Posts Tagged ‘Landscape’

Want to see what affordable, practical, Net Zero Energy and Zero Carbon living looks like?
by Robert Fortunato on June 9th, 2016 No Comments »

Join us this Saturday at 10am for an exterior tour of the Green Idea House.  For the fourth year in a row will be part of the EPN Green South Bay Tour.
Why the electric utility pays us to run our house and car
Why it cost less to build and operate
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Exploring the cutting edge – for the 7th year in a row!
by Robert Fortunato on September 26th, 2015 No Comments »

While working  in Denmark last week, a couple of leaders and students from the KaosPilot school joined me in my annual pilgrimage to places in Scandinavia that are leading the way on sustainability.  Coincidentally, my friend and neighbor Rick Learned and his sister happened to be in DK visiting relatives,
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Green Idea House Officially Dedicated!
by Robert Fortunato on April 7th, 2013 1 Comment »

We were honored to have Ed Begley Jr, Dency Nelson and 10 other wonderful speakers at the Green Idea House dedication ceremony yesterday.
Special thanks to Councilman Michael DiVirgilio for being a great M.C. and all the other enthusiastic participants who make it a very special morning.  We’ll be posting
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You are invited: Join Ed Begley, Jr. in Hermosa Beach for the Green Idea House Dedication Ceremony
by Robert Fortunato on March 27th, 2013 9 Comments »

Dear Friends of the Green Idea House:
We have appreciated your friendship and support as we planned, built and tested the Green Idea House.  The success we have achieved would have been impossible without you, our community of friends and supporters.  Together we proved that one family can affordably remodel a
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Sandpipers Tour a Huge Success for Local Charities
by Robert Fortunato on December 20th, 2012 2 Comments »

Sandpipers Tour a Huge Success for Local Charities
Stephanie Cusack, Sandpipers’ Director of Fall Events, kindly stopped by the other day to let us know the Holiday Homes Tour – their biggest fundraiser of the year – was very successful.  We were honored to have the GIH help raise money for
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L.A. Trade Tech Students Get a Lesson in Green Building and Join Our Planting Party
by Robert Fortunato on November 16th, 2012 No Comments »

Last weekend, Professor Marcela Oliva sent her students on assignment last weekend to understand how the GIH works.  Not only did they get a lesson in green building, but our excellent landscape designer, Tracy Worth, gave them on overview of the sustainable landscape.
After talking theory, we all went out and
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Two FREE Opportunities This Saturday to See How the GIH Works!
by Robert Fortunato on May 9th, 2012 No Comments »

At 9am and 10am on Saturday May 9th we will be running tours (outside only) as part of the South Bay Solar and Green Homes Tour put on by the Environmental Priorities Network.  Nine other families will be opening their houses for the tour as well: SolarGreenHomesTour 2012
Also on Saturday at
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Win a FREE A Green Point Rating from Build It Green or Just Get the Rebate!
by Robert Fortunato on May 2nd, 2012 No Comments »

Enter the Green Label Sweepstakes.  In this sweepstakes, one lucky Los Angeles County homeowner will win a free GreenPoint Rating. A GreenPoint Rater will help you evaluate your home and the points awarded for your green home features. Your home must achieve a minimum point value in order to qualify
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Green Idea House Receives Los Angeles County’s 2012 Green Leadership Award
by Robert Fortunato on April 29th, 2012 1 Comment »

We are honored to receive the award on behalf of all of you who have supported us over the last five years in bringing this to fruition.
It was a pleasure meeting the other award winners at the County Supervisor’s meeting and our son, Carter, was thrilled to get the morning
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The Green Idea House won Los Angeles County’s Green Leadership Award for 2012!
by Robert Fortunato on April 20th, 2012 No Comments »

This was only possible because all of you came together as a community around the idea that anyone can and should build with energy efficiency and sustainability in mind.  Thank you!
Special thanks go out to the City of Hermosa Beach’s Senior Planner, Pam Townsend who used her own personal time
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Register for FREE today while there are still spots available!
by Robert Fortunato on February 2nd, 2012 No Comments »

The U.S. Green Building Council, Energy Upgrade CA and Leadership Hermosa Beach have asked us to give a series of construction tours on February 11th.  The tours will showcase the innovative technologies that make the Green Idea House net zero energy, zero carbon and responsive to the environment in terms
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GIH Featured in Merlex Blog Spot
by Robert Fortunato on November 16th, 2011 No Comments »

GIH Featured in Merlex Blog Spot
We are fortunate to have many bright, talented people supporting our project.  Interestingly, they tend to know one another.  Wes Harding from Harding Construction recently, introduced us to Nick Brown, the President of Merlex Stucco.
Nick came for a tour, instantly got the project and wanted
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The Real Issue
by Robert Fortunato on August 31st, 2011 No Comments »

Yesterday’s paper printed our letter ( combined with a response from one of the uphill neighbors in the article from Saturday’s front page ( We are glad to see the neighbors are starting to understand that our solar array will be BELOW the height limit and we are building in
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Dwelling on William McDonough and Ed Begley Jr’s Keynotes
by Robert Fortunato on June 25th, 2011 No Comments »

Watching Bill McDonough’s expanded version of his TED talk at the Dwell conference Friday night was extraordinary.  He is one of the key sources of inspiration for the Green Idea House.
Ed took the stage Sunday afternoon with a vigor and clarity that was masked in the nature of his “living
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Easy Reader Covers GIH Participation in the EPN Solar and Green Homes Tour!
by Robert Fortunato on May 28th, 2011 No Comments »

