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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 You may find that some of the links are broken or out of date, but we will not be updating this site any longer.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 2005
Sustainable Concepts )
Design Forward Newsletter April 2005, vol. 25
in this issue
  • Sustainable Demonstration Home
  • The Death of Environmentalism
  • Feedback

  • Greetings!

    Welcome to the April 2005 newsletter from Design Forward. Please take some time to enjoy this month's features.

    Quote of the Month: "The only way to implement our vision for society is to bring it down to the situation of a single household."
    - Buddhist master, Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche

    Lisa Van Veen

    Sustainable Demonstration Home

    This sustainable solar demonstration home was designed to use very little energy while still placing an absolute priority on aesthetics. The purpose of building this home was to gain hands-on experience of what worked well and, conversely, what would be changed if done again. Every effort was made to use ecologically sound materials both for the sake of the environment and for the well-being of the structure's occupants.

    Note that the bottom two feet of the exterior wall is cement stucco. Above that is mud plaster. The cement stucco is used where the most erosion occurs due to rain splashback. The mud plaster is quite durable above this point, and the wall is further protected by the roof overhang.

    Article & Picture Ted Owens www.BuildingWithAwareness.com

    The Death of Environmentalism

    This essay by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus was released at an October 2004 meeting of the Environmental Grantmakers Association, and it's been ruffling feathers ever since.

    As I write this, the fourth in a series of violent hurricanes has just bombarded the Caribbean and Florida. In Florida, more than 30 are dead and thousands are homeless. More than 2,000 Haitians are dead. And ninety percent of the homes in Grenada are destroyed.

    As Jon Stewart deadpanned on Comedy Central's The Daily Show, "God, you've made your point. You're all- powerful."

    Yet it isn't God we need to be addressing our concerns to -- it's us.

    Scientists have long said that stronger and more frequent hurricanes would be a result of global warming. It's an effect of warmer oceans.

    Yet no prominent national leader -- environmental or otherwise -- has come out publicly to suggest that the recent spate of hurricanes was the result of global warming. That's in part due to the fact that the conventional wisdom among environmentalists is that we mustn't frighten the public but rather must focus its gaze on technical solutions, like hybrid cars and fluorescent light bulbs....

    Article Peter Teague, Environment Program Director, Nathan Cummings Foundation Picture Grist Magazine, Inc


    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.

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    Revised April 3, 2005