Modern Green 555YVR in Walnut Creek

555YVR-Front elevation Twilight

In the California city of Walnut Creek, this stunning green project is nearing completion with occupancy planned for October 2009.  555YVR gets its name from its location — 555 Ygnacio Valley Road, which is conveniently located within walking distance of BART and a number of downtown restaurants and nightclubs.  Thompson | Dorfman Partners developed 55YVR with the architectural help of Kwan Henmi and KTGY Group, and the project was built to LEED standards.  Some of the green aspects include the following:

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Get Kirei with Chocolate Bamboo

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Alright, so it's not exactly brand new — Kirei introduced Chocolate Bamboo back in September 2008 — but it has this deep, sophisticated look and we just haven't had the chance to mention it yet (well, Re-nest jogged our memory).  The dark color is obtained through a secret, dark carbonizing process.  The bamboo is made from sustainably harvested Moso bamboo grass and a low- or no-added urea formaldehyde adhesive to create the panels.  If you're looking for something like this, look up a dealer

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A Bold Green Turbine-Powered Chicago

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One hundred years ago, in 1909, architect Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett completed a document called the “Plan of Chicago,” which, to use the words of The New Yorker, “determined the shape of modern Chicago.”  Now, in an effort to build upon the work of Burnham and plan for the next 100 years, Big. Bold. Visionary: Chicago Considers the Next Century presents the work of nearly three dozen architects and planners with a vision for the windy city.

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St. Louis High School Seeks Platinum

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The new science and library building at Crossroads College Preparatory School, located in the city of St. Louis, is seeking LEED Platinum certification.  If obtained, it will be the first K-12 school in St. Louis to earn certification.  Head of School Billy Handmaker* was committed to achieving the highest level of certification possible, while still spending within the budget and ending up with a good looking building.  He said, "from the beginning, we said 'we want Platinum, but won't compromise."

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St. Paul Home Created with Three Boxes

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All the prefab enthusiasts need to make sure to check out this Hive Modular home in St. Paul's historic Capitol Heights neighborhood.  The home and its owner, David Schmit, were profiled in Midwest Home, and the article provides an interesting glimpse into getting a prefab built.  Schmit bought the lot, sold his home, worked with Hive Modular on the design, worked with the local architectural planning board to get approvals, and finally worked with the city of St. Paul to get approvals.  It took some time and patience, too.

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Learning from a Dead Living Wall

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At one time, Paradise Park Children's Centre in London had a lush vertical hydroponic garden covering certain portions of the structure.  That time is no more, reports The Architects' Journal, the BBC, and the London Evening Standard.  The building, designed by DSDHA, called for a living wall to mitigate against planting the structure on a portion of open park space.  DSDHA retained landscape architect Marie Clarke and had the green wall system installed at a cost of £100,000.

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