There are a couple little things I’m working on.  These aren’t the big glamorous projects all the cool architects in TV and movies are working on; it’s not even terribly green. But even small projects and little things can have their own meaningfulness.

One thing I’m working through are some ideas for re-roofing a cottage in Canada for a friend of mine.  I’m likely to help with the installation of this, as well as trying to weigh different options for materials, though that’s not going to be a deciding factor in the selection.  This is for a roof roughly 9 squares (900 square feet) in area; no valleys or complications other than a stone fireplace chimney in the middle at the ridge.  Originally the plan was just to do a tear off of the existing shingles (which are at least a couple decades old at this point) and put down some ice & water shield in some areas, make sure the underlying sheathing boards are all still in good condition, and put on new asphalt shingles.

But I mentioned having seen some salvaged green-glazed roofing tiles (while I was researching another Inhabitat article) that are available from a building materials recycling facility, and that started the gears turning and the ideas being considered.  I don’t know the cost of the material (though I expect even as salvaged material it wouldn’t be free) and it would still require shipping.  If we’re going to do the installation ourselves, the amount of work required would also be a consideration.

If we’re considering alternatives to shingles, then metal roofs are also worth considering.  Metal would be lighter weight (which might be a consideration) but would also have a longer life than asphalt shingles.

In any case, it’s probably going to be next year’s project.  I like the idea of something non-asphaltic, especially given how close this place is to the edge of Lake Huron (we’re talking feet, not miles).  Since it is only occasionally occupied, the idea of something durable and low maintenance is certainly appealing.  I’m concerned about branches or other debris causing problems for the tiles.  And, of course, cost is a consideration, as well.

The other project is a chicken coop competition.  The competition has been set up by the Poultry Project, which is a charitable organization in the US and Uganda helping families affected with HIV/AIDS to have small-scale poultry businesses.  Since I’ve already designed and built a coop that houses the chickens we’re currently getting our eggs from (over at the neighbors’ house), I’m probably already one project up on most of the entrants.  It’s an October deadline for that one.


I drove an all-electric version of a Chevy Equinox a few weeks ago and have now posted my review and a couple of pictures on Ecogeek. I still find it confounding that I have ended up writing about cars, but I enjoy the chance to see some interesting vehicles from time to time.


I am headed to Washington DC for a few days to be on a peer review panel for the EPA, so it’s likely to be quiet here for the next couple of days.  This is the second year that I’ve been an EPA peer reviewer.  It’s interesting to take part in these panels and to find out about some of the developments and technologies that are being explored.

When I get back, we’re going to have the Workantile charrette to examine ideas for renovating and adapting the space once Mighty Good Coffee moves out and up the street a couple of blocks to their new space. It’s not going to be any sort of extensive reconfiguration; Mike and Trek want to make things more workable and find a way to adapt the additional space in a way that’s going to work well for the coworking environment. I’ll have more about that coming next week.