Green Building Emerges as Bright Spot in Troubled Market

State of Green Business 2008 In the tradition of the Worldwatch Institute’s State of the World annual summary, Greener World Media producers of GreenBiz.com (among other websites), last month released their first annual State of Green Business 2008 ReportJoel Makower and his team of editors examined multiple categories in the green business arena from alternative energy vehicles to toxic emissions to determine the true state of green progress.  Although the report provides a mixed review, green building was identified as one of the more tangible signs of forward progress.  This is especially important given the downturn in the construction economy.

According to the report, the “green [building] market, [expanding] for years, began soaring in 2007, as several marquee projects opened their doors and some big-time initiatives were born.

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Russia Tower, Largest Building in World with Natural Ventilation System [S2]

Russia Tower Russiatower5

Foster + Partners has quite the pipeline of projects and this supertall skyscraper, Russia Tower, is one of them.  Russia Tower is expected to be the tallest building in Europe, and one of the tallest in the world, coming in at a whopping 2,009 ft tall, just behind Taipei 101 and Burj Dubai.  Even further, it’ll be the largest building in the world with a natural ventilation system.  Foster + Partners designed the building with an "energy cycle" system, which is a hot water circuit that runs through the building distributing the energy to regulate temperature and heat water.  The energy cycle system is intended to chart new territory in sustainable architecture. 

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Students Upset Over New Showerheads

Stanford Showers

Stanford is progressive in its commitment to the environment, so it’s not surprising that they swapped out 1,827 showerheads in the dorms over Christmas for low-flow, eco-friendly ones.  The retrofit reduces water flow from 2.5 gallons per minute to 1.3 gallons per minute per showerhead, saving Stanford an estimated total of 12 million gallons of water per year.  And California isn’t exactly gushing with surplus water supplies, so it makes sense, right?  Seems like a smart move.

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50 Greenest Cities, Green Renovation, Nature Design, + Green Building Trends [WIR]

Week in Review

Here’s my list of links that you should probably read.  No internal link rehashing here.

Bonus – Two-Part Series on Green Renovation:

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

ecoX recycled concrete surfaces

Ecox bathroom

Looking for a another green countertop material?  Here's ecoX, an extreme concrete product offered by Meld USA.  EcoX is made of a blend of 70% post-consumer and post-industrial recycled materials and cement.  The product has the beautiful look of terrazzo and the cool smoothness of concrete, according to Meld.  

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Greenbelt, Brooklyn's First LEED Residences

Greenbelt Brooklyn

For starters, when complete, Greenbelt will use roughly 40% less energy and 30% less water than a comparable building.  And it looks fantastic, too — another case that living green doesn’t require throwing out your style.  Located at 361 Manhattan Avenue, the eight unit building has one- and two-bedroom condos that range in price from $599k – $815k.  In addition to all the green features listed below, I like how the developers plan to incorporate enhanced sound proofing and insulation in the walls, ceilings, and floors.  People would probably be more willing to live in attached spaces, if they knew the extraneous sounds wouldn’t be a problem.  Nevertheless, it’s clear the developers are setting a good example in that regard because Greenbelt will have the latest technology to minimize noise disruptions. 

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