Modern. Sustainable. Atlanta. 404.303.7280

    • August

      25

      2012
    • 2179
    • 0

    25 Places to Donate Your Stuff

    I think we can all agree that we probably have too much of something or items that serve no real purpose in our homes, whether it’s clothes, DVDs we never watch, unused kitchen gear, the list goes on. National charity organizations like Goodwill and the Salvation Army are always great places to donate, but while looking for more specific ways to donate some children’s toys I came across multiple websites for children’s hospitals that are collecting gently used books and toys for their waiting rooms and activity centers.

    This got me thinking that there are likely lots of ways to donate items to fill a direct need. I find it incredibly motivating to think of de-cluttering in this way; if someone else can put my stuff to better use, that’s exciting.

    • August

      25

      2012
    • 3090
    • 0

    Will Micro Apartments Go Macro?

    Construction has begun on an infill project at 38 Harriet Street in San Francisco that its developer, builder, and module supplier believe could determine whether micro apartments remain a highly publicized curiosity or are seen as legitimate housing alternatives for young urban professionals seeking cheaper, greener, and walkable living spaces.

    “There are a lot of eyes on this project, a lot of interest,” says Naomi Porat, president and co-founder of Zeta Communities, whose factory in Sacramento, Calif., is close to completing the 12- by 65-foot modules that will be used to construct an 11,775-square-foot four-story wood-framed building squeezed onto a 3,750-square-foot lot in this city’s South of Market Street (SoMa) district. That building will contain 23 micro apartments measuring around 300 square feet each, with nine-foot ceilings, kitchens and baths, washers and dryers, and multipurpose built-ins for storage and workspaces that can convert to sleeping areas.

    • August

      25

      2012
    • 1824
    • 0

    Atlanta considers new storm water rules as part of rainwater harvesting program

    A renewed push is underway in Atlanta to harvest rainwater and improve the management of storm water in an era of sustained drought.

    Rainwater harvesting is one proposed response to the need for better management of water resources. Credit: Southeast Rainwater Harvesting Systems Association

    Advocates say a regional rainwater harvesting program could produce more than 20 million gallons of water a day. That represents about 16 percent of metro Atlanta’s net consumptive use of about 125 million gallons a day, according to the latest figures maintained by the Atlanta Regional Commission.

    Two efforts are ramping up to improve the management of the region’s water resources: The drafting of potential new storm water regulations in Atlanta that would apply to all new homes, and to certain additions to existing homes and commercial properties; And, a renewed push throughout the region to encourage property owners to harvest rainwater.

    • August

      25

      2012
    • 1345
    • 0

    Report: Energy retrofits surpass new green buildings in benefits

    Brand new green buildings are always white hot.

    But experts have long been touting the environmental benefit of green buildings’ slightly less sexy cousin: Retrofitting existing buildings with green upgrades.

    Now there is proof.

    A groundbreaking report released earlier this year found that it is unequivocally greener to retrofit an old building than construct a new green building, no matter how many high-tech bells and whistles are in the new construction. “The Greenest Building: Quantifying the Environmental Value of Building Reuse,” was commissioned by Preservation Green Lab, a project of the National Trust for Historic Preservation with support from The Summit Foundation and in partnership with four companies, including Skanska Group.

    • August

      25

      2012
    • 1867
    • 0

    The Trend in New Construction, to Extreme Green or Net Zero

    The trend in new construction and retrofits can only be described as “extreme green” or “net zero.” Venture capitalists have plowed more than $4 billion into the development of sustainably designed, energy efficient buildings. Now, they are looking at ground-breaking technologies to further develop this space, according to a report just released by Boston-based Lux Research.

    To understand investment activity in the green buildings space, Lux Research analysts have followed 332 venture transactions— amounting to $4.06 billion in 160 companies— since 2000. Of the 332 investment rounds in companies that offer technology and materials for green buildings, 152 were series A investments and 83 were series B. Start-ups from North America have attracted 77 percent—or $3.1 billion— of the green building VC invested so far.

    Last year, however, nearly 50 percent of the funding—totaling $445 million—went into 15 late-stage investments, signaling the maturation of the first wave of green building start-ups.

    Meanwhile, new opportunities are emerging in a number of leading-edge areas, including integrated design, on-site power generation, energy services and the advanced building envelope.

