These days, we're seeing all sorts of companies take a leadership position with regard to sustainability. One of the ways they're distinguishing themselves is in obtained LEED or some other green building certification for corporate facilities and real estate. Wrigley, for instance, just received LEED Gold certification for their Global Innovation Center (GIC) in Chicago, Illinois. The building opened in May 2005 and is used to create consumer-driven products, packaging, and processes. GIC features some of the following green elements and strategies:
Here's another fascinating home by ZeroEnergy Design (see previously covered Truro Residence). It'scurrently under construction, with foundation, framing, and sheathing complete — the rest is on schedule for completion in Fall 2009. The 2300 square foot home features three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, and a combination yoga studio/art room for the owners. The lakefront home features strategically placed windows that both provide a view of water and take advantage of passive solar heating and lighting. Some of the other planned green features include:
We’ve heard that the value of green construction starts could reach $140 billion by 2013, but what about the market for green building materials? Thanks to a report by the Freedonia Group, Inc., we have some numbers to look at. According to the Green Building Materials to 2013 report released in February 2009, U.S. demand for green building products is expected to reach $80 billion by 2013. The market is currently at $57 billion, representing a whopping average 7.2% annual increase over the next five years.
Solarsmith, a green building firm out of Santa Fe, New Mexico, recently helped Betsy Armstrong and Richard Barr build an eco-friendly, traditional southwest-style home in the foothills of Santa Fe. The residence's roof is filled with solar panels, which are tied into the grid, helping to heat water for the radiant floors, exercise pool and appliances. Excess energy is fed to neighboring homes.
Wow, isn't this home striking? It's a green house and a house meant to act like a true greenhouse — the steel-framed structure is enveloped in alternating layers of insulated transparent glass and translucent polycarbonate plates, so when the sun comes through the glass and heats up the interior, the insulation in the glass keeps the heat inside. The insulation and translucent materials also provide a level of privacy, particularly on the first level, whereas the glass is featured prominently in the more public areas of the home.