Prefab Norris House in Tennessee is a Living Lab for Energy and Water Use

New Norris House

Since 1933, the Tennessee Valley Authority community of Norris, Tennessee has showcased a variety of prefabricated houses with modern amenities such as electricity, heat, and indoor plumbing that were quite rare in Appalachia.

Today, the same community hosts the New Norris House, which showcases the principles of affordable sustainable living. The 1,006-square-foot prefab cottage is proudly exceeding LEED-Platinum standards by 30%, utilizing sunlight and rainwater to focus on self-reliance and conservation. The house uses 50% less energy than other homes in the area and requires no fossil fuels to run.

New Norris House

The demonstration home was created by a team of University of Tennessee-Knoxville College of Architecture + Design students and faculty members, who used passive solar design and ventilation to maintain comfortable temperatures during all seasons. Natural daylight was an important consideration for the design, and a retractable awning on the southern side controls the amount of heat distributed throughout the home in summer and winter. A solar hot water panel and tankless electric water heater work together to maintain water temperatures, and about 85% of roof runoff is used for toilet flushing, laundry, and irrigation.

Seadrift Residence is a Zero-Energy Home With Natural, Stylish Features

Seadrift Home

This Seadrift Residence home by CCS Architecture in San Francisco may not look out of the ordinary for a modern lakehouse, but this sleek and stylish 1,900 square foot home is as environmentally friendly as it is stylish.

The middle of the living space consists of a rotating fire orb that is designed to distribute warmth equally throughout the room. The generous amount of wood throughout the home gives a natural, inviting look while providing plenty of natural insulation.

Seadrift Home Internal

Some of the environmental benefits of this home include the photovoltaic roof that provides solar energy, smart heating technology that reduces energy consumption, efficient lighting fixtures that are still aesthetically pleasing, and an innovative low-flow water management system. All of these features turn the Seadrift Residence into a zero-energy home that does not sacrifice the environment for style.

For more photos and information on the architects of this beautiful beach home in Stinson Beach, California, visit CSS-Architecture.com.

Seadrift Home External

Seadrift Home Internal

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  3. Stylish Greenfab Home Unveiled in Seattle

See more here: Seadrift Residence is a Zero-Energy Home With Natural, Stylish Features

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MOSS Prefabricated Office Allows Employees to Work From Home

Moss Prefabricated Office

As a way to cut down on daily commutes and encourage more people to work from home, Victor Vetterlein has designed Micro Office Systems Space (MOSS), a prefabricated home office powered by clean energy. The offices are a 13-foot octogonal shape, designed to be either leased or purchased and installed in employees driveways, backyards, or even on the roof. The best part? They connect right into the main office.

Moss Prefabricated Office

Vetterlein sees this as a great way to boost productivity and get a few cars off the road without sacrificing environmental impact. The structure is made of laminated tree farm wood and steel connection plates, and the interior is made of Structural Insulated Panels. The cladding is made of Aluminum Composite Panels and is well insulated and weather tight to help maximize energy efficiency.

Moss Prefabricated Office

Radiant underfloor heating and a wood-fired stove keep it toasty warm in the winter, and the solar panels that provide electricity also provide shade in the summer. The skylight allows for natural ventilation and minimizes the need for lighting in the daytime.

Moss Prefabricated Office

If the standard space isn’t big enough, there is also a 3-foot add-on that includes a kitchen, toilet, and wastewater tank.

Do you think your boss would get in on this? Would it make you more likely to want to work from home?

Source and images via Dezeen

Related Articles on JetsonGreen.com:

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Originally posted here: MOSS Prefabricated Office Allows Employees to Work From Home

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Organic Farm in Shanghai Has New Visitor’s Center Constructed From Freight Containers

With the recent popularity of container architecture, we are seeing some beautiful designs from recycled freight containers, the new hotel and office for Tony’s Farm in Shanghai, by design firm playze, features traditional Chinese typologies combined with a livable aesthetic to bring an stylistic elegance to what could otherwise be a cumbersome form.

Container Architecture in Shanghai at Tony's Farm

Founded and owned by Tony Zhang, Tony’s Farm is Shanghai’s largest organic vegetable farm, providing natural, safe, organic produce to thousands of Shanghai residents each day. The farm is dedicated to soil improvement, water cycle system purification, and grows food without chemical fertilizers, hormones, or additives. No genetically-modified vegetables are permitted.

