Video: Hive Modular in Germantown, Nashville

[Run time: 1:09 min.]I found this blog dinking around with my Blackberry’s feedreader software.  David Hunter has a blog called "Nashville Modern Prefab," and he’s documenting his experience trying to build a modern Hive Modular home near downtown Nashville.  For anyone that’s interested in some of the hurdles of getting approvals, etc., for a non-traditional home, this is a great blog to scan over.  Check the video above, which is a 3D rendering of Hunter’s future home.  Hope the approvals finally come through!  For those of you that like Hive Modular’s work, you may enjoy some of the videos and links below. 

Good Links:
+Hive Modular [website]
+Hive Modular on HGTV [Youtube]
+Hive Modular + Rosenlof/Lucas Video [Youtube]

S2: Zero Emissions, Zero Energy Office Tower – Burj al-Taqa

Burj al-Taqa Energy Tower I’m a little late getting to this because I’ve reserved it for the Skyscraper Sunday column, but news of this building pretty much swamped the blogosphere a couple weeks ago.  This is the Burj al-Taqa, or Energy Tower, a project conceived by a handful of architects and Eckhard Gerber.  If Gerber’s computer models prove correct, this tower will be completely energy independent, producing all its own energy via sunlight, wind, and water.  Also, coming in with a price tag of $406 million for the giant 68-story eco-tower, the Burj al-Taqa will occupy #22 on the list of world’s tallest buildings. 

This office tower is not short on innovation, so here are a few of the concepts Gerber has planned:  the cylindrical shape is designed to expose as little surface area to the sun as possible, thereby reducing heat gain; a solar shield reaches from ground to the roof, protecting the building from the sun’s glaring rays; the tower’s facade is built from a new generation of vacuum glazing, to be mass-marketed in 2008, that will transmit two-thirds less heat than current generation products; negative pressure created by winds breaking along the tower will suck spent air from rooms out of the building through air slits in the facade; sea water will be used to pre-cool air; to generate electricity, the tower will have a 197-foot wind turbine and two photovoltaic arrays totally 15,000 square meters; and additional electricity will be generated by an island of solar panels (literally floating in the sea within viewing distance of the building) totally 17,000 square meters.  Any excess electricity will be used to generate hydrogen (from the seawater via electrolysis), which be stored in special tanks.  Night power will then be supplied by fuel cell technology.  Also, Gerber plans to use mirrors to create a cone of light that will send natural light through the center of the building.  Pretty impressive concepts all around.  Via.

Good Links:
+New Tower Creates All Its Own Energy [Spiegel]
+Skyscraper Creates All Its Own Energy [Metaefficient]
+Dubai Burj al-Taqa Skyscraper to Generate All Its Own Energy [Engadget]
+The Burj al-Taqa ['Energy Tower'] [architecture.mnp]

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

NYC's Green Taxi, Green Marketing, + Building Green TV (WIR)

Week in Review
  1. NYC Mayor Bloomberg announced plans for an All-Hybrid Taxi Fleet
  2. Marketers don’t yet understand how to push green ideas.
  3. Building Green TV show set to air on PBS starting June 5, 2007. 

The Daily Green's Weird Weather Watch Feature

Phoenix Smog
Worth Preserving

Do you ever just get outside and look in the sky?  Last night, it was about 10:15 pm here and I could still see light peeking through the clouds on the horizon.  I can dig that, light until 9:30 pm.  Moving across the country, I’ve had the opportunity to watch the clouds and weather from early morning until late night.  It’s fun.  I think this is why I like The Daily Green‘s feature called the Weird Weather Watch: the photo blog of climate change.  It’s important to recall the concept that weather is not climate, but weather over a period of time is climate.  To my knowledge, there’s nothing on the world wide web like this feature that gets so many diverse, quality, and unique images specifically on odd weather.  It’s pretty cool.

Here’s what it’s all about: "Calling all backyard environmentalists, cell phone climatologists, citizen photojournalists, weekend bird fanatics and others in The Daily Green community! The warmed climate is throwing us surprise after surprise, and Weird Weather Watch is your destination for the photos that capture the moment and your conscience. While it may be impossible to scientifically link any one weather event to global climate change, Weird Weather Watch will collect photos of everyday weather-related changes that concern our community. Help us create THE photo blog of the new environmental movement."

Quotable: Donald Wood, Federal Realty Investment Trust

Donald_wood "It’s better to be ahead of the ‘green’ curve than to play catch-up.  A proactive program to modify your development methods clearly represents an opportunity to increase competitive advantage in civic development projects.  This is the case for Federal Realty where Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings and other environmentally based requirements are mandated by a number of jurisdictions in charge of civic projects." 

                                –Donald Wood, President & CEO
                                  Federal Realty Investment Trust
                                  Real Estate Portfolio, May/June 2007

Rowhaus Condominiums, Modern + Green Living by Blue Conservancy

Rowhaus

I’m in the middle of trying to find a nice little home in Salt Lake City and don’t think I’ve ever seen the words ‘bungalow’ or ‘rambler’ so much in my life.  Many (not all) of the places here are run down, beat up, smelly, oozing with latent mold and lead issues, and very expensive.  There’s not much in the way of modern or contemporary offerings either, but there’s a small community of developers starting to turn that around.  For example, if we were in the position to buy, we’d go after this place being developed by Blue Conservancy called Rowhaus

Located at 1130 South West Temple, Rowhaus is a community of 24, 3-story, townhouse-style condominiums.  With prices starting at $299,000, Rowhaus is one of the nascent green offerings in the urban housing market here in Salt Lake City.  Some of the green features include the following: quiet, insulated concrete partition walls; large, thermally broken operable windows in all rooms; Energy Star appliances; and two minute walk to rail transportation.  Each unit is about 2,000 sf, with separate 2-car garages and a private yard.  Also, from what I understand, Blue Conservancy is a Salt Lake City Green certified business.  Nice. 

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