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Green Building

Green Building


Reducing our environmental impact on the world is a major priority. This important collection of eco-friendly tips showing us ways to live a more sustainable life - leaving a smaller environmental footprint - one minute at a time!

Eco tips: Green Boats; Green Building; House of the Future; Eco Fur; Carbon Negative House; Eco-Friendly Cement; Eco-Friendly Farm; Green Economy; Windmills; Gardens for Wildlife; Eco-Friendly Fashion; Eco-Friendly Toilet; Green Shop; Recycled Building; Eco Architect; Green Eco Living; Eco Resort; Land Restoration; Columbia Forest; Marine Conservation; Desertification; Cleaning Up Waste; Eco-Tourism; Eco Bus; Coconut Fuel; Sustainable Living; Eco Aircraft; Eco Design.

DVD / 2017 / 30 minutes

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Matthias Sauerbruch and Louisa Hutton set up Sauerbruch Hutton in 1989, now based in Berlin. Their best known buildings include the GSW Headquarters in Berlin, for which they were nominated for the Stirling Prize in 2000.

In this talk they focus on the Federal Environment Agency in Dessau, completed in 2005. With its mix of low-tech materials and high-tech production processes, the building was designed to showcase the best in sustainable architecture.

Hutton and Sauerbruch describe the development of the building's curvilinear plan along the route of an old railway line, and their use of colour, a constant in their work; how any sustainable building is only as efficient as the people who inhabit it; and how a concern for environmental efficiency has been a running thread through their work, from their Photonics Centre Berlin in 1998, through Museum Brandhorst, 2008, Munich Re, 2014, and the soon to be completed M9 Museum in Venice-Metre.

CD-ROM / 2016 / 51 minutes

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Directed by Christopher Beaver

Follows San Francisco's innovative efforts towards achieving zero waste, thereby dramatically reducing the city's carbon footprint.

Only one third of the waste in the United States is recycled or composted. Why? Industry, through its practice of planned obsolescence, plays a major role; our lives are almost totally dependent on unrecyclable petroleum products. In order to reach zero waste, we need to change our relationship to garbage and view the things we discard as resources, rather than waste.

RACING TO ZERO examines our society's garbage practices in terms of consumption, preparation, use and production, and discovers some amazing solutions in San Francisco, which is successfully taking the necessary steps to reach zero waste. Cities all over the United States have instituted zero-waste policies of their own, and it is through these mandates that we are challenged to think differently about not only how we handle our garbage, but what it can become.

DVD / 2014 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 56 minutes

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By Ruben Abruna

A designer from Puerto Rico pioneered green architecture thirty years ago, and today he confronts climate change with sustainable constructions such as a house without a roof that is completely independent of the power and water utilities, a micro-eco-house on wheels, a pre-designed sustainable house, a parachute-house and a solar-electric car, among others.

When architect Fernando Abruna Charneco, FAIA, began designing in the 1970's many dubbed him as "crazy" for putting nature first before erecting a building, a practice which later would be labeled as sustainable green architecture. He inherited the design mantra of "doing more with less" from his mentor R. Buckminster Fuller, the inventor of the Geodesic Dome and the Dymaxion car, with whom he worked as an apprentice.

In times of climate change and the doomsday consequences it entails, THE ABSENT HOUSE delivers a much-needed, hopeful, pro-active message that we can live sustainably while preserving the planet for future generations.

DVD (Color) / 2013 / 55 minutes

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Directed by Linda Booker, Blaire Johnson

Extols the many benefits of industrial hemp for the environment and human health, while revealing the obstacles to what could be a thriving industry for U.S. farmers.

Industrial Hemp is making headlines in American media with the recent Farm Bill amendment allowing hemp research crops in ten states. But why does Federal policy still classify and confuse this non-psychoactive plant with marijuana as a drug? BRINGING IT HOME tells the story of hemp's past, present and future through interviews with global hemp business leaders and entrepreneurs, archive images, animation and footage filmed in Europe and the United States. The film features the designer of "America's First Hemp House" and his quest to find the healthiest building material available to construct a safe environment for his daughter with chemical sensitivities. He discovers non-toxic, carbon neutral hempcrete that is recyclable, pest-fire-mold-resistant and cuts energy bills in half. But the major drawback for U.S. builders is that the fiber for hempcrete must be imported. Current U.S. Federal policy does not distinguish hemp from its psychoactive plant cousin marijuana, despite a long history of hemp farming in America up until the 1940s.

BRINGING IT HOME follows the hemp trail to the U.K. where business owners, researchers, farmers and Kevin McCloud, TV host of Grand Designs, discuss industrial hemp use in their country. Also featured are interviews with CEOs of million dollar U.S. companies that are importing hemp for healthy, sustainable products, and those working for policy change at the state and federal levels. A lobbyist for the CA Narcotics Officers Association gives voice to the opposition.

