Retail Stores from Shipping Containers

I am a fan reusing shipping containers.  Most of the examples I have seen are very modern homes or backyard writing offices. This is the first commercial/retail example I have seen.  It serves a purpose, creates a unique space and is a great use of something that would more than likely end up rotting in a storage yard.  I would like to see other retailers do something similar if it fits their business model.

Starbucks’ New Store: Made of Shipping Containers! The Seattle Times:

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Located in Tukwila, Washington, Starbucks just opened a new walk-up and drive-through only location (i.e. no indoor seating) made out of four shipping containers. Dubbed “The Reclamation Drive-Thru,” we’re wondering: is this a one-off design for Starbucks, or the first in a trend towards greener building?

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(Via Apartment Therapy – Green)

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Categories Eco

Power from wind

Some how I missed this in my local papers.  But the opportunity to create this much power off the coast of Rhode Island is amazing.  I hope this comes to fruition it would make me proud to be a Rhode Islander supply so much for so many.

Wind Farms Off the Coast of Rhode Island Could Generate 1,000 GW of Electricity

Update: The comments suggest there is a discrepancy in the amount of total GW’s but either way I think this is great.

via www.ecogeek.org

Categories Eco

Loss of a sustainability leader

Ray icon

Very sad news today.  Ray Anderson, a pioneer in the sustainability movement passed away.  Ray was the founder of Interface the company that created the carpet FLOR tiles from recycled materials and proved that you could be profitable and sustainable at the same time.

My girlfriend had the opportunity to interview him a few years ago. She was able to get his input on a project that she was working on and came away profoundly affected by his words and actions.

Michelle Kaufmann did a nice write-up of many of the other things Ray worked on.  Please check it out here.

Categories Eco

Small scale wind

I love the fact that smaller scale wind turbines are coming out. I hope someone comes up with a smaller unit that is reasonably priced for residential areas. I know many people think that if you can not provide all your houses electricity that it is not worth it. I disagree and think that anything that can help you offset some of the reliance on the grid and reduce carbon emissions is helpful. I would love to get one of these for a house.

 

From Design Buzz

Categories Eco

Lean and Green

Logo Herman Miller LogoA few weeks ago I posted and article about design and sustainability on our company blog. I saw this article on TreeHugger the other day in the similar vein and after reviewing the headline I  thought there was a misprint.  How could a giant factory only generate 15 pounds of waster per month?  But in reading the article I was blown away but some of the facts that were included in it.

Herman Miller’s GreenHouse Factory Generates 15 Pounds of Landfill Waste Per Month

  • About 45 million pounds of parts, materials and packaging come into the plant every year. Amount of waste sent to landfill every month: fifteen pounds.
  • 50% of the parts used are manufactured within 30 miles of the factory in Zeeland, Michigan
  • The “store” contains two hours worth of parts; each assembly line has a couple of minutes worth of parts. Trucks arrive from some suppliers as many as six times a day

This is a great example of how lean manufacturing works at its peak.

But the article also when on to talk about what employees do – how they work and how the environment is setup.  Something else that really stuck out to me was a picture that is included in the article or a huge skylight.  It is it obvious that the use of natural light helps with the electricity savings within the plant.  But the article goes on to say that as a result of the skylight

they save a fortune on electricity, productivity is higher and absenteeism is lower.

Being able to equate productivity and absenteeism to the way this facility is constructed is amazing.  I would love to see other examples of how this works with other companies. If you know of any please let me know.

Categories Eco