The Whole HOG: February/March 2014

Water-centric Green Design News

Is resilience the new sustainability?” Jill Fehrenbacher asks in a recent Inhabitat article that has us thinking. Her focus is on steps for making commercial building, particularly in cities on the East and West coasts, more resilient in the face of natural and man-made disasters, such as fire, earthquakes, flooding, and terrorism.

If you’ve been reading along with us here at The HOG Blog, you’ll know that we’ve been following with interest Hurricane Sandy in New York City and the resulting new building and design codes in NYC, along with strategies for dealing with flooding from flood walls to built infrastructure.

Being in the Bay Area makes us particularly sensitive to earthquake danger, as Sally Dominguez notes in a recent interview with Advance. This Australian non-profit has a global network focused on connecting talented Aussies internationally. In May 2012, Sally was nominated as one of Advance’s 50 for the Future.

Resilient design is defined by the Resilient Design Institute as “the intentional design of buildings, landscapes, communities, and regions in response to vulnerabilities to disaster and disruption of normal life”.

The HOG tank is built for both sustainability and resiliency. Made with food-grade plastic, it can double as an 50-gallon emergency water supply, as it does at Edna Maguire Elementary School. In the context of schools (or homes) and safety, the tank’s rectangular shape will prevent it from rolling, loaded with 440-pounds of water, over some unlucky soul in the case of an earthquake.

This edition, it’s confirmed: HOGs and schools make for an award-winning combination. Congratulations to landscape architect Liz Pulver and Town and Garden! Their design of the Rainlab at The Dalton School was recently recognized with a 2014 Merit Award from ASLA-NY.

installation details

If you love to delve into the details, you’ll be in HOG heaven over at our new rainwatercasestudies.com site!

Preparedness is an element of resiliency too. This February, we’re loading up on resources from estimating your garden’s water needs to easy tips for conserving water to a new website with rainwater case studies. From single tank collection to large-scale harvesting and innovative custom solutions, check out www.rainwatercasestudies.com to find out how to configure your own system.

Don’t miss our B.U.G. Design feature on inspirational architect and scientist Ginger Krieg Dosier who’s cutting out the kiln, and the carbon emissions,  from bricks by growing bio bricks with her award-winning company BioMason.

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Feb/March 2014: B.U.G. (Beautiful.Useful.Green) Design

     bio bricks from bioMason, Inc.

Ginger Krieg Dosier, former architect and now scientist, is on her way to revolutionizing our aging manufacturing processes with biology, using what she once considered to be the lowest common denominator in construction – the brick.

biobrick-537x409

– bioMason grows bricks –
image via Siddharth Siva

Why is it beautiful? “Ever since I was a child, I have been fascinated with the act of making,” says Krieg Dosier in a TED talk. Many of us don’t think of a brick as a thing of beauty, but what if that brick was grown in a closed-loop system that eliminated all emissions from its manufacturing process? Using sand and bacteria, Dosier’s company bioMason does just that – using a ‘brick nursery’ to grow bio-cement material without carbon emissions.

Why is it useful? BioMason’s better, cleaner, and more sustainable bricks have the potential to clean up the building blocks of construction. Flush with the “huge encouragement” of award-winnings (Metropolis Mag’s 2010 Next Generation design competition and Denmark’s Postcard Lottery’s 2013 Green Challenge), Krieg Dosier is at work with teams in the USA and the United Arab Emirates on scaling up the manufacturing process.

Why is it green? Bricks are used in 80% of global construction — 1.23 trillion bricks are produced annually worldwide; the firing process releases 800 million tons of carbon pollution each year. That’s more than what is released by all the airplanes in the world every year. Krieg Dosier’s transformative idea uses principles of biomimicry to apply nature to the way we make our physical world. Her planet-saving solution uses chemistry, biology and materials science to grow bricks like one would grow plants in a greenhouse.

Visit Sally’s Blog for more B.U.G. Designs.

January 2014: B.U.G. (Beautiful.Useful.Green) Design

Insights and Tools for Creative Thinking

HOG Designer, architect and innovator Sally Dominguez is mid-course Winter semester at Stanford teaching a continuing studies class on Insights and Tools for Creative Thinking.

We’re sharing it here in our B.U.G. section because the classroom setting articulates and teases out some of the values that Sally brings to HOG as co-founder and designer. The class is an expansive and exciting illustration of where our core values of innovation and sustainability can lead.

left brain right brain
Why is it beautiful? This class full of creative chaos, group projects and outside-of-the-box problem-solving is at capacity with 48 students (about a 50/50 split between traditional/non-traditional students and men and women) and shows the applicability of creative thinking in manufacturing, business and beyond.

