Water Recycling, Green Hotel Chains, Energy Monitoring, + GHG Dangers

Week in Review

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Efficient Modern Home Built for $70k

Simple-modern

JG covers all sorts of innovative homes, but to be entirely honest, we prefer the affordable.  So Caleb Schafer nabbed our interest when he emailed us about his efficient, modern home.  Four years ago, after graduating from architecture school, he and his wife moved to Texas and began building the home on a 1.5 acre site due north of San Antonio.  They built it for ~$70,000 — it's a 1400 square foot home — we're talking about $50 psf.  Not bad!  Here's how they did it:

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Future Now: Solar Plug-in Stations

Chargepoint

This is ChargePoint, an electrical plug-in station that’s powered and monitored through a smart network. It was developed by Coulomb Technologies, who recently teamed up with Carbon Day Automotive to add a new little twist. Coulomb and CDA coupled the ChargePoint with a solar photovoltaic array to create one of the nation’s first Solar Plug-in Stations. These pictures show a Solar Plug-in Station provided for the City of Chicago. You may be interested in knowing that this Solar Plug-in Station was designed by Chicago’s own Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (you know, the Eco-Bridge and Clean Technology Tower).

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Chicago Hotel Arista Seeking LEED Silver

Hotel-arista

With all the LEED certified buildings in the world, hotels still comprise only a small portion of the total.  Hotel Arista, for instance, is seeking the first LEED certification for a hotel in Illinois.  Designed by Lohan Anderson, this 144,000 square foot building is part of the CityGate Centre lifestyle development in Naperville, which also is undergoing LEED certification.  The 144 room hotel features luxury amenities wrapped up in the style of classic modernism and some of the following green features:

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2009 AIA COTE Top Ten Green Projects!

Jewish-Reconstructionist-Congregation

It's that time of year again — the AIA Committee on the Environment ("COTE") just published its annual list of Top Ten Green Projects.  There's some definite superstars in the group, and we've mentioned a few of them already, including the Chartwell School and Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation.  Perkins+Will has two projects in the group, but this just confirms what we already know: the firm is a leader in sustainable design.  Below, we've included direct links to AIA case studies for each project, as well as a link to the lead architect. 

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New Financial Study: Living Buildings Are Cost Effective

Ecolaboratory_view_from_ne_small

Today the Cascadia Green Building Council published their findings of a financial study of Living Buildings.  The study — officially named The Living Building Financial Study: The Effects of Climate, Building Type and Incentives on Creating the Buildings of Tomorrow — is extensive and we're still going through all the details.  But there's one major takeaway that I noticed: investing in Living Buildings is the financially smart thing to do, especially for institutions, corporations, and homeowners looking to hold on to their real property assets for more than a few years.  The study was put together by Cascadia, SERA Architects, Skanska USA Building, Gerding Edlen Development, Interface Engineers, and the New Buildings Institute (referred to below as "contributors").  Let's look a little deeper. 

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