This is a quality video by Wall Street Journal’s Dana Mattioli featuring Andrew Shapiro, founder and CEO of GreenOrder. GreenOrder is a sustainable marketing and strategy firm that’s been called the "Green McKinsey" on occasion. Shapiro takes Mattioli through 7 World Trade Center, explaining the building’s several green aspects, including the rainwater reclamation system, floor-to-ceiling windows, design for natural lighting, and white roof. You’ll notice also the layout of employees, which is a little more collaborative and fluid. Experts laud these open layouts as a way to do more with less space, and thereby, save materials. I’m still unsure as to whether tighter quarters can be more effective, especially with the extra noise and commotion — I definitely think it depends on the job type. It probably reduces internet usage, though.
COVERINGS ETC has a great selection of green products. Their Eco-Terr product, which was named Editor’s Choice Product Pick 2007 by Interiors & Sources Magazine, is a beautiful mix of glass and cement, containing roughly 80% pre-consumer, recycled material. Eco-Terr is available in slabs and tiles, and overall, it’s a beautiful option for counters and floors. It can be used in a wide range of applications from residential to light commercial. COVERINGS ETC was kind enough to provide the high-quality images you see in this article.
It’s nice to hear about companies that stretch just to get the LEED Platinum certification, especially when it’s easier to go ‘certified’ and brandish that certification like it’s a shiny, new, plug-in hybrid. Half-Moon Outfitters received the Platinum certification in the middle of the summer for their 9,600 sf distribution center in North Charleston, South Carolina. They went for Platinum under the LEED-NC 2.2 system, and more importantly, they didn’t skimp in the energy and atmosphere category, opting instead to rack up ten points. The distribution center was formerly an old Piggly Wiggly store, but it’s been through what could be the greenest renovation in the country. It’s now a super green, corporate office and distribution center.
Here’s what they did: First, they installed two 1550 gallon storage tanks, which combined with the water efficient fixtures and native landscaping, helped them use about 78% less domestic potable water than a conventional building. Second, they added insulation throughout the building and installed both a 4,900-watt photovoltaic system and 19 SEER efficient Lennox heat pump system. Third, they switched to energy-efficient fluorescent lamps and found ways to benefit from the building’s east-west orientation (passive and active solar strategies). Nice work!
I was completely intrigued by this article in the New York Times about two architects’ vacation getaway, which just so happens to be green built. And before everyone flips out saying "second homes aren’t green," I’m going to preempt that by not getting into it. The house itself is an example of good design, small living, and green construction. The 935 sf modern home has a living roof, FSC-certified tigerwood flooring with vegetable wax finish, water-efficient toilet, on-demand water heater, and solar tube in the bathroom, etc.
Austin recently witnessed the groundbreaking of Block 21, a $260 million mixed-use development in downtown being built to platinum certification under the USGBC’s LEED program. Block 21 includes a 250-room W Hotel® and 200 residential condominiums, a new television studio for the world- renowned Austin City Limits, a 2,200 seat live music venue, the Austin Children’s Museum Dell Discovery Center, retail space, restaurants, and an open-air public plaza. The project is expected to be one of the first mixed-use developments in the world built to this level of LEED standards.
The 35-story building will include the five-star W Hotel on the lower levels and 200 units of residential condos on the upper levels. The 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom condos will range in size from 643 to 3,183 sf, with top-of-the-line, luxury finishouts. The development will also include a state-of-the-art spa, a signature restaurant, and 47,000 sf of retail space.