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Posted at 10:57 AM ET, 05/24/2006

Goin' Green

By Julia Beizer

The real estate market is hot. Shows like "Extreme Home Makeover" are even hotter. If you're into ecological living or actually enjoy Saturday trips to Home Depot, a new National Building Museum exhibition is for you.

"The Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture and Design" is based on the premise that environmentally friendly designs need not be ugly. Through photographs, sample materials and a full-sized replica of a "green" house in California, the exhibit suggests little steps humans can take to build in a more sustainable way.

Read on for highlights of the exhibit.

The best part is the house replica. Upon first walking into the exhibit, visitors enter a full-service, mod-looking house. It's only upon inspecting the tables, chairs and countertops that one realizes how every piece in this house is made from recycled products or renewable materials like bamboo.

Later in the exhibit, visitors can touch materials like recycled glass tiles and environmentally friendly Terrazzo flooring. Taken together, these two sections of the exhibit give the best sense of what options are out there for those who want to make a more eco-friendly home.

I wasn't quite as impressed with the panels describing other green design projects around the world. This part of the exhibit is very text-heavy, offering only a few photographs of each housing project. If I were more passionate about design -- or had a house to be remodeled and money to remodel it -- I might have been more interested, but with even a few visitors in the room, reading space around the panels was crowded. I'd advise visitors to check out one or two of these stories and then spend most of your time playing with the materials.

For those who can't get enough sustainable architecture, programs tonight and tomorrow at the Marian Koshland Science Museum and U.S. Botanic Garden might strike your fancy.

If you have already seen the exhibit, write a review!


By Julia Beizer  | May 24, 2006; 10:57 AM ET
Categories:  Museums  
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I actually visited the NBM this weekend and it was wonderful: it's not crowded, very interesting, and accessible. However, there is one caviet (and I included a link to the bottom about what I'm talking about). The Hurricane Katrina is EXCELLENT, but the guestbook may raise some eyebrows:

Posted by: alec | May 24, 2006 4:58 PM | Report abuse

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