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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 You may find that some of the links are broken or out of date, but we will not be updating this site any longer.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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October 2006 - [Sustainable Concepts] Building Green TV and Solar Tours
Sustainable Concepts )
Design Forward Newsletter October 2006, vol. 43
in this issue
  • New York Eco-friendly home
  • Building Green TV
  • Los Angeles Solar Homes Tour 2006
  • Feedback


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

    Quote of the Month: "The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun."
    -Ralph Nader

    Lisa A. Swan

    New York Eco-friendly home

    Last year Bill and Ann Reilly didn't spend a cent for fuel or electricity for their 3,200-square-foot house. In fact, Central Hudson sent them a check for about $24 for money owed for unused electricity.

    That's because their ranch house in Hyde Park was built to maximize energy efficiency while focusing on environmentally sound principles, referred to as green building.

    "I wanted a house that was going to be environmentally friendly and also cheap to operate," Bill Reilly said. Surely, that's what he and his wife got, for last year the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority rated their home a 93.3, the highest efficiency rating ever for a residence in New York state, Reilly said.

    The home's exterior walls are made of insulated concrete forms, where stacked hollow blocks of expanded polystyrene are fitted with rebar and then filled with poured concrete. Not only are the walls exceptionally strong, but they're also highly effective insulators.

    Sunshine Tartter of J.O.Y. Enterprises and Hudson Valley Green Builders in LaGrangeville, the companies that provided and built the ICF walls, said her goal is providing homeowners with highly energy-efficient, sustainable residences.

    "Homeowners are becoming more and more aware of the fact that an energy-efficient home is doable, it's important," Tartter said.

    Article By Karen Maserjian Shan Poughkeepsie Journal

    The Reilly Home will be featured as part of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) Green Building Tour this weekend.

    Building Green TV

    Producers Michael Mattioli and Kevin Contreras of Special Finish Films, present Building Green, the home improvement television series about creating gorgeous homes that are healthier, more energy efficient, and better for the environment. Every phase of sustainable construction is presented by host Kevin Contreras, who explores green building from all angles, sharing and showing lots of in-depth and how-to information on building greener homes. Natural home products and techniques like straw bale construction are covered in detail as an example of the infinite ways to build a healthy house. Segments like "$aving Green" and "Easy Steps" show viewers what they can do in real world circumstances to make choices to build green.

    The first season of Building Green will be offered to PBS stations across the country to premiere in October, 2006.

    Article & Picture buildinggreentv.com

    Los Angeles Solar Homes Tour 2006

    Saturday October 7 and Sunday October 8, 2006 from 10 AM to 4 PM.

    A unique opportunity to see some unique homes! These members of the Eco-Home Network open their homes to share their approaches to sustainable living. Learn first hand about practical steps you can take to reduce ecological footprints in our fragile Southern California Environment. Five homes, Five approaches on this self-guided tour!

    Visitors will follow a written Self-Tour through the gardens and house, explaining the different environmental products, systems and practices at Eco-Home that you can apply in your own homes including a solar hot water system and two photovoltaic (solar electric) systems. Eco-Home runs entirely on solar-generated electricity during the day.

    Requested donation is $5, a 50% discount off the regular guided Eco-Home tours.

    For more information, call (323) 662-5207.


    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