Jefferson Green Raises Bar for Commercial Buildings

Jefferson Green

Jefferson Green, not to be confused with Jetson Green, is one of only twelve LEED-CS Gold buildings in the country.  It’s also the first Gold commercial building and the largest and most energy-efficient LEED building in New Mexico.  AND it’s expected to be the first commercial building in New Mexico to certify under LEED-CI (this one Gold, too).  That’s a double Gold.  The three-story, 85,000 sf spec office building uses 30% less water and 45% less energy than the average local office building.  Designed by Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, Jefferson Green is a model for commercial buildings of the future.  The design called for some of the following features: underfloor air system, operable windows, water-efficient plumbing fixtures, xeric landscaping, low-VOC interior materials and applicants, IceStone countertops, Armstrong Dune ceiling tile, 3Form resin, and Forbo Marmoleum flooring.  The building received all the possible LEED points in the Indoor Environmental Quality category and almost all the possible points in the Water Efficiency category.  Nice work. 

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TrailerWrap Project, Mobile Home to Modern Pad

TrailerWrap Project

Exploring issues of sustainability and energy efficiency, the TrailerWrap Project aims to provide simple, affordable solutions to improve conditions in mass-produced, low-cost mobile homes.  Mobile homes are a prolific form of living, and important one, but they can be inefficient, ugly, and uncomfortable to live in.  So the University of Colorado at Denver College of Architecture cooked up sketches and prototypes, a kit to transform the common mobile home.  And now, that process is complete and they have the first actual TrailerWrap home.  I’m completely blown away by the results. 

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Michigan Home Skystream Video, Small Wind Benefits

Michigan Skystream

The Skystream here cost about $13k (including installation) and is intended to provide roughly 30-70% of the home’s energy, depending on weather conditions.  The video is interesting in that it shows the community reaction to the turbine: they love it.  Skystream turbines are good for places that have more than 1/2 acre of land and zoning that allows structures more than 42 feet tall.  Experts say the system should pay for itself over time, even without Michigan incentives.  Also visit the Skystream website. 

The Tallest and Greenest Building in India (S2)

Parkhyatt Not only is this tower designed to be the greenest in India–it’s shooting for LEED Gold certification, but it’s going to have a little something for everyone.  On a small 3 acre site, Park Hyatt Tower will have retail, lodging, and residential apartments and penthouses.  As the models below illustrate, the retail component will be on the bottom, with the hotel and spa area in the middle, and the residential lofts near the top.  Each vertical use is sandwiched with garden level lookouts.  I bet those garden spaces have incredible views.  The 85-story (?) tower is currently under construction in South Mumbai, India, and is expected to be complete in 2010.  Environmentally speaking, the tower will incorporate solar shading, natural ventilation, daylighting, rainwater harvesting, and green interior finishes and materials.  FXFOWLE Architects designed the 882,000 sf green tower for Park Hyatt.  Via skyscraper city

::"S2" is short for "Skyscraper Sunday," a weekly article on green skyscrapers posted every Sunday::

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Verdi Award-Winning Modular Landscape System

Verdi Lawnscaping System

First, it receives a 2006 red dot design award, and now, the Verdi Lawnscaping System has received a 2007 Gold IDEA Award.  Verdi is a low-maintenance, modular landscaping system that hopes to become the alternative to traditional grass lawns.  Verdi tiles are pre-seeded with built-in irrigation and they interlock for easy installation.  Once completed, the entire system can be attached to a grey water pump, which uses certain recycled water from the home to irrigate the landscaping.  The Verdi system also has other modular parts, such the solar-powered light tiles, shrub planters and path tiles, recycled glass composite inserts, and bamboo or molded recycled plastic inserts.  The technology is compelling because it has the capability to transform the process of landscape design in the backyard, terrace, or even on the roof.  And the built-in irrigation system reduces inefficient use of water, too.  This is a cool product concept to keep an eye on. 

Green Building Costs, HGTV Green Home, Energy Efficiency, Green Lending + Re-development (WIR)

Week in Review
  1. A new report by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development found that the costs of green building are often misunderstood, and even overestimated by as much as 300%. 
  2. HGTV announces the Green Home Giveaway – they will build a home somewhere using eco-friendly materials and give it away in 2008.
  3. Sun Microsystems completes next-generation, energy-efficient datacenters in California, the U.K, and India — they expect to save over $1.1 million in energy costs per year. 
  4. Developing special lending programs dedicated to energy efficiency projects is a good way for banks to support green endeavors. 
  5. With climate change and 80% of the world’s population living less than 30 miles from a coastline, Discovery talks about green principles in building a modern city

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