Articles - September, 2007

America's First + Greenest Private Spaceport

Spaceport

It’s not an airport, it’s a spaceport–a commercial station for the burgeoning business of space travel.  As you can see from the renderings, this structure is the New Mexico Spaceport Authority Building, aka Spaceport America, which was designed by Foster + Partners (and SMCP Architects).  As the first private spaceport in America, Spaceport America will be built to LEED Platinum standards.  Perhaps more importantly, the building should have minimal impact on the surrounding environment: "the low-lying form is dug into the landscape to exploit the thermal mass, which buffers the building from the extremes of the New Mexico climate as well as catching the westerly winds for ventilation. Natural light enters via skylights, with a glazed façade reserved for the terminal building, establishing a platform for the coveted views onto the runway."  The project is expected to cost about $31 million and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic will be the main tenant. 

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WIRED LivingHome Construction WebCam, 2 Days

Wired LivingHome 1

It looks like construction on the WIRED Livinghome began this morning and there’s a webcam documenting the process.  There’s an archive of stills at frequent intervals, so you can click over and view the entire process from the beginning (or every thing that’s been completed so far).  All the main parts are supposed to be complete by September 7, and we’ll be able to get a pretty good picture of what the final home will look like.  Also, if you’re interested in green prefab, the official WIRED LivingHome website, which fully launches on September 25, has some videos on deconstruction and factory-built homes. 

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New Haworth Center HQ Setting Green Example

Haworth Center

I really like Haworth.  In short, Haworth is a leader in office furniture and architectural interiors.  They do everything with a commitment to appealing aesthetics, thoughtful ergonomics, and sustainability.  I came in contact with some Haworth employees when I was finishing my JD/MBA program in Dallas, and they gave me a personal tour of the super-stylish Dallas showroom (a commercial interiors office display built to LEED-CI Gold standards).  Now, Haworth is working on a major, award-winning overhaul of their Holland, Michigan Headquarters.  The 300,000 sf renovation was designed to meet LEED-NC Gold standards; some of the building’s green features include the following:

  • The new facade will have a sun-filled atrium and vegetated green roof, blending the boundary between the structure and natural environment;
  • All of the interior 830 workstations will have access to daylight views;
  • Over 99% of the existing materials collected during deconstruction and recovery are being recycled; and
  • Although the footprint of the building will increase by 20%, energy use will remain at pre-renovation levels due to sustainability improvements. 

Of the green headquarters, Haworth Chairman Dick Haworth said, "The new Haworth Center will be a leading example of change. We’re not just building a better building … we’re building a better future."

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