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Sustainable Architecture

  1. Sustainable Living Resources (
      "With every activity of our daily lives, we connect with the interdependent web of life on Earth. The health of our environment is a reflection of the choices we make." 06-07

  2. The Small House Society (
      "We are a cooperatively managed organization dedicated to the promotion of smaller housing alternatives which can be more affordable and ecological." 06-07

  1. Editorial: Sustainable Architecture (
      "Sustainable architecture is framed by the larger discussion of sustainability and the pressing economic and political issues of our world." 04-07

  2. Green Concrete (
      "Not the cheap, gray, easily cracked, soulless stuff that gave urbanization a bad name when it was slathered over Western cities in the 1960s, but newfangled, bright — and still relatively expensive — concrete that has come onto the market this decade. High-performance or ultra-high-performance concrete, as it's known in the industry, is up to 10 times stronger than regular concrete. Although, pound-by-pound, it costs several times as much as regular concrete, industry officials say price comparisons are misleading because the high-tech versions have different properties that make them more comparable to materials such as stainless steel or aluminum — which are often more expensive still. The latest concretes have other advantages, including setting much faster. That's giving architects, engineers and builders far greater flexibility to use the material's long-lasting, thermal and acoustic properties in everything from pedestrian bridges to bus stations — and, in turn, contributing to big energy and other environmental savings. Some of the innovations are startling: the white concrete used by American architect Richard Meier for the Jubilee Church in Rome contains titanium dioxide, which keeps the concrete clean at the same time as destroying ambient pollutants such as car exhaust." 02-09

  3. Greenest Building in the U.S. (CNN News)
      "While the monastery officially opened last August, the Benedictine sisters just found out last month their building achieved the highest LEED Platinum rating ever awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council for a new construction building, 63 out of a possible 69 points." 04-10

  4. Shipping Containers for Homes (MSNBC News)
      "Used to import almost everything we use and wear, shipping containers are now a new concept in affordable housing." Sometimes these are called cargo contrainers, 05-07

  5. Smaller Homes Coming Back (Christian Science Monitor)
      "Even in this era of foreclosures and wallet- draining utility bills, plenty of suburban subdivisions still sprout 4,000-sq.-ft. McMansions. But between 2005 – when the average floor area in a new home hit a peak of 2,434 sq. ft. – and 2006, US architects reported less demand for increases in the square footage and volume of homes, says Scott Frank, a spokesman for the American Institute of Architects. He cites 'a reversal of the decades of expanding home sizes.' " 05-07

  6. Super-Sealed Home (USA Today)
      "The key is the home's exterior or envelope, which has to be very well sealed and insulated. The institute requires air infiltration of less than 0.6 air changes per hour at 50 pascals, a standard about 10 times as rigorous as the one set by the U.S. government's Energy Star program."

      "To obtain that, Schultz used triple-paned Optiwin windows (insulating values between R11 and R14), a heavy timber-framed roof (R90) and walls (R50) of insulated concrete forms and staggered double wall stud framing. The home got an amazing HERS (home energy rating) score of 3, on a 0-100 scale, meaning it's 97% more efficient than a regular code-built home." 11-10

  7. Sustainable Architecture (
      "I have come up with a list of thirteen principles of sustainable architecture (listed as links on the left) that can guide you in your housing choices." 04-07

  8. Sustainable Architecture (Huffington Post)
      Provides 15 unusual examples. 02-15

  9. Sustainable Architecture Resources (UC Berkeley Library)
      Provides resources to support sustainable architecture. 04-07

  10. Sustainable Tents (
      "More than 40 million people worldwide have been displaced from their homes and left to find shelter in strange lands. Maybe they find a tarp, or a tent, but their quality of life almost always remains dismal. To close this gap in need, Jordanian-Canadian architect and designer Abeer Seikaly designed a new kind of shelter. One that allows refugees to rebuild their lives with dignity." 03-14

Purchase Resources
  1. Cargo Containers (
      Provides shipping or cargo containers. Awesome Library does not endorse these products but provides them as examples. 07-07

  2. Cargo Containers (
      Provides shipping or cargo containers. Awesome Library does not endorse these products but provides them as examples. 07-07

  3. Cargo Containers for Houses (ABC News)
      "Originally developed as an artistic experiment, shipping container homes are moving into the mainstream, as architects and builders recognize the economic and environmental benefits of working with the giant Lego-like steel boxes." 11-08

  4. Cargo Containers for Houses (
      "There is growing interest in the use of shipping containers as the basis for habitable structures. These "icons of globalization" are relatively inexpensive, structurally sound and in abundant supply. Although, in raw form, containers are dark windowless boxes (which might place them at odds with some of the tenets of modernist design...) they can be highly customizable modular elements of a larger structure." Awesome Library does not endorse these products but provides them as examples. 07-07

  5. Cargo Containers for Houses (
      "A luxury home doesn’t always necessarily mean thousands of square footage, towering great rooms and gilded toilets. Take these homes for example: to begin building one of these epic houses, all you need is $2,000. That $2,000 will buy you a shipping container. What you do with that shipping container… well, that’s completely up to you. Some creative people have found a way to transform this rudimentary “room” with metal siding into luxury housing that blows us away." 10-14

  6. Cargo Containers for Houses: An Expensive Example (
      "At $125 per square foot ($1345 per square meter) the Redondo Beach house is not 'affordable' in the strictest sense, but it is certainly competitive with custom-designed houses in the region, and the cost of such construction is expected to go down with future mass production. This house is the first in what DeMaria describes as a 'new residential product line.' " 11-08

  7. Cargo Containers for Houses: the Need (
      "The redeployed containers are a critical element of the transportation infrastructure that facilitates global trade and with the ongoing trade imbalance; millions of containers remain in ports around the USA. Combined with technologies from the neighbouring aerospace industry, the containers have been brought together with a traditional stick frame construction to create a hybrid home. The use of materials and methods from other industries, non-related to residential construction is part of the architect’s philosophical approach."

      "Airplane hangar doors open the family room to the courtyard where a subterranean cargo container swimming pool is located. The recycled containers, the ceramic based insulation (same that is used on NASA’s Space Shuttle), the prefabricated metal roof panels, the multi-skinned acrylic sheets employed on greenhouses, the formaldehyde free plywood, the tank-less hot water heaters, etc. all add up to a home that is innovative, affordable and environmentally conscious."

      "The affordability of this building system, in addition to the containers being virtually mold proof, termite proof, fire proof and nearly indestructible, will enable the mass of society to realize the dream of creating a quality custom home at an affordable price." 11-08

  8. Green Homes to Buy or Sell (
      "List your green, healthy or eco home for sale at Green Homes for Sale. GHFS is the only Internet venue to buy and sell homes that have been built or remodeled with ecology and health in mind. Until now green, eco and healthy homes have been almost impossible to find. Now folks with environmental leanings can find wonderful and safe places to live." 04-07


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