PVC Debacle, Green Affordable Housing, Home Depot + Green Roofs, + Corporate Environmentalists (WIR)

Week in Review
  1. Hugging the Tree-huggers: Environmentalists at the Corporate TableBusinessWeek article on why so many companies are suddenly linking up with eco-groups.  Hint: Smart business. 
  2. Enterprise Encourages Legislation to ‘Green’ Affordable Housing – Enterprise joins Congressmen Adam Smith (D-WA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), John Lewis (D-GA) and Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) in support of legislation to "green" affordable housing by promoting energy efficiency, resource conservation and sustainable development in low-income communities across the country.
  3. The Home Depot Foundation Awards $300,000 Grant to Further Support Green Roof Development – Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) and Earth Pledge (EP) are pleased to announce the receipt of a $300,000 grant from The Home Depot Foundation to support their combined efforts to advance the green roof industry in three key cities: Minneapolis, Atlanta, and Los Angeles.
  4. USGBC’s Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee Issues Final Report on PVC – The Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee (TSAC) of the USGBC issued its final report to USGBC’s LEED Steering Committee (LSC) on the technical and scientific basis for a PVC-related credit within the LEED® Green Building Rating System™.  The report raises broader questions; LEED Steering Committee to decide next steps, policy agenda, and potential actions.

ON PVC:
The existence of this struggle between PVC supporters and the USGBC suggests that PVC is not so green.  If you lobby hard enough, throw enough money at the cause, and wear enough people down, you can win in our day and age.  Generally speaking, people don’t stand up for what is right because doing so would require taking a visible position.  Taking a position requires persistence, diligence, ethics, and uncompromising, unwaivering fortitude.  So I ask, Mr. USGBC… do you have what it takes?  I hope you can swim upstream on this one or your existence will be completely and utterly futile.  If you can’t decide what’s green and what’s not, there is no need to certify buildings according to your ‘green’ standards.  imho.

Hive Modular B-Line (F2)

B Line  Kitchen

A few months ago, I posted a video on Hive Modular.  Pictured above is the popular, modern B-Line.  Hive Modular is making it happen in a good way. 

"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.

Platinum BASF Near-Zero Energy Home – Paterson, NJ

BASF Near-Zero Energy Home

That’s right, Platinum.  LEED-H Platinum, that is.  The Near-Zero Energy Home in Paterson, NJ, is quite the achievement.  I first saw a picture of it in BusinessWeek, if I recall correctly.  The home’s website at www.betterhomebetterplanet.com has a pretty good bank of construction and finished photos, as well as general info relating to the construction of a high-performance home.  An interesting note about the Near-Zero Energy Home is that it will serve as a template for a project to build over 3,000 affordable housing units in Paterson. 

Green Features:
Green building requires a holistic approach, where the aggregation of several energy efficient, environmentally conscious, and resource efficient pieces come together to create a home of high-performance.  Here, there are three main systems (building envelope, solar power, and mechanical HVAC) that interact to create a home that’s 80% more efficient than your typical abode.  Click here for a visualization of how each system works.  The Near-Zero Energy Home has solar panels, solar water heating systems, cool metal roofing, Energy Star windows, insulated concrete forms (ICFs), structural insulated panels (SIPs), an Amana air conditioning system, and more…

BASF + China + McDonough?
Another interesting note relates to the future cooperation of Eco-tect William McDonough and BASF.  Over the next 12 years, McDonough is charged with building seven cradle-to-cradle cities in China, housing +400 million people.  Many of the technologies used in this Near-Zero Energy Home will also be used to help China achieve 65% reductions of energy use by 2020.  Must be good. 

BASF Kitchen BASF Living Room

Video: Patagonia's LEED Gold Distribution Center

[Run time: 5:43 min.]  This is a pretty good video.  If you’re in business and in a position to make decisions about facilities, etc., this is a good idea generator.  In fact, that’s what Jetson Green is all about: generating ideas for application in a new setting.  Here’s Patagonia‘s Mission Statement: "Build the best product, do no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis."  This is a good company, working to make a difference in business.  The video covers the following: (1) managing storm-water runoff, (2) landscape and exterior design, (3) water and energy efficiency, (4) construction materials, and (5) green housekeeping, alternative transportation, and recycling.  Note also that Patagonia supports 1% for the Planet. Via.

3/5/2007 – Update: Just noticed a new press release today stating that Patagonia received the LEED Gold level certification, an even more prestigious accomplishment than the Silver.

Chicago's LEED Gold 111 South Wacker (S2)

111 South Wacker 111 South Wacker

Since GreenBuild 2007 will be in Chicago, I wanted to showcase one the many green buildings in Chicago.  In 2005, 111 South Wacker in Chicago, Illinois, received an AIA Design Excellence Award and LEED-CS Gold certification for it’s sustainability achievements.  Designed by Goettsch Partners, the 53-story tower is an incredibly handsome skyscraper.  The transparent base of the tower is particularly interesting with those seemingly dinky pillars holding up the entirety of the building. 

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Utah Edging Green, Energy Star Buildings, + Green Materials in Demand (WIR)

Week in Review
  1. Green is Right for Utah’s Future, Sustainable Building Proponents Say – Peter McMahon joined Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, Rep. Ralph Becker and Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon on the panel. Their topic was ‘Build Green. Can you Afford Not To?’  “Not many people in certain parts of the U.S. get it yet,” McMahon said. “I think we’re going to see a really huge shift in the next five years. It’s happening in a lot of countries.”
  2. EPA Awards Energy Star Awards to 53 Buildings in Midwest – Last year, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded Energy Star status to 53 office buildings, schools, hospitals, public buildings and college dormitories in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.  "These buildings are among the nation’s top energy savers, they use about one-third less energy than average buildings which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and saves money."
  3. Green Building Materials Gain Ground in a Soft Housing Market – Environmentally friendly options like upgraded insulation and more efficient air conditioners and furnaces are doing well in an otherwise soft housing market.

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