Rancho Verde Takes Platinum for Innovative Brownfield Redevelopment

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One of Chicago’s biggest names in landscaping now lays claim to one of the greenest locations in the city.  Christy Webber Landscapes, along with the City of Chicago and GreenWorks, came together to develop an area in a struggling neighborhood.  After decades of abuse as an auto impound, landfill, and iron-works, the polluted site had been declared a brownfield.  Subsequently, in 2003 the City of Chicago proposed an initiative to reclaim the site, and a short three years later, the 12.5 acre piece of land was clean and fully operational.  Called "Rancho Verde," in honor of the mostly Hispanic workforce that makes up the landscaping industry, the former brownfield is now the headquarters for Christy Webber Landscapes.  Rancho Verde features a one-story office building, warehouse, and a shop-yard big enough to hold dozens of trucks that keep Chicago looking healthy all year round. 

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Clayton Homes Modern Green i-house

iHouse Clayton Homes

5/3/09 update: Clayton Homes launched the i-house!

When a friend first shot me a link to an article about this i-house, I knew we had to feature it.  This is a new, modern, green home designed and soon-to-be offered by Clayton Homes, the largest manufacturer of manufactured housing in the U.S.  Clayton Homes started in 1934, smack dab in the tough years of the Great Depression, and since that time, they've sold ~1.5 million homes.  If everything goes as planned with the i-house, Clayton Homes would like to be selling 2000 i-houses per year within 18 months of launching sales in May or so of this year. 

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Orchid Cityhomes Obtain LEED Platinum

Orchid Cityhomes Green and Complete!

About a year ago, we showed some renderings of Orchid Street Cityhomes, and it turns out, the homes are now finished.  Matter of fact, they’ve won a Root Award in Portland Spaces‘ inaugural design competition.  Well deserved, I believe.  Orchid Cityhomes is a duplex, or connected rowhouses, but the party wall is the garage, so the homes maintain a level of privacy and separation that’s usually missing in most attached residences.  They were designed and developed by Building Arts Workshop and both dwellings just received LEED Platinum certification about a week before Christmas.  Some of the green amenities include:

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Mag-Wind New Wind Turbine [Video]

[Ed. note - video removed by owner]

Jay Leno’s all about the green tech, I mean, his garage is running on wind and solar, and it powers approximately two-thirds of the place.  So recently, he just put up this video demonstrating a new technology for rooftop wind applications.  The Mag-Wind turbine is made by Enviro Energies and both Jay Leno and Ed Begley Jr. have their own versions on order.  Naturally, Leno was excited to point out that his turbine will be bigger than Begley’s, but in addition to that, you’ll get an idea from the video how interesting the technology actually is.  It’s built using magnetic levitation technology that reduces friction, noise, vibration, and energy loss.  Some other interesting aspects of the Mag-Wind System include:

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ASU Salvages Old Building for New School of Sustainability

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Check out this bright, contemporary renovation of an old, 1960s nursing building.  The renovation was led by the design team of Lord, Aeck & Sargent and Gould Evans Associates; they’re anticipating LEED Silver certification and did it all with a $6 M budget.  Now complete, it will be used for Arizona State University's Global Institute of Sustainability and a newly formed School of Sustainability.  In terms of performance, the Institute is anticipated to save 18.7% on energy and 50.3% on water use compared with its baseline usage — plus, it's been outfitted with six, hard-to-miss, state-of-the-art AeroVironment parapet turbines. 

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Old 1910 Warehouse Converted to Virginia's First LEED Condos

Cromley Lofts Exterior Cromley Lofts Interior

The Cromley Lofts in Alexandria, Virginia have earned a Gold level certification making them the first condos in Virginia to become LEED certified.  These 8 beautiful units are located in The Old Town area of Alexandria in a vintage warehouse building circa 1910 — a fitting example of the environmental benefits of adaptive reuse. 

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