Category Archives: geothermal

Livin’ Off the Grid


Despite how kitschy this video is, the guy has a certain charm about him (I think it’s his tiny carbon footprint). Our friend here doesn’t make it look completely easy or anything, but still manages an amazing proof of concept design here. Not to be a fearmonger, or something, but I hope this type of design makes it to your ordinary consumer (read: Joe Six-Pack) before it’s too late!

Why another video, you ask? Well, why our resident green expert is on her mini-sojourn, we must keep the house tidy. Expect more and better to come soon.

PopSci’s Top 50 Greenest US Cities


I am a little behind the times, but at the beginning of February Popular Science Magazine came out with their list of America’s 50 Greenest Cities. They compiled the list based on four criteria – electricity (10 points), transportation (10 points), green living (5 points) and recycling & green perspective (5 points). Here are the top 20:

1. Portland, Ore. 23.1
2. San Francisco, Calif. 23.0
3. Boston, Mass. 22.7
4. Oakland, Calif. 22.5
5. Eugene, Ore. 22.4
6. Cambridge, Mass. 22.2
7. Berkeley, Calif. 22.2
8. Seattle, Wash. 22.1
9. Chicago, Ill. 21.3
10. Austin, Tex. 21.0
11. Minneapolis, Minn. 20.3
12. St. Paul, Minn. 20.2
13. Sunnyvale, Calif. 19.9
14. Honolulu, Hawaii 19.9
15. Fort Worth, Tex. 19.7
16. Albuquerque, N.M. 19.1
17. Syracuse, N.Y. 18.9
18. Huntsville, Ala. 18.4
19. Denver, Colo. 18.2
20. New York, N.Y. 18.2

Check the PopSci site for the full list and all the details. They also highlight 6 case studies of cities making concerted efforts to green themselves.

Oakland: Zero Emission Bus

Chicago: Make Power, Save the Heat

San Francisco: Sunroofs in Fog City

Santa Rosa: Tapping Geysers for Watts

Salt Lake City: Heating Homes from Waste

New York City: Turning the Tides into Electricity

Another interesting analysis of green spots in the US was listed by a PopSci reader in the comments. Check the site for an interesting interactive state-by-state look at green stat’s across the country.



RES4: House for an Artist


The Artist’s Retreat, a recently [Fall, 2007] completed project RES4, is a 2550 SF prefab project in Southampton, NY. Manufactured by Integrity Building Systems, the ‘sustainable‘ residence takes advantage of it’s natural surroundings through the integration of a solarium and a large roof deck into the design – highlighting the views of the ‘breathtaking natural landscape’. The 3-Bedroom house is shared by an artist + mother, and includes an office/study, art studio,combined kitchen/dining/living. 3 baths, and the previously mentioned solarium + roof deck.


Sustainable‘/‘green’ technologies used in the house include geothermal heating + cooling, three arrays of high efficiency photovoltaic modules have the capacity to produce 10,500 kwh/yr[their first electric bill was actually a credit], modular prefab construction and maintenance free materials, natural ventilation, and the use of local Southampton ground vegetation.


The design is based on RES4′d investigation into the ‘Modern Modular‘ – a type of ‘kit-of-parts’ that RES4 uses to develop their projects. Variations on 7 different building typologies – Single Bar, L Series, Double Wide, Courtyard, T Series, Triple Wide, + Z Series – have been created by RES4, and are expanded upon and built based on site conditions and client needs/preferences.




Prefab and ‘green’ or not – seems like a pretty big house for two people, doesn’t it?

More RES4 on MNP:

RES4 : Dwell Home