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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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Mod Green Pod Offers Burst of Hip Eco-Fabrics

Bfly Collection_2

Mod Green Pod offers a burst of modern fun to the eco-fabric market.  The company also produces wonderful wallpaper patterns.  Their fabrics are 100% organic fabric and the wallpaper is vinyl-free.  The fabric is hand silk-screened, which is an incredibly tedious and artful process.  You can view photos of the printing process at their site.  They currently offer 8 pattern choices in about 30 colors.  The signature prints are bold, colorful, and totally modern.

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ecoX recycled concrete surfaces

Ecox bathroom

Looking for a another green countertop material?  Here's ecoX, an extreme concrete product offered by Meld USA.  EcoX is made of a blend of 70% post-consumer and post-industrial recycled materials and cement.  The product has the beautiful look of terrazzo and the cool smoothness of concrete, according to Meld.  

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Greenbelt, Brooklyn's First LEED Residences

Greenbelt Brooklyn

For starters, when complete, Greenbelt will use roughly 40% less energy and 30% less water than a comparable building.  And it looks fantastic, too — another case that living green doesn’t require throwing out your style.  Located at 361 Manhattan Avenue, the eight unit building has one- and two-bedroom condos that range in price from $599k – $815k.  In addition to all the green features listed below, I like how the developers plan to incorporate enhanced sound proofing and insulation in the walls, ceilings, and floors.  People would probably be more willing to live in attached spaces, if they knew the extraneous sounds wouldn’t be a problem.  Nevertheless, it’s clear the developers are setting a good example in that regard because Greenbelt will have the latest technology to minimize noise disruptions. 

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