An Example of Green Renovation, the Brownstone

Vanessa Rae, excellent host of the Pulse Videocast, takes us through this video of green builder Blake Holden as he turns a dilapidated Brooklyn brownstone into a vintage green home. While reclaimed wood and materials preserve the look and feel of a classic brownstone, energy–saving features like blue jeans insulation and radiant heating minimize the home’s carbon footprint. Natural building materials prevent toxic indoor air pollution.

Eco-Centric Design Planned for Luxury Chinese Island

Sanya Resort

Sanya is a tropical oasis located on the Southern peninsula of Hainan Island.  A Chinese developer, Tiafeng, has teamed up with Kevin Kennon Architect to design a healthy, luxurious development for Sanya.  Check out some of the eye candy renderings below the fold…this is going to be a nice resort.  Matter of fact, I feel healthier just imagining myself there.  Slated to open in mid-2008, Sanya will include 350-room, 5-star Shangri-La Hotel, an 18-story apartment building, and a fluid, ribbon-like complex of 23 apartment and condo buildings.  All the structures will have roof gardens.  KKA specifically designed the development with privacy in mind, but opened up the architecture to the surrounding green space.  The buildings are meant to flow and blend into the environment, as opposed to standing out in contrast to the natural surroundings.  I can’t wait to see more specifics on this project.  Via

Read more »

DiCaprio, Discovery to Rebuild Devastated Greensburg into Eco-Town

Discovery Planet Green

On May 4, Greensburg, Kansas, population 1,500, was smashed by a tornado.  Celebrity Leonardo DiCaprio saw the destruction and decided to help Greensburg rebuild their into an "Eco-town."  DiCaprio pitched the idea to Discovery and the company decided to join with him to make the rebuilding into a 13-part series for Discovery’s new Planet Green channel.  The series will be called "Eco-town," and it will document Greensburg becoming a "sustainable model of eco-living and one that will save it from future environmental catastrophe." 

DiCaprio plans to executive produce the series through his company Appian Way, with the additional help of Craig Piligiann and Discovery Planet Green.  They anticipate working closely with the governor of Kansas and Greensburg to put resources into the rebuilding and make a genuine difference.  I think it’s an excellent idea and can’t wait to watch and learn from the effort.  Via NY Times.

To get an idea of the damage to this town, check the photos below the fold.  It’s unbelievable the damage nature can do. 

Read more »

Rafael Viñoly Walkie-Talkie Tower Gains Approval (S2)

Walkie Talkie Tower

Soon, London is going to welcome another interesting object to the city’s skyline.  If you’re familiar with 30 St Mary Axe, you know what I’m talking about.  Now, developer Land Securities will get the opportunity to construct a new, 37-story, Rafael Viñoly-designed building that commentators affectionately call the "Walkie-Talkie" Tower.  City councillors were split on whether to approve the scheme, but ultimately it received a 12-8 vote for approval.  Some councillors were worried about its location and the asymmetrical impact to London’s skyline.  Another councillor said the building design is "striking, remarkable and [an] exciting standalone building."  To be located at 20 Fenchurch Street, Land Securities thinks the building is necessary to meet the market’s demand for efficient large floor plates. 

Like most towers being designed these days, this one will also include sustainable design.  One notable green feature is the roof garden and park.  The sky garden will be open to the public on the weekends, making it the highest accessible park in London.  Also, there will be a cafe and restaurant on the park level.  Via BD Online

Read more »

Capitol Hill Green Building, Ford's Plug-in Hybrid, SCU's Solar Home + Putting Buildings on an Energy Diet (WIR)

Week in Review
  1. Congress celebrates first green building on Capitol Hill with one building being renovated to LEED Silver level certification and saving energy by about 48%. 
  2. Ford Motor Company and Southern California Edison join together to make plug-in hybrid technology a reality. 
  3. Santa Clara University was chosen by US Department of Energy to design, construct, and display a fully functional, 650 sf solar powered home. 
  4. The Cost of Saving Energy – New Yorkers are working on energy consumption, but some buildings need to go on an energy diet. 

O2 Student Village, A Community of M-CHs (F2)

O2 Student Village

This is a pretty popular photo of the O2 student village at the Technical University of Munich.  In addition to being sponsored by O2 Germany, the community of seven micro-compact homes (posted about previously here) is also sponsored by Siemens.  Six students and one professor stay in the homes for an entire school year.  Each home includes a plasma screen, high-speed internet, a bed, and state-of-the-art kitchen and bathroom appliances (although you probably wouldn’t want to powder your nose and cook at the same times as these are only about 76 sf big).

"F2" is short for "Flickr Friday," a weekly short posted on Friday with an image from Flickr and a quick description.  Feel free to email me your F2 ideas.

Popular Topics on Jetson Green