Masdar City: Zero Carbon, Zero Waste

1064_4_1000_foster_mascar_4

Foster + Partners has created a master plan for a massive and bold 6 million square meter sustainable development near Abu Dhabi called Masdar.  Driven by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, Masdar will be a zero carbon, zero waste community, one that will be entirely car free. 

Read more »

Filler Post: The Light at the End of the Tunnel

I’m in the middle of a hellish end to law school finals.  I have some good content in the works, but need to sort through it + make it shine, so keep your eyes open for stuff later in the day.  For those of you aren’t familiar with the face behind Jetson Green, I’m at the end of my 4th year of grad school getting both JD + MBA degrees.  The MBA part finished last week.  I need to polish up my paper on lead paint public nuisance litigation for Friday and make it through the night studying for constitutional law.  Next week is graduation and we’re moving the very next day for Salt Lake City.  Posting will be erratic, but will come even if it’s at 4:00 am sometimes.  How ’bout them Jazz?  Who would’ve thought I’d leave the playoff-less Dallas for the playoff-full Salt Lake City? 

Gatorade Building Becomes Largest, Green Food + Beverage Facility in World

Gatoradelogo That’s right.  Another example of the business case for going green.  Recently, Gatorade received LEED Gold-level certification for the Gatorade Thirst Quencher Blue Ridge facility in Wytheville, Virginia.  At 950,000 sf, it weighs in as the largest green food and beverage facility in the world.  Notice the oxymoron: large green; but it’s not really fair for me to say that.  Building a manufacturing facility to the LEED Gold level can be quite the accomplishment.  Like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo (which owns Gatorade) sees the benefits of having green production facilities.  In addition to the PR benefits of showing the community that you’re not wasteful of valuable water resources, you build a better work environment for employees and waste less energy.  Big companies with green buildings show their employees that green is good, and this thinking starts to cascade.  Eventually, employees will greenify their homes and habits.  Employees will tell their friends and families, too.  Word will spread and there will be a point, not in the too distant future, when everyone accepts green as the standard and non-green as passé, wasteful, and unsophisticated. 

Good Links:
+Gatorade LEED Gold Press Release
+Gatorade Press Release with Blue Ridge Image [CSRwire]
+Coca-Cola Flaunts Business Case for Green Renovations [JG]

The Modern Danish Interpretation of Light*house (S2)

Denmark Lighthouse Rendering Night

The images you see are for a development in Denmark called the "Danish Light*house," a collaboration between UNStudio, 3xn, and Gehl Architects.  Light*house is the winner of the competition for a new Aarhus harbor front.  In addition to the 140 meter residential tower, the project includes the ancillary buildings also on the water front.  With sub-level parking and no parking on ground level, one goal of Light*house is to create a walkable environment that draws visitors to the water.  Although details are still in general terms, starting sometime in 2008, it will be built to the newest energy standards and sustainable building practices.  Light*house will have a healthy mix of rental + owner-occupied housing; a large portion of the project will include non-profit rental housing.  When construction is complete in 2010, the project owners hope to have the harbor front in Denmark.  More pics below the jump.  Via.

Good Links:
+Danish Light*house [architecture.mnp]
+The Lighthouse of Danish Urban Development [WAN]
+3xn, UNStudio, Gehl Architects [architects]

Read more »

C2C + LEED, Baltimore Going Green, + Exelon's Platinum HQ (WIR)

Week in Review
  1. USGBC Now Allows Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Points under LEED Innovation in Design Category.
  2. Britain Assesses the Pros and Cons of Green Homes. 
  3. Baltimore is One Step Closer to Becoming Next City to Require Developers to Incorporate Green Building Standards into Projects. 
  4. New Exelon HQs Becomes Largest Office Space in the World to be LEED-CI Certified at the Platinum Level. 

Top 10 Problems with Sprawl

Sprawl

At some point over the past year, the American population surpassed 300 million, and if we continue as expected, we’re going to have another 92 million people over the next 34 years.  That’s a lot of people and they’ll need places to live.  Over that period of time, it’s real important that we get planning right.  The problem is, however, planning decisions are made by thousands of different people with thousands of conflicting interests.  The gist, though, is that sprawl isn’t green.  Here are ten good reasons to back that up. 

  1. Sprawl development contributes to a loss of support for public facilities and public amenities.
  2. Sprawl undermines effective maintenance of existing infrastructure. 
  3. Sprawl increases societal costs for transportation.
  4. Sprawl consumes more resources than other development patterns. 
  5. Sprawl separates urban poor people from jobs. 
  6. Sprawl imposes a tax on time.
  7. Sprawl degrades water and air quality. 
  8. Sprawl results in the permanent alteration and destruction of habitats. 
  9. Sprawl creates difficulty in maintaining community.
  10. Sprawl offers the promise of choice while only delivering more of the same. 

I’m a child of sprawl.  I’ve seen the effects of it.  I’ve personally experienced #3, #4, #6, #9, and #10.  Every smart person in this country needs to realize the effect of various policy and regulatory decisions and find a way to dig out of the mess we’re in.  If not, sprawl will continue to hamper us more and more in the future. 

Is there a silver bullet to fixing the problem?  That’s tough.  There is a temporary solution for some people:  live near your work, church, and family.  It will make your life more abundant when the places you go are close.  Just find a way to live near the places you frequently go. 

This list was created by James M. McElfish, Jr., Director, Sustainable Use of Land Program, Environmental Law Institute

Popular Topics on Jetson Green