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insulation [Aug. 24th, 2009|03:57 pm]

Within the next three weeks I'll be moving into an old shed/workshop with my boyfriend. It needs a good bit of work to make living in it comfortable: insulation, the addition of a second story so that my boyfriend and I have a little more space and won't drive each other crazy (we're planning on basically building it like a loft bed and building extra beds and bookcases below the loft but connected to the frame so that it's more stable), putting a roof over the deck so we can hang out there even when it's raining and installing a woodburning stove. Oh, and installing a door.

The part I need some advice on is insulating the shed. Conventional insulation methods are ugly and would likely require a lot of extra construction to cover it up. Any ideas on how we could insulate it cheaply and quickly? The shed's in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina so extreme cold is not a concern. Also the shed is built onto a two foot-tall deck.
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TV news feature - Straw Bale home [Apr. 12th, 2008|07:26 pm]

Last night our local news (ch.34 Binghamton, NY.) did a piece with my home and straw bale construction.  It doesn't give much detail - but every bit of attention to straw bale building is great. 

Here is the link for the video.  (note - the link will not be active for very long - they update it pretty frequently).
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Straw Bale construction [Mar. 5th, 2008|03:36 pm]

I was really pleased to see an article in Dwell on straw construction, they didn't have much on straw bale - but they have been including more good information on green design.  The best part - they published a little photo of my straw bale home (p.98).

If you want to see more of my "extreme green home" check it out.  I also have written a bit about straw bale construction - information and "how to".  As an architect - I think it is the best building technique I have built with and I really hope it gets more press attention.

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does this count as a home? [Jan. 29th, 2008|12:50 pm]
someone posted this sweet little cottage in laceandflora, and i thought some of you would appreciate this cute little place. sorry if youve seen it already!

is that not like the ultimate playhouse? so adorable!
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*Facepalm* [Apr. 24th, 2006|08:29 am]

[mood |humiliated]

That last post was actually posted to the wrong community. Considering my communities, it could have been worse though.

So, er, consider it an unintentional advertisement for my new community earthwoodglass, which I formed to question some of our basic ideas and assumptions about residential architecture. That post was part of a series of posts to lay the foundation for discussions before inviting everyone and their mother to check it out.

So yeah, the mod is welcome to delete that post, but it has been commented on and sort of belongs here..? Hope I piqued your interest at least, again, my most humiliated apologies.
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Kitchen (pantry, dining room, laundry room) [Apr. 23rd, 2006|11:38 pm]

[music |Mindless Faith - Transcend (-=- MPEGRadio.Com -=- tormented radio / djdead)]

Kitchen—food preparation, storage.

The kitchen is amazing room. In its essence, it is a place to prepare food for eating. But that statement weighs in with all the gravity of the role food and eating play in human culture.

Kitchens are semi-public. You can walk into someone else’s kitchen, but you know you don’t belong there. The arrangement of a kitchen is molded to the needs of the cook or cooks to whom it belongs.

A kitchen is a statement of the abilities, lifestyle, and philosophies of the cook. All social and psychological indicators of a person can be found at a glance in the kitchen if you know what to look for. Most people don’t, but there it is.

It also tells a lot about a family, about how communal the kitchen is and the relative importance of the food preparer in the family hierarchy. By its public nature, the kitchen is an arena for the cook to assert social dominance over others.

Thus the kitchen is seldom central to a house. Central areas are communal. But the kitchen seeks to be visual, to exert its hegemony and importance over its particular territory. Like Texas—it’s a border state, but it’s big and it wants everybody to know it’s there.

There are three rooms commonly associated with the kitchen: the laundry room, the pantry, and the dining room.

The dining room and pantry are attached by function, the laundry room by plumbing.

The pantry is the most directly related to the kitchen, and its purpose is purely storage. However, the pantry seldom comes under the hegemony of the cook/kitchen. Or at least not nearly to the same degree. This is because the pantry is filled from outside the kitchen by communal effort. Now if does the shopping and stocking, the pantry will likely be off-limits.

The dining room is where the household pays tribute to the kitchen and vice-versa. The successful interface between house and kitchen is a point of pride, and this is where it is developed and shown-off. The destruction of that dynamic usually ends up with people eating in the kitchen, living room, or other personal spaces. This is part of the significance of breakfast-in-bed.

The laundry has no direct causal connection to the kitchen. But it often ends up adjacent simply by plumbing. Our house is a classic example where the kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom are clustered together. This also has the classic result of putting the pantry in the laundry room.

As far as social spaces, the laundry room is an open social space that no one wants to enter, or look at. Another common placement of laundry rooms are in the equivalent of a closet. Are there secrets in laundry rooms? There is the euphemism of “airing one’s dirty laundry.” This is similar to the bathroom and its social ignored commonalities—getting things dirty, especially underwear. Because even women leave skid-marks.

Thus, there may be a more subversive point in placing the laundry room adjacent to the kitchen—reminding the “housewife” or “servant” of their place, lest the cook feel to self-important, to say “yes, the kitchen is yours, but so is the dirty underwear.”
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Wood Sculptor's Sculpted House [Jan. 23rd, 2006|07:21 am]

A wood sculptor's houseCollapse )
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I want someone to build a eco home for me [Oct. 9th, 2005|07:23 pm]

Hello everyone, I just joined :)

I want live in an eco friendly 'straw bale' constructed home in Southern Maine. However I didn't want to actually build this home myself because I don't have the time, know-how, and are scared crapless of screwing it all up...Do you think it is possible to find a homebuilder who would make this for me if I had the plot of land and the finacing? or would they just laugh in my face because i'm asking them to build a house out of straw? :(

Currently there are 2 straw bale homes in Maine that i know if and both of them were made by the builders. I think my next logical step is to contactt one of these home owners with these questions but i thought all of you might have some advice/info :D

Thanks everyone and have a lovely night!!
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in Noo Joisey! Check this out... [Sep. 25th, 2005|06:28 pm]

[mood |awake]

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Call for Submissions [Sep. 10th, 2005|01:41 pm]

I am currently organizing EDAR37, a conference on the built environment, to be held in Atlanta GA May 3-7, 2006. This conference involves projects, papers, workshops, poster sessions, and intensives on a wide array of topics pertaining to the built environment. If you would be interested in submitting please see the details belowCollapse )

Please feel free to pass this message onto others who would be interested. If you have questions , please do not hesitate to contact us at edra37@gmail.com

Thank you,
Meldrena Chapin, EDRA37 Conference Co-Chair
PhD Program in Architecture, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
currently dissertating in Atlanta GA
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