The green building movement is targeting a goal once thought virtually unattainable: zero net energy use.
While the trend is nascent, dozens of “net zero” and “near net zero” developments — projects designed to use only about as much power from the public grid as they can save or produce on their own — have sprung up across the U.S. over the past five years....More
Berkeley infill developer Patrick Kennedy expects to be looking at a highly energy-efficient, four-story apartment building just three to four months after he gets approval for the project.
If so, it would be the fastest turnaround in the 15 years Kennedy has been in the business....More
The same economic downturn that wreaked havoc on home manufacturers appears to be creating opportunities for Zeta Communities, a hopeful purveyor of ultra-efficient multifamily housing.
To date, the company has built just one 1,540-square-foot demonstration home in Oakland to support its thesis that high-efficiency can also be affordable....More
For a nine-year-old who loves pirates and science fiction, Jonah Finger thinks of his family’s apartment as make-believe come true. His parents, Michael Finger and Joanne Kennedy, completed the renovation of their 640-square-foot walk-up in Manhattan’s East Village in May of 2008, just a week before the birth of Jonah’s baby sister, Esther. And while changing houses and getting a new sibling can be a turbulent transition for a kid, moving into the new place provided a thrilling amount of entertainment for Jonah. He has secret compartments under the floor to fill with toys and his own Murphy bed hiding in the wall behind his dad’s desk. For Finger and Kennedy, these features are critical space-savers that allow them to live peacefully in the postage stamp–size apartment, but the inventive design is also a reminder that livability isn’t just about organization and tidiness; it’s about the joy of interacting with a space....More