Archive for June, 2008

The happy winner of our design competition

Just wanted to congratulate our design competition winner, Vanessa Flores! Her design won out over 70 entrants. In the end it was difficult to decide, but Vanessa’s design came out on top. Her prize for winning the competition was a cool $3000. Congrats Vanessa!


Green Walls and Roofs

If you have ever wanted to do something truly unique with your landscaping, you should check out green walls and roofs. Green walls are basically vertical landscaping. They use a variety of plants that are well suited to this type of application and plug them into a framework that is fastened to the side of a building. The benefits include improved aesthetics as well as reduced utility bills as a result of sunlight being absorbed by the plants before it hits the building.
Green Wall
Green Wall

Green roofs are basically like having a lawn on your roof. Besides absorbing the suns’ rays, a green roof insulates and prevents heating and cooling from escaping from the inside and absorbs and uses rainwater. A building we profiled, The California Academy of Arts and Sciences, is being built with an undulating green roof.
Green Roof in Toronto Canada
Green Rooftops

2,843 MPG

Quadruple Digit fuel efficieny? At Shell America’s 2008 Eco Marathon, student teams competed for the title of most fuel efficient vehicle. These experimental gas sippers are more closely related to go-karts than actual passenger vehicles, but it’s a cool exercise in efficiency and design.

Walk Score

Ever wondered how walkable your area is? Have you been looking at an area to live, but couldn’t quite get a grasp on how many shops, libraries, parks, and schools could be reached by foot? Hit up the link above to get your Walk Score. You simply type in your address and the website spits out a number between 1 and 100. The higher the score, the less you would need to use a car, bike, or public transit for daily trips. It’s 100% perfect. Some smaller business don’t show up. My favorite place to get a sandwich or Italian goodies like amaretto cookies is Jimmy’s Italian Market, but alas, they get no props. (Seriously, if you are in the area and don’t mind meat, try their muffuletta. Ridiculously good.) It is still a great tool. I found some shops in my area that I didn’t even know existed.

By the way, my neighborhood scored a 58. Not near a 100, but pretty good for Dallas! Feel free to share your neighborhood’s score in the comments.