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This Week's Featured Topic: Building BetterLast week, we crowdsourced ideas for a church in New England that was looking for a way to 'go green.' When we asked for your ideas, we were overwhelmed by the number of responses. The recommendations ran the gamut--from ‘retrofit’ to ‘here’s how to get a rebate’ to ‘start all over and here’s how.’

The winning idea for Katherine, the member who posted the request, was to start a university competition that would solicit design plans for their new Parish Hall, which will house a school, offices and other facilities.

But Planet Forward’s members have been innovating in many areas of building efficiency. We reached through our archive and came up with a few ideas of our own for how they could retrofit their sanctuary and ideas for rebuilding the Parish Hall.  Got your own ideas in architecture? Tell us.

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Harness Solar Hot Water Solar hot water is one of the most cost-efficient ways to use solar energy. It has been used around the world but see how this technology is being used in Washington DC.




Insulate with GreensulateEcovative’s insulating material is grown from mushrooms and is completely recyclable--when you’re done with it, just put it into the garden and let it compost. This edible material won't burn and it doesn’t use petrochemicals.





Turn Your Waste to FoodAny school is going to generate a lot of waste. Learn from the students at Clarkson University and convert that waste into food. They’ve developed a system to support year-round greenhouse gardening that can save you bucks, deliciously.





Energy Efficient LandscapeUsing trees, shrubs and landscape features can help reduce energy costs and create a healthier, more beautiful environment. These time-honored tips from the American Society of Landscape Architects can help you make smarter use of your outdoor spaces.





This Solar Decathlon House Has it All Take a look at the winning house from the Solar Decathlon from the University of Maryland, which uses innovative technologies like solar hot water collectors, a liquid desiccant waterfall, and sustainable materials.




Want more ideas about architecture? We've got more!

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