Articles - June, 2008

Treasured LEED Space, Going Off-Grid, Roof Lawns, Envirogees, + Solar Costs [WIR]

Week in Review

*WIR = Week in Review; a Saturday showcase of excellent links.

A Stunning Flatpak House in Aspen, CO

Flatpak Night

This is a Flatpak house in Aspen, Colorado.  I stumbled upon these shots in Flickr, so I don’t have much background on the project.  But we’ve featured a modern Flatpak home before in the Goodwin-Wise Flatpak.  Flatpak houses each have their own particular and interesting features, but the Flatpak system is the same.  It’s a menu of components for living that includes walls, cabinets, bathrooms, kitchen, and various built-ins.  The components are fabricated and designed to meet the needs of the site and owner.

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New Report Shows Economic Value of Green Building Certification

20bill

In a newly released working paper by John Quigley, Piet Eichholtz, and Nils Kok titled Doing Well by Doing Good? Green Office Buildings, the authors discuss the economic value of green building certification in the commercial sector.  They matched publicly available information on 694 certified green buildings (Energy Star and LEED) with 7489 other office buildings located within a quarter mile of the certified green buildings.  The research revealed systematic evidence that rents for green buildings are about 2% higher than rents for comparable buildings located nearby.  Effective rents, or those adjusted for the occupancy levels in the building, are about 6% higher in green buildings than in comparable office buildings nearby.  The authors deduce therefrom that at a generalized cap rate of 6%, conversion of a non-green building to an equivalent green building would add more than $5 million in market value.  Wow!

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Jetson Green Goes Green for NBA Finals

The Big Perk

This year, unlike years in the past, JG has decided to take a serious look at the NBA Finals for the purpose of supporting the greenest team.  If you’ve been tucked away on another planet, you might not know that the NBA Finals start tonight between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.  It’s an age-old rivalry between two classic teams, and the Celtics are in the clear lead when playing each other (8-2 all time in NBA Finals).  But we’re not going for the Celtics because of their winning tradition, or the mad skills of Pierce, Garnett, Rondo, and Allen.  We’re not even pulling for the Celtics because Perkins has been going berserk in the Playoffs.  We’re going for the Celtics because they’re GREEN.  The color, that is.  And as much as I like the Lakers, it’s kind of hard to argue with that.

++Coverage Starts @ 8:30 pm EST

Wentworth Commons Sets Standard for Green, Low Income Housing

Wentworth

Wentworth Commons is a 51-unit, 65,800 sf affordable housing complex in Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood.  As a home for at-risk and formerly homeless families and individuals, Wentworth Commons has been recognized for its trendy aesthetics and functional green design.  The $13 million project has a slew of green features, including a 33 kWh PV system that provides 25% of the building’s power, a hyper efficient mechanical system, extensive use of locally sourced materials and rapidly renewable materials, and native plantings and bio-swale to reduce storm water runoff. 

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Wind Turbines Big and Small at WINDPOWER 2008

Broadstar

This is a guest post provided by Maria Surma Manka direct from WINDPOWER 2008.  Maria writes about renewable energy policy, innovation, and private sector leadership at Maria Energia.

Greetings from Houston, site of the American Wind Energy Association’s WINDPOWER 2008 conference. I am a guest of AWEA and have spent the last few days meeting several of the 12,000 attendees and visiting many of the nearly 800 exhibitors.  Below are some of the interesting small wind turbine designs I found.

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