Tryon Farm is an architecturally diverse conservation community located about an hour outside of Chicago. Three quarters of the community’s 170 acres remain undeveloped. The landscape is comprised of woods, restored meadows, and wetlands. The homes range in style from contemporary to modern to traditional and somehow the varied designs blend seamlessly in this beautiful, natural setting.
As with all terms environmental, the devil is in the definition and the lawyers have been hard at work with so called zero energy buildings. A net ZEB, by definition, produces as much energy as it uses over the course of a year. To get to that point, buildings owners make their buildings as efficient as possible and then use, in the typical case, on-site renewable energy to get into zero energy territory. But there are other variations, including net zero site energy, net zero source energy, net zero energy costs, net zero energy emissions, and near zero energy, all of which have been kindly defined by the DOE. The DOE, as assisted by Building Green, has also launched a Zero Energy Buildings Database, with the following four buildings.
When Maria Surma Manka brought us news of Broadstar Wind Systems last June from Windpower 2008, our interest was stoked, especially considering the fact that Broadstar was claiming that their AeroCam turbine could achieve $1 per watt installed. Well, the company is still beta testing the AeroCam turbine, but demand is crazy and they’re "on track" to install more than 70 turbines. J.C. Penny Co. plans to install AeroCam turbines on their distribution facility in Reno, Nevada by November this year. Plus, 15 companies have contracted to test the turbines and 12 more are in talks.
This thoughtfully designed home in Jackson, Wyoming, was designed by Stephen Dynia Architecture for Alice Cornell. Other than possibly the bamboo flooring, low-E glass, natural materials, and long-lasting standing seam metal roof, I’m not aware of any materials or elements that qualify or disqualify this home as being "green." It hasn’t been certified or anything, but the design is smart and efficient, relying on abundant natural lighting and thorough consideration for space.
The South Waterfront area of Portland is a new and interesting neighborhood. All the buildings in South Waterfront will be LEED certified and thoughtfully planned. The 35-acre, 17-block district abutting the Willamette River is also the first urban neighborhood to achieve Salmon-Safe certification. The mission of Salmon-Safe is to restore the health of watersheds so salmon can spawn and thrive. Here’s what the certification tells us about South Waterfront: