Design

How the way we create our living and working spaces impacts climate and the environment

Q&A: Marnie Peichel, on Affordable, Sustainable Housing

As one of the 2015 Eco-Blend award winners, for her work designing sustainability into an affordable North Minneapolis multifamily unit, Marnie Peichel is finding the balance between family life and city engagement that makes a difference in new ways. Her family uses solar power and electric vehicles. And professionally, Peichel is seeking ways to create meaningful impact by…

Forum #3 Synopsis: 5 Architects on Building a Better City

photo by Bergerson Photography

At Sustainable We forum #3, five home builders/designers debated the state of energy efficient housing stock in Minneapolis today. It was a lively discussion. Will we be able to meet standards to cut carbon emissions from our leaky old houses and inadequate insulation? How? Why? The City’s Climate Action Plan calls for 30 percent reduction…

Sustainable We #3: Can Minneapolis Meet Its Climate Action Goals?

Hutchinson Home

Topic #3: “Can Minneapolis Meet Its Climate Action Goals?” Our city-wide series of “Sustainable We” conversations continued December 14 with a panel discussion at Fulton Brewery. This one was social, including cocktails and snacks, featuring spirited group conversation with sustainably minded building designers, home builders, and anyone interested in city planning issues. Thanks to Carbon Net Zero for partnership enabling us to…

A Paris Climate Talk Roundup

I am keeping tabs on news reports coming out of the Paris climate talks, from some of my favorite green sources. I am posting occasional links on the Facebook and Twitter MPLS Green feeds. Here are a few from this first week: A great overview from Vox of the realistic possibilities from Paris What the Paris climate…

How We Protect Ourselves From Products

In 2002, Johns Manville — a Denver-based insulation manufacturer in the Berkshire Hathaway company — decided that the science (and market) around the dangers of formaldehyde were too strong to ignore, and it stopped using the chemical to make insulation. At the time, the company reported, “While there is no evidence to suggest that the level of formaldehyde released by…

What Gives Us Cancer? A Primer on Indoor Air Toxins

In educating myself about air quality issues in Minneapolis (see below for links), I’ve become more aware of what most of us don’t realize — how much toxicity we are exposed to in our own homes. Low-income communities in particular tend to be vulnerable because of multiple exposure: 1) they live in areas that have worse outdoor…

The Passive House Standards

Timothy Eian, TE Studio

  This is Part 3 in a conversation with home designer Tim Eian of TE Studio in Northeast Minneapolis. See Part 1, about home renovations, here. See Part 2, about ice dam and mold issues, here. Q: What are the Best Practices that you recommend for Minnesota buildings? I have been here in Minneapolis for 15…

2015 EcoBlend Award for Home Design

At the recent BLEND Awards, two local designers were recognized for their smart, sustainably minded designs as EcoBLEND badge winners. Affordable and Sustainable One laudable project was done by Marnie Peichel Architecture and Design, with Lewis Building & Remodeling, on behalf of the City of Lakes Community Land Trust, for a property in North Minneapolis. It is a multi-generational…