[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.
The December 2006 edition of Buildings magazine included the Editor’s Choice Top Product Picks (about 100 different products) and I wanted to talk about one certain product. Assume the following: you’re a developer, you’re going green, and you’re working hard to get approval on something like a large PUD, or maybe something like what the guys at LandPooling do. Well, you’re going to have beautiful, open green space and the proper benches and lighting to allow residents to enjoy the development. Take a gander at the Knight family of products available at Forms+Surfaces. The Knight Bench is sharp looking and comes backed/backless, with/without armrests, in 6-foot + 8-foot lengths. You choose. The bench is surface mounted.
First, it’s fabricated with solid aluminum made of 95 % recycled content. The surface is then clear-coated to resist oxidation (not sure what the coat is). The wood slats are Ipe, which is a sustainably harvested wood that has the USDA Forest Products Laboratory’s highest rating for decay and insect resistance. The bench is fully recyclable, which is important when looking to the life cycle.
The Knight series also includes a litter receptacle, bollard (CFL or HID), and pedestrian lighting. The geometric design of the Knight series is completely amazing. You’ll note that Forms+Surfaces is a member of the USGBC and committed to sustainability (www.forms-surfaces.com).
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]
Every now and then, I find an innovative real estate development group that just knocks my socks off. After living in Japan for 2 years, I love to hear anything about the place, so you can imagine how cool I think Sakura Urban Concepts is. Sakura is Japanese for the "cherry blossom tree," which buds in early April and you can see blossoming trees all over Japan for about two weeks. It’s incredible to see. This forward-thinking group is behind a new urban design building in Portland called Shizen, which happens to be Japanese for "nature." Not only is Shizen going to be a net zero energy building, but it’s going to have sophisticated design, sense of community, and sustainable lifestyle written all over it. Be sure to check out Shizen’s website!
This project is funded, in part, by a grant from Portland’s Office of Sustainable Development (via funds from a Green Investment Fund partnership). First, the site was home to a famous Portland Bakery, the Helen Bernhard Bakery, so Sakura purchased the property and had the house moved down the street. The house was renovated and looks pretty good. By moving the house, 200 tons of material was diverted from the landfill. The condo will have a 23 kW photovoltaic array that generates roughly 1/3 of Shizen’s annual electricity; a biodiesel fueled microturbine will generate the other 2/3 (and enough to heat domestic hot water and space heating); there will be radiant floors in entries and bathrooms; rain that falls on the roof will flow to a 25,000 gallon cistern under the parking level, and that water will be used for toilet and irrigation water; 60% of Shizen’s energy savings will be through its high mass, well insulated envelope and high efficiency lights and appliances; double-glazed, argon-filled, triple coated low-e windows will allow light and block solar gain in the summer; and the roof will be a r-38 insulation.
Shizen will be located on 1706 NE Schuyler (one block north of Broadway/NE 17th). There will be 7 units, and construction starts in March 2007. The total building will have about 15,500 square feet (so average of 2,200 square feet per residence?) and the land site is 7,500 square feet. Not bad at all…Once you go green, you don’t go back.