Articles - August, 2007

Jefferson Green Raises Bar for Commercial Buildings

Jefferson Green

Jefferson Green, not to be confused with Jetson Green, is one of only twelve LEED-CS Gold buildings in the country.  It’s also the first Gold commercial building and the largest and most energy-efficient LEED building in New Mexico.  AND it’s expected to be the first commercial building in New Mexico to certify under LEED-CI (this one Gold, too).  That’s a double Gold.  The three-story, 85,000 sf spec office building uses 30% less water and 45% less energy than the average local office building.  Designed by Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, Jefferson Green is a model for commercial buildings of the future.  The design called for some of the following features: underfloor air system, operable windows, water-efficient plumbing fixtures, xeric landscaping, low-VOC interior materials and applicants, IceStone countertops, Armstrong Dune ceiling tile, 3Form resin, and Forbo Marmoleum flooring.  The building received all the possible LEED points in the Indoor Environmental Quality category and almost all the possible points in the Water Efficiency category.  Nice work. 

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TrailerWrap Project, Mobile Home to Modern Pad

TrailerWrap Project

Exploring issues of sustainability and energy efficiency, the TrailerWrap Project aims to provide simple, affordable solutions to improve conditions in mass-produced, low-cost mobile homes.  Mobile homes are a prolific form of living, and important one, but they can be inefficient, ugly, and uncomfortable to live in.  So the University of Colorado at Denver College of Architecture cooked up sketches and prototypes, a kit to transform the common mobile home.  And now, that process is complete and they have the first actual TrailerWrap home.  I’m completely blown away by the results. 

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Michigan Home Skystream Video, Small Wind Benefits

Michigan Skystream

The Skystream here cost about $13k (including installation) and is intended to provide roughly 30-70% of the home’s energy, depending on weather conditions.  The video is interesting in that it shows the community reaction to the turbine: they love it.  Skystream turbines are good for places that have more than 1/2 acre of land and zoning that allows structures more than 42 feet tall.  Experts say the system should pay for itself over time, even without Michigan incentives.  Also visit the Skystream website. 

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