AOL Real Estate takes in the scenery at Taos, New Mexico's Greater World Earthship subdivision, a motley assortment of homes — or "independent vessels," if you will — built from dirt and garbage and boasting a "negligible" collective carbon footprint. I've blogged about Earthship Biotecture and its founder, Michael Reynolds, a handful of times, but this piece provides an excellent, in-depth look at one of the world's more hardcore green building movements. Says John Kejr, a real estate agent specializing in the sale of Earthship homes: "I believe that [Earthship living] is 'a future' rather than 'the future.' I would never say everyone should live in an Earthship, as it's a lifestyle choice. Still, many things make sense about this lifestyle and I believe that many Earthship features should be — and will be — incorporated into more traditional homes."


Architizer rounds up "10 Amazing Green Roofs Around the Globe." Because really, "who doesn't love a gorgeous, verdant roof?"


ArchDaily peeps Unsangdong Architects' E+ Green Home, a high-tech passive house in Kyeong Gi, South Korea that boasts over 95 different green technologies. 


Smart Planet publishes a two-parter profiling the diverse assemblage of solar-powered, student-designed homes competing in Madrid's 2012 Solar Decathlon Europe or, as Jennifer Riggins puts it, "a hardcore international race to build the most self-sustaining home." You can check out my pre-kick-off coverage of this year's event here and here. I'll be posting more coverage as SD Europe begins to wrap up.


Movoto explores what it's really like to "live in a van by down the river" in a real estate trend piece on the "vandwelling" movement.


The Street suggests "10 DIY Projects for Empty Nesters." A few "oh my god my last child moved out and I don't know what to do with myself"-appropriate activities include putting up garage shelving, transforming a spare bedroom into a home gym, and erecting a "memory wall." Dry those sad eyes and install a ceiling fan!


The Wall Street Journal has a few thoughts on high-end — i.e. money is certainly no object in the home improvement realm — methods in which to make your abode more eco-friendly. This entails installing gizmos such as solar shingles, a geothermal heat pump, and hydrogen fuel-cell storage systems.


Dwell admires the eco-friendly abode of University of California, Santa Cruz professors Bernie Tershy and Erika Zavaleta. Aaron Britt refers to the Arkin Tilt-designed home as "a marvel of green design, with a photovoltaic array on the roof, straw bales in the walls for insulation, and an open southern facade that embraces both a bustling backyard and a bucolic park."


Curbed singles out a few on-the-market properties from across the country where the brokers are guilty of relying on the questionable " the design of this home was directly inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright" tactic to market 'em. Properties include an $8.5 million manse in Kiawah Island, S.C. and an $18 million estate in Vegas allegedly designed with "inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water." 


The Atlantic Cities explores the latest somewhat gimmicky trend in bringing a splash of green to vegetation-starved urban areas (in this case, Brooklyn's charming but tree-scarce DUMBO nabe): Dumpster Gardens. 


Jetson Green steps inside a "Not So Big Timber Frame Home in Oregon." The 800-square-foot River Road Residence in North Eugene (an upgrade, size-wise, for its owners) features rooftop PV panels, solar hot water heating, rainwater and greywater recycling, and Gold-level certification from the Earth Advantage Institute.


The Los Angeles Times has the low-down on a few Park(ing) Day related events in the L.A. area.




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

Playing catch up: Things to make and do
Bid adieu to summer by reading up on high-end green home improvement projects, pondering DIY activities for empty nesters and fantasizing about living in an Ear