Tiny Homes and Pests – Part II

Robert J. Kobet, LEED Faculty (ret)   As I stated in my blog Tiny Homes and Pests – Part I, much has been written about the diverse demographic of tiny home dwellers, within which a respect for the environment and the desire to live gently on the earth is common.  Tiny houses are subject to... Continue Reading →

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Tiny Houses Roll On

Robert J. Kobet, LEED Faculty (ret) The world of green building is a dynamic one.  Construction markets react to trends and changing consumer demands.  Materials and equipment are constantly being improved or newly developed.  Architecture, engineering, design and vocational training programs respond.  And a whole host of building rating systems continues to evolve. Amidst all... Continue Reading →

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Smaller and Better?

Robert J. Kobet, LEED Faculty (ret)   The best tiny houses are those that maximize the use of space.  This includes incorporating conveniences and technology that help to achieve that goal.  Strategies range from optimizing all three dimensions of a space for utility, storage, activities, etc., to efficiently compacting those things we simply cannot do... Continue Reading →

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Locating Tiny Houses for Energy Conservation Part Two: Understanding Solar Geometry

Locating Tiny Houses for Energy Conservation Part Two: Understanding Solar Geometry Robert J. Kobet November 28, 2016   Few things are more important for energy efficiency, effective day lighting and comfort in tiny houses than proper solar orientation.  As early as the first century BC, Marcus Vitruvius Pollio’s Ten Books of Architecture chronicled the benefits... Continue Reading →

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How to get involved with the Tiny House Movement – Part II

Robert J. Kobet The tiny house movement is growing, as evidenced by the ever increasing number of blogs, web sites, publications and books dedicated to the subject.  Given the diverse demographic of tiny home advocates and stakeholders, I am interested in how people get involved initially, and what they do to pursue their tiny house... Continue Reading →

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How to Get Involved with the Tiny House Movement – Part I

Robert J. Kobet The tiny house movement is growing, as evidenced by the ever increasing number of blogs, websites, publications and books dedicated to the subject.  Given the diverse demographic of tiny home advocates and stakeholders, I am interested in how people get involved initially, and what they do to pursue their tiny house dreams... Continue Reading →

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Tiny Houses – A Look at Materials

Robert J. Kobet As an avid sailor I have always been interested in how marine architecture meets the challenges of the marine environment.  Anyone who has spent time on the open water, especially in adverse conditions, can appreciate the rigors of coping with structural dynamics and high wind loading, corrosive salt air, high humidity, dampness... Continue Reading →

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Tiny Houses – What Are The Issues? Part II

http://tinyhousetalk.com/tiny-house-movement/ In our last blog we began a dialog on tiny and small houses intended to familiarize the reader with issues that surround the growing interest in the tiny house movement.  84 Lumber and GreenEdge Supply are “all in” with the introduction of our initial four tiny house designs.  They can be viewed in detail... Continue Reading →

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Tiny Houses – What Are The Issues? Part I

The tiny house movement continues to grow.  Statistically, tiny houses are still a niche approach to housing, but their significant benefits and unique qualities and attributes appeal to a broad demographic of homeowners, investors, renters and real estate service providers.  Government housing agencies, municipal housing authorities and a number of organizations that provide housing for... Continue Reading →

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All together now….

Robert J. Kobet, LEED Faculty Like many people in the green building movement, I believe renewable energy sources are the best option we have to fulfill our needs with minimal ecological disruption.  Many different natural forces can be harnessed to collectively produce renewable energy while reducing impacts on the environment.  This has the attendant benefit... Continue Reading →

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Looking Back to Look Forward

 Robert J. Kobet, AIA, LEED Faculty I entered the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning in 1968.  The research I did to apply led me to believe it was an excellent school – which it was – but I didn’t know it was one of the country’s first environmental design programs. ... Continue Reading →

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WELL, WELL, WELL!

