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

Rapson Greenbelt, Modern Passive Solar Prefab

Greenbelt2ny

I’m seriously loving the Rapson Greenbelt here by Wieler.  Wieler was founded by the owner of the Original Dwell Home and offers a nice selection of prefab designs for the modern, green home enthusiast.  Speaking of the Rapson Greenbelt, Inhabitat reports: "Modernist architect Ralph Rapson has managed to reinterpret this 60-year old design with the green panache of a 21st century prefab.  The Rapson Greenbelt, an articulate series of prefab dwellings, is derived from a 1945 design called Case Study #4, which debuted back then as part of Arts & Architecture’s Case Study House Program.  Today, the Rapson Greenbelt is part of the modern home portfolio from WIELER, the award-winning providers of custom prefab homes."

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Bear Creek – Recycled Glass, Sinks and Lighting

Sinkclassictest Sink Splash

There are not a lot of choices out there for eco-lighting or eco-sinks, but Bear Creek Glass is one nice option.  Bear Creek Glass is an artisan company that creates beautiful, artful glass sinks and lighting.  Half of their products are made from 100% recycled glass and the others are made partially of recycled glass.  Styles range from traditional and antique to simple and modern. 

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The First Positive Energy Mixed-Use Building in the World

Masdar Headquarters

Just last week, Chicago architecture firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill was chosen to design the world's first positive energy, mixed-use building for the world's first zero-carbon, zero-waste, car-free city called Masdar.  As a "positive energy" building, the design aims to generate more energy each day than it consumes.  The 1.4 million sf headquarters shown above will serve as the centerpiece of Masdar City, which will end up being about a $22 billion development in Abu Dhabi.

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Green Realtors, the Eco-Paradox, Big Green China, + Solar versus the Environment [WIR]

Week in Review

*WIR = Week in Review; a Saturday showcase of excellent links.

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