BRINGING IT HOME makes the case for all the benefits of a misunderstood plant that will leave viewers wondering: why aren't we growing it here?

DVD / 2013 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adult) / 52 minutes

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Director: Merete Mueller & Christopher Smith

What is home? And how do we find it? Through one couple's attempt to build a Tiny House with no building experience, this charming documentary raises questions about sustainability, good design, and the American Dream.

From 1970 to 2010, the average size of a new house in America has almost doubled. Yet in recent years, many are redefining their American Dream to focus on flexibility, financial freedom, and quality of life over quantity of space. These self-proclaimed "Tiny Housers" live in homes smaller than the average parking space, often built on wheels to bypass building codes and zoning laws. TINY takes us inside six of these homes stripped to their essentials, exploring the owners' stories and the design innovations that make them work.

TINY is a coming-of-age story for a generation that is more connected, yet less tied-down than ever, and for a society redefining its priorities in the face of a changing financial and environmental climate. More than anything, TINY invites its viewers to dream big and imagine living small.

DVD / 2013 / 62 minutes

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By Stephen R. Kellert and Bill Finnegan

A design revolution that connects buildings to the natural world, buildings where people feel and perform better.

Biophilic Design is an innovative way of designing the places where we live, work, and learn. We need nature in a deep and fundamental fashion, but we have often designed our cities and suburbs in ways that both degrade the environment and alienate us from nature.

The recent trend in green architecture has decreased the environmental impact of the built environment, but it has accomplished little in the way of reconnecting us to the natural world, the missing piece in the puzzle of sustainable development.

Come on a journey from our evolutionary past and the origins of architecture to the world's most celebrated buildings in a search for the architecture of life. Together, we will encounter buildings that connect people and nature--hospitals where patients heal faster, schools where children's test scores are higher, offices where workers are more productive, and communities where people know more of their neighbors and families thrive.

Featured are communities and buildings from Scandinavia, Germany, France and Britain to the Canadian and American northwest, American southwest, and New England. They include: California Academy of Sciences, Doernbecher Children's Hospital, Fallingwater, Viaduc des Arts, Google/YouTube Headquarters, Sahlgrenska Hospital (Psychiatric Department), High Point (Seattle Housing Authority), Johnson Wax Building, Sidwell Friends Middle School, Oxford Museum of Natural History, Village Homes (Davis, CA), and Kroon Hall (Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies).

Amongst those interviewed are: Edward O. Wilson, Bill McDonough, Judi Heerwagen, Jason McLennan, Tim Beatley, Bill Browning, Bert Gregory, Kent Bloomer, Claire Cooper Marcus, Michael Taylor, David Orr, Gus Speth, and Richard Louv.

Biophilic Design points the way toward creating healthy and productive habitats for modern humans.

DVD / 2011 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 62 minutes

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By Beate Lendt

DREAMING OF A TREE HOUSE is a film about the pioneering community-building project of the world-famous architect Frei Otto in Berlin, called the Okohaus - an experimental, ecological, customized housing project in the city center.

Including interviews with Frei Otto, Christine Kanstinger-Otto, Hermann Kendel, Yona Friedman, Anne Lacaton & Jean-Philippe Vassal, and other involved architects, planners, and inhabitants, the film shows the development and the philosophy of the project, which was built for the International Building Exhibition in Berlin 1987 (IBA).

The "Ecohouse" project hosts a number of experimental solutions to adaptable home building and personalization. The film explores the ideas that motivated the project, its underlying sustainability themes, and asks how these ambitions were realized.

DREAMING OF A TREE HOUSE ultimately asks: What can we learn from the Okohaus? How can its design, building process, and the experience of its 20-plus year occupation inform ecological and design issues currently relevant to our society?

DVD (Color) / 2011 / 85 minutes

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This program showcases Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver, a leader in sustainable home construction: its Family Services Department (Human Services Cluster); a solar panel company whose products are right at home with eco -friendly Habitat houses (Marketing Cluster); and ENERGY STAR, an EPA/DOE program that promotes energy -efficient products - the only kind HFH Metro Denver uses (Government and Public Administration Cluster). A Philadelphia -based green construction/remodeling firm is profiled as well (Architecture and Construction Cluster).

DVD / 2010 / 25 minutes

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The fundamental difference between a green approach to building and remodeling and a conventional approach is the thinking that guides the project. This program explores the thought process at the core of green architectural design and construction as it takes viewers behind the scenes of an architectural firm specializing in sustainable design, a remodeler who has built a green construction business, a supplier of eco -friendly building materials, and a homeowner who has remodeled his house from the ground up using green materials, technologies, and practices.

