It's hard to walk out your front door without being pitched the newest "green" product, but it's not always as easy in DC to find companies devoted to beautiful design AND completely eco-friendly procedures. So when we stumbled across DC-based Down to Earth Design Inc. in Scott Sowers' Chesapeake Home article, we knew we'd want to take a closer look at this innovative company which offers not only green structures but also workshops on how to build them yourself. Can you guess what the student-built garden shed above is made of?
Straw...as in scare-crow! One of Down to Earth Design's commonly employed natural building techniques is to cover straw bales in plaster as natural insulation for the walls. Additionally, Sigi Koko, Down to Design's head, and his students constructed a living roof, allowing for vegetation to grow and add to the beauty and functionality of the garden shed. The rustic doors and windows of this idyllic shed are reclaimed from a previous renovation.
In addition to building new structures, they also offer eco-friendly renovations that maximize the natural resources of the site's location (i.e. sunlight and surrounding vegetation,) and incorporate recycled materials such as salvaged tile in gorgeous new mosaic forms.
To learn more about the company, their services, and their (often FREE) workshops, visit their website.