Green Building Conference!

Click Here For the Green Building Conference Website

The NAHB, the National Association of Homebuilders, is the leading organization for home builders in the United States.   Besides the annual convention, the NAHB provides all kinds of learning opportunities for builders and those interested in building.  The NAHB also has their own Green Building Program and hosts a huge Green Conference this year in Raleigh, NC on May 16 – 18

Solar Passive and Active at the Same Time !

Check this out !

Here’s a way to incorporated solar photovoltaics (active solar) and solar shading at the same time.   Depending on you latitude and climate – its possible to optimize when the suns rays enter your home.

Sea Level Rising?

Do you believe in rising sea levels??? 

This guy is prepared.  I couldn’t help but get a shot of this house in Stinson Beach outside of San Francisco.  The house has been lifted about 15 feet on concrete piers.

 A fascinating report just recently completed by the California State Lands Commission on A Report on Sea Level Rise – Preparedness addresses the issues of how the state will deal with the estimated 16” rise in sea levels by 2050 !

Unobtainum – The Answer to Global Warming

Unobtainium – the solution!

 I gave a talk this morning on global warming and heard a great talk by Paul Hawken yesterday.  Fully inspired – I got to the section about hope and I thought – all we have to do is wait for unobtainium.  Why not?  When I was a kid I remember thinking somehow everything would work out – somebody would figure it out – the USA always does – everything will be alright. Continue reading “Unobtainum – The Answer to Global Warming”

1940’s Green House?

 I spotted this house on a trip to Mendecino, CA.  A dome house perced on the edge of the rocky Pacific is hard for me to pass by!  I was intriged by the door – a beautiful mosaic of stained glass inset into what looks like a copper door.  On closer inspection as I zoomed in – the door is actually a mess – you can see its not copper but built into what looks like a standard solid core door that is badly delaminating.  Too bad.

Also note the light patches on the roof are the cedar shingles bing replaced by some inexpensive composite shingles.

It ain’t easy living on the ocean but it sure is amazing.

The Dome House popularized by Buckminster Fuller’s “Dymaxion” houses was a really interesting green building study from the 1940’s.  Fuller, way ahead of his time, was interested in developing systems to save resources both for building and living in houses.

For more information check out
Timberline Goedesic

Domes can also be built out of concrete formed over an inflated baloon!
Check out Monolithic

From Wikipedia

A geodesic dome is a spherical or partial-spherical shell structure or lattice shell based on a network of great circles (geodesics) lying on the surface of a sphere. The geodesics intersect to form triangular elements that have local triangular rigidity and also distribute the stress across the entire structure. When completed to form a complete sphere, it is known as a geodesic sphere.

Typically the design of a geodesic dome begins with an icosahedron inscribed in a sphere, tiling each triangular face with smaller triangles, then projecting the vertices of each tile to the sphere. The endpoints of the links of the completed sphere would then be the projected endpoints on the sphere’s surface. If this is done exactly, each of the edges of the sub-triangles is slightly different lengths, so it would require a very large number of links of different sizes. To minimize the number of different sizes of links, various simplifications are made. The result is a compromise consisting of a pattern of triangles with their vertices lying approximately on the surface of the sphere. The edges of the triangles form approximate geodesic paths over the surface of the dome that distribute its weight.

Geodesic designs can be used to form any curved, enclosed space. Oddly-shaped designs would require calculating for and custom building of each individual strut, vertex or panel—resulting in potentially expensive construction. Because of the expense and complexity of design and fabrication of any geodesic dome, builders have tended to standardize using a few basic designs.

World’s Tallest Building – Is it Green?


This building is over 800 meters or 2,600 feet.  In case you are wondering a mile is 5,280 feet.  Whether or not you like the idea – the sheer magnitude of this project boggles the mind.  Imagine taking an elevator to the top – washing the windows – looking out over the edge – this is more than twice the size of the Empire State Building.

See this sight for some really cool images

The Empire State Building is 1250 feet.

Imagine the structural engineering
the plumbing – what kind of pumps get water up that high
the sewers
Is it Green?  It certainly has density.

 It wasn’t until the late 1800’s that buildings grew past 5 stories – the generally accepted maximum for masonry buildings.  Arcitect Louis Sullivan in Chicago with his steel frame Prudential Building, also known as the Guaranty Building, Buffalo, New York1894 was a pioneer of the modern skyscraper.  The Eiffel Tower is another example of tall steel frame design, named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower was built as the entrance arch for the 1889 World’s Fair.

 900 Residences !
An Armani Hotel !

Concourse level to level 8 and level 38 and 39 will feature the Armani Hotel Dubai.
Levels 9 to 16 will exclusively house luxurious one and two bedroom Armani Residences.

Floors 45 through 108 are private ultra-luxury residences.
The Corporate Suites occupy fill most of the remaining floors, except for level 122 which houses a restaurant and level 124, the tower’s public observatory.

For the convenience of home owners, the tower has been divided in to sections with exclusive
Sky Lobbies on Levels 43, 76 and 123
that feature state-of-the-art fitness facilities including a Jacuzzis on Level 43 and 76.
The Sky Lobbies on 43 and 76 additionally house swimming pools and a recreational room each that can be utilized for gatherings and lifestyle events.

Offering an unparalleled experience, both pools open to the outside offering residents the option of swimming from inside to the outside balcony.

Ironically the tower is being finished at precisely the worst time in history from a real estate point of view.