[Run time = 2:21] If you’re a prefab enthusiast, you’ve probably heard of Hive Modular–they’re pushing the envelope on modern, highly-customized, affordable modular homes. I’ve included a short video with Paul Stankey talking about some of the benefits of modular building. Notice, prices are going to be variable due to extreme variations in land costs, but a Hive Modular will run about $100-200 per square foot, generally speaking. And while the company makes it’s homes energy-efficient and has less construction waste (than site built homes), their focus is on modern design. As the company’s relationships grow, they plan to incorporate more green amenities into their plans. Via Moco.
Dubai has money like no other place I’ve ever seen. They’re working to beat Taipei 101, so they can have the tallest building in the world. Now, they’ve announced this building called Times Residences, which is aiming to be the only rotating residential structure in the world. Solar energy will be stored and used to rotate the 80,000 ton, 30-floor structure, 52 degrees every 24 hours. The project will cost about $109M/Dh400. Construction is slated to begin June 2007 and end in the first quarter of 2009. Units will range in size from 1-5 bedrooms and everything will be up-scale + luxurious. The project was designed by Glenn Howells Architects + Palmer and Turner.
In total, there will be 200 residences and everyone will have a 360 degree view due to the solar- powered rotation. Apparently, one will also be able to tell time by the way the building is lined up, etc. Although prices for the residences have not been released, sales are expected to begin in March 2007. What’s more, the developer, Dubai Property Ring, plans to build 23 more rotating towers in each of the world’s time zones. Whether the building actually gets built is another story. And although the company states the technology will allow the building to rotate 5 mm/second using a mere 21 electric kettles’ worth of electricity, I’m thinking there must be a better use for all that solar power. What do you think? Via ecofriend.
Green building renovation is the future; there are so many inefficient structures and the time will come when deciding not to renovate a building would be similar to using a typewriter when you have a laptop. Why not start now? Natural Home Magazine is chronicling a developer who will take a seedy, dilapidated (Boerum Hill) Brooklyn building and remodel it with cutting edge technology and green features. The developers, Rolf Grimstead + Emily Fisher of R&E Brooklyn, bought it and plan to make it New York’s first American Lung Association Health House.
The interior will use IceStone recycled counters (C2C), salvaged wood or bamboo flooring, and Kirei board cabinets. Finishes will be with low or no-VOC water-based poly (American Pride). The house will be wired with solar energy via photovoltaic panels. Also, there will be a solar-thermal and gas-fired system to heat and cool the place. In addition, the developers will use the Health House criteria (regarding moisture + humidity control, energy efficiency, and air filtration + ventilation) to guide them in making the indoor air quality top notch. This should be an interesting project to follow throughout 2007.
93 Nevins/453 Pacific: 2 Eco-smart Townhouses [R&E Brooklyn]
Brownstoner Blog Post on the 2 Eco-smart Townhouses [Brownstoner]
Here on Jetson Green, there’s a tradition where I focus on a green skyscraper of notable interest. This weekly column is called Skyscraper Sunday (click to see archives). Last week, TVS Architects unveiled the design of what will be Charlotte’s second tallest building, the Wachovia Tower. It will be 48 stories, 800 feet tall, and have 1.5 million square feet of space, and Wachovia will eat up about half of the building in what seems to be long-term lease commitment. The word is, owners of the building will be seeking USGBC certification (not sure what level) and will include features such as recycled rainwater and a greenroof, obviously among many other green features. While there’s not much information on the project just yet, news reports suggest that the price tag will be about $880 million (seem a little high?). Via Hugg + Forex.
::"S2" is short for "Skyscraper Sunday," a weekly article on green skyscrapers posted every Sunday::
I hate to post this on Saturday, because I’m afraid it won’t get a large readership, but I wanted to talk about David Baker + Partners‘ (DBP) new design for a development called Blue Star Corner. The design is called the New Urban Home. The New Urban Home philosophy blends loft and condominium attitudes, with a modern feel that tends to build up–not out. This philosophy was brought to the Blue Star Corner development to create a sustainable (LEED for Homes), modern, urban design for the historic Park Avenue District in the Bay Area. All the appliances will be Energy Star, all the plumbing will be water efficient, and the site is located near mass transit. Blue Star Corner is planned for completion in mid-2007.
The developer, Holliday Development, and DBP hope to achieve LEED for Homes certification on this project. Here’s some of what they’re going to do: will use recycled and non-toxic building materials, non-endangered woods, galvanized metal, bamboo flooring, and environmentally-fabricated CaesarStone quartz countertops; will try to source materials locally as much as possible (keeps money in local economy + eliminates the transportation/gas premium); open spaces will feature sustainable landscaping by Conger Moss Guillard Landscape; appliances will be energy-efficient with Duravit, Kohler, and Bosch brands; and much more.
Units will include also Ann Sacks bathtubs, Sub-zero + Jenn-Air refrigerators, Bisazza tiles, Benjamin Moore paint, in-unit iPod docking stations, and personal garages with fold-up work stations. This is all going in with the general setup with a master bedroom, living room, kitchen, and flex room. To add to that, homes will be unique–they won’t all have identical features, colors, or design. It’s important to cater to individuality.
New Urban Home at Blue Star Corner [Generalized Case Study]
David Baker + Partners Provide Design for "Green" Amsterdam-Inspired Townhouses [MHN]
Apparently, the mid-1980s was the last time a new high rise office building was built in Denver, Colorado. We know what happened then and why skyscraper construction halted (hint: construction loans/S+L Crisis); knock on wood…S+L 2.0?? Recently, Westfield Development announced plans to build the most energy efficient high rise in downtown Denver, 1800 Larimer–actually, it’s a $150 million, 22 story, 500,000 square foot, energy-efficient, proposed LEED Silver tower. Westfield Development President Rich McClintock said, "if it is not a sustainable building, it is outdated." I couldn’t agree more.
This LoDo area building was designed by Denver-based RNL Design. Some of the features include the following: subfloor air distribution system; 9-foot, 6-inch floor-to-ceiling windows; state-of-the-art health club for tenants; a half-acre terrace parklike environment 20 feet off the ground; tenant controlled temperature system; blue + gray glass facade; trees in the lobby; and a 30-foot high "wall of water" inside the lobby. I’m excited that new construction is going green, but I will say that Denver is working hard to make the right choices. This green building is, after all, only a small kog in the greater machine initiated by Denver’s Mayor Hickenlooper called Greenprint Denver.
I keep saying this, but the smartest cities are also the greenest: San Francisco, Portland, Denver, Austin, Chicago, and a trailing Salt Lake City. The human capital + brain power of these cities is really mind-boggling, so where are you going to live? Via RMN.
UPDATE: According to the global votes of over 100,000 people, Mayor Hickenlooper was ranked #9 in a survey of best mayors in the world that have made long-lasting contributions to their cities. Only one other US mayor made the list.