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A Discussion of the Living Building Challenge Certification Program

What is a Living Building? A Living Building is rooted in place yet harvests all it needs, including energy and water. It is adapted to its climate and to its site. It operates pollution-free. It is comprised of integrated systems. And, it is beautiful.In this episode of the Green Architects’ Lounge, Phil and Chris discuss the Living Building Challenge (LBC), a certification program that aims to transform the marketplace, with all its joys and challenges. Collaborating for the first time, their firms are working on a LBC project, The Ecology School in Saco, Maine. On the show, Phil and Chris…

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Duparquet Copper: Luxe Cookware from a Rhode Island Artisan

It all started with a flea market discovery in Burgundy, France, according to Jim Hamann of Duparquet, a Rhode Island-based maker of high-end, made-to-order copper cookware. The battered pot in question? An offcast from the three-star La Côte d’Or, presided over by famed chef Bernard Loiseau. He bought the pot, took it home, and set out to restore it to its former glory. Soon after, he started East Coast Tinning: “We refurbish copper pots and pans by retinning the cooking surface with the traditional hand-wiped method,” he says. “Any dents are repaired and the exterior copper is polished to a new shine.” His…

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Pete’s Puzzle: What Exactly is a Vapor Perm?

This is a story. Much of this story I believe to be true, but I can’t document much of it either. It all just makes sense, particularly as parts are conveyed by Bill Rose, our industry’s heralded building-science historian (see #2 in Bill’s to-do list for the building industry). Much of the story is based on one or more conversations I have had with Bill, which usually started something like this: “Bill, where the hell do the units 1 grain of water and 1 in. of mercury vapor pressure come from in our unit of measure for water vapor permeance?”…

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8 Favorites: Artful Ceramic Nesting Bowls

Above: The hand-thrown Silverlake Nesting Bowl Set comes in four colors: serenity blue, classic white, satin black, and charcoal (pictured); $293 for a set of three bowls from Sheldon Ceramics. (Featured image shows the other colors available.) Above: Oven-to-table French Nesting Bowls by Poterie Digoin; $150 at Shed. Above: Julie Cloutier’s hand-thrown Nest of Four is all about texture. The inside is glazed in a speckled gloss white while the outside is unglazed and natural; $170 for a set. Above: Ceramicist Julie Hadley hand-makes and glazes each bowl herself. Her Wabi Sabi Nesting Bowls come in black and cream; $275…

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Flatrock Passive: Thoughts on a Winter Greenhouse

Editor’s Note: This is one of a series of blog posts by David Goodyear describing the construction of his new home in Flatrock, Newfoundland, the first in the province built to the Passive House standard. You’ll find his complete blog here. It is now May. The weather is shaping up, and after a long, cold winter the ground is starting to thaw. Old Man Winter did give me one thing this year: a lot of time to think. I have been thinking mainly about food security and accessing more locally grown food. We had a successful harvest last year and…

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Garden Tour | An Artful Approach to Decorating

Or in this case, plants plus birdbaths, bowling balls, septic-tank parts, urns, fused-glass artwork, stone pavers, pottery, birdhouses, benches, stone walls, glass mosaics, vintage signs, chimney flues, and the occasional mirror, window frame, and fireplace screen.Shown: Woven into the landscape are, from left: a fused-glass birdbath on a metal base; a fused-glass “garden spirit”; a bench, pedestal, and planter brightened with mosaics; and a fountain covered with bits of dishes Doug grew up with. https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/garden-tour-artful-approach-to-decorating

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