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Note: Design Forward LLC is proud to have served the Southern California area designing straw bale homes for over 15 years. However, we have moved on to other business ventures and have closed the business as of January 2017. We will not taking any new projects or responding to phone and email requests. This website will be left up as an archive of data for straw bale and design. You may find that some of the links are broken or out of date, but we will not be updating this site any longer. Thank you!
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April 2004
Design Forward
 Sustainable Concepts . Design Forward Newsletter 
April 2004 
. . . . . . . . .

Welcome to the April 2004 newsletter from Design Forward. Please take some time to enjoy this month's features.

Quote of the Month: "Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them." - Bill Vaughan

in this issue
  • Marx Guesthouse
  • The Costs and Financial Benefits of Green Buildings
  • Green Weddings
  • Feedback

  • The Costs and Financial Benefits of Green Buildings
    Windmill California's State and Consumer Services Agency established the Sustainable Building Task Force, a group comprised of more than 40 California state- government agencies, as part of its primary goal for state construction projects to be more sustainable or green. The order sought to create state facilities "that are models of energy, water and materials efficiency; while providing healthy, productive and comfortable indoor environments and long-term benefits to Californians." The taskforce commissioned this $100,000 report to assess the costs and financial benefits of constructing green buildings in California. In 2003, the California Sustainable Building Task Force reported their economic analysis evaluating the cost and benefit s of sustainable building. According to the report, the cost of building a energy efficient home will cost more up front, but the overall financial benefit over 20 years can be up to 10 times more than the average.

    Based on a review of the construction costs of 33 green buildings in the U.S. and factoring in the cost of energy, water and waste disposal among other things in California, the report found that it costs nearly 2% more on average, or $3 to $5 a square foot, to construct a green building than one using conventional methods, but cost savings of more than 10 times the initial investment, or $50 to $75 a square foot, during the life of a building, assumed to be 20 years. The cost of conventional commercial construction in California was estimated at $150 to $250 per square foot.

    Overall, sustainable buildings can be more healthy and cost effective. A small investment can go a long way to improve the environment and living situation.

    Reference: Muto, Sheila. Green-Building Benefits Outstrip Extra Costs. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://www.realestatejournal.com Article Lisa Van Veen

    Full PDF Report... »

    Green Weddings
    Natural Wedding Favors for a Greener Tomorrow.

    Wedding favors and party favors made from earth friendly handmade papers that include seed favors, plantable seed papers, flower bulbs, herbal soaps, candles, lavender flowers, potpourri, a handmade paper journal - all natural and all with matching place cards. These unique earth friendly wedding favors will make your wedding day or celebration unforgettable.

    Wedding Favors by Andover Accents... »

    Design Forward works toward promoting Sustainable Design. If you know of a project that should be featured, please contact us. Let us know why you think it should be featured and give us a basic intro to the project, the sustainable elements and any websites or contact information.

    If you would like to submit a fun and/or entertaining quote about architecture, building, the environment or such, send it in! If it at all possible, include the author.

    If you have any other feedback concerning this publication, please feel free to send an email or use the form.

    Contact Form... »

    Marx Guesthouse
    This garage with small attached cottage serves as an energy-efficient retreat. The 20' x 20' guest house is enriched by its dramatic use of materials. The doors of the built in cabinets and closets are juniper and aspen wood, the countertops are concrete with exposed glass aggregate, the floors are cork. The high insulation value of the Rastra block walls create a cozy space and a small gas stove provides the only necessary heat.

    Rastra block is a concrete form system made of a lightweight material called THASTYRON, which provides a permanent framework for a grid of reinforced concrete that forms load-bearing walls, shear walls, stem walls, lintels, retaining walls, and other components of a building. It offers the ultimate in properties for a wall, such as insulation, soundproofing, fire protection, all in one easy-to-install element. Additionally, 85% of its volume is recycled post- consumer polystyrene waste. [More info: http://www.rastra.com/wi_ra.htm]

    The Marx guesthouse and garage was designed by EDGE (Environmental Design Group Enterprise) from New Mexico and is currently under construction.

    Article & Picture EDGE.

    Marx Guesthouse...

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    Last Month's Newsletter

    Featured Link - Actual Costs - Is Building Green Too Expensive?

    Featured Link - Building Green on a Budget

    Featured Link - Green Building Saves Money

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    Revised April 5, 2004