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Take a Tour of eBay’s Eco-House

Leon Kaye | Monday June 28th, 2010 | 0 Comments

On Friday night, the Dwell on Design 2010 Conference opened yesterday at the LA Convention.  Eco-friendly was a dominant theme in the exhibit hall, with a strong presence from LED light fixture designers, as well as solar energy providers and recycled building material companies.

The center of the exhibit floor was reserved for eBay’s eco-house.  Partnering with Levi’s, Reclaimed Space, and Pacific Sales, this chic house showcased the latest in innovative design, energy-efficient appliances, a living outdoor wall, and water-saving features, all without sacrificing style.

Just about everything in the house was either repurposed or designed with sustainability in mind.  Zem Joaquin, a former contributing editor at House and Garden and other publications and the current Editor-in-Chief of Ecofabulous, passionately led the tour, leaving no corner or über-cool detail ignored.  During a 20-minute tour, Joaquin pointed out the one-bedroom home’s highlights:

  • One feature you could not see but would feel was the insulation:  shredded Levi’s denim that insulated the house.
  • Yes, we know that line drying your clothes is the most eco-friendly way to dry your clothes, which is one reason why Levi’s is sponsoring a contest to design a new clothesline.  But for those who are in a hurry or need to dry clothes on a rainy day, a washer and dryer that can each do the job in 18 minutes, while saving water and energy, were in the kitchen, stacked vertically.  Such a kitchen layout may be a bit too European or Asian for American’s taste, but then again, wouldn’t you want to do those household chores all in one room anyway?
  • Don’t buy new; buy used.  The fact that eBay has become a clearing house allowing millions around the globe to empty their attics earns the tech giant a “green” star in my book.  The eco-house featured mid-century furniture in the living area, and Joaquin would snare the envy of any fashionista with the vintage clothes lined up in the bedroom closet.
  • Who would have guessed that the curtains were made from pineapple husks?  Carmen Miranda would have been proud.
  • Grey water systems are one of the most needed solutions to minimize housing’s impact on the environment.  The eco-house’s bathroom featured a Caroma commode directly below the sink—the waste water just flows into the toilet tank.  Yes, there was another sink in the bathroom for hygienic purposes—but such a loo would be perfect for a half-bath or powder room.

The Reclaimed Space-designed home is modular yet customizable—reducing not only the amount of building materials, but fuel needed to shop the materials as well.

Best of all, eBay’s eco-house and many of the items within it were auctioned off.  The auction ended yesterday, and the proceeds went to Global Green USA, a non-profit that fights climate change by advocating and creating green buildings and cities.

Would such a home work for you?  Share with us your thoughts, criticisms, and suggestions.


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