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  • New homes are cropping up in cities, not suburbs

    Today in conventional wisdom–busting news, we learn that grimy old cities are attracting more residential construction than the bright suburban frontier. Urban redevelopment is outpacing fringe sprawl by a solid margin, according to a new EPA study of the nation’s 50 largest metro areas. It’s a “fundamental shift in the real estate market,” says the […]

  • California students take Refract House to Solar Decathlon

    The Refract team recycled used billboards to create waterproof walls for the home.Courtesy Santa Clara University Adjacent to a three-story parking garage on the Silicon Valley campus of Santa Clara University, workers are busy building a contemporary wood-clad home that wouldn’t look out of place in the pages of Dwell or another shelter magazine for […]

  • Recession redirects a green-building pioneer

    Back around 2006, when the American Dream of home ownership was still intact and green building was officially transferred from the domain of hippies to yuppies, folks got very excited about prefab. Here in New York City, my friends and I felt our second-home prayers had been answered (not that we could afford a first […]

  • The folks behind the Nano take their vision to suburbia

    On paper, the biggest U.S. export is capital goods–aircrafts, semiconductors, medical equipment, and such. But we’ve been exporting something else in force to developing countries: the suburban lifestyle. From American Village in the Kurdish area of Iraq to “Napa Valley,” a development outside Beijing, the McMansion and its watered lawns are making their way around […]

  • In some cities, the greenest buildings are already built

    It’s a cliché of life in New York: on even the chilliest winter days, windows are flung open to let free the over-cranked, inefficient steam heat. “We literally blow money out the window,” says Nancy Biberman, founder of the Bronx-based WHEDCo, a family and affordable housing non-profit. About a third of New York’s building supply […]