10 Comments
Mar 30Liked by Lloyd Alter

Hello from the USA. I visited BedZed about a decade ago with 20 of our American University business students during a semester abroad program. One of the owners even opened her house for us to tour. It was very nice inside, and the houses that were not still owned by the original owners had sold for a decent premium over neighboring conventional rowhouses. So apparently a financial success.

I understand that the top floor units required air conditioning and the central boilers were changed to natural gas rather than the original wood burners but the homes were apparently inexpensive to heat and cool mostly via solar and well shaded window greenspaces ... an accomplishment in a cold and cloudy land.

My wife and I were more impressed than our students (who were accustomed to larger American style detached homes), but everyone agreed that the buildings worked better than any suburban condominiums we knew of over here.

And to have a new passive haus style school building next door now sounds pretty great to me. At the time there was a trolley stop to take residents to and from downtown and shopping ... is something like that still available for the teachers you mentioned?

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Your articles are always interesting to me, and also informative. But I am a poor person and nothing you have ever written about is something I can do to my own home. What I can do, however, is share what I learn from you in the hopes that someone who hears me will be able to implement what you are saying.

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Less Stuff...More Joy.

You will own nothing and be happy.

Have Less, Do Less, Be Less

Which one is more true than the other two?

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Imagine a gym smelling good! That would be a new experience for most. But seriously, you got at one of my favorite aspects of green buildings — how good they usually smell. I was in a straw bale home recently in which all the materials were designed to breathe and finishes were natural/nontoxic. I couldn’t believe how good it smelled. I have a very sensitive nose, and am prone to migraines brought on by odors, but of course those with true chemical sensitivities really suffer in typical school buildings and the like. I love that this type of green school can gather kids in lovely clean air — so many breathe poor air at home or have sensitivities themselves.

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I've always wondered how "mass and glass" got as popular as it did. Except for low-U glazing, all the materials and technologies required for building passive houses were available in the 1970s. Was "mass and glass" just a way for builders to try to get away with large expanses of glass? And if so, why did so many "mass and glass" buildings have no operable external shutters on their windows, which would have for the most part solved the overheating problem?

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Great piece ... lots of interesting detail. I think the UK design firm is Architype (with an i) and you may want to edit the piece to attend to that (there is an Archetype architecture firm in NYC, and several other branding and ad firms called Archetype in UK and US, it seems). I only discovered this when sharing this great dispatch on LinkedIn.

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author

correcting the spelling right now!

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Curious about the meaning of "they even cover the windows with French", also? French Blinds?

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author

signs and posters in french for the class. Not well put by me.

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Ah, gotcha

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