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Crappy GHG Homes, Water-efficient Golf, Green Retail Centers + Wells Fargo's $1B in Green Lending (WIR)

Week in Review
  1. 88% of new homes are crappy, greenhouse gas spewing energy hogs – meaning they don’t meet the comparatively weak Energy Star standards. 
  2. Las Vegas golf courses are using better water-efficient landscaping to save over 1 billion gallons of water per year. 
  3. Regency Centers is teaming up with the USGBC to implement a pilot program aimed at developing green shopping centers across the country (this is badly needed). 
  4. Wells Fargo passes the $1 Billion mark in financing for LEED certified buildings with loans ranging from $10 to $225 million per project. 

$400 M Green Project "Blvd6200" Approved for Hollywood

Plaza

Looks like LA City Council has unanimously approved a $400-million mixed-use green development totaling 1.1 million sf called Blvd6200.  Blvd6200 will feature more than 1,000 apartments, 40,000 sf of live-work office space, and 175,000 sf of retail and restaurant uses on a seven-acre site.  Designed by Santa Monica-based Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh, the new LEED project will occupy a site that spans both sides of Hollywood Boulevard at Argyle Avenue east of Vine Street.  The project is going to be developed by the Clarett Group, a top New York development company, and other than having 10 flex cars available for residents, specifics on green certification aren’t available yet.  I’ll keep tabs on the project.  More images below the fold.  Via Globe St.

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The Green Book: A Gateway to Greener Living

The Green Book I was excited to receive a copy of The Green Book in the mail from Crown Publishing the other day.  Actually, my wife took it over before me, so I had to wait for her to finish.  I’ve been interested in reading it ever since I saw that Will Ferrell had a part in there about his electric car.  I wasn’t disappointed either.  This book is excellent.  The celebrity asides really make the book shine I think.  I can just hear them talking as I’m reading it.  I’ve taken the liberty of including Owen Wilson’s commentary below–it’s a little long, but the guy just kills me.  He’s so casual and chilled out, it’s hard not to appreciate what he’s saying.  I mean, he’s absolutely dead on.  Go get a copy at the Jetson Green Sustainability Store, inside you’ll find tons of discourse on the small and big things we can do (with research references if you have more questions). 

"I started driving a Prius a few years ago, and I was surprised to find myself a little defensive about it.  ‘You know, aside from the whole environmental thing," I’d say, almost dismissively, "it’s actually a pretty cool car to drive.’  It was like I was halfway apologetic because I didn’t want to be aligned with any group, or movement.  Sort of like, ‘Hey, just because I’m driving a hybrid doesn’t mean I’m turning into Ed Begley Jr.’  But you know people say marijuana is a gateway drug?  That’s sorta what buying a Prius was for me…in terms of becoming environmentally sensitive.  Because before too long, I stopped wondering if driving it made me some kind of a preachy do-gooder and I actually started looking for other ways to ‘go green." 

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Project7ten Goes for Platinum, Draws Celebrity Crowd

Project7ten

Project7ten proves that ultra green can look ultra good.  This is another cool residential home project that will get LEED certified at the Platinum level.  Actually, as one of only a few LEED Platinum homes in the country, this project could become the discourse for a greener home.  The home was designed by Melinda Gray, founder of GRAYmatter Architecture, and is currently under construction.  Upon completion in the fall, there will be an open house for everyone to see how good a green home can look.  710 Milwood Avenue, Venice, California.   

The event where project7ten was introduced drew a crazy celebrity crowd with the likes of Cindy Crawford, John Cusak, David Duchovny, Toby McGuire, Laird Hamilton, Gabrielle Reece, and Ed Begley Jr.  How’s that for some ‘razzi fodder? 

So what’s going to make this home so green?  Rainwater reclamation system and grey water recycling, locally-sourced sustainable materials, recycled content countertops and insulation, FSC-certified lumber, solar panels to power the home, and appropriate landscape to shade the home during the summer and allow light during the winter.  Also, there will be Energy Star appliances and Kohler water-efficient fixtures.  The lucky purchaser will get an 18-month lease on a Ford Escape Hybrid, too.  Not too shabby.  Plus, with all the sponsors lined up to support the project, the developer Minimal Productions will donate a share of proceeds to charity.  More images below the fold. 

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DiCaprio, Discovery to Rebuild Devastated Greensburg into Eco-Town

Discovery Planet Green

On May 4, Greensburg, Kansas, population 1,500, was smashed by a tornado.  Celebrity Leonardo DiCaprio saw the destruction and decided to help Greensburg rebuild their into an "Eco-town."  DiCaprio pitched the idea to Discovery and the company decided to join with him to make the rebuilding into a 13-part series for Discovery’s new Planet Green channel.  The series will be called "Eco-town," and it will document Greensburg becoming a "sustainable model of eco-living and one that will save it from future environmental catastrophe." 

DiCaprio plans to executive produce the series through his company Appian Way, with the additional help of Craig Piligiann and Discovery Planet Green.  They anticipate working closely with the governor of Kansas and Greensburg to put resources into the rebuilding and make a genuine difference.  I think it’s an excellent idea and can’t wait to watch and learn from the effort.  Via NY Times.

To get an idea of the damage to this town, check the photos below the fold.  It’s unbelievable the damage nature can do. 

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Capitol Hill Green Building, Ford's Plug-in Hybrid, SCU's Solar Home + Putting Buildings on an Energy Diet (WIR)

Week in Review
  1. Congress celebrates first green building on Capitol Hill with one building being renovated to LEED Silver level certification and saving energy by about 48%. 
  2. Ford Motor Company and Southern California Edison join together to make plug-in hybrid technology a reality. 
  3. Santa Clara University was chosen by US Department of Energy to design, construct, and display a fully functional, 650 sf solar powered home. 
  4. The Cost of Saving Energy – New Yorkers are working on energy consumption, but some buildings need to go on an energy diet. 


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