America's First + Greenest Private Spaceport

Spaceport

It’s not an airport, it’s a spaceport–a commercial station for the burgeoning business of space travel.  As you can see from the renderings, this structure is the New Mexico Spaceport Authority Building, aka Spaceport America, which was designed by Foster + Partners (and SMCP Architects).  As the first private spaceport in America, Spaceport America will be built to LEED Platinum standards.  Perhaps more importantly, the building should have minimal impact on the surrounding environment: "the low-lying form is dug into the landscape to exploit the thermal mass, which buffers the building from the extremes of the New Mexico climate as well as catching the westerly winds for ventilation. Natural light enters via skylights, with a glazed façade reserved for the terminal building, establishing a platform for the coveted views onto the runway."  The project is expected to cost about $31 million and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic will be the main tenant. 

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WIRED LivingHome Construction WebCam, 2 Days

Wired LivingHome 1

It looks like construction on the WIRED Livinghome began this morning and there’s a webcam documenting the process.  There’s an archive of stills at frequent intervals, so you can click over and view the entire process from the beginning (or every thing that’s been completed so far).  All the main parts are supposed to be complete by September 7, and we’ll be able to get a pretty good picture of what the final home will look like.  Also, if you’re interested in green prefab, the official WIRED LivingHome website, which fully launches on September 25, has some videos on deconstruction and factory-built homes. 

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New Haworth Center HQ Setting Green Example

Haworth Center

I really like Haworth.  In short, Haworth is a leader in office furniture and architectural interiors.  They do everything with a commitment to appealing aesthetics, thoughtful ergonomics, and sustainability.  I came in contact with some Haworth employees when I was finishing my JD/MBA program in Dallas, and they gave me a personal tour of the super-stylish Dallas showroom (a commercial interiors office display built to LEED-CI Gold standards).  Now, Haworth is working on a major, award-winning overhaul of their Holland, Michigan Headquarters.  The 300,000 sf renovation was designed to meet LEED-NC Gold standards; some of the building’s green features include the following:

  • The new facade will have a sun-filled atrium and vegetated green roof, blending the boundary between the structure and natural environment;
  • All of the interior 830 workstations will have access to daylight views;
  • Over 99% of the existing materials collected during deconstruction and recovery are being recycled; and
  • Although the footprint of the building will increase by 20%, energy use will remain at pre-renovation levels due to sustainability improvements. 

Of the green headquarters, Haworth Chairman Dick Haworth said, "The new Haworth Center will be a leading example of change. We’re not just building a better building … we’re building a better future."

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Jay Leno Delves Deeper into Small Wind

Jay Leno's Green Garage

You may have heard of Jay Leno’s Green Garage, but have you heard about him installing the Delta II wind turbine on the building to generate electricity?  Delta II is an American-made, vertical axis turbine designed by PacWind.  It’s a 9 foot, 500 lb. beast with the ability to produce 10 kw of power at 28 mph winds.  One of the benefits of this design is that it can start producing electricity at lower wind speeds … to get a more specific idea, feel free to watch this installation video at Popular Mechanics.

Jay’s Green Garage was recently on the newest episode of Living with Ed, and according to the show, Jay plans to expand his arsenal of Delta II wind turbines.  We’ll keep an eye on the news to see how many he adds to the building.  What does this mean?  It sounds like he’s happy with the turbine’s performance, which is a good thing because the small wind industry is still trying to gain momentum and traction.  Delta II MSRPs for a cool $19,995. 

Modular Bamboo Home by Gau Designs & Concepts

Gau Designs & Concepts

This is a modern, concept home design by Gau Designs & Concepts, a multi disciplinary design consultancy based in Montreal, Canada.  The idea of a green prefab home made of bamboo is quite compelling–that is, assuming the bamboo can be sourced locally.  Depending on the species, bamboo is quick to grow.  It’s also light and durable and has become popular to use in a variety of applications.  The house design allows for a slightly slanted roof, which is not too slanted to preclude a green roof, but that is oriented at the right angle to generate power with a photovoltaic array. 

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Green Tower Pair Planned for Metropolitan DC (S2)

Rosslyn

A proposed million square foot, mixed-use development for Rosslyn Central Place in Arlington, Virginia (metropolitan DC area), recently received approvals.  With construction set to begin early in 2008, the objective of this development is to create an image and identify for Arlington, as well as a sense of place in the heart of Rosslyn.  This area of Rosslyn should become a hub of pedestrian activity, with various retail opportunities on the ground level.  There will be two LEED certified towers: one commercial tower will have 500,000 sf of premium space and the other tower will house 350 residential units.  The base of both towers will have about 50,000 sf of retail  amenities.  And one of the main luxuries of the development is the 10,000 sf observation deck above the commercial tower (pictured below).  The observation deck will feature 360 degree views of some of the most famous locations in the country.  See also Beyer Blinder Belle + WAN

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