows;
  • Energy Star appliances;
  • R21 walls, R19 floors, and R50 ceilings;
  • 15.5 SEER/8.5 HSPF ductless HVAC;
  • On-demand tankless water heater;
  • Zero-VOC paints and an air filtration/cleaning system;
  • Low-flow faucets and showerheads;

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Next Generation Home

So I recently read a comment written by one of our readers, Jason, he made an interesting point when he said (paraphrasing) at what point can we take a house and stop it from consuming, to producing.  This is a very interest notion, traditionally houses and their systems require resources to operate, to maintain, to use etc.  Now being a producer could mean the house itself produces, a system within the house, the person who lives in the house; how can we turn this negative into a positive?

So it left me wondering how could I have a house that doesn’t consume, but produces; while this might actually be impossible if you start looking at the laws of physics it might be a more accurate statement that a house that can offset the inputs with it’s outputs.  But is this even possible?

The average American home creates 4 tons of waste in just its construction, the average house produces almost 90,000 pounds of carbon emissions.  Now a Tiny House will drastically reduces the amount you have to offset, but it will still be a good bit.  Here are some ideas that could help us get closer to making our house a producer, not a consumer.

Reduce your usage right off the bat

First and foremost I would urge you to first reduce what you consume, being conscious of what you consume, if you have to purchase something, think about how you can extend the life of it or if you can use something that you have to preform the function.  Finally if you have to use something, recycle or up-cycle it.

Grow your home

How about instead of building a home, you grow one!  Here are two idea, the first is a real example that is being used already, the other is a concept that is grown from protein structures.

Green Roofs

Not only does the roof process CO2, but it can grow food and drastically reduce cooling and heating costs.  This isn’t a new concept but still an attractive concept.

Green Power

Now obviously it take energy and resources to produce solar panels, geo-thermal taps, and wind turbines, so you have to take into account how much you have to produce to just offset the production, but I would suspect you could make up the difference and then some over the lifetime of the products.

What other ideas could make your home a producer, not a consumer?

Wine Barrel Floors

So I saw this today and it had such character and the reuse and re purposing of these materials is so neat I had to share.   As most of us know, wine is often fermented in wooden barrels.  Typically these barrels are oak, often from french oak trees, but what I didn’t realize is that they only last about 10 years and cost around $1000 a barrel!  So this company takes the barrels which are often sold for rather cheap, straightens them out, mills then and the installs as wood flooring.

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Tree Museum

I came upon an article talking about Switzerland’s new tree museum, at first I had this wide range of negative reactions.  What have we come to?  Are we already at a place where we have to house these trees because we have damaged the earth so much?  etc etc.  The song Pave Paradise by Joni Mitchell (popularized by Counting Crows)

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
They took all the trees, and put em in a tree museum
And they charged the people a dollar and a half to see them
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you got till it’s gone
They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot

But as I was thinking about this whole concept while taking a shower, which is where I do my best thinking, I realized a few things.  First off, Switzerland is generally a pretty low impact place, not great, but not bad.  The second thing, the more important thing was thing: A museum is a structure that holds a culture’s/nation’s/etc best achievements.  The objects found in museams are held in a very high esteem, they are symbolic of humanity in a way, we find great value in them.  They inspire, they drive introspection, they ask questions that many are afraid to ask.

So as I come along this thought line I realize what this Tree Museam stands for.  A deep reverence for nature.   We are holding these plant, this earth in the highest esteem, we are saying that of everything that man has created, those things in the natural world we hold high on a pedestal.  I always wonder if aliens form another world where to come to our planet and look at us after we are gone, what would they think?  I think examples like this speak highly for us.  That regardless of our innovations, plants are seen as culturally important.

Maybe I am reading into it too much. What do you think?]

Tree Museum