Time Equities, Inc. just broke ground on 50 West Street, Manhattan’s newest green condo and hotel skyscraper. Designed by influential architect Helmut Jahn, the $600 million, 580,000 sf mixed-use eco-tower is shooting for LEED Gold certification upon completion in 2011. As a result, the 65-story tower will incorporate a host of green features and measures, including a green roof, water-efficient fixtures, automated blinds and energy control systems, recycling of demolition materials, use of sustainable and rapidly renewable materials, and an energy-efficient glass facade to filter in daylight and filter out UV rays.
If you’re like me, the architecture and sheer grandiosity of Beijing 2008 Olympics is blowing your mind. Gotta give props to what’s going on over there, seriously. The precision, planning, and persistence of this machine is quite compelling. With all the new and temporary structures now built, it’s hard to discuss everything — but you’ll find some interesting images and information below. Notably, China might have raised the bar for future cities that are presented with the opportunity to host the Olympics. China’s work isn’t done, I mean, pollution is unreal and the country is now the world’s largest CO2 emitter, but this article is an attempt to recognize positive efforts. When future Olympic cities start to build up infrastructure, transportation, and venues, as they invariably will, this website thinks China has presented some new lessons in how to be bold, economic, and green.
Back in January of this year, I posted an article about the stylish, affordable GreenMobile® design by Mississippi State University Professor Michael Berk. Since that time, I’ve received countless emails and a few comments (aside: why do readers email rather than comment?) asking when the GreenMobile® would be available for purchase. So I’ve come to realize that people, including myself, really want to buy a GreenMobile. I mean, it’s kind of cool. The demand for affordable, modern living is really quite incredible (see: 100k House, e-House, Make It Right, etc). But the long and short is, I emailed Professor Berk and he was nice enough to extensively respond via the below email, which I’ve edited slightly for formatting.
I keep an eye on things in the UK because, for some reason, I have this feeling that they’re focusing more on sustainability than we are. I mean, they’re not necessarily talking about green this or green that, they’re talking about lifecycle of materials and carbon emissions. This super luxury eco-home, for instance, was designed with lifecycle in mind. Designed by ZedFactory, the, ahem, 7535 sf home has received Bath (UK) planning permission and should be complete within about a year. It will feature efficient insulation, solar orientation, thermal mass, and earth sheltering to minimize energy consumption.
Green Key pointed us to The Leapfrog House website, which has a rendering of this house located at 541 SW Maplecrest Court in Portland, Oregon. The home is what might be termed "LEED Platinum Plus" in that the home’s developer is going after more than points. The developer is trying to "jump further into green" and approach zero energy bills and zero water bills. A noble ambition, I’ll admit. As you might imagine, the home is for sale and has a laundry list of green features.
VivaTerra is a catalog and online eco-friendly home accessories and furnishings company. You will need to peruse their offerings with a bit of a critical eye and decide for yourself what is truly eco-friendly, but there are a lot of great choices. Less sustainable offerings to watch out for include river rock bath mats. The rocks are taken from a natural environment where they belong and do not replenish like trees or bamboo. I would also stay away from tropical hardwoods since most of them are not truly eco-friendly and travel quite a distance to the USA. One great VivaTerra choice would be their beautiful "Gustavian Vintage Bed" which is made by a master woodworker in the USA using salvaged Douglass Fir wood from a torn down building, non-toxic glue, and a food safe finish for about $2000.