Do you read GreenSource? There’s a free read of the April 2007 edition of GreenSource online. I highly recommend it, if you have a little free time and a fast connection. It’s a quarterly production, supported by the editors of McGraw-Hill Construction, BuildingGreen, Inc., and the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). GreenSource has a circulation of about 42,000 readers. In March 2007, it was given the prestigious Neal Award for Best Start-Up Publication. I spent way too much time online reading the articles…it just sucked me right in.
Recently, an Atkins office complex concept received big-time coverage by being awarded the 2007 MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects Award in the Office category. I’m blogging about it because I like some of the sustainable elements. The 180 meter Al Sharq tower includes an executive gym, health club, spa, and swimming pool at the top. The building also features planted sky gardens in strategic locations where people can step outside, take a break, soak in the view, and think. Commenting on the building’s unique green attributes, Nicholas Bailey of Atkins in Bahrain said:
This is a green building – literally – because of its foliage camouflage. Vertical fins to the street elevation, formed in colored glass, are fitted with integrated solar panels that contribute to the building’s energy needs. The project showcases a new way of building the working environment. It is no longer a cage to confine workers, but a creative living environment to encourage productivity. The groundbreaking concept of the project is the provision of different scenarios where business can take place. More images below.
+Atkins Office Concept Wins International Award [atkins global]
+Kuwait Office Development Short listed for MIPIM Award [WAN]
Let’s face it, less is more. What you see is the micro compact home, aka m-ch, which is a 76 sf home designed by Richard Horden, a professor at Technical University of Munich (TUM). m-ch was designed to meet the growing demand for short-stay living. I think Horden’s on to something. Right now, there’s a horde of 7 m-chs that TUM students and staff occasionally stay in. But there’s also a 16-unit village of m-chs being developed for a site near Vienna, Austria.
What’s great about the m-ch is its high-tech design. It’s all geeked out with the latest in electronics and technology. Future models plan to use solar panels and horizontal-axis wind turbines to make the home self-sustaining. For $96,000 (delivery + installation anywhere in Europe), you get a sliding table for 5, two 7.5 foot beds, shelves and drawers, an electrical systems control panel, bathroom and shower, and a kitchen with a microwave, fridge/freezer, sink, waste unit, and work surface. For a quick jaunt and a little fun, what more could you ask for? Via Wired. Cool images below the fold.
The images you see are for a development in Denmark called the "Danish Light*house," a collaboration between UNStudio, 3xn, and Gehl Architects. Light*house is the winner of the competition for a new Aarhus harbor front. In addition to the 140 meter residential tower, the project includes the ancillary buildings also on the water front. With sub-level parking and no parking on ground level, one goal of Light*house is to create a walkable environment that draws visitors to the water. Although details are still in general terms, starting sometime in 2008, it will be built to the newest energy standards and sustainable building practices. Light*house will have a healthy mix of rental + owner-occupied housing; a large portion of the project will include non-profit rental housing. When construction is complete in 2010, the project owners hope to have the harbor front in Denmark. More pics below the jump. Via.
Modus Development is an innovative development group that works with infill sites in good locations to enhance the value of the land by improving the quality of life for those that live on it. How do they do that? With modern, cutting-edge, green designs. Currently, Modus is working on a 9 townhouse project in Scottsdale, Arizona, called Array. Each townhouse in Array will have a 2-kilowatt photovoltaic system provided by American Solar Electric. The system is expected to generate about 28,800 kilowatt hours of electricity annually and offset roughly 30,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, Modus is building the project to LEED standards, which will make it the second LEED-certified project in the area. According to Ed Gorman, President of Modus Development, "By adding the solar panels to the rooftops of every home, we create homes that are both architecturally unique and cost very little to operate." Each 3-story townhome will have about 1,800 sf, with 2-bedrooms, a den/office/bedroom option, 2.5 bathrooms, and a detached 2-car garage.
This year’s Met Home Design 100 list has a ton of green projects and products and one of the magazine’s choices is the David Hertz LivingHome shown above. Built from a unique, aluminum-based panelized system, the Hertz home is about 2,650 sf with four bedrooms + four bathrooms. For ease of reference, I’m going to refer to this home as DH1 (see also RK1 and RK2), which I think works because in all likelihood, LivingHomes will feature more Hertz designs in the future. DH1 features a green roof and a private balcony that can be accessed by three of the four bedrooms. And like the other LivingHome prefab products, it will be LEED certified.
At a price point of about $215 psf, I hear LivingHomes is looking for the right client to take the plunge on DH1. What does it take? (1) land in or near Los Angeles, (2) intent to build within the next six months, (3) a budget of about +$750,000, (4) interest in building a green home, and (5) tolerance and patience throughout the process.
To me, this is a no-brainer. If I were out of college and established in business, I’d plop down a million in a heartbeat just to get the DH1 built and use it as a vacation home (at a minimum). I’d buy it for the joy of having one of the greenest prefabs in the country and I’d let all my friends stay in it. Actually, I’d probably hire a management company to lease it out by the day, week, or month, so anyone in the world could test out the joys of living in a modern + green home. I’d invite builders from all over the country to stay in it for free and showcase the green benefits. I’d make green viral. That’s what you can do with a great-looking, high-performance home like the DH1.