The results of the first systematic study of green buildings are in and they look good! Specifically, the study filtered sample data to Class A office buildings larger than 200,000 sf, 5 stories or more, built since 1970, and multi- tenanted. To compare green versus non-green, they used Energy Star and non-Energy Star buildings, and therefore, the sample contained 223 Energy Star buildings (111.7 million square feet) and 2,077 non-Energy Star buildings (889.1 million square feet). The results: (1) HIGHER occupancy rates, (2) HIGHER rental rates, and (3) HIGHER sales prices psf for Energy Star buildings.
Portland has tons of LEED buildings, but they’re hoping to claim the greenest residential condo tower in the United States. The Casey Condominiums is on track to be the first residential building in the U.S. to receive LEED Platinum certification. Sitting on the corner of NW 12th and Everett, which is smack dab in the Pearl District, this 16-story tower will have 61 units averaging just over 2,000 sf in size. Word is they’re 70% pre-sold, too. And in addition to 4,200 sf of ground-floor retail space, the luxury, eco-tower will feature a multi-faceted glass art installation (as you can see in some of the images).
Ciralight caught the attention of a few attendees at this year’s Greenbuild 2007 exhibition. Their flagship product, SunTrackerOne, is free-standing, solar-powered, and completely self-contained. SunTrackerOne has three mirrors that track and reflect the sun into buildings through a thermal barrier, light well, and diffuser. It’s different than passive lighting because it collects more light and diffuses it more effectively throughout a building. This lighting system is a major green innovation to keep an eye on, especially since Ciralight touts a seductive 15 – 35% return on investment on energy savings alone.
If this project doesn't exhibit the power of celebrity, I don't know what does. Brad Pitt has been able to bring serious innovation to the Lower Ninth Ward — this cool concept is becoming a serious reality. The Make It Right Project involves some of the most talented architects in the country, and they're building low-income, high-design, sustainable homes. It's incredible.