DVD / 2010 / 30 minutes

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Directed by Harry Wiland

Is it possible that the City of the Angels can tell a story to the world about environmental rebirth?

LA made smog and pollution into household words. No longer. Its citizens have said enough. TreePeople, founded by Andy Lipkis, is leading the campaign to plant one million trees in the next decade. Friends of the LA River and the Rivers & Mountains Conservancy are reclaiming the Los Angeles River. They are determined to see the return of steelhead salmon in their lifetimes.

To everyone's surprise, Los Angeles is discovering mass transit. Darrell Clarke, Executive Director of Friends of the Expo Line has spent 17 years finally convincing the city to begin building the first east-west light rail-line in Los Angeles in 50 years.

Girls Today Women Tomorrow mentors the girls of Boyle Heights, teaching them about nutrition, exercise, and their Latina culture. The community-based program also provides college scholarships in a neighborhood where the drop-out rate is close to 50%.

Los Angeles is even planning a 26-acre downtown park thanks to the philanthropic generosity and vision of Eli Broad. Other green projects are being promoted by its 24/7 Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, who understands that environmental justice, public health and quality-of-life go together in order to dream a different city.

DVD (Color, Closed Captioned, With 45 Pages Teachers' Guide) / 2007 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 57 minutes

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Directed by Harry Wiland

Recognizing that the human community is growing faster than the aging infrastructure, the city of Seattle created an Office of Sustainability and Environment.

Seattle is synonymous with environmental awareness. Some have called it the city of the future. It leads the nation in the search for alternate fuels (Seattle Biodiesel) and was one of the first locations to create community-based biodiesel distribution co-ops.

The High- Point mixed-use housing development is the first planned sustainable neighborhood in a major American city. It garners visitors from around the world. High- Point has even restored streams that are critical to the region's salmon migration.

Salmon is an indicator species for the North West and it is an integral part of our story. We follow the plight of this remarkable species from the releasing of eggs into Lake Washington by schoolchildren, to a trip into Elliot Bay with an enlightened fisherman and, finally, with a visit to native American commercial fisheries that adhere to sustainable practices.

Also related to water, there is a heated debate on how to provide access to Seattle's remarkable shoreline. Will its aging Viaduct Highway be torn down and replaced with a tunnel? The issue is still being discussed.

Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, a citizen movement fails. Such a cautionary tale describes our final story, the 10-year battle to fund and build the citizen-inspired Monorail.

DVD (Color, Closed Captioned, With 45 Pages Teachers' Guide) / 2007 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 57 minutes

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Directed by Ian Cheney

The story of Boston's first LEED-certified residential green building, and the people who made it possible.

In the traditionally Irish-American working-class neighborhood of South Boston, MA, a new kind of building has taken shape. From wheatboard cabinetry to recycled steel, bamboo flooring to dual-flush toilets, the Macallen building is something different: a leader in the emerging field of environmentally friendly design.

But Boston's steel-toed union workers aren't sure they like it. And when things on the building start to go wrong, the young developer has to keep the project from unraveling.

Building Boston's first LEED Gold-certified building turns out to be harder than anyone thought. Yet among the I-beams and brickwork emerges a small cadre of unlikely environmentalists who come to connect their work with the future of their children

DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2007 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 72 minutes

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City Hall and grass roots groups in Chicago are working on open space, green buildings and an educated citizenry to create a sustainable city.

Chicago is a dynamic and fascinating city with spectacular architecture and a dramatic setting on the shores of Lake Michigan. The largest metropolis between the coasts, it has the biggest population, the most problems...and the greatest potential.

Edens Lost & Found tells Chicago's story by threading together the stories of a diverse group of its active and committed citizens including volunteers, professionals, students and community leaders -- among them, the city's mayor, Richard M. Daley. During his tenure, Chicago made a powerful commitment to open space with the creation of the 24-acre Millennium Park built atop a parking garage in the heart of downtown. The city has also become a laboratory for green architecture with the award-winning City Hall Roof Garden and Green Roof Initiative.

Whole neighborhoods are getting involved in the effort to create more livable communities. Eden Place is a prime example of grassroots determination to reclaim for themselves pieces of Eden that had been lost to generations of apathy.

And out in the suburbs? An Elgin High School environmental instructor convinced the school board to set aside adjacent land as an outdoor classroom and nature preserve. Here, her students are learning to become leaders in the movement to create sustainable ecosystems.

DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2006 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 57 minutes

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Faced with severe budget limitations, Philadelphia's rebirth is being brought about by a network of community-based volunteer organizations.

Philadelphia is a historic city responding to many challenges, including suburban development, that threaten to decimate the core city. Faced with severe budget limitations (a universal reality), it created a vast network of community-based volunteer organizations who have brought about rebirth through volunteerism and community outreach. Some of those organizations include The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, The New Kensington Community Development Corporation and The Philadelphia Water Department.

