Category Archives: sustainable architecture

Urban Renewal: Resurrecting Vegas

Bankrolled by Hsieh, The Downtown Project plans to invest $350 million in up to 200 small businesses, dozens of tech start-ups, and a diverse mix of other public resources and amenities. The ultimate goal: To create the sort of dense, walkable, mixed-used Shangri-La championed by the urban theorist Jane Jacobs in her 1961 classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities. 

Put another way, Hsieh would like to make downtown Las Vegas a more compelling social network, a feature-rich platform that encourages frequent chance encounters, fruitful knowledge exchange, and over the long term, greater innovation and productivity. Where abandoned liquor stores now fester, yoga studios shall one day bloom. : Continue reading :

Crowdfunding the Regenerative Home

Let’s create the Regenerative Home. With this proposal, we are raising funds to showcase technologies for homes that are ecological, affordable, and appropriate for these times. We will build the second prototype this summer in Colorado (earlier version shown in the intro video). Throughout the construction we will document in film and photography. The building plans will be available this year online for $10. Plus, in a subsequent fundraising effort next year, we will assemble an online documentary film about the process so others can learn from and recreate these ideas.

The movie above shows you what the Hiperadobe (a type of Earthbag) earthen wall system looks like in action. The Regenerative Home design uses the hiperadobe system for the walls, and an ancient Nubian adobe vault method to enclose the space. This was used by humanitarian architect Hassan Fathy. It is still popular today in many countries because it minimizes the use of wood by replacing it with earth, and is very durable. Similar adobe vaults that are thousands of years old still stand today. The Regenerative Home uses this age-old roofing technique with additional reinforcement to ensure safety and longevity. (Fund here)

Net Energy Positive Passive House

The Passive House in the Woods in Hudson Wisconsin officially clocked a net-energy positive meter reading in 2011.

What does that mean?

In short, it made more energy than it consumed. While we predicted this with our energy models, we found and learned through monitoring that some equipment and appliances use more energy than assumed. On the flip side, user behavior plays a major role as well and can effectively lower energy consumption over the predicted model. (Source)