Being eco-friendly is getting easier every day as green experts come up with new ways to be green. One important way to go green is the green driveway.

How does it work?

You may be wondering how a driveway can be green, but if you have a concrete or asphalt driveway then much of the rainfall you get will run through your driveway, picking up pollutants. This water makes its way back into rivers and other large bodies of water. A green driveway, however, will often be made of non-pollutant materials, and reduce water run-off

How do I make it happen?

The best way to incorporate green ideas into your driveway is to use a sustainable drainage system, or SuDS. Here are a couple ways to do that.

  • Open-cell pavers. These are lattices of concrete. Grass is planted in the holes of the lattice. Multiple layers of clean stone go under the pavers in order to support vehicles.
  • Gravel. Gravel is often a good solution as well, though it requires a plastic underlay to maximize ground absorption.

Have questions about how to incorporate green ideas into your driveway? Get in touch with us online.

Much has said about the city of London leading up to Friday’s opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games. As athletes, the media and attendees descend on the city, we want to take a look at London’s part in making this the greenest games in the history of the Olympics. Our friends at Inhabitat take a look at three of the main venues to see if London has lived up to the hype.

First, lets start with Olympic Stadium, the site for the opening and closing ceremonies.

London 2012 Olympic Stadium

This venue  is the lightest Olympic Stadium ever built, using just a tenth of the steel required to build Beijing’s “Bird’s Nest”. Although it’s aesthetic has been brought into question, it’s sustainability is considered head and shoulders above the competition.

The Velodrome, known affectionately as “The Pringle”, is the one of the greenest Olympic venues. According to Smart Planet, “The structure was designed with simple, affordable materials in mind, and the building has met or exceeded the Olympic Delivery Authority’s sustainability targets. Only 100 tons of steel were used, a tiny sum compared to the 3,000 used in the Aquatics Center that is roughly the same size.”

Photo via Inhabitat

All eyes will be on the Aquatics Center this year for the Michael Phelps-Ryan Lochte match-up. Inhabitat states that “The 866,000 ceramic tiles used for the changing rooms, pools and the poolside were delivered by train straight to the Olympic Park reducing transport emissions further – the organizers want to ensure that at least 50% of all construction materials are transported by water or rail.”

Photo via Inhabitat

Did London live up to the hype? Do you think it did it’s part in making these Olympic games the greenest we’ve seen?

When does technology overstep its bounds? Metropolis Magazine answers this and more in their in depth look at Google’s new Project Glass.

Google has this to say about Project Glass,

We think technology should work for you—to be there when you need it and get out of your way when you don’t.

A group of us from Google[x] started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment. We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input. So we took a few design photos to show what this technology could look like and created a video to demonstrate what it might enable you to do.


We are always thinking outside the box here at Trilogy Partners and are excited to see technology breaking down barriers, but are there some walls that should be left up? What are your thoughts?


A lot of things have changed on this year’s season of AMC’s hit TV show Mad Men. The show, which has been off the air since October 2010, came back bigger than ever with a record number of 3.5 million US viewers tuning in to Sunday’s two-hour premiere. Besides Don Draper’s new wife Megan, played by Canadian actress Jessica Pare, Draper is also sporting a new Mid-century modern pad in Manhattan.

The LA Times has featured a look inside this great apartment for those of us obsessed with the show.

Photo via the LA Times


Photo via the LA Times


Photo via the LA Times


Photo via the LA Times

According to the LA Times, set decorator Claudette Didul, drew inspiration from “two books by 1960s bestselling interior design author Betty Pepis and “Decoration U.S.A.,” a 1965 collaboration between Jose Wilson and Arthur Leaman.”

What do you think about Don’s new abode?


The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is working in conjunction with The Home Depot to create an online green home products database.  The green database will feature products from The Home Depot that will help homeowners take steps in becoming more environmentally conscious in their home.

“The LEED green building program helps homeowners measure green home performance across a range of categories, and products play an important role in achieving certification,” said Nate Kredich, vice president of Residential Development at USGBC. “This database represents just one of the many ways in which The Home Depot is advancing sustainable, efficient and healthy homes by supporting green building and green products.”

“As the world’s largest home improvement retailer, we want to show our customers that building green can be easy and affordable,” said Lindsay Chason, senior manager of Environmental Innovation at The Home Depot. “We have innovative, environmentally-friendly products that make LEED certification simpler. Now through our partnership with U.S. Green Building Council and their LEED for Homes program, we are simplifying the process of bringing healthier, greener homes to reality.”

Currently there are over 2,500 products on the website. To learn more about this green initiative or to make your home a little more “green” visit

Melissa Rappaport Schifman just wanted to do the right thing. She never imagined it would take a 342-page manual and three years of her life.

It started when Melissa and her husband, Jim Schifman, bought a 1950s rambler “as is” on a corner lot across from Cedar Lake in Minneapolis. They had planned to remodel the modest house using green methods and materials, but when they discovered that it would be costly to solve moisture issues in the basement, they decided to start from scratch.

True to their green desires, they hired Deconstruction Services, a nonprofit affiliated with the Green Institute, to remove and recycle the wood flooring, cabinets, appliances, even the toilets. “We struggled with tearing down a home, so we were glad it was recycled,” Melissa said. Then they set their sights on building a sustainable, energy-efficient, healthy home that would lower their energy consumption (and costs) and offer views of the lake.

