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Icons 1423866253 discovery green dollhouse Green Dollhouse

Dollhouses are wonderful miniature worlds. They allow our imagination to fill their spaces with characters, settings, and lives. Dollhouses invite us to arrange rooms, practice furniture selection, placement, and playhouse by moving scaled figurines in, on, and around. Most dollhouses have front and side facades with an open back. The front usually has windows that give views into the house. Sometimes there is even an operating front door. Side elevations often have windows as well. Dollhouses provide endless hours of fun and imaginary play. They contain homemade furniture- tables, chairs, beds, dressers, and other miniatures. Like a real home, rooms are painted and decorated. A green dollhouse is a scaled house that shares strategies for saving energy in full-scale homes. It is a Green Demonstration Dollhouse!

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Activity 1 – Dollhouses

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Start a treasure hunt to find old, used dollhouses or build your own. For this mission, consider time, money, and abilities. What is your timeframe to find or create a dollhouse? Take photos, or make drawings of three different dollhouses. First, look at the House Styles journey. List style characteristics for your dollhouse-like gable roof with overhangs, porches, windows on all sides, etc. Next, look into the principal rooms. Take a photograph of the inside, front facade, and two side elevations: label key rooms and features of the dollhouse. Compose your pictures, drawings, titles, and text on a poster and upload it to Activity 1 Green Dollhouses.

Activity 2 – Green Home Strategies

There are many strategies to ‘green a house’ beyond changing its color. While painting a house green is an aesthetic or visual change, making performative changes in the ways the house uses energy and interacts with air, water, and energy systems introduces functional changes as ‘green’ strategies. Please take a look at the Green Home Journey. You will find that there are both passive and active strategies. Passive approaches use natural earth, air, water, and climate systems to improve energy and water. Site orientation, natural ventilation, and indigenous vegetation are green steps to situate, ventilate, hydrate, and ventilate a real house. The introduction of active technology and operating systems adds water filters, pipe insulation, wall insulation, roof insulation, gutters, downspouts, rain barrels, and rain gardens. It may even add solar thermal panels for hot water and a wind vane to capture wind energy. A digital meter connects the house to a smart grid to improve energy use during off-peak times. Look at Building Like Bodies Journeys and see that the systems in homes work together much like the human body’s systems support and interact together. Outline possible improvements that help reduce energy use, improve natural ventilation, conserve, and store and heat water. Make a poster that presents 7-10 green home strategies. Add diagrams, drawings, or photographs to show green installations using your favorite dollhouse as a backdrop.

Activity 3 – Green Demonstration Dollhouses

It is time to label your strategies on a real dollhouse, from pictures to a live demonstration.

First, pick the green plans you think are the most important and the most possible to accomplish in retrofitting a home. Then, brainstorm how to build or show these ideas. Following are a few examples:
Rope: Clothesline for sun drying clothes
Window Quilts: Cloths drapes cover windows in extreme cold
Windows: Double/triple-thick windows prevent temperature exchange
Soup Can: RainWater Drum for garden irrigation
Solar Thermal: Tubes folded into a box
**Photo Voltaic:
Screen Capture these and mount them on a southern roof
Pipe Insulation: Cotton pads wrapped around straws
On-demand water heater: Unlike water heater cylinders, these flat radiators mounted on the wall of the room they serve
Vegetable Garden: planted herbs and vegetables alongside your dollhouse
These are just a few ideas for your project. You can think up even more! Label and install as many green strategies as you can find. Please take a photo of your green dollhouse, upload it to the Gallery, and display it at your school! Consider making some of these changes in your home!

Activity 4 – Design a Green Dollhouse

Now that you are becoming a green house expert try your hand at designing green dollhouses for children. What are the key points that you will want to ‘build’ into your design? Think about what you have learned from your study of dollhouses. How can all of the strategies be incorporated into the design of the dollhouse? How will they change the way the house looks and how it performs. Which ones will you make visible? A small model that you can hold with one hand will be 1/8” scale or 1”= 8’-0”. One floor of a house is at least 8’0” tall so if you have a two story house it would be approximately 2 “ tall. You can draw this and see that this is very tiny. Take a look at ¼” scale or 1” = 4’-0”? If your first and second floors are 10’-0” tall, how much taller would this make your model? (Answer: 2 stories x 10’’-0” tall each story = 20’; 20’ divided by 4 feet per inch = 5 inches tall!) Building a model that is even larger like ½ “ scale will result in a how tall of a model? (Hint: Use the same equation but plug in the new number 2). Make a list of green objects, systems and ideas that you want to include. Make conceptual sketches of possible arrangements of the elements of the rooms, walls, yard and roof of the house you will design and construct. Study two to three schemes and choose one to build. Make your model as neatly as possible. Put a Green Dollhouse key on the roof of the house that color codes green strategies. You are on your way to becoming a green building expert!

Looking for inspiration? Take a look at these Green Dollhouse Projects for exciting ways to build a green dollhouse.

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