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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 You may find that some of the links are broken or out of date, but we will not be updating this site any longer.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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September 2005
Sustainable Concepts )
Design Forward Newsletter September 2005, vol. 30
in this issue
  • Planet-Friendly Housing For Cold Climates
  • Hurricane Katrina - Your help is needed!
  • Feedback


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

    Quote of the Month: "A little thing often helps."
    - Proverb

    Lisa Van Veen

    Planet-Friendly Housing For Cold Climates

    Flooding, year-round smog days, drought - the catastrophe of climate change is prompting more and more of us to consider ways to reduce our household energy consumption and reliance on polluting energy sources. And that is easy, attractive and cost- effective, even in northern climates, with the use of natural building techniques, renewable energy sources and smart conservation technology.

    Renewable energy projects are becoming more common across North America. Here are two examples of housing in western and eastern Canada that are both highly livable and extremely educational.

    North American First in Alberta

    In spite of its occasional warming Chinook winds, the province of Alberta is cold in the winter. So it is a great place to demonstrate how the use of renewable energy can reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing a comfortable living environment for residents. The small town of Okotoks, located 15 minutes south of Calgary, is the location chosen for North America’s first large-scale solar heating system using seasonal storage, although the technology is well known in Europe.

    A subdivision of 52 homes is being constructed by Sterling Homes in a project that has the support of the federal Ministries of Natural Resources (NRCan) and Environment, the Alberta Ministry of Innovation and Science, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and a number of corporations.

    Approximately 80 percent of residential greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Canada come from space and domestic hot-water heating. An average Canadian home produces approximately six to seven tonnes of GHG per year. This project is estimated to reduce GHG emissions for each house by five tonnes per year.

    by Rolf Priesnitz
    Article © Life Media

    Hurricane Katrina - Your help is needed!

    There are tragedies which tough our lives everyday. The tragedy of the recent hurricane is one of the worst devastations a person can survive. The loss of lives and homes is terrible. The victims of Hurricane Katrina need our help more than ever.

    Habitat for Humanity has set up a donation program to help rebuild the affected areas and a way to volunteer you time and effort in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.


    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 September 6, 2005