300 North LaSalle, Exposing LEED Benefits (S2)

Feature I received an email from a reader recently about the progress of 300 North LaSalle, which is a 60-story office tower under construction at the northwest corner of North LaSalle Street and the Chicago River in Chicago.  It received LEED-CS Gold pre-certification and should be ready for occupation near January 2009.  Back in 2005, developer Hines signed Kirkland & Ellis to occupy a mind-numbing 24 floors.  (too many lawyers in Chicago?)  The rest of the building, comprising about 400,000 sf will be available for lease.  And unlike many of the wicked shapes we see in some green buildings, the pragmatic, modern 25,000 rsf floor plates are good for tenants that like to use what they’re paying for.  The building was designed by Pickard Chilton, an architectural firm that is becoming increasingly known for their green office and professional buildings.  I’ve included some interesting background and images/renderings below. 

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Technische Universität Darmstadt Takes First Place at Solar Decathlon 2007

Solar Decathlon Winner 2007

It’s pretty unbelievable to see all these cool houses at Solar Decathlon.  I mean, why can’t all houses look like this?  Late yesterday, it was announced that the Technische Universität Darmstadt team from Germany took first prize.  Congratulations!  Word on the street is that this house was consistently swarmed with visitors the entire week.  Rightfully so, too.

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Trump's Stalled Golf, $1 Trillion Clean Energy Market, Small Wind Obstacles, Stylish Prefab, + Green City Branding (WIR)

Week in Review

McDonald’s re Recent LEED Criticism

McDonald's LEED

You’ve probably heard that Fast Company wrote a recent article about some of the potential problems with the LEED system.  Well, Bob Langert, Vice President of CSR at McDonald’s, just wrote a small response to Fast Company Magazine in an article titled “LEED = Progress for the Environment.”  Starting with the quote, “Perfection is the enemy of good,” Langert continued:

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Austin to Require Zero Energy Homes by 2015

Austin

The City of Austin, after a year of serious research by the Zero Energy Capable Homes Task Force,  announced a huge initiative towards requiring all new single-family homes to be zero-energy capably by 2015.  Here’s how it works.  Today, the city adopted the first in a series of code amendments and a  road map of code amendments that will be implemented through 2015.  Due to this first series of changes, roughly 6500 new homes built in Austin will be about 20% more efficient.  Through 2015, as the code changes ratchet up the efficiency baseline, homes will end up using about 65% less energy than those built today.  Then, owners will have the option of adding solar or some other clean tech to get the home to zero energy status. 

Speaking of the Zero Energy Homes Initiative, Mayor Will Wynn said, "We’re taking action today that will lower the cost of utility bills, make housing more affordable, help improve air quality and take critical steps in the fight against global warming."  He continued, "The savings here are staggering – over the next ten years these policies will save homeowners almost $125 million on utility bills and have the same greenhouse gas reduction effect as taking almost 200,000 cars off the road."  It should be said, however, that home prices will increase slightly due to the initiative, but all those green Dell employees should be able to handle it, right?!  Speak with your wallet. 

Good Links:
++Zero Energy Home Initiative Approved [Austin Biz Journal]
++Mayor Winn Announces Action on Zero Energy Homes [ACC]

Fight Global Warming Now by Bill McKibben, Book Give Away

Fightglobalwarmingnow I just received an excellent book by the noteworthy, bestselling author Bill McKibben called Fight Global Warming Now: The Handbook for Taking Action in Your Community.  And as I’ve done in the past, I’m giving a copy away.*  McKibben is the author of several books and with Fight Global Warming Now, he draws on his experience with Step It Up 2007 to explain what it takes to launch online grassroots campaigns, generate persuasive political pressure, and plan high-profile events that will draw media attention.  The book is a blueprint of sorts for the movement to battle climate change.  To give you an idea, one of the goals of the movement is an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.  Feel free to visit Bill McKibben‘s website or Step It Up 2007 to learn more about it and Step It Up 2, which is planned for November 3, 2007.

*After 48 hours, I’m going to pick a number out of a cap and give this book away to the comment number corresponding to the number I pick.  Since you leave your email when you comment, I’ll email you for your address and shipping’s on me to anywhere in the U.S.  Not sure what to say in the comments?  Tell me where you’re commenting from: "SLC, Utah here!"

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