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Green Building Aspects of Toyota's Plug-in Hybrid News

Plug-in Prius

You might be thinking, "Why is this green building blog talking about a car company?"  But don’t, because the relationship between home, work, transportation, and all that is quite complex.  Yesterday, news on Toyota’s plug-in hybrid technology spread across the internet at a fairly quick clip — it’s important news that will affect us in more ways than the price paid at the pump.  According to Autoblog Green, Toyota announced it would produce a plug-in hybrid with lithium-ion batteries starting in 2010, with large scale production into 2011-2012.  This is good news, but here’s why plug-in electric vehicles matter for the future of green buildings:

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New Report Shows Economic Value of Green Building Certification

20bill

In a newly released working paper by John Quigley, Piet Eichholtz, and Nils Kok titled Doing Well by Doing Good? Green Office Buildings, the authors discuss the economic value of green building certification in the commercial sector.  They matched publicly available information on 694 certified green buildings (Energy Star and LEED) with 7489 other office buildings located within a quarter mile of the certified green buildings.  The research revealed systematic evidence that rents for green buildings are about 2% higher than rents for comparable buildings located nearby.  Effective rents, or those adjusted for the occupancy levels in the building, are about 6% higher in green buildings than in comparable office buildings nearby.  The authors deduce therefrom that at a generalized cap rate of 6%, conversion of a non-green building to an equivalent green building would add more than $5 million in market value.  Wow!

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Jetson Green Goes Green for NBA Finals

The Big Perk

This year, unlike years in the past, JG has decided to take a serious look at the NBA Finals for the purpose of supporting the greenest team.  If you’ve been tucked away on another planet, you might not know that the NBA Finals start tonight between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.  It’s an age-old rivalry between two classic teams, and the Celtics are in the clear lead when playing each other (8-2 all time in NBA Finals).  But we’re not going for the Celtics because of their winning tradition, or the mad skills of Pierce, Garnett, Rondo, and Allen.  We’re not even pulling for the Celtics because Perkins has been going berserk in the Playoffs.  We’re going for the Celtics because they’re GREEN.  The color, that is.  And as much as I like the Lakers, it’s kind of hard to argue with that.

++Coverage Starts @ 8:30 pm EST

Wind Turbines Big and Small at WINDPOWER 2008

Broadstar

This is a guest post provided by Maria Surma Manka direct from WINDPOWER 2008.  Maria writes about renewable energy policy, innovation, and private sector leadership at Maria Energia.

Greetings from Houston, site of the American Wind Energy Association’s WINDPOWER 2008 conference. I am a guest of AWEA and have spent the last few days meeting several of the 12,000 attendees and visiting many of the nearly 800 exhibitors.  Below are some of the interesting small wind turbine designs I found.

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GRAFT & Brad Pitt to Team Up for LEED Gold, Five Star Hotel in Dubai

Bradpitt Zabeel Properties just announced details of a new landmark hotel and leisure development for Dubai.  Although no renderings or designs are yet available, Dubai-based Zabeel Properties also confirmed the appointment of LA-based architecture firm, GRAFT, whose team of design consultants for the project will include the Hollywood actor, Brad Pitt.  Pitt’s involvement in the design for the resort demonstrates his interest in green development and architecture.   Says Brad: "Whilst acting is my career, architecture is my passion.   Selecting this development as my first major construction project has been a simple decision.   It will underpin not only my values for environmentally-friendly architecture, but also embrace my career in entertainment."

Sorry for the celebrity gossip bit, but I just couldn’t hold back!  I’m definitely interested in seeing the sustainable design for this new hotel, so we’ll have more details when they’re released. 

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AIA and USGBC Agree to Strategic Alliance in Advocacy, Education, & Research

From memorandum released May 28, 2008: In early May, AIA and USGBC’s volunteer and staff leadership met to talk about how we could work together towards advancing our common goals related to the goal of carbon neutral buildings by the year 2030 and other sustainability issues.

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