Construction just began on what could be one of the most innovative office towers in the U.S. Located at 1501 McKinney Street in Houston, Discovery Tower is a 30 story office building that will cost upwards near $300 million to build. And as you can tell from the above renderings, the pinnacle was designed to have 10 wind turbines. But that’s not just some fancy, green add-on to an otherwise generic building. Discovery Tower will be built to achieve LEED Gold certification from the USGBC.
With construction set to finish in the second quarter of 2010, the Gensler-designed green skyscraper will have air filtration, water-efficient plumbing, and an energy efficient heating and cooling system, among other things.
In January of this year, Frontline/World reporter Timothy Lesle published a three-part, video documentary on Huangbaiyu called "China: Green Dreams – A NOT SO model village." Here’s a teaser intro to the report: "The village of Huangbaiyu in rural northeast China was supposed to be a model for energy-conscious design. The initial project was to build 400 sustainable homes, a collaboration between U.S. architect William McDonough and the Chinese. But something went awry. [Timothy Lesle] traveled to the region to investigate." I’m not going to tell the whole story — the series is quite compelling, and Mr. Lesle presents an honest perspective of Chinese urbanization.
Cashing in on pollution, turning brownfields green. LEED Certified versus LEED Certifi-able. Green features grow in popularity in home design. San Francisco contemplates tougher green building laws. 11 Green Companies […]
I love the possibilities and ideas presented by the m-hotel from Tim Pyne. That said, I can’t say there’s anything green about the concept (that is soon to be a reality) other than two things, possibly: (1) it’s a non-permanent structure (7-10 years) where the parts can be reused differently in the future and dismantled to make way for a different use on the site, and/or (2) it’s a prefab structure and prefab has the potential for green benefits such as material savings, lower construction waste, and minimized site disturbance, etc. But still, it’s cool and innovative. The m-hotel is designed as a series of steel-framed slot boxes that slide into the frame (which makes for easy dismantling in the future).
The striped m-hotel as you see above is being considered for Sclater Street in London. If approved, the hotel will have 32 units each measuring 16 x 36 feet (576 sf). Work may begin as soon as this summer and should be complete by end of the year. I can’t wait to see the finished product.
The Hawaii Gateway Energy Center (HGEC) is a 3,600 sf, $3.4 million facility situated on the south coast of Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. The new building serves both the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii and the Hawaii Ocean Sciences and Technology Park. And as you may be able to gather from the images and models below, HGEC is a fascinating display of the future potential for synergies of solar power and building efficiencies. The entire building is designed as a thermal chimney that captures heat and creates air movement using the structural form and thermodynamic principles. Also, with the help of glazing, the building orientation and design pretty much eliminates the need for electric lighting during the day. Notably, HGEC consumes about 20% of the energy that’s required by a comparable building.