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    ArchitectureWeek Author Christine_MacDonald - 01
    Christine_MacDonald

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    PASSIVE HOUSE DIVIDED

    Passive House-certified buildings may take next to nothing to heat. But conflict between the German creators of the Passive House energy performance standard and their U.S. affiliate continues to generate energy months after it spilled into public view.

    The Passivhaus Institut (PHI) of Darmstadt, Germany, severed ties with the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) of Urbana, Illinois, in an open letter released on August 17, 2011. — Published 2012.0111

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    SOLAR DECATHLON 2011

    In the U.S. Department of Energy's recent Solar Decathlon, architecture and engineering students competed to build the most efficient, innovative, economical, and attractive home powered by the sun. — Published 2011.1012

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    HAITI EARTHQUAKE LOOKING FOR LESSONS

    Is the lesson of the January 2010 Haiti earthquake simply about poverty? Poverty and a lack of building regulation seem to be the main culprits identified in most media coverage to date. But ArchitectureWeek thinks there's more to the quake than that. — Editor — Published 2010.0407

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    HIGH TENSION OVER BIG TIMBER

    Late in 2007, storm-driven rains in southwestern Washington sent floodwater, mud, and tons of logging debris crashing into homes and farmland downstream of the Chehalis River. Numerous landslides destroyed wide swaths of mountain habitat, caused hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage, and downed an estimated 140,000 truckloads of timber — much of it on land owned by the Weyerhaeuser Company, the state's largest private timberland owner. — Published 2009.1021

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    FSC VERSUS SFI

    When the Forest Stewardship Council rolled out the world's first "green" wood certification label in 1993, the organization quickly rallied big-box retailers like Home Depot to the cause. The largest do-it-yourself home improvement chain in the United States became a founding member of the FSC and publicly announced that it would soon ensure all of its products came from certified sources. — Published 2009.0812

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    GREEN OR GREENWASHED?

    What would you call a green building standard that, on balance, tends to interfere with environmental reform more than help?

    In March 2009, ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition television show featured the first house in the country to win certification under the new green building standard from the National Association of Home Builders. — Published 2009.0422

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    Christine_MacDonald

     

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