In her Teardown Diary, Wall Street Journal columnist Nancy Keates forgoes the common practice of demolition and instead opts for "unbuilding." Usually referred to as deconstruction, unbuilding is when you disassemble an old structure piece by piece and salvage the usable parts. Ms. Keates found that the deconstruction of her home will cost about $4,000 more than straight demolition, but costs can vary project to project.
Anna Sova is a Dallas, Texas based company offering organic bedding, towels, paints, and bath and body products. The bedding uses materials such as eco-silk and US-grown organic cottons and usually at least a 600 thread count. Their towels are 100% organic cotton with spa-quality, 900 gsm (grams per square meter). This compares to conventional towels which have 300-400 gsm. Other products include soy candles, aromatherapy, and bath and body products. My favorite offering, however, is their paint, which is made from 99% food grade materials and is VOC free (or as close as is currently possible).
I've just received an excellent new book, and as is the tradition here at JG, I'll be giving the book away to one random commenter.* Published by The Taunton Press, Green from the Ground Up is incredibly thorough and more helpful than I ever imagined it would be. I really shouldn't have been surprised, though, because one of the authors, David Johnston, has another book out on green remodeling that's very popular. So I expect Green from the Ground Up to be just as successful.
It has over 300 pages and 300 color images that provide a way for the reader to see that (1) green building actually works and (2) green buildings don't have to be ugly.
I call dibs on this prediction: to the extent that banks can keep themselves from drowning financially, we’re going to see a huge proliferation of green branches over the next five years. The guy on the video uses the word "fad", but I think we all know it’s more than that. This branch here, First Federal Savings Bank, is located in Mishawaka, Indiana and just opened last week. The local press gave the retail pad some pretty positive coverage, as you can tell from the images, video, and diagram. The LEED Registered, $2.5 M branch relies on a wind turbine, solar panels, energy efficient windows, Agriboard compressed-straw panels, permeable pavers, and geothermal heating and cooling.
++A Different Green for Banks [South Bend Trib]
Every year, the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) invites electronic submissions of built projects and announces ten (10) award winners. I’ve included direct links to each project below — after the links, you’ll find detailed case studies and background information. Here they are …
Soon there could be a new, sustainable tower rising in the Sydney skyline at 8 Chifley Square. Subject to council approval, the colorful building would seek both a six-star Green Star and five-star ABGR rating, the highest level of certification available under both systems. With design like that, it won’t surprise many that 8 Chifley is expected to use 50% less energy than a comparable Sydney CBD building.