Robert J. Kobet, AIA, LEED Faculty WellCertified.com One indication of the health and stability of the modern green building movement is the way in which an increasing number and diversity of related disciplines and interests have found common ground and ways of inspiring and supporting each other.  Today’s green building industry is buoyed by a... Continue Reading →

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ICC, ASHRAE to Consolidate IgCC and 189.1 in Response to Call from Industry

Robert J. Kobet, AIA, LEED Faculty http://bit.ly/1GUNtQe In a deal nearly two years in the making, the International Code Council (ICC) and ASHRAE have signed the final agreement that outlines each organization’s role in the development and maintenance of the new version of the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) sponsored by the American Institute of... Continue Reading →

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USGBC governance is changing. What will it mean?

Robert J. Kobet, AIA, LEED Faculty usgbc@communication.usgbc.org USGBC was founded 22 years ago with a governance structure appropriate for a U.S.-based start-up NGO with a transformational mission.  Given the myriad of changes in the global green building movement, the USGBC now recognizes the need for a governance structure that will service its global growth, increase... Continue Reading →

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Green for Real?

Robert J. Kobet, AIA, LEED Faculty Underwriters Laboratory The green building movement is awash in the politics and market forces that define what is green and why.  The evolution of LEED, Global Green, and the International Living Futures Institute has included increased scrutiny of what constitutes a green product, material or process.  To a large... Continue Reading →

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Who says it can’t happen?

Robert J. Kobet, AIA, LEED Faculty I was raised to respect differences of opinion.  Those lessons came with insights that were to inform the way I conduct myself.  “If you’re not part of the answer, you’re part of the problem,” and, “It’s okay to criticize constructively, but only if you have a suggestion or a... Continue Reading →

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Embodied Energy – What Is It, and Why Does It Matter?

Robert J. Kobet, AIA, LEED Faculty Diana Webb, AIA LEED v4 emphasizes the life cycle of buildings materials.  The Materials and Resources credits are broadened to encourage the use of abandoned or blighted buildings and whole building life cycle assessment.  This has precipitated a need to better understand embodied energy and the role it plays... Continue Reading →

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We can’t have it both ways

Robert J. Kobet, AIA, LEED Faculty On May 19, a pipeline rupture caused over 100,000 gallons to spill into Santa Barbara waters.  The channel where the spill occurred is where warm water from the south mixes with cold water from the north, creating one of the most bio-diverse habitats in the world, with over 800... Continue Reading →

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Safer Building Materials and Products – What will it take?

Robert J. Kobet, AIA, LEED Faculty Environmental Leader The nature of building materials and products has been part of the LEED building rating system from its beginning.  Manifest largely in the Materials and Resources (M&R) and Interior Environmental Quality (IEQ) sections, they have been scrutinized for their impact on the environment as well as the... Continue Reading →

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LEED and Food?

Robert J. Kobet, AIA, LEED Faculty Theresa Hogerheide GBCI/USGBC I have a keen interest in promoting the spirit and culture of green buildings in as many ways as possible.  This includes healthy living and landscapes that include organic food production.  Most people get the connection between environmental stewardship and personal health and well-being, but fewer... Continue Reading →

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Lead Paint Did Not Go Away

Robert J. Kobet, AIA, LEED Faculty http://www.bobkobet.com The green building movement has brought increased attention to, and scrutiny of, environmentally sound building materials and products.  An attendant interest in allergy free, nontoxic design and human ecology as a design determinant has been influential in coaxing manufacturers to produce an ever increasing inventory of products that... Continue Reading →

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Radon & Winter

Robert J. Kobet, AIA, LEED Faculty http://www.bobkobet.com Radon has long been recognized as a potentially dangerous, cancer-causing, indoor air pollutant.  It comes from the natural breakdown of radioactive uranium in soil, rock and water.  Radon is invisible, odorless, and tasteless.  It is also very site specific, and can only be detected with testing.  Radon from... Continue Reading →

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Maybe it is, and maybe it isn’t

Robert J. Kobet, AIA, LEED Faculty http://www.bobkobet.com Tristan Roberts, Building Green http://www.buildinggreen.com Spray polyurethane foam insulation (SPF) is widely considered an effective way to insulates and air seal new and existing construction.  Contractors appreciate SPF’s ability to limit conduction losses and air infiltration, making it a favorite choice of weatherization contractors.  Its ability to expand... Continue Reading →

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The Building Performance Institute – Every little bit helps

Robert J. Kobet, AIA, LEED Faculty http://www.bobkobet.com The Building Performance Institute Green Building is everywhere these days. Typing the keywords, “green building” for an Internet search produced 358,000,000 hits in .58 seconds. The green building movement is global, and the media is ripe with countless case studies and stories of buildings and communities that have... Continue Reading →

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Simple Simon Says, “Four steps forward, and three States back”

Robert J. Kobet, AIA, LEED Faculty Katie Fink It’s no secret over the years the US Green Building Council has been besieged by various factions of the construction industry.  The controversy surrounding the current LEED Version 4 is no exception.  Many of the challenges are in the Materials and Resources section where powerful lobbies representing... Continue Reading →

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Our Growing Solar Industry – What Does It Mean?

Robert J. Kobet, AIA, LEED Faculty http://www.bobkobet.com Grist – http://bit.ly/1JUgYWq   For several years I worked on projects in Dubai. While there I made friends with an Egyptian project manager educated in the US who was well versed in American history and the forays the US has made into the economies of other countries. During... Continue Reading →

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The Greening of Professional Sports

Robert J. Kobet, AIA, LEED Faculty http://www.bobkobet.com The National Resources Defense Council http://on.nrdc.org/1ze9477 It’s been said sport is the opiate of the masses. Whether or not one is a fan, it cannot be denied the professional sports industry includes some of the most iconic and influential organizations in the world. Yet not everything involving professional... Continue Reading →

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Social Equity and LEED

Robert J. Kobet, AIA, LEED Faculty http://www.bobkobet.com Joel Todd, Chair USGBC LEED Steering Committee Susan Kaplan, President and Founder of BuildingWrx http://www.usgbc.org/articles/usgbc-accelerates-social-equity-new-leed-credits?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRonuarNZKXonjHpfsX67%2BsqUa%2BylMI%2F0ER3fOvrPUfGjI4ASMFmI%2BSLDwEYGJlv6SgFT7bHMaNzyrgIUxg%3D Working internationally has given me a keen sense of how different things can be in other parts of the world. The state of the environment and the human condition in Rwanda, China, Argentina,... Continue Reading →

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You are What You Breathe; and Now We can See it!

Robert J. Kobet, AIA, LEED Faculty http://www.bobkobet.com http://www.cmu.edu/news/stories/archives/2014/december/december3_breathecam.html I spent much of 2014 involved with a group working on the Reducing Outdoor Contaminants Inside Spaces (ROCIS) initiative. The work was keenly interesting to me because of my specialty in creating allergy free, non-toxic environments for people with chemical sensitivities. In the past, much of what... Continue Reading →

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How Green is Steel?

Robert J. Kobet, AIA, LEED Faculty http://www.bobkobet.com http://www.steelframing.org/sustainability.html https://www.aisc.org/uploadedFiles/Steel_Solutions_Center/Conceptual/My_Project/Files/Talking%20Points%20-%2010.2009.pdf According to the Steel Framing Alliance and the American Institute of Steel Construction, steel is one of the most sustainable building materials in the world. The industry has worked to reduce its impact on the environment in ways that make economic sense. It touts an impressive... Continue Reading →

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Is less really more?

Robert J. Kobet, AIA, LEED Faculty http://www.bobkobet.com Tiffany Kassab – Sierra Magazine http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/2014-6-november-december/green-life/living-minimally?src=1link&utm_source=greenlife&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter One question that never seems to abate is, “How much of what do we need to be happy?” It seems to come up every year, if not more frequently, around the holidays we just passed though. In June 2001, Time magazine writer... Continue Reading →

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Buzz Buzz

Let’s talk about buzzwords; we’ve all heard or used to them, probably to the point where someone has rolled their eyes at us.  “Green”, “sustainable”, and “eco-friendly” are just a few of the words that many people use interchangeably to mean the same thing.  Let’s look at them a bit closer. Merriam-Webster provides the following... Continue Reading →

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