Gut Kitchen Renovation in Philadelphia

This is a gut kitchen renovation by owners/designers Matthew D. Emerson, LEED AP, and his wife, Courtney, in Philadelphia.  The Emersons employed a team of local Northern Liberties construction professionals and a sustainable approach with reclaimed materials, energy-efficient technology, greater insulation, low-VOC paints, and a green roof visible from the upper level of the 1907-built brick rowhouse.

Emerson told Jetson Green in an email that he gutted the original 70 square-foot kitchen and sold existing cabinetry and appliances for reuse.  With general contractor Greensaw Design/Build, the structure was bolstered with framing salvaged from movie sets.

The envelope was refitted with R19 or greater insulation in the floor, wall, and roof framing, while interior natural light was enhanced with a large Energy Star glass door, operable skylight, and expanded opening to the main house.

David Wing of Greensaw Design/Build built the cabinet boxes out of FSC-certified plywood and finished them with water- and soy-based oils.  The cabinet faces are also a custom creation from locally-sourced, reclaimed cypress from Kennett Square mushroom beds acquired at Provenance Architectural Salvage.

Other materials include 50% recycled-content Daltile floor tile, LED lighting, Energy Star appliances, an in-cabinet compost bin, a backsplash made with 100% recyclable waxed steel plate (Bill Curran Design), a green roof (Urban Ecoforms), and countertops from reclaimed oak library tables.

If you’ve completed a similar project lately, submit your green kitchen renovation to the editors for potential publication on

Credits: Steve Gengler. 

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Originally posted here: Gut Kitchen Renovation in Philadelphia

Sustainability Paradox, Airtight Construction, Alternative Green Homes, + Affordable LEDs

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Five-Star Luxe Container Hotel in China

Halfway across the globe in a rural village outside of Changzhi in China, a developer was inspired by emergency housing made with shipping containers in Japan and decided to build a five-star hotel out of them, according to CNN Go.  The hotel — 香箱乡祈福所, which apparently translates as Xiang Xiang Xiang Pray House — was built with 35 containers and includes 21 tiny, luxe guest rooms of either 161 or 321 square feet each.

The shipping container hotel was designed by Tonghe Shanzhi Landscape Design, a Beijing firm, who had the modules built off-site and then shipped them to the hotel location for button-up work.

According to CNN Go, the fabrication methodology resulted in a quick turnaround time — three months to design, build, transport, and finish the containers — resulting in 40% savings in the construction schedule.  The hotel will open in August 2012.

[+] More about Xiang Xiang Xiang Pray House near Changzhi.

Credits: Tonghe Shanzhi Landscape Design. 

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Original post: Five-Star Luxe Container Hotel in China

Modular Apartments, Rationing Aircon, Foreclosed Eco-Flippers, + an Inventive Toilet

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BioSIPs in the Greenest Home in Canada

When I mentioned a project by students aiming to build the greenest house in Canada (by means of the Living Building Challenge and LEED Platinum certification), I noted that students planned to use “prefabricated straw bale walls.” It turns out they finished this portion of the project using BioSIPs from NatureBuilt Wall Systems in Ontario, Canada.

These BioSIPS are 16″ thick with an insulation value of about R35. The walls consist of tightly-packed straw that’s covered in 1″ of cement and lime plaster, according to NatureBuilt.

With the high level of insulation and thermal mass of these walls, NatureBuilt indicates that a homeowner can save money on heating and cooling costs, particularly through the specification of a smaller HVAC unit.

In terms of installation, BioSIPs can be unloaded with a boom truck or crane in about one day, and the actual work to attach the walls to the foundation takes maybe a couple days. Endeavour Centre students shared the process of making BioSIPs and installing BioSIPs online, in case you’re interested in reading more detail.

[+] Follow the construction progress of Canada’s Greenest Home.

Credit: The Endeavour Centre.

