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Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation Synagogue, a Modern LEED Platinum Building

JRC Synagogue

The Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation synagogue is a beautiful building on 303 Dodge Avenue in Evanston, Illinois.  The Chicago Tribune reports that it’s "believed to be the first synagogue designed to achieve the highest level — platinum — in the [USGBC's LEED] rating system."  That’s probably true.  The  JRC board of directors mandated LEED Platinum certification, but my search of LEED Certified projects does not list the JRC synagogue yet.  Nevertheless, it’s a fine example of green architecture in the religious building context, which is something we don’t see too often. 

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Rapson Greenbelt, Modern Passive Solar Prefab

Greenbelt2ny

I’m seriously loving the Rapson Greenbelt here by Wieler.  Wieler was founded by the owner of the Original Dwell Home and offers a nice selection of prefab designs for the modern, green home enthusiast.  Speaking of the Rapson Greenbelt, Inhabitat reports: "Modernist architect Ralph Rapson has managed to reinterpret this 60-year old design with the green panache of a 21st century prefab.  The Rapson Greenbelt, an articulate series of prefab dwellings, is derived from a 1945 design called Case Study #4, which debuted back then as part of Arts & Architecture’s Case Study House Program.  Today, the Rapson Greenbelt is part of the modern home portfolio from WIELER, the award-winning providers of custom prefab homes."

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Bear Creek – Recycled Glass, Sinks and Lighting

Sinkclassictest Sink Splash

There are not a lot of choices out there for eco-lighting or eco-sinks, but Bear Creek Glass is one nice option.  Bear Creek Glass is an artisan company that creates beautiful, artful glass sinks and lighting.  Half of their products are made from 100% recycled glass and the others are made partially of recycled glass.  Styles range from traditional and antique to simple and modern. 

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The First Positive Energy Mixed-Use Building in the World

Masdar Headquarters

Just last week, Chicago architecture firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill was chosen to design the world's first positive energy, mixed-use building for the world's first zero-carbon, zero-waste, car-free city called Masdar.  As a "positive energy" building, the design aims to generate more energy each day than it consumes.  The 1.4 million sf headquarters shown above will serve as the centerpiece of Masdar City, which will end up being about a $22 billion development in Abu Dhabi.

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The 32nd Street Eco-Infill Home

Studiohtreal

Prefab company Eco-Infill and architectural services firm Studio H:T designed this modular, green home to be the first LEED certified, factory-built home in Colorado.  The 32nd Street home was built with two staggered modules with the top module jutting out the back to create a shaded patio.  It’s quite the great looking home, and as you can tell with the rendering above, it’s all done (took about 7 months total from start to finish).  A recent article about the home in Rocky Mountain News reports that the home cost about $325,000 to construct and $150,000 for the land, which equals about $176 psf.  Not bad in Colorado. 

The 2,700 sf home is currently in the process of seeking LEED certification.  Maybe I’ll drive down and check it out sometime.  Looks pretty close to the rendering below, too.   

++First LEED Certified Factory-built, Modular Home in Colorado [PDF]

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Carbon Neutral Lighthouse in the UK

Lighthouseuk

In England, a handful of efficient demonstration homes have been built on the grounds of the Building Research Establishment Ltd, including “The Lighthouse,” which is the first net zero carbon house in the UK.  The house is also the first to attain level six in the Code for Sustainable Homes, which indicates that it is carbon neutral. The two-bedroom house is only 93.3 square meters (barely over 1000 sq. ft.) in a 2-1/2 story building.  The building has solar panels and evacuated solar tubes on its roof, as well as making use of passive measures with ventilation chimneys.  It also incorporates rainwater catchment as part of the building design.
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