The winner of the Buckminster Fuller Institute’s C2C Home design competition is a single-family home with a twist: it has a photosynthetic and phototropic skin made with spinach protein and produces enough energy to run a household and then share the excess with neighbors. Designed by Matthew Coates and Tim Meldrum, the building features soy-foam wall panels and a natural water treatment system:
This design integrates building with landscape, a vegetated roof system collects and filters stormwater into the building core. The core collects and supplies all household plumbing elements contained within it. Black and grey water are released to a primary septic tank below the core and eventually released as effluent to the “living garden”. Garden beds along the entry receive irrigation and nutrients to provide site-yield vegetables. This system is engineered to accept and treat residential wastewater from neighboring homes in addition to the primary residence to lessen off site dependency.
The contest’s title, C2C, and the core principles its entrants must abide by are taken from William McDonough and Michael Braungart’s book on sustainable design, Cradle to Cradle. Coates and Meldrum’s house, unlike designs for other competitions, will actually be built.
Sustainable Tourism: The first ever Minnesota Conference on Sustainable Tourism will take place next week, April 19 and 20, at the University of Minnesota. Speakers include explorer Will Steger, National Geographic columnist Costas Christ, and Auden Schendler, director of environmental affairs at Aspen Skiing Company.