First International Meeting for Sustainable Construction in the Dominican Republic


On a run of four presentations in three days, I wanted to share the most visually stimulating one from ENICONS First International Meeting for Sustainable Construction in the Dominican Republic.

I had the pleasure of presenting with some amazing architects to an audience of engaged architects and change makers.

Please feel free to ask questions since the presentation is mostly pictures. In addition, the majority of the technologies presented do have Appropedia links to more information.

Elements of sustainable design


Individual pages on specific design elements of a house could be a great boost to the usefulness of Appropedia in green house design. For that reason, there’s now a building elements page, with an associated  category to hold all the component elements.

The page on windows, for example, is currently a stub page with a few key ideas and links – ultimately it will outline all important factors in window design, as well as how to maximize energy-efficiency and noise insulation, and get the desired lighting.

This would include a brief summary of the pros and cons of reflective film, double glazing and thermal curtains, and links to each of those pages – all of which would go into greater depth on specific design and product choice questions.

That is, unless Appropedia editors – including you? –  find a better way of structuring this page and category.

Note: Although we have many pages on green buildings, there is currently no general overview page on Appropedia for sustainable housing (or green housing, or green house, or sustainable house). Who is going to start?

Small is beautiful in house design


An unconventional architect, Joseph Esherick emphasized practicality over ostentatious design. While big may be showy and attention getting, Esherick designed functional living spaces that were sometimes remarkably small.

A mere 875 square feet, the house is made from inexpensive materials though its spatial arrangements are quite complex. Ironically perhaps, the current owner, Jim Friedman, builds $10 million to $20 million 20,000-square-foot houses for a living. “The Esherick house has taught me that really great architecture doesn’t require gilding a lily,” he said. – via Utopia by the Sea –

Yet another demonstration that technology’s best contribution to our quality of living is not through conspicous consumption, but through wise design and providing just what is needed.