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Thatch-covered Enterprise Centre may be the world’s greenest building

Prefab thatch wall panels (built indoors during the off season) and materials palette which the Treehugger writer calls ‘almost edible’.

“John French, CEO of the university’s Adapt Low Carbon Group and project director, … was eager that the next generation of buildings at UEA should move away from high thermal mass and a dependence on carbon-intensive concrete, towards natural and locally sourced materials.”

ThatchedPassiveHousePlus

“The building also features a wide array of other sustainable materials including recycled timber finishes, wood wool acoustic boards, spray-on cellulose, and wall coverings made from hemp, nettle fabric and reeds”

More at:

http://www.treehugger.com/green-architecture/thatch-covered-enterprise-centre-may-be-worlds-greenest-building.html

http://passivehouseplus.ie/magazine/new-build/is-this-the-uk-s-greenest-building.html

My lawn is dead. Because I care.

My lawn is totally dead.  Because I care.

One of a series of badges promoting water conservation by Katie McKissick

It’s summer.  Here in the drought plagued Southwest US, it’s a badge of honor to not water your lawn.  It’s even more of a badge of honor to replace it with xeriscape, create water-retaining structures like a berm-and-swale system, and recycle your greywater onto your landscape where possible.  That’s what I do.

For more of Katie McKissick’s work, see: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/symbiartic/2014/06/24/dont-be-a-water-jerk/

Rare opportunity to visit Gaviotas village

The village of Gaviotas in the llanos of Colombia today announced a rare chance for outsiders to visit.

So far, few outsiders have managed to visit this special place. But public order has made a comeback in the region, and in 2010, two groups of 20 people each (including a 1-year old baby girl!) traveled all the way to Colombia’s eastern plains to visit this unique community. The visits were a success, and the village now wishes to invite another 20 people for a fully hosted day visit. In addition, Gaviotas founder Paolo Lugari is personally inviting you to spend a few additional days in conversation with him and other Gaviotans in and around the Gaviotas office in Bogotá.

During the 8-month rainy season the roads turn into mud and the Gaviotas landing strip is flooded – March is your chance to go before is starts pouring!

See FriendsOfGaviotas.org for full details.

For more info about Gaviotas, see reflections on our meeting with founder Paolo Lugari, and the book Gaviotas, A Village to Reinvent the World.