Container Architecture in Shanghai at Tony's Farm

The new 11,400 square foot visitor center at Tony’s Farm, constructed of 78 shipping containers, will be used to welcome farm guests. Hotel rooms will be built in the second phase. It features a lobby and reception area, VIP area, courtyards, operational offices, and a store, with a connection to a packaging warehouse.

Container Architecture in Shanghai at Tony's Farm

Sustainability was a primary goal in the construction and operation of the design. Heavy insulation has been used in container walls, some of which are perforated to allow for natural lighting, while retaining the exterior’s raw industrial appearance.

Container Architecture in Shanghai at Tony's Farm

To visually and physically connect interior and exterior spaces, the building is designed as a continuous spatial sequence, inviting visitors to explore.

Container Architecture in Shanghai at Tony's Farm

On the second level, two connecting bridges lead to the office wing, which is covered by an existing warehouse. Offices are sheltered beneath an existing room to form an inner facade towards a production hall.

Container Architecture in Shanghai at Tony's Farm

Container Architecture in Shanghai at Tony's Farm

Container Architecture in Shanghai at Tony's Farm

Terraces transition between interior work and leisure spaces. From the cantilevered main entrance, visitors are greeted at the reception desk in a three-story high lobby adjacent to an inner courtyard.

Container Architecture in Shanghai at Tony's Farm

Energy efficiency concerns were addressed with a geothermal heat pump for heating, cooling, and controlled ventilation. Additional green approaches include LED lighting and locally-produced bamboo flooring.

Container Architecture in Shanghai at Tony's Farm

Container Architecture in Shanghai at Tony's Farm

All photos copyright Bartosz Kolonko

Related Articles on JetsonGreen.com:

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Go here to see the original: Organic Farm in Shanghai Has New Visitor’s Center Constructed From Freight Containers

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Buy American: Earth-Friendly Stone and Tile from GREENSTONE

When you’re looking for exterior paving stone or interior tile made from 100% post-industrial waste, you’ll want to have a look at GREENSTONE Recycled Stone Products.

Green building products materials tile

Photo courtesy GREENSTONE Recycled Stone Products

American-owned and operated in Winder, Georgia, you’ll feel good about buying local with these materials that are made of locally-sourced raw materials from countertop fabricators that would normally end up in landfills.

Green building products materials pavers

Photo courtesy GREENSTONE Recycled Stone Products

Green building products materials tile

Photo courtesy GREENSTONE Recycled Stone Products

Add to that: GREENSTONE products meet LEED and Earthcraft Certification standards.

Green building products materials pavers

Photo courtesy GREENSTONE Recycled Stone Products

GREENSTONE exterior pavers are durable – three times stronger than concrete, with the ability to withstand up to 24,000 psi.

Green building products materials tile

Photo courtesy GREENSTONE Recycled Stone Products

They don’t need maintenance and their colors won’t fade. The finishing process results in a non-slip, textured surface

Green building products materials pavers

Photo courtesy GREENSTONE Recycled Stone Products

Green building products materials tile

Photo courtesy GREENSTONE Recycled Stone Products

GREENSTONE Tile comes in a wide variety of natural colors and textures.

Green building products materials pavers

Photo courtesy GREENSTONE Recycled Stone Products

Options include granite and marble, and can be ordered to specifications such as color, length, and thickness.

Green building products materials tile

Photo courtesy GREENSTONE Recycled Stone Products

Green building products materials pavers

Photo courtesy GREENSTONE Recycled Stone Products

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See the original post: Buy American: Earth-Friendly Stone and Tile from GREENSTONE

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Greenfab Takes Prefab to IBS Las Vegas

If you’re planning on the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, expect to see not one but two modular homes built by Greenfab, the builder behind this modular, LEED Platinum home.  The first home is a modified version of Greenfab’s 2100 Series home with 2,100 square feet, up to four bedrooms, and a master suite that opens to a large roof deck.

The second has a 2,300 square-foot plan with an outdoor deck for entertaining.  Both prefab homes will pursue LEED Platinum certification, according to Greenfab.