City government hasn't been sitting still, either. Mayor John F. Street created the Neighborhood Transition Initiative (NTI) program as part of a coordinated plan to save the city from the impact of "moving up and moving out." NTI was assigned to come up with practicable and affordable solutions to remove blight, promote quality restoration, stimulate investment in new housing, and improve how the city delivers services to its businesses and residents. The challenge is to make neighborhoods more attractive so families will stay and become stakeholders.

Philadelphia has many tales to tell about how it is dealing with challenges being felt around the planet: creation of a sustainable society, economy, and ecosystem in a thriving urban environment.

DVD (Color, Closed Captioned, With 45 pages teachers' guide) / 2006 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 57 minutes

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Directed by Paul M. Rickard

New structures in seven North American Native communities that reinterpret traditional forms for contemporary purposes.

ABORIGINAL ARCHITECTURE LIVING ARCHITECTURE offers a fascinating in-depth look into the diversity of North American Native architecture. Featuring expert commentary and stunning imagery, this program provides a virtual tour of seven Aboriginal communities -- Pueblo, Mohawk, Inuit, Crow, Navajo, Coast Salish and Haida -- revealing how each is actively reinterpreting and adapting traditional forms for contemporary purposes.

Everyone is familiar with certain types of Aboriginal architecture. Traditional igloos and teepees are two of the most enduring symbols of North America itself. But how much do we really know about the types of structures Native Peoples designed, engineered, and built?

For more than three hundred years, Native communities in North America have had virtually no indigenous architecture. Communities have made do with low-cost government housing and community projects designed by strangers in far away places.

Thankfully, across the continent, political, financial, and cultural changes have created a renaissance of Native design. Modern Aboriginal architects are turning to ancient forms, adapting them in response to changes in the natural and social environment, and creating contemporary structures that hearken to the past.

Employing old and new materials and techniques and with an emphasis on harmony and balance, Native designers are successfully melding current community needs with tradition. The resulting buildings are testaments to the enduring strength and ingenuity of Aboriginal design.

DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2005 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 93 minutes

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To people driving past the old Holiday Drive-In Theater site in Boulder, Colorado, it might seem like a new neighborhood has sprung out of the ground overnight. But those who worked on the project's development know better. Collectively, hundreds of thousands of decisions and choices were made to create the 330-home neighborhood, where affordability and sustainability are primary goals. It wasn't exactly a simple mission.

In DESIGNING A GREAT NEIGHBORHOOD, director David Wann follows the progress of the Wild Sage Cohousing Community project, where future residents participate in the design of their own neighborhood. The stated architectural goal at the Wild Sage site in Boulder is a "zero emissions" neighborhood in which solar energy, energy efficiency, and changes in behavior eliminate the need for fossil fuels.

The master site developer, The Boulder Housing Partners (BHP), has a vision for creating affordable neighborhoods that are also lively, efficient and pedestrian friendly. More than 400 people with low and middle incomes will live at Holiday, many as first-time homeowners.

DVD (Color) / 2004 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adult) / 54 minutes

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With humor, chutzpah and a piece of vinyl siding firmly in hand, Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand and co-director and award-winning cinematographer Daniel B. Gold set out in search of the truth about polyvinyl chloride (PVC), America's most popular plastic. From Long Island to Louisiana to Italy, they unearth the facts about PVC and its effects on human health and the environment.

Back at the starter ranch, Helfand coaxes her terribly patient parents into replacing their vinyl siding on the condition that she can find a healthy, affordable alternative (and it has to look good!).

A detective story, an eco-activism doc, and a rollicking comedy, BLUE VINYL puts a human face on the dangers posed by PVC at every stage of its life cycle, from factory to incinerator. Consumer consciousness and the "precautionary principle" have never been this much fun.

DVD (Color) / 2002 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adult) / 97 minutes

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William McDonough, Michael Braungart & the Birth of the Sustainable Economy

Architect Bill McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart bring together ecology and human design.

While some environmental observers predict doomsday scenarios in which a rapidly increasing human population is forced to compete for ever scarcer natural resources, Bill McDonough sees a more exciting and hopeful future.

In his vision humanity takes nature itself as our guide reinventing technical enterprises to be as safe and ever-renewing as natural processes.

Can't happen? It's already happening...at Nike, at Ford Motor Company, at Oberlin College, at Herman Miller Furniture, and at DesignTex...and it's part of what architect McDonough and his partner, chemist Michael Braungart, call 'The Next Industrial Revolution.'

Shot in Europe and the United States, the film explores how businesses are transforming themselves to work with nature and enhance profitability.

DVD (Color) / 2001 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 55 minutes

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