Why is it useful? Sally brings an outsider perspective to the classroom and finds herself in good company with philosopher Jacques Derrida, writer and neuroscientist Jonah Lehrer, maker and architect David Heatherwick, writer of The Toaster Project Thomas Thwaites, and artist Banksy, among others. Ultimately, through hands-on exploration and creative play, participants will leave with a personalized tool kit for the creative prompts, approaches and useful disrupters that best suit each person.

Find inspiration with Sally’s Creative Insight crib notes here.

Why is it green? Students cozy up to William McDonough’s game-changing Cradle to Cradle philosophy, learning how it applies to them. From sessions including reconsidering negative space, thinking backwards, re-thinking what you have, and assemblage and deconstruction, sustainability is taken as a base point and used as a benchmark and goal.

To read more B.U.G. Design features, check out Sally’s Blog.

The Whole HOG: Oct/Nov 2013

Water-centric Green Design News

After a historic dry stretch here in California, the skies are full of sweet, sweet rain. Almost as full as our October/November newsletter, brimming with two months worth of water news! We check in with some familiar folks: following Team ASUNM to Irvine, California as they compete in the Solar Decathlon, and visiting a GREENheart Building installation in the Chicago suburbs that showcases the versatility of our HOG tanks in the hands of an experienced builder.

Two separate reports highlight water’s value and risks to the U.S. water system from aging infrastructure to water-guzzling energy production methods. We’re back to the world of whimsy, and clever design with Lampbrella, featured in this month’s B.U.G. Design section. Come on and dive in, the water’s fine!

The Whole HOG: Aug/Sept 2013

Water-centric Green Design News

We’re hitting the books this September with a filled-to-the-brim back to school edition of The Whole HOG. Three stand-out school installations, from Nundah State School, the Dalton School, and Omaha North High School, demonstrate how valuable HOG tanks can be in the classroom – indoors or outdoors.

We’re catching up with Team ASUNM as they prepare their SHADE home to compete in the Solar Decathlon 2013. They’re bringing six HOG tanks with them. And in our B.U.G. Design section, we take a closer look at the winning Illawarra Flame House (from an Australian team) in the China 2013 Solar Decathlon. Fellow Aussies and HOG founders, Sally and Simon Dominguez, say “Good on you, mates!”

Speaking of green student design competitions, registration for the 2013 Campus Rainworks Challenge has begun! Check out our HOG giveaway for competing student teams.

The Whole HOG: July 2013

Water-centric Green Design News

Foggy summer days can be magical, especially in the Marin Headlands just north of San Francisco. The video “Adrift” featured in our B.U.G. Design section captures that magic. We’re staying in Marin (and Sonoma) County long enough to share the news about our favorite kind of giveaway – get rewarded for saving water with the 20 Gallon Challenge.

The Solar Decathlon 2013 challenges student teams from around the globe to keep it local while designing the green home of the future. This month, we’re introducing TEAM ASUNM and their SHADE home, which will be bringing HOG tanks to the contest.

Next, with a spin of the globe, we’ll catch up on HOG inventor (and Aussie) Sally Dominguez’s doings Down Under. Humanitarian engineering, women in design, patent law – don’t miss the party!

July 2013: B.U.G. (Beautiful.Useful.Green) Design

Adrift,
or Alchemy of Sea and Sky

We’ve been talking a lot recently about climate change and politics.
In that conversation it’s easy to forget about the majesty of nature, and it’s deep connection to art and creativity. Robert Krulwich, our favorite NPR science guy, shows us a “beautiful connection” between sea, sky and clouds in his post Just Like Van Gogh, Ocean Waves Paint Clouds in the Sky. “Not only do clouds look like ocean waves, sometimes waves in the ocean help create clouds in the sky,” he explains.

Along those lines, we have something beautiful to share with you:

adriftSimon Christen visited the Marin Headlands, our home stomping grounds, to create this time lapse video of an icon covered in an endless, mesmerizing ocean. Let yourself drift as the fog laps like waves over the Golden Gate Bridge.

                                                    Isaac’s Storm

isaac's stormInterested in the weather? Like a good read? To satisfy the useful category, we have a book to add to our recommended reads – Erik Larson’s Isaac’s Storm. Historian and master storyteller, Larson narrates the story of the hurricane of 1900 that destroyed the coastal Texas city of Galveston. He is equally as adept at tackling the science of hurricanes, as he is at bringing Isaac Cline, chief weatherman of Texas, to vivid, flawed life.  Larson’s books include The Devil in the White City and most recently, In the Garden of Beasts, among others.

The curiosity with which Larson and Krulwich approach their subjects, and their skill in explaining complicated scientific phenomena, make them fantastic guides to life among the clouds. Dive in!

Check out Sally’s blog for more B.U.G. Designs.