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Greenest Home, Prefab for the Backyard, Impressive LED Bulb, + Future Sustainable

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Kiwi House is a Micro Montana Dwelling

This is the Kiwi House, an 823 square-foot abode in Bozeman, Montana.  The home, owned by Stephen and Julie Shea, was designed by Comma-Q Architecture with the hearth — a soapstone fireplace from Finland-based Tulikivi – radiating warmth from open kitchen and living room area.  It’s constructed on an infill lot and covered in a combination of locally-sourced Montana stone and reclaimed redwood and metal.

The home is oriented to the sun and captures energy with a photovoltaic system.  To keep energy bills down, it also has “super-insulated construction,” according to Comma-Q.

Kiwi House is actually a living prototype for a second home that the owners want to build in their favorite destination, New Zealand, according to Montana Living.  For the time being, though, when the owners head to New Zealand, they’re content with putting energy back into the grid with power from their solar array.

[+] More about the Kiwi House from architects Comma-Q.

Credits: Lockie Photography (1-4); Design 5, LLC (5).

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Affordable Motors Announces that Acura Set to Build ILX in the States

Brooklyn, New York (PRWEB) December 20, 2011

Affordable Motors, a used car dealer in Brooklyn, would like to announce that Honda?s luxury arm, Acura, is set to release several new models and vehicle redesigns at next month?s 2012 Detroit Auto Show. It?s no surprise that Honda is doing this at the Detroit Auto Show, since Japanese car manufacturers put their focus on American consumers to help with majority of their sales.

Honda is planning on blowing the roof off of Cobo Hall, in Detroit, during the Auto show by releasing a slew of luxury rides. Acura is believed to debut the NSX, known as Acura?s supercar, and also ILX sedan concepts, accompanied with the 2013 RDX crossover. It is believed that the ILX concepts will be quite similar to a close-relative, the Honda Civic. It will also offer traditional drive-trains as well as hybrid options. Some of these vehicles can be found at Affordable Motors.

It is also been noted that this vehicle will be made right here in the United States, as the final touches will be put on in Greensburg, Indiana. The ILX?s that feature gasoline engines will be received from another U.S. Honda plant in Anna, Ohio as well. This is big news as the ILX will be the first Acura hybrid ever, and the first hybrid vehicle that Honda will have built in the United States.

Affordable Motors is a used car dealer in Brooklyn, New York which sells a variety of used Acura models. They also have an additional service shop attached to their location.


Florida Villa & Car Hire Companies Help Build Flagging Florida Tourism Industry

(PRWEB) January 12, 2005

Florida is one of the two busiest destinations for car rentals in the UK. Unlike Spain, where there may be around 30 rental companies at airports like Alicante and Malaga, in Florida you will probably only be offered a choice of two companies, Alamo or Dollar. This even applies at the busiest airports like Orlando International, Miami, Tampa and Sanford. In fact, most travel agents, tour operators and many car rental agents/brokers are likely to offer you a ‘choice’ of just one of these Florida companies.

This is not to say that these are not good rental companies because they are. But is there more choice and how do you find it? The answer is that there is and it can be found on a new web-site, On this site you can find highly competitive Florida rates not only for Alamo and Dollar, but also for Budget and Speciality. So a four-fold increase in your options. There are some other benefits offered by Budget and Speciality as well. Both companies offer special deals for young drivers, ages 21-24. So no need to spend the $ 20 or more per day that is often required for this age group to drive. This means not only a big saving and Dad gets a break from the driving. Also, as Speciality are not on-airport at Miami, their clients are not required to pay the recently introduced tax of nearly $ 4 per day. So another big saving and the Speciality Florida shuttle service to and from the terminal is free. is owned by Endless Leisure Ltd. whose Managing Director, Mark Harrison, comments ‘ it has always been a core principle of Endless Leisure to offer our clients an excellent choice. This applies to both our on-line booking sites and to our personal service brand, At carhirewarehouse we also have an agency with Hertz which means that we can offer a total choice of 5 major rental companies throughout Florida. We don’t believe that anyone else can match this service in Florida.’

Endless Leisure Ltd are working in partnership with Worldwide Holiday Homes who are a UK-based independent travel company offering self catering holiday villas in Florida. Established in 2002 Worldwide Holiday Homes offers low cost and specialist holidays to holidaymakers to Florida.