    • August

      25

      2012
    • 1986
    • 0

    dan price: my tiny house

    with a refreshing contrast to the seemingly budget-less, material extensive projects published around the internet, dan price’s
    ‘tiny house’ offers a more sobering sustainability in construction and consciousness. the concept revisits the basic principles of a site,
    finding that perfect natural balance between sun, shading, ventilation, and a water source. ‘primitive living’ is above all a process of
    discovery that requires time to intimately understand the terrain, the materials and more importantly your own personal needs.
    the project challenges the very question of human necessity with regards to our culture of ‘living.’

    the dwelling is embedded into the ground, with a larger perimeter than the actual oval form of the main living space to leave room for
    future expansion and for ease of building. thick plastic covers the floor as a water barrier and wraps over the vertically placed 2×6
    wood planks. paving stones line the inside of the partition to secure the footprint from shifting while thin strips are screwed laterally to
    the upper sections to reinforce the circular shape. 2×4 wood members are stacked along their short axes to create a type of large laminated
    beam as the roof, capable of supporting the soil that will eventually insulate the entire construct. holes are cut out of the shell to make
    a door and angled skylight, inviting light and views, with flashing elements to seal the connections and keep wood and water separate.
    from this point, each person possesses the ability to customize their new home to their individual desires as this is, after all, the basic unit of what every other project stems from.

    • August

      25

      2012
    • 3160
    • 0

    PT bamboo pure: green school, bali

    An amazing structure, conceived by John Hardy. After meeting in indonesia, john hardy and his wife cynthia conceived of the ‘green school,’ an educational village community amongst the jungle and rice fields of bali, to spread their sustainable altruistic message through an alternative education system to locals and foreigners alike. they called on balinese practice PT bamboo pure to work out the technical design aspects of the entirely bamboo structure. the plentifully supplied asian wood was utilized to benefit from the potential of all its properties to become structural, decorative,
    recreational, used as flooring, seating, tables and several other fixtures. the local vernacular finds a new relationship fused with contemporary
    design strategies throughout the assembly of the components that make up the entire campus.

    the design of the ‘heart of green school’ finds itself anchored around three lineally located nodes from which all other programmatical
    elements radiate in a spiraling organization. at each anchor point, interweaving bamboo light columns span the full height of the structure
    ending in a wooden ring framing a skylight with intricately ornate mullions. a fluid helical thatch roof stems from each main
    vertical support corkscrewing to allow light to reach every space, with deep overhangs to protect the open air interior. three main
    staircases serve three floors with multi-functional areas and varying levels of privacy to accommodate the various activities.

    • August

      22

      2012
    • 1519
    • 0

    Zero Net-Energy Ready Homes to be Certified by Energy Department Partnership

    For people who think Passive House is a Fad.

    On Monday, August 20, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a newpartnership between the DOE Challenge Homeprogram and the Passive House Institute US to cooperate on the promotion of various levels of high-performance buildings on the path to zero net-energy.

    This news is a huge development for the passive house community and for PHIUS. The endorsement of PHIUS+ passive house certification through the DOE instantly makes passive house the most energy efficient option for builders, designers and developers who want to achieve a zero energy building. This recognition will go a long way toward making passive house mainstream.

    This took a lot of time and effort, and we owe thanks to Sam Rashkin, Chief Architect at the DOE, whose knowledge, vision and determination were critical to the effort. (Sam was the keynote at last year’s North American Passive House Conference.)

    So, how does this partnership change current PHIUS+ passive house certification and what do consultants need to know?

    In a nutshell: not much. A passive house already fulfills most of the Challenge Home requirements – certification essentially remains the same process with a few minor additions! Those additions are very good improvements, making the home even better. Indoor air quality requirements ask for low VOC materials and the water efficiency requirements establish a reasonable savings baseline, all good things.

    The Challenge Home requires rigorous third-party, on-site verification, which already is part of PHIUS+. PHIUS+ certified RESNET Raters already use an advanced passive house checklist created specifically for passive houses. (This testing protocol is actually more rigorous than the one the Challenge Home is using.)

    What Challenge Home brings to the table that PHIUS+ did not before is a more formalized exterior water management and flashing checklist. Having seen quite a few bad water management details during certification so far, we are happy to add a more formalized process to assure the long term durability of the house. QAQC is crucial to assure quality in execution, actual performance and peace of mind for the client we found.

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Costs of Custom Homes

The first thing most people want to know is: What does it costs to build a 3000 sqft custom home in the Atlanta, GA. market?  The first thing you have to calculate is the square footage you want.  Once you have that, the numbers below give you a good starting point.

Adjusted Square Foot Calculation:

New Construction:

Renovations:

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