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green building – carraig ridge passive house designed to last 300 years


The Carraig Ridge Passive House is an innovative home designed for those who really want to get away from it all; additionally, the energy self-sufficient prototype has been designed with a potential 300-year, cradle-to-cradle lifespan.


The project is the vision of architects Les Eerkes and Steven Rainville in association with Tom Kundig and Olson Kundig Architects. The prototype calls for nine homes to be developed in a cluster of 3 to 5 acre lots, with the intent that the development of a small portion of the property will partially fund the creation of a 4,000-acre Canadian nature reserve.


Each building is seen meeting the ambitious goal of cutting energy consumption by 90%, with an energy consumption target of 4kbtu’s/SF per year. The home would feature: a large photovoltaic solar array, hot water heat exchange and storage, and other energy efficient components. The building’s design has the additional goal of creating a positive relationship with both its inhabitants and the surrounding landscape.


With multiple design approaches, alternate forms of the building are envisioned as well – either burrowing into the earth and stretching out to the prairie, or hovering above the ground and being sheltered by trees.


Much of the building will be pre-fabricated and assembled on-site to reduce costs, increase efficiencies and reduce environmental impact. The ease of assembly also means the units can be disassembled and removed from the landscape when their lifecycle is complete.

related: more green architecture

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Monday, November 7, 2011

KeepCups reusable coffee & espresso cups to-go


Java Junkies – hold on to your cups…here’s a sleek new way to fill-up and go … grab an eco-friendly to-go mug that’s perfect for coffee, tea, cocoa, latte, macchiato OR espresso. It’s time to stop adding to landfills with those wasteful disposable hot drink cups.

Barista-friendly, too … the 8 and 12 oz. sizes fit under the heads of espresso machines AND the silicon band does double-duty, simply use a marker to note how you like your drink, and save a little time in the morning. Or better yet, make your own fair trade, organic brew before you hit the road.

Eco factoid: the KeepCup compared to disposable paper cup (including coffee) sees a:

  • 36-47% reduction in global warming
  • 64-85% reduction in water use
  • 91-92% reduction in landfill waste annually. (source:

KeepCups are made in Australia; silicone bands are made in China; (manufacturing hubs are expected to shift to Europe and North America in 2011 and 2012).


Details: Cups come in 3 sizes: 8, 12 & 16 ounce cups, and lids are one-size-fits-all. Cups and lids are free of Bisphenol-A (BPA) and made of food-safe recyclable polypropylene #5. The plug is thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) – (KeepCup’s website says they’re endeavoring to source the plug material in a biodegradable form).

Dishwasher and microwave-safe … starting at $12 for the 8-oz size. Buy @ or find in 3 colorways @

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monday’s eco news roundup


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