One week down and many more to go on the way to the extreme green kitchen. In our first week of research and design we have come up with tons of features we would like to see in the kitchen that will maximize space while minimizing waste. First and foremost we have looked at a wide variety of cabinetry and shelving. Most cabinetry is built off of the wall, but we hope to incorporate internalized storage units being those that are either recessed or “hidden”. Either of which would give the kitchen a lighter feel. We have also looked at slotted wall units, that apply most readily to canned foods, thus freeing up space in the pantry. We also have been playing around with the idea of mobile base cabinets, which could slide out and lock in place along side the countertop to create additional space for food preparation, or could “unlock” and roll out to become an island. Another storage option could be open shelving above, below, or to the side (cantilevered fold down shelf) of existing cabinets, that is if cabinets were placed above the countertop.
When it comes to food you automatically think of the refrigerator, we love the idea of minimizing its physical and visual dominance so we have been looking at integrated refrigeration systems like Sub-Zero’s 700BR Refrigeration Drawers, they look amazing and fit easily into any kitchen decor by simply altering the face plating. Another plus is that they are energy star certified. The down side is that they are rather expensive so we are in the process of looking for similar models. If we succeed in minimizing the refrigerator then a “pantry”(additional storage for non perishable goods) could be added to take its place. While considering this we realized that smaller fridges are great for energy consumption but not so great for people buying locally, especially those who by meat from farmers markets to be stored in large quantities. So we are bouncing around the idea of “The Veg” or “The Meat” kitchen, which would offer different refrigerator and overall storage options based on the home owner’s needs.
In addition to energy conservation we have been looking at solutions to minimize wasted water. Most specifically when it comes to the faucet, there are a few options out there for the kitchen, less than the bathroom when it comes to water conservation mainly because low flow fixtures are less practical for the kitchen and greywater systems are usually shunned. So we have been setting our hopes high by seeking out foot pedal sinks and automatic faucets. Although both are appealing and both save tons of water throughout the year they are a bit pricy so we will continue to shop around. However we are gravitating toward an automatic sink with a manual override or timer, but we will see.
Last but not least we have been scooping out our waste management options, considering trash and recycling units, as well as composters. We hope to find a recycling unit that compresses plastics and papers but have yet to discover such an item that actually exists. Perhaps it only exists in our dreams but we will continue to be on the look out. As far as composters go there are a few options that seem viable and intriguing which are designed for the kitchen instead of the garden. But this decision comes with an essential discussion of nutrient rich soil for urban farming and or backyard gardens, which we hope will come into play, and which we will discuss further shortly. As for now we implore you to mull over what we have written, look over the following pictures and send any suggestions our way that you would like to see included in the new design.
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