Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Slow Home

Neat Idea. (watch video)
Created as an alternative to instant neighborhoods and cookie cutter homes,
Slow Home derrived its name from the Slow Food movement and encourages to become involved in improving our lives and taking control of the places in which we live.

From their site:
"These big businesses build for profit instead of people. The result is a standardized cookie cutter world that is boring, wasteful and, all too often, just plain ugly. We have become a land of home buyers instead of home makers and we find ourselves trapped in a situation that seems to have no escape. Marketing images promise us a place that will meet our broader emotional and social expectations of home. The reality, however, is only a shallow version of the original sales pitch. This dissatisfaction breeds desire and before too long we are once again trying to quench our deep yearning for a real home with the purchase of yet another, albeit larger and fancier, commodified house.

See also their interviews with architects and designers and their designs such as:

Kevin Angstad's Chiskey House

Evergreen Gardens by Drew Mandell

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Galveston Texas: In harms Way?

MSNBC Nightly news Aug. 20:
"With low elevation, high erosion and just one way off the island, Galveston, Texas, is vulnerable to big storms, and yet it is among the nation's hottest real estate markets for vacation homes."

An "interesting" quote from Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas, referring to building on the eroding beaches and bays on Galveston Island:

"They understand the risks and they build very expensive houses here and they're well insured. The people, that's the way they want it, and we're happy to help them get it."

View video

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Rice University to chop down live oaks

Via KHOU - 11 news
17 live oaks have already been cut down....:(
I don't understand how that other treeless lot was "too far away"...Other dorms are farther and they get free shuttles.

Click to Watch the Video

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Product Sample Recycling

On April 18th - 20th of this year AIA Houston COTE held a product sample recycling collection. Samples were dropped off at the Houston AIA office and at McCOY Workplace Solutions by local architectural firms and product venders. From these firms we collected:

Approximately 280 Cubic Feet and 3,000 Pounds of product samples that were diverted from landfills and provided free art materials for local students and children.

These materials were picked up by Houston ISD, Galena Park ISD, Houston Children’s Museum, and the Glassell School of Art.

Thanks to AIA Houston and McCOY for the use of their facilities as collection points, Anchor Box Company for their donation of collection boxes, A&E The Graphics Complex for picking up donations, and Satterfield & Pontikes as our distribution location.
Our next recycling event will be September 12th through the 14th.
Start saving those samples.
Details to Follow.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Gulf Coast Green 2008 Symposium -

Presentation Proposal Deadline September 17, 2007
Notification of Selection Status November 15, 2007
Presenter Acceptance Deadline November 29, 2007
Presentation Submittal Deadline March 19, 2008
Conference April 3-6, 2008 - Reliant Park, Houston, Texas

Conference Theme - Innovations in Building for Hot and Humid Climates.
This conference is geared toward attendees with an intermediate to high level of knowledge about building sustainability issues. We seek presentations relevant to the session tracks listed below and to hot/humid climates that focus on high and low tech innovative building systems, recent technologies, cutting-edge research, or case studies.
To submit proposals, review proposal guidelines and read thorough track descriptions go to and follow speaker link. Meeting the Carbon Neutral Challenge: This track will address the topic of energy efficiency in hot-humid climates through the lens of the AIA 2030
Challenge targeting carbon-neutrality for all new construction by 2030.

Ecological Design: This track will focus on low-tech, low cost solutions to green building design challenges. Sustainable Land Use and Development: This track will explore the opportunities and challenges associated with urban planning and land use along the Gulf Coast.

Innovations in Sustainable Design:
This track will highlight the latest breakthrough developments in green building.

With over 600 attendees in 2006 and 800+ predicted for 2008, the Gulf Coast Green Symposium has proven to be the leading green building conference along the Gulf Coast region. In 2008 a two-day symposium on sustainable building targeted toward design and construction professionals will precede a two-day consumer Expo inaugurating Texas' first green building consumer expo featuring certified green building
products & materials.

Registration for attendees opens in September of 2007. Visit to sign up for our newsletter or email for more information on sponsorship or
exhibiting your certified product.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Environmental Friendly Staple-less

Actually, according to ecofabulous, we would save 120 tons of steel if every office worker used one less staple a day for a year.

They come in a variety of colors and only cost $7.95. Put a few papers in the slot - not diagonally, but horizontally - mash on the top, and the gadget will cut and fold a tidy tab that will secure your papers as well as a staple. for all the details.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Energy Conservation Happy Hour- TODAY

"Energy Fans,

Where does electricity come from? If you live in Oak Ridge North, a small just north of Houston, it comes from chickens. For the last few months, biodiesel generators there have been producing up to five an hour of chicken-fired power for the city, and what they don't use to the rest of us.

Yes, biodiesel is more famously made from vegetable oils, but around here fats are far more plentiful. It takes about 2230 chickens to a megawatt-hour of electricity from the Oak Ridge North plant.
That's 2230 x 5MW x 24hrs = 267,600 chickens a day. Of course, biodiesel uses the chicken fat. The rest of the (now presumably very lean) is still used for food.

How much of this chicken energy do we use in Houston? That's hard to say. But one way to avoid doing so is to make smarter use of air during peak-usage hours, late on summer afternoons. Instead of rushing home after work each day to your own private of (possibly chicken fired) cool air, why not stop on your way spend some time with friends, where there's plenty of shared -- and therefore cheaper -- cool air to go around?

That's the idea behind our get-together this Thursday, August 2nd, at the Onion Creek Coffee House, 3106 White Oak -- just off Studemont, a block north of I-10. We'll be there from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., meeting and making friends, and discussing the energy demands of our own days in a safe, friendly, mostly poultry-free environment. Please join us. Do it for the chickens."

-Larry Albert

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Architectural Exhibition

Houston Mod's third annual architectural exhibition:

"Hugo V. Neuhaus, Jr.: Residential Architecture, 1948-1966"

Opening reception, Thursday August 2, 5:30-7:30 PM

Architecture Center, Houston, 315 Capitol, Suite 120

Free and open to the public, refreshments will be served.

We hope to see you there.