Want to outfit your home with the edgiest in eco-tech? Just ask engineer Jerry Yudelson.
Green building and carbon-neutral living might seem like recent ideas, but engineer Jerry Yudelson has been in the environmentally friendly building business for 14 years. Today he directs a consulting firm in Tucson, Arizona, and his name is on a dozen books about green design. Before LEED certification (that’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, to us non-pros) was a glimmer in any architect’s eye, Yudelson was pushing for solar houses. And he still is.
The Windy City’s first net-zero-energy home employs a butterfly roof and other smart design ideas to help it unplug from the grid.
Homes are responsible for 23 percent of the energy used in the US and 18 percent of carbon emissions. In cities like Chicago, where the temperature can vary by 100 degrees, heating and cooling bills can be bank-breakers. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Five years ago, local architecture and urban-design firm Farr Associates was asked to solve the problem. The company built a 2,600-square-foot house that is now “very, very close” to generating all of its own power, architect Jonathan Boyer says.
Buildings and cities need to be energy efficient. Can they be beautiful at the same time?
It’s almost a given that everything we build from now on is going to need to be energy efficient. As the problems of climate change and limited energy resources become more evident, building with energy in mind is increasingly accepted by the design community. There’s ideological buy-in, and the costs of designing and building for energy efficiency are starting to slide. But even the greenest building can’t be completely green when the lights stay on all night...
Can cities get back in touch with nature? Planners, developers, architects, and policy makers convened in Los Angeles June 7 to face the challenge and develop a plan of action to help bring life onto the rooftops of L.A.'s downtown.
"Nature" is increasingly represented in the urban world as an incidental garnish -- a potted shrub at the door of a towering high-rise; a bush inside the loop of a freeway onramp.
These greening gestures calmly try to suggest a connection between the urban environment and the natural one. Yet other than providing window dressing, they contribute little to counter the harm that cities inflict on the natural ecology.
So what is a densely developed and thoroughly paved American downtown to do? ...