“We have so many choices when building and remodeling,” Melissa said. “Why not be thoughtful and choose products that are better for your health and environment?”

But the Schifmans weren’t just going to just dabble in green features. They wanted to go for the features that make the most difference: a geothermal heating and cooling system, photovoltaic solar panels and wood harvested from sustainably managed forests. They also wanted the ultimate stamp of environmental approval: LEED certification.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a green-building certification program, which promotes the design and construction of green homes. It’s based on a rating system with categories such as site selection, water efficiency, materials and resources, energy and indoor environment quality. To get the certification, a home has to be inspected during and after construction.

“When someone says their home is green, it’s questionable,” Melissa said. “With a LEED home, all the benefits have been verified by a third party.”

Typically, homeowners hire a green building consultant to do the time-consuming task of certification. But Melissa, who had experience in financial analysis and renewable energy, wanted to tackle the job herself.

“This would be a great thing for me to go through,” she said. “I wanted to find out if it was the wave of the future or a big pain in the rear.”

When she received the 342-page LEED reference manual from the U.S. Green Building Council, she decided it was the latter.”I was excited because it was a gold mine of information for building a healthy, energy-efficient home,” she said. “At the same time, my heart sank knowing how much work I would have to put into it.”


Before Melissa even cracked open the manual, the couple had to decide what style of home they wanted to build for themselves and their two young daughters. “We’d always liked contemporary homes,” said Melissa. “They use space well, have open floor plans and lots of windows. That style worked well with our green goals.”

They’d seen Duluth architect David Salmela’s modern designs for the Jackson Meadow community in Marine on St. Croix, Minn., and the book on him, “Salmela Architect.”

“We liked his whimsical touches and his sense of practicality and efficient use of space,” Melissa said. “We knew his designs connected a home to the Earth. That’s why we chose him.”

The Schifmans arranged the first of many meetings, not only with Salmela but also the builder, the mechanical and electrical engineers and the landscaper, to talk about building a home to LEED standards.

Salmela eventually designed a clean-lined, L-shaped home with a wall of windows facing the lake. The home is in two structures, which total 4,800 square feet and are connected by a breezeway. The family living spaces are on the main floor and the three bedrooms are upstairs. Melissa requested a home office above the garage so she could be away from distractions. The finished basement has a playroom for the girls and guest bedroom that doubles as an exercise room.

“We were able to design a beautiful house that wasn’t just about sustainability and energy efficiency,” Salmela said. “It’s enjoyable to live in, connects to the site and fits in the neighborhood.”


Melissa’s number crunching helped them choose the most efficient products and materials. “I figured out what you get the most bang for the buck,” she said. “I like doing cost-benefit analysis. It’s fun.”

Her favorite eco features are the two small green roofs, over the entry hall and the garage. The plants absorb rainwater runoff, help insulate the home and extend the life of the roof. And they’re beautiful to look at. “By July, the sedum will have red and yellow flowers,” Melissa said. “Plus we got LEED points for them.”

In 2009, the house was done, but Melissa was far from completing the LEED certification. In fact, she started a blog to help her get through the process. Although the blog was more work, she felt that a public daily journal would make her more accountable and help her understand the LEED point process. “I went through the checklist and wrote about my experience on the blog,” she said. “It gave me the discipline to get it done.”

Melissa spent hours (200, she estimates) calculating everything from waste diversion rates to how much water flowed from faucets. She tracked down subcontractors to find out where they got their supplies and materials to determine if they were locally sourced. “There were times when I thought if I stop doing this – would anyone care?” she said.

In the end, the work paid off. The family got a sustainable, energy-efficient house that they said they never want to leave. And Melissa got a new career. After passing the LEED exam, she became a LEED Homes Accredited Professional, which means builders and homeowners can hire her to consult on their green projects.

She’s also a partner in Resonance Companies, where she works as a sustainability consultant for small businesses. She’s still blogging ( and is working on a book about her experience.

In a few weeks, she should get official confirmation: The Schifman residence will be the 11th LEED certified home in Minneapolis.

Melissa and Jim are very happy with their home, but they do have one regret: “Living green shouldn’t be so hard and inconvenient or cost more,” Melissa said. “We hope in the future it will just be the normal way of living.”


About a decade ago my brother and I bought 2 lots in the Highlands Development in Breckenridge. On one of them we decided to build a spec home.  We needed a design concept and the one I came up with involved a story. After all, I did come from the movie business, and a good movie (or project) always begins with a good story. The story of this house would be this:  Once upon a time around the early 1900s a man named Caleb (don’t ask me why his name was Caleb, it just popped into my head) decided to build a home for himself. He’d been building homes for other people all his life, and now it was his turn. Caleb was a saver. Over the years after each project he had taken the leftover materials, beams, siding, boards, and saved them in a big pile behind his tiny cabin. Until one day he decided he had enough of these leftovers to build an entire house.

So, with Caleb’s Journey I first began to design and build using reclaimed and recycled materials. The result was fantastic. Not only were we doing something good for the environment, but the reclaimed siding made the garage doors look fantastic and truly original.  The reclaimed flooring and ceiling cladding gave the interior great depth of character. I’ll talk more about my use of reclaimed materials in later postings, but here’s some photos of the home we called Caleb’s Journey.

965 N Ten Mile Dr. , Unit A1 Frisco, CO 80443
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