Hot on the heels of Best Buy’s announcement to build new stores to LEED standards, we have Office Depot and Staples jumping into the LEED game. With these announcements, we’re seeing two main trends: (1) the mainstreaming of green buildings and (2) the business case for green buildings, especially in the retail context. It just makes sense. But as many other commentators have mentioned, these so called green stores will be energy efficient, made of renewable materials, and will use less water, BUT they’re huge and a by-product of American sprawl. Without passing judgment, I have the belief that a green retail store is better than a non-green retail store. It’s a step in the right direction. More on each company below.
I hope readers enjoyed the West Coast Green and Jetson Green partnership … personally, I’m glad this website was able to participate in a small way. In the few weeks leading up to the event, I received a flood of emails for products to be showcased at WCG, and I wasn’t able to research each product and do an individual post. So, I’d like to share with you some of the leads I received. Feel free to check them out, if you have time.
- Perpetual Water, an Australian water conservation technology company, introduced their breakthrough high-efficiency water conservation technology, including The Garden Angel.
- Design Solutions introduced two new lines of green, earth-friendly cabinets.
- Celadon Energy Systems featured their highly efficient, environmentally-friendly, "green" lighting systems designed for affordable mixed-use, residential, and commercial applications.
- American Clay Enterprises returned to showcase their all natural, eco-friendly earth plaster. They had a joint exhibit with Green Planet Paints, a company we talked about here.
I can email you my press releases, if you’re looking for more information (just drop a comment). Did anyone have a favorite product or gain any particular insight?
I’ve got a press release on "One of the Greenest Luxury Homes Ever Built," a home that is "sure to raise the bar for building green in the high-end market." Folks, in our day and age, why spend $2,000 per month on heating and electricity for your 9,800 sf home, when you can trim that bill right down to a paltry $350 per month? At a time when luxury living is scrutinized for excess energy consumption, why not build a 5 bedroom, 6.5 bath high-end home with a "small environmental footprint"? Seriously, with smart, energy-efficient design (read: 4 extra solar panels), you can generate enough electricity to run all 6 interior refrigerators. And by using recycled and reclaimed wood (where possible of course), non-toxic blow-in insulation, and low-VOC finishings, this home is going to surpass Built Green standards. Designers worked their hearts out to build the greenest home possible without sacrificing precious square footage, and this home could house at least four regular sized families by our calculations. You’ll be glad to know this hulking home, located at 995 Longbow Place in Larkspur, Colorado, is on sale for the very reasonable, and very green, price of $4.5 million.
Are we confusing the words "green," "sustainable," "energy efficient," and "small footprint"? You tell me, is this green?
Developer Tribeca Associates has chosen Brennan Beer Gorman Architects (BBG Architects) to design the overhaul of an historic 1910 warehouse building. At a price of $220 million, the existing structure will be redeveloped into 292,000 sf of office space, with 12 stories of new hotel space rising from the office pedestal. There will be a small portion of retail space and the hotel will be one of the few Silver LEED Certified buildings in the U.S. Located at 330 Hudson Street (324-344 Hudson) in the downtown Hudson Square area of Manhattan, the new structure will combine sustainable design and historic preservation in a powerful 22-story package. The iconic masonry exterior of the existing structure will undergo meticulous restoration, and the finished structure will include amenities such as event space, rooftop pool, sky bar, signature restaurant, outdoor terraces, conference center, and a fitness center. Via Wired NY.
Coal + Climate Change, ASLA's Green Roof, Sprawl Costs, Nanotechnology, Greener Homes + LEED Criticism (WIR)
- The highly respected Ed Mazria, founder of Architecture 2030, says, "The only fossil fuel that can fuel global warming is coal. If you stop coal, you stop global warming. End of story."
- The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) reports on their green roof: it retained lots of water, reduced building energy costs, and lowered the outdoor air temperature.
- Green Technology Forum report finds that nanotechnology can make green buildings more cost-effective, energy-efficient, and in tune with their environment.
- Greener homes mean much more than planting lots of trees.
- Texas Traffic Institute study says traffic congestion is worse than last year and cost the nation over $78 billion, including the cost of lost time.
BONUS: A Wave of LEED Critical News
The Tread Lightly House was designed by Garrison Architects for a site where the building footprint had to be minimal because of nearby wetlands. This modular house prototype touches lightly on the earth, demonstrating a different way to reduce the home’s ecological footprint and help minimize the impact of the built environment on nature. Prefabricated construction of the home draws upon an ecologically friendly modular design which is fast and easy to build (not to mention, offers the potential for saved energy, time, money, and natural resources). You can read more about this + other green projects at the Garrison Architects blog.