Green certifications are important, but can you imagine a world where buildings are better than the best Platinum level certification? Can you imagine a building that lives? A living building is self-sustaining and off-the-grid in terms of energy and water usage. A living building goes beyond the paper requirements for certification and seeks true sustainability. Earlier this month at Greenbuild, the Cascadia Region Green Building Council and the USGBC announced winners of the 2007 Living Building Competition. Here are the winners:
- OHSU – Center for Health and Healing (Portland, OR)
- Omega Center for Sustainable Living (Rhinebeck, NY)[Pictured Above]
- Seminar II (Olympia, WA)
- Warren Skaaren Environmental Learning Center at Westcave Preserve (Round Mountain, TX)
- Alice Ferguson Foundation (Accokeek, MD)
- Kenton Living Building (Portland, OR)
There’s a lot of innovative information on each building, and you can click the links above to read directly about that specific project.
Since 2003, the number of cities with green building programs has risen from 22 to 92, for an increase of 418%. This figure, as well as others below, comes as a result of a study commissioned by the AIA. Their newly published report, Local Leaders in Sustainability, analyzed 661 communities’ best practices, strategies, and trends, and provides recommendations for cities that are looking to implement green building programs.
- 1 in 7 cities surveyed currently have green building programs
- Number improves to 1 in 5 by next year with current projections
- 39% of citizens live in cities with green building programs
- 36 cities are in an advanced stage of developing a green building program
Last week, former President George H. W. Bush installed a 33-foot tall, Skystream 3.7 wind turbine to provide energy for the Bush’s Kennebunkport home. The Bushes were courted by Southwest Windpower, one of the forerunners in small-wind innovation, and after looking at the pros and cons, they decided to take the plunge. The turbine is connected to the grid and feeds excess power to the system.
Since the home is their summer home, it will probably have a substantial credit from all the energy they’re feeding into the system during the winter. The Bushes decided to purchase the turbine for financial and environmental reasons, but they’re also setting a good example, too. Via Portland Press Herald.
Recently, Former President Bill Clinton announced a joint partnership of the Clinton Climate Initiative and the City of Chicago that will give the 1,450 feet tall building a green makeover. Through the partnership, the Chicago landmark will be retrofitted, making it more cost-effective and energy efficient. The project is part of Clinton’s message: going green can save some green. He said, “This is not a big bottle of castor oil we have to drink. This is the greatest economic opportunity that our country has had to mobilize and democratize since we mobilized from World War II." Clinton also predicts that in the next 18 months, there will be a race to build structures that produce energy instead of consuming it. The move from energy-consuming buildings to energy-producing buildings is intended, at least in part, to wean the country of its coal addiction. Let’s hope this momentum continues beyond 18 months, too. Via Equity Green + Medill.
(S2) = Skyscraper Sunday, a weekly article on green skyscrapers.