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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 You may find that some of the links are broken or out of date, but we will not be updating this site any longer.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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May 2006 - [Sustainable Concepts] Flexcar and Commercial Straw Bale
Sustainable Concepts )
Design Forward Newsletter May 2006, vol. 38
in this issue
  • HOK's Straw Bale Transit Maintenance Facility
  • Flexcar - Alternative Driving
  • May 13th Seminar: Sustainable Building - Making Your Home More Energy Efficient
  • Feedback


    Welcome to the May 2006 newsletter from Design Forward. Please take some time to enjoy this month's features.

    Quote of the Month: "Business is the only mechanism on the planet today powerful enough to produce the changes necessary to reverse global environmental and social degradation."
    - Paul Hawken

    Lisa Van Veen

    HOK's Straw Bale Transit Maintenance Facility

    Natural building is happening in the commercial sector as well. The 26,000-square-foot (2,340 m2) administration building for the new $18 million Santa Clarita Transit Maintenance Facility in California features exterior walls infilled with straw bales, lime- plastered on both sides. HOK provided the full architectural services for the project.

    Tom Nelson, a vice president and senior project designer in HOK's Los Angeles office, told EBN, "I believe that this is the first straw bale project to pursue a LEED® rating. And as far as I know, it will also be the largest straw bale commercial structure ever built."

    The Transit Maintenance Facility’s 12-acre campus includes an administrative office building, bus maintenance building, automated bus wash and compressed natural gas station for city and public use. The innovative techniques applied in the construction of the facility position Santa Clarita as a leader in smart, sustainable building, becoming an inspiration to visitors and the public.

    Article © The Signal and HOK. Picture © limes.us

    Flexcar - Alternative Driving

    Welcome to a new era in personal transportation. It's called carsharing. You share access to hundreds of Flexcar vehicles, often within a five-minute walk of your home or work. You reserve a car online or by phone, you drive - to a meeting, to run errands, or to hit the lumber yard - and you return, all for one hourly rate that covers gas, insurance and unlimited miles. All you pay for is the drive. How simple and smart is that? Plus, Flexcar is convenient, affordable, reliable, and great for the planet.

    Starting at $8 an hour (they even pay for gas), Flexcar is your solution. If you live downtown, use Flexcar instead of owning a car and you'll save a ton of money on parking, gas, and ownership costs. After all, most of the places you go are easily accessible by foot, bike, or public transportation, right? For those special trips where you need to use a car, Flexcar gets you there without the hassles of renting or borrowing a car.

    Flexcar is available in the following areas: Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington D.C. Area, and Chicago (I-Go).

    Article and Picture © Flexcar

    May 13th Seminar: Sustainable Building - Making Your Home More Energy Efficient

    Join Lisa Van Veen for a 3-hour seminar on sustianable building:

    Whether you are interested in a new house, remodeling your existing home, or just adding a few sustainable features, this innovative class will show you the “in’s and out’s” of green building and sustainable architecture. Learn about solar and wind energy, wall systems such as straw bale, insulated concrete forms and foam insulation, natural and recycled materials, efficient windows and appliances and more. Learn how to save money through State and local rebates.

    Instructor: Lisa Van Veen is the owner of a residential design firm specializing in sustainable and green projects. She is an Honors’ graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Architecture.

    Date: May 13, 2006, 9:00am-12:00pm Fee: $29 plus $10 materials fee is payable to the instructor in class Location: Glendale, CA


    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 June 1, 2010