Some of the green features of a Greenfab home include high R-value insulation, windows that allow natural lighting, durable siding, energy-efficient lighting, Energy Star appliances, water-efficient fixtures, dual-flush toilets, recycled-content materials, etc.

[+] More about the Greenfab modular homes going to IBS 2013.

Credits: Greenfab.

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Continued here: Greenfab Takes Prefab to IBS Las Vegas

Expanded Cork Insulation Arrives in USA

If you want to wind up a building scientist, you might mention the topic of insulation.  Better yet, mention the advent of expanded cork insulation in the United States from Portugal-based Amorim Isolamentos.  The insulation is made from leftover material from cork bottle stopper production which is heated and sliced into boards, according to Alex Wilson of BuildingGreen.  Thus, the insulation is rapidly renewable and entirely natural.

Cork insulation is typically installed by wrapping exterior walls with several inches of the material.

Amorim Isolamentos is setting up business in North America, but Wilson estimates that the price for R19 of material could be roughly $5.50 per square foot.  Wilson also indicates that the material has good sound-control properties, insulates to R3.6 per inch, and could be “one of the greenest building materials anywhere.“  Sounds fascinating!

[+] The Greenest Insulation Material — Expanded Cork? by BuildingGreen.

Credits: Amorim Isolamentos.

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No VOC Hard Wax Finish by Unearthed Paints

Unearthed Paints, maker of non-toxic and VOC-free paint, just announced a new natural Hard Wax Oil finish for wood floors, cork floors, and stone in interior surfaces.  It’s non-toxic and contains zero VOCs and “provides a natural, breathable silky-matte finish,” according to a statement by Unearthed Paints.

Hard Wax Oil is made with natural oils, resins, and waxes — no water or solvents — including linseed oil, carnauba wax, tung oil, and colophonium glycerine ester, which is produced by pine tree sap. It’s a pure solid.

A 2.5 liter can of Hard Wax Oil covers about 420 square feet and is currently selling on Unearthed Paints’ website for $98.  It can be applied with a brush, roller, or floor machine (with a soft pad) and takes about 20-30 minutes to dry.

[+] More about natural zero-VOC Hard Wax Oil by Unearthed Paints.

Credits: Unearthed Paints.

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Read the original post: No VOC Hard Wax Finish by Unearthed Paints

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“Be My Baby” Protester Devotes Life to Adoptees and Natural Moms

Congers, NY (PRWEB) May 2, 2004

People have come from as far away as South Africa and Australia to attend adoptee Joe Soll’s “Healing Weekends” in Congers, NY. The healing weekend experience is for those separated by adoption, primarily adoptees and natural mothers.

Joe, a black market baby, was adopted at birth. He began a search for his natural mother in 1982 and now 22 years later has acknowledged that he probably will never find her. He first started a support group in 1983, which evolved into the formal organization of non-profit Adoption Crossroads® in 1986, including an informative website at http://www.adoptioncrossroads.org. He eventually added the “Healing Weekends” held six times a year, for adoptees and natural moms.

About starting his support group, Joe said: “I realized the search group I was going to was missing the boat by not working on feelings. I was so used to feeling (over)whelmed that I needed to do something for me and others.”

The website presents a picture of adoption that most people never hear about: The picture presented is from the perspective of natural parents and adoptees. In the articles and on the forum, the words grief, loss, anger, trauma and even exploitation are found. There is mention of injury from separating moms and their babies. Is it all Joe’s experience only? No, many adoptees and moms are telling their stories and searching for support and validation of their feelings. Because of the misperception in the United States that everything about adoption is good, this type of support is almost non-existent for adoptees and natural family members.

An Electrical Engineer, Joe has spent time on the top of the Empire State building and the World Trade Center, installing TV transmission facilities in the towers and transmitters in the facilities below the roof, as well as designing computer systems for those same facilities.

Running the meetings and going to therapy himself led Joe to graduate school in social work, which he began about the same time he got a BS in Computer Science. He graduated with an MSW in 1990, took the state licensing exam and became a certified social worker.

The support group meetings held in Manhattan and in Congers, NY, draw people from as far away as Boston to the North and Baltimore to the South.

About the support aspect of his work, Joe says this: “I am often asked if we can truly heal from our wounds