DEMAND SPREADS FOR WISE USE OF RESOURCES
*In 1992, Steve Loken built a home for his family that is a model of environmentally friendly construction.Skip to next paragraph
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As head of the Center for Resourceful Building Technology in Missoula, Mont., Mr. Loken wanted to show how homes can be tasteful, comfortable, and economical, and still be resource-efficient.
His house includes a rooftop light well that acts as a ''passive cooling system,'' sucking out hot summer air as well as bringing in daylight. Numerous recycled materials include an old cast-iron bathtub.
Meanwhile, as Loken's organization has built several more demonstration houses from Minneapolis to Martha's Vineyard, Mass., other groups have been focusing on similar issues:
*The American Institute of Architects has an active environmental committee. The institute oriented its 1993 annual meeting around the topic.
*Last November, the University of Florida's Center for Construction and Environment hosted an international conference on sustainable building practices.
*The Northwest EcoBuilding Guild, a Seattle-based regional group founded two years ago, has grown so much that it has monthly meetings in five cities.
*Resource guides are springing up, including the Harris Directory, a twice-yearly publication on computer disk covering sources for 700 building materials. It is produced in Seattle by B. J. Harris of Stafford Harris Inc.
*Wise resource use has precedents going back long before Earth Day. According to a recent report by Worldwatch in Washington, D.C., St. Albans Abbey in England, built 900 years ago, includes bricks from Roman ruins. Facing a shortage of fuel wood, ancient Greeks learned to capture solar heat with south-facing openings.