A Prefab M-Hotel on the Cusp

m-hotel by tim pyne

I love the possibilities and ideas presented by the m-hotel from Tim Pyne.  That said, I can’t say there’s anything green about the concept (that is soon to be a reality) other than two things, possibly: (1) it’s a non-permanent structure (7-10 years) where the parts can be reused differently in the future and dismantled to make way for a different use on the site, and/or (2) it’s a prefab structure and prefab has the potential for green benefits such as material savings, lower construction waste, and minimized site disturbance, etc.  But still, it’s cool and innovative.  The m-hotel is designed as a series of steel-framed slot boxes that slide into the frame (which makes for easy dismantling in the future). 

The striped m-hotel as you see above is being considered for Sclater Street in London.  If approved, the hotel will have 32 units each measuring 16 x 36 feet (576 sf).  Work may begin as soon as this summer and should be complete by end of the year.  I can’t wait to see the finished product. 

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Hawaii Gateway Energy Center, a Fascinating Display of Solar Potential

HGEC

The Hawaii Gateway Energy Center (HGEC) is a 3,600 sf, $3.4 million facility situated on the south coast of Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii.  The new building serves both the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii and the Hawaii Ocean Sciences and Technology Park.  And as you may be able to gather from the images and models below, HGEC is a fascinating display of the future potential for synergies of solar power and building efficiencies.  The entire building is designed as a thermal chimney that captures heat and creates air movement using the structural form and thermodynamic principles.  Also, with the help of glazing, the building orientation and design pretty much eliminates the need for electric lighting during the day.  Notably, HGEC consumes about 20% of the energy that’s required by a comparable building. 

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Building Green, a Graphic [Washington Post]

++Building Green, a Guide to Earth-Saving Offices [Washington Post]

Jetson Green Partners with Ecocity World Summit

Ecocity World Summit I’m happy to announce that Jetson Green has signed on as an official media sponsor for the Ecocity World Summit, which takes place April 22-26, 2008 in San Francisco, California.  I couldn’t be happier to be supporting such a stellar event. 

You should know, however, that this is no ordinary conference.  Ecocity World Summit recognizes it’s time to take a closer look at the largest of humanity’s creations — cities — directly and fearlessly.  Over 85% of humanity currently live in cities, towns, and villages –- the built community of our species.  The Ecocity World Summit challenges and inspires each individual, no matter where we call home, to build something different: the city for ourselves, the city for people and all life on the planet.  For a sneak peak, take a look at some of the projects that will be explored.

Speakers at the event include some of the following:

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Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation Synagogue, a Modern LEED Platinum Building

JRC Synagogue

The Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation synagogue is a beautiful building on 303 Dodge Avenue in Evanston, Illinois.  The Chicago Tribune reports that it’s "believed to be the first synagogue designed to achieve the highest level — platinum — in the [USGBC's LEED] rating system."  That’s probably true.  The  JRC board of directors mandated LEED Platinum certification, but my search of LEED Certified projects does not list the JRC synagogue yet.  Nevertheless, it’s a fine example of green architecture in the religious building context, which is something we don’t see too often. 

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How To Videos for Green Living [Howcast]

Recently, I saw this article about Howcast and was quite intrigued by the startup company.  Howcast is run by ex-Googlers with the intent of becoming the YouTube of instructional videos.  It’s a good idea, I think.  After reading the article, I thought, it’d be nice to see videos on eco-friendly home renovations.  Green kitchen rehabs.  Eco-friendly landscaping.  Do it yourself energy audits.  Etc.  Well, Howcast is already publishing some good green living and environmental instructional videos.  You’ll find the videos helpful in that they tell you what you need, provide printable instructions, and allow you to skip to different steps in the video.  Here are a couple others. 

++How to Reduce Your Home Heating Costs
++How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

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