Dwell slaps together a bunch of design highlights from this year's Greenbuild Conference and Expo in San Francisco. Finds include deep-green modular homes, recycled tile, teak flooring, and vertical gardening systems. 


Relatedly, BuildingGreen announces its eleventh annual list of the Top 10 Green Building Products in conjunction with Greenbuild. Picks this year include irrigation controllers, hybrid electric water heaters, cork insulation, and ceiling fans. The emphasis this year was on both resilience and building science Writes Paula Melton: "This year, in the wake of more droughts, wildfires, and the last straw— SuperStorm Sandy —our need to focus on resilience is ever more urgent. Hand in hand with resilience is durability: sound building science helps prevent moisture problems that can compromise our buildings during normal times as well as during and after extreme weather events."


AOL Real Estate picks the brain of prefab proselytizer and authoress Sheri Koones. The topic? The cash-saving prowess of energy-efficient homes during the one season when they're really allowed to shine: wintertime.


Architizer wonders: "Are Architects Useful in the Immediate Aftermath of Natural Disasters?" Great post that features a few photos of my own devastated-by-Sandy neighborhood in Brooklyn.  


AZCentral.com comes bearing some crummy news: the anonymous savior/buyer who would have saved a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed stunner in Phoenix from demolition has backed out for unknown reasons. And so, the never ending saga to save the historic concrete home continues.


Houzz shares a bounty of adorable photos snapped at Barkitecture 2012, Austin's annual modern doghouse design-build showdown/auction.


On that note, CoDesign pants over the latest project from Muji art director Kenya Hara: Architecture for Dogs. The project website is filled with an array of "high-concept dog dwellings" that "challenge traditional notions of scale, perspective, and function, ranging from a variegated rug of aluminum tubes — a dog cooler for those hot summer days — to a pair of ramps for short-legged dogs, which double as a shared recliner for human and dog alike." Blueprints for the designs — including a hammock for Jack Russell Terriers and Shigeru Ban's maze-like structure for Papilions made from cardboard plastic wrap tubes — are downloadable for free.


Jetson Green admires a perfectly lovely home composed of six repurposed shipping containers in Felton, Calif. Dubbed the Six Oaks Container House, the 1,200-square-foot abode features an atrium, a bridge, and woodsy surroundings. San Jose-based Modulus served as the project architect.


The Christian Science Monitor details four safety tips for using backup generators in an article that was published pre-Sandy but is no less relevant nearly three weeks after the storm.


The Atlantic Cities is smitten with Zero Cottage, David Baker's 720-square-foot backyard hideout that's targeting both Passivhaus certification and net-zero energy status. LEED Platinum certification is already in the bag.


TreeHugger takes a gander at the winner — and some honorable mentions — in HOME, a British design competition in which architects were challenged to design housing for the homeless for under $31,700.


Finally, I feel compelled to share this beautifully produced video documenting the post-Sandy challenges faced by the tight-knit crew of small business owners in Red Hook, Brooklyn — my happy home for the past six-plus years — as they begin to rebuild. I was able to permanently return to my own apartment earlier this week after 17 days of displacement (this photo of my corner makes it pretty clear why).It was a surreal moment, for sure.


However, I've long believed that a home isn't quite a home when the neighborhood surrounding it is broken; in this case, a neighborhood that's struggling to pick up the pieces and move forward. Tough, scrappy, and community driven, Red Hook is a fighter. It's a neighborhood that will ultimately rebound. However, it needs help doing it. Check out how you can help my "small village on the cusp of the world" bounce back at Restore Red Hook.




Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Playing catch up: Coming home
Earlier this week, I slept in my bed for the first time since Superstorm Sandy devastated my neighborhood. Needless to say, I've had a lot of catching up to do