January 9, at 1: Future Analyst Ha, same thought.
This post is a journal of that week. We traveled through Austin, San Antonio and Houston for the trip. This was a picture of our class minus my wife who was taking the picture.
Each was interesting in its own approach to greenness and sustainability. By the end of the day, many of the green features all started to blend together. What really made this house stand out is that it is completely off of city water with a 20, gallon rainwater collection tank in the back, a great use of cross breeze ventilation and natural lighting in every room.
And for what there was, there was grass that required little water — Buffalo, I think. In this house, no windows ever get direct sunlight. There are windows high up to allow hotter air to escape.
And as you can see in the picture, the driveway is half pervious. There was also some rainwater collection going on. The sign said there was a community garden somewhere. I think it was further up the street.
Another house for sale on the same street has some interesting features too. I think they call it a thermal heat tower or something where the heat all collects at the top and is either removed by a window or vented back through the AC system to keep it moving.
If I recall correctly, someone inside was commenting how if they took the savings from the utility bills and applied it to the principle, it would allow them to pay off the house in something like 10 years earlier.
M Station E.
They reused an urban greyfield underutilized but not polluted concrete factory. They collect rainwater, use solar energy and high efficiency fixtures. Another curiosity was the playground. Many of the features were unrecognizable to us and we found ourselves theorizing what kids might do with them.
They have a green room, lots of native landscaping, and lots of metal art and structures. The neatest feature was a grain silo that was converted to architect meeting rooms. This particular property stood out in my mind several ways. First off, a green roof on a residential property. Secondly, a lot more art built in to the design metal works.
And lastly, it was warmer inside than most of the rest of the properties too. Of interest here was that this was the only house that displayed their active monitoring of energy usage. The other thing that stood out was how much dark wood trim there was everywhere in this craftsman style house.
Alegria was in an existing neighborhood. Of course there was just a reading room on the 3rd story and it was pretty warm up there. As you can see in the picture, it had wide porches in front and in back.
It also used the stack ventilation method of drawing hot air off the top and recirculating cooler air. They had LED lights as well. His comment was that this house was more about simplicity than featuring all the features as many green builds do.
It was just a nice place to be.
This picture of the screened windows in the master bedroom were an exception. They highlight not only the practicality of screening the windows surprisingly absent from most other properties but the nice symmetry of the design.
The guidebook also mentions that this house was designed with outdoor living in mind — the residents have 3 dogs. The unique feature of this house was that it was the only straw bale house. AND it was 3 stories if you can believe it.
The picture to the right was the front facade.Plan Group Travel. How's this for easy: Instantly reserve your small meeting online for rooms and event space for up to 50 guests. That's it. As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 75, lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.
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