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Rafael Viñoly Walkie-Talkie Tower Gains Approval (S2)

Walkie Talkie Tower

Soon, London is going to welcome another interesting object to the city’s skyline.  If you’re familiar with 30 St Mary Axe, you know what I’m talking about.  Now, developer Land Securities will get the opportunity to construct a new, 37-story, Rafael Viñoly-designed building that commentators affectionately call the "Walkie-Talkie" Tower.  City councillors were split on whether to approve the scheme, but ultimately it received a 12-8 vote for approval.  Some councillors were worried about its location and the asymmetrical impact to London’s skyline.  Another councillor said the building design is "striking, remarkable and [an] exciting standalone building."  To be located at 20 Fenchurch Street, Land Securities thinks the building is necessary to meet the market’s demand for efficient large floor plates. 

Like most towers being designed these days, this one will also include sustainable design.  One notable green feature is the roof garden and park.  The sky garden will be open to the public on the weekends, making it the highest accessible park in London.  Also, there will be a cafe and restaurant on the park level.  Via BD Online

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O2 Student Village, A Community of M-CHs (F2)

O2 Student Village

This is a pretty popular photo of the O2 student village at the Technical University of Munich.  In addition to being sponsored by O2 Germany, the community of seven micro-compact homes (posted about previously here) is also sponsored by Siemens.  Six students and one professor stay in the homes for an entire school year.  Each home includes a plasma screen, high-speed internet, a bed, and state-of-the-art kitchen and bathroom appliances (although you probably wouldn’t want to powder your nose and cook at the same times as these are only about 76 sf big).

"F2" is short for "Flickr Friday," a weekly short posted on Friday with an image from Flickr and a quick description.  Feel free to email me your F2 ideas.

mkLotus: West Coast Green Showhouse

mkLotus

One reason to attend West Coast Green is to see the unveiling of Michelle Kaufmann Design’s newest home, the mkLotus.  Built by ExtremeHomes, mkLotus will be a showhouse for West Coast Green in San Francisco from September 20-22, 2007.  I can’t wait to see this.

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ELEMENT Hotel, Details of Starwood's Green Extended-Stay Hotel Brand

ELEMENT Hotel

I’m pleased to share some information and renderings on ELEMENT, Starwood Hotels & Resorts new extended-stay hotel brand set to open in 2008.  The idea behind ELEMENT is to make smart choices intuitive and support the lifestyles of guests while they are away from home.  ELEMENT Hotels performed research on guest behavior, which revealed that socially conscious hotel guests are more likely to leave their good habits at home when traveling.  That’s because, depending on the hotel, it may be difficult to recycle, conserve water, or maintain a lower impact lifestyle.  ELEMENT Hotels aims to change that.  Key smart design features of this green hotel include the following:

  • Shampoo/conditioner dispensers will eliminate multiple mini-bottles;
  • Low-flow sink faucets and dual flush toilets will lead to an estimated conservation of 4,358.6 gallons of water per room each year;
  • Eco-friendly materials will be used throughout, including recycled content carpets;
  • Low-VOC paints for improved indoor air quality for guests and staff;
  • CFL light bulbs will be used throughout the building to reduce energy consumption; and
  • Biophilic design that maximizes natural light and sightlines to the outdoors will help connect occupants to their natural surroundings. 

Feel free to click on over to this PDF brochure to read more about the ELEMENT Hotel and what it will look like.  The hotel design is pretty incredible, as you will see from the images below the fold. 

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New Disruptors Video: The (LEED) Gold Making Greenbridge Developments

Business 2.0 & Greenbridge Developments

Previously, I wrote about Greenbridge Developments, which is a mixed-use development in North Carolina expected to receive LEED Gold certification.  This development is an incredible example of the business case for green building.  They haven’t even broken ground on the development yet, but it’s 2/3 sold out.  Here’s the math.  There are about 99 units planned at an average price of $650,000 each (not averaging in revenues from the retail space).  Wait, is that right?  66 units x $650,000 = $42.9 million?  Wow.  I’d like to see the estimated cost of construction because these numbers are incredible (again, without even factoring in retail revenues). 

Business 2.0 and Erick Schonfeld have produced a video on Greenbridge Developments talking about low-carbon building materials, solar power, C2C, etc.  The video is part of the New Disruptors video series available on iTunes.  You can also view this episode online here

Good Links:
++Greenbridge Developments Official Website
++Eco-condos of the Future (Greenbridge) [The Next Net]

The Business of Modern Prefab, a Rocio Romero Perspective

LVL Home

Rocio Romero is a 35-year-old designer, manufacturer, and entrepreneur.  She’s well known for her minimalist, modern LV Home.  Do you know the history behind Rocio Romero?  Christy Marshall authored an excellent article on her and her growing business in modern prefab.  Romero is a graduate of University of California-Berkeley and Southern California Institute of Architecture (aka SCI-Arc).  One of her first designs was a summer house for her parents in Laguna Verde outside of Santiago, Chile.  That home was modified slightly and has become the LV Home that we see popping up all over the country.  As for pricing, here’s what you can expect:

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