Many thanks to the Easy Reader reporter Rebecca Zisser for a great article.  During the tour she was very engaged, asked great questions and ultimately turned in a wonderful report.  Thank you for your interest in spreading the word.
P.S. One small correction:  “Fortunato first became interested in green technology
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Expo and House Tours Great Fun on Saturday!
by Robert Fortunato on May 24th, 2011 2 Comments »

We really appreciated the opportunity to be in the Water and Energy Expo in the morning and on the EPN Green and Solar house tour circuit in the afternoon.
We were impressed by the interested and engaged group that showed up.  Thanks to all our friends (old and new) that
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Last Chance for Free Scrap Lumber, Clean Sandy Soil or Chunks of Concrete!
by Robert Fortunato on May 5th, 2011 3 Comments »

Unfortunately, one of the people in the neighborhood (you know who you are) is complaining to the city about our lumber pile.  Therefore we have to get a dumpster out to the site in the next week.  So, if you need any of the above for projects from furniture to
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Knowing when Browner is Greener keeps Arsenic and Chromium out of Your Home and Garden
by Robert Fortunato on May 1st, 2011 No Comments »

We hired a contractor to replace the rotted mudsills and rim joists (see Foundational Problems).  The contractor normally uses green (in color) pressure treated lumber for that application.  Unfortunately, the green stuff contains arsenic and chromium that gets airborne when cut or drilled and can also leach into your soil
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New Video! How we diverted 97.5% of our demo waste from the landfill
by Robert Fortunato on April 30th, 2011 No Comments »

The video clip is taken from the April 26th Hermosa Beach City Council meeting:
Also, We’ve attached (SBESC Letter) a very kind letter from Jacki and Marilyn at the South bay Environmental Savings Center thanking us for speaking at the South Bay Cities Council of Governments meeting on
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Happy Earth Day! Beach Reporter Prints Article on GIH Progress
by Robert Fortunato on April 22nd, 2011 No Comments »

Eric Michael Stitt very kindly marked our first big milestone: Owners save 97.5 percent of razed home

Foundational Problems
by Robert Fortunato on April 18th, 2011 No Comments »

Wanting to save as much of the existing building as possible, we wrestled with skinning the stucco off the building; but in the end we are glad we did.  In 1959 the original builders poured the foundations too low.  Therefore the stucco was wicking moisture into the mudsills and rim
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got dirt?
by Robert Fortunato on March 29th, 2011 No Comments »

In the spirit of recycling, we have about 15 cubic yards of FREE clean sandy soil available.  Come and take as much or as little as you need. Easily accessible with a bobcat or just shovel it in to your truck.
Just let us know when you are coming so
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The Stone Age Ends When You Run Out of Stones
by Robert Fortunato on January 10th, 2011 No Comments »

Our friend Ewen, from Scotland, wanted to know if we were going to pack up our “tree” (see Christmas Rocks! post), put it in the attic and pull it out again next year.  We had other plans for it…
Our High Water post explained why we want to keep the storm
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Christmas Rocks!
by Robert Fortunato on December 24th, 2010 No Comments »

The rubble in our front yard gave us a opportunity to build something while waiting for our building permits. In the spirit of the holidays it is titled   “Love, Joy and Peace(s)”
Seasons Greetings to everyone and all the best in the New Year!

High Water Mark Achieved in Record Setting Rain
by Robert Fortunato on December 24th, 2010 No Comments »

We all know fresh water is a precious commodity in So. California.  Hearing what the TreePeople are doing to harvest rainwater and manage the overflow on site to replenish the aquifer sounds like a good idea.  This benefits the ocean water quality by keeping that storm from running into the
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Recycled Christmas Tree Cycles Back
by Robert Fortunato on December 22nd, 2010 No Comments »

Our son Carter is very happy to see his old friend from last year (see photo), thanks to Scotty Claus and his elves at The Living Christmas Company.  This is an amazing group that helps cut carbon – not trees.  Their innovative business makes it easy to support a forest. 
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GIH Overcomes Concrete Thinking
by Robert Fortunato on November 9th, 2010 No Comments »

We are tackling the site work on our project while we wait for our plan set revisions from the city to go back through our engineers and draftsman.  The site work includes undergrounding the utilities.  By code we have to underground the electrical, cable and phone to
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Greywater gets Clearer
by Robert Fortunato on October 21st, 2010 No Comments »

Last week we hosted a meeting with Leigh Jerrard from Greywater Corps who is doing innovative, yet simple and affordable things in the water conservation arena.  Leigh led six of us through a very informative dialogue on making the reuse of laundry and shower water for irrigation easy, practical and
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Digging in to the Project
by Robert Fortunato on October 14th, 2010 No Comments »

Over the past year, many friends and neighbors like Patrick Moore and Jim Catella of the Manhattan Beach Botanical Garden adopted the plants and large stones from our yard.  As a result we managed to divert tons of material from the landfill.  Thank you!
But we still had a
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by Robert Fortunato on September 1st, 2010 No Comments »

In preparation for our move out and construction, we are having a garage sale and succulent sale on Saturday Sept. 4th from 8:30am to 3pm.  Lots of Stuff!  Toys, books, housewares, tools…  Think of it as recycling!
1556 Prospect Avenue,  Hermosa Beach, CA, 90254