Skyscraper Sunday: Chicago's 340 on the Park Pursuing LEED

340_on_the_park_rendering_2Calm, clear, and cool, very cool, 340 on the Park is the logical choice for city living.  It’s rather timely that I picked a Chicago building for today’s Skyscraper Sunday column, because it just so happens that the USGBC is switching locations for Greenbuild 2007 from LA to Chicago.  Chicago is making big-time strides in all things green–they’re vying for the position as the greenest city in America.  With that in mind, 340 on the Park is going to be the first residential high-rise in Chicago designed to meet LEED standards.  It’s huge, too.  Designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz, 340 is a 64 story tower with a 2+ floor winter garden starting on floor 25.  It will have all the amenities a luxury resident could ask for, including sauna, steam rooms, hot tub, wi-fi, yoga + aerobics room, fitness center, 25-yard lap pool, and men’s + women’s locker rooms. 

As far as its green features, I haven’t found many specifics, but 340 will use high-tech, energy efficient heating and cooling; fully-insulated windows; an advanced, air-quality management system; rainwater collection system for landscaping; and environmentally friendly construction materials.  Pretty general, I know.  With a two-bedroom (roughly 1,650 square feet) residence starting at nearly $681,000, you’re certain to get a nice view to go along with that green home.  Construction is set for completion in 2007. 

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Climate Change Legal Practice, Green Building Lending, Texas Geothermal, + Green Sans LEED (WIR)

Week in Review
  1. The Law Firm of Holland & Hart Announces New Global Climate Change Practice – The firm is the first and only law firm based in the Rocky Mountains to organize a practice group concentrating on this rapidly emerging area of law and policy.  Holland & Hart’s Global Climate Change Practice Group consists of attorneys who counsel clients on the climate change aspects of energy and natural resources development, industrial energy use, regulatory compliance, renewable energy and energy infrastructure projects, corporate disclosure and governance, carbon markets, litigation, and government relations.
  2. New Resource Bank Aims to Make it Easier to Build Green – A new banking program here aims to encourage developers and investors to start green building projects by offering financial incentives like providing more money at a lower cost, higher loan-to value, and lower interest rates.
  3. Texas Issues First Lease for Geothermal Energy Exploration and Development along Gulf Coast – Texas has awarded the state’s first lease for geothermal energy production to Ormat Technologies, Inc., which plans to explore the renewable energy’s potential along seven Gulf Coast counties.  The company paid $55,645, or $5 an acre, for the right to explore 11,129 acres for pockets of hot water and steam under the ocean floor, the General Land Office announced Tuesday.
  4. Building Greener and Cheaper than LEED – While many argue over the costs and benefits of requiring LEED-certification, some affordable housing developers have shown that building green doesn’t require following the program’s recommendations.

LEED-H Silver, Energy Star, Earth Advantage – Dolph Creek Townhomes

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In Portland, Oregon, there’s a sustainable development called The Headwaters at Tryon Creek, which is a 2.88 acre, master-planned, mixed-income community that prioritizes sustainable building practices, energy + water conservation, wildlife habit restoration, and stormwater management.  One portion of the development includes the Dolph Creek Townhomes, which are 14 for sale, attached townhouses that are LEED Silver, Energy Star, and Earth Advantage certified.  Quite the list of certifications!  These luxury townhouses vary in size from 1,585 – 1,695 square feet, and in price from $369,950 – $379,950…purchasers qualify for the State Residential Energy Tax Credit. 

In addition to saving up to 45% on annual energy costs, here are some of the green features:  solar panels with 80 gallon storage tank, energy efficient windows, green label carpet, formaldehyde free cabinetry and wood products, heat recovery ventilators, on-demand gas and solar water heating, polyfoam insulation, exhaust fans in all the garages, drip irrigation system, and low-flow toilets, showers, and water faucets.  Of course, the floors will be bamboo (hopefully not the Chinese import variety) and the patio will have ipe hardwood decking.  From what I’ve seen, this looks like quite the community. 

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Michelle Kaufmann Designs' Sunset Breezehouse (F2)

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Click for information on the Sunset Breezehouse or my write-up on the mkSolaire.

"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.

Innovative Home – Spring 2007

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This is the best $9.95, I’ve spent in a long time.  I read Innovative Home when it comes out every quarter, but the Spring 2007 edition is unbelievable.  Go get a copy.

Modern Green Living: An Impressive Database of Green Buildings + Experts

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Modern Green Living: My House is Smarter Your House™  A little bit back, I watched Josh Dorfman (owner + CEO of Vivavi, producer + host of The Lazy Environmentalist) unveil Modern Green Living.  According to the company, Modern Green Living is a "go-to source for those who wish to build, buy, rent, or remodel an eco-friendly home."  According to me, Modern Green Living is a nicely positioned website providing unparalleled access to (1) green experts and (2) green buildings. 

Green Buildings
Modern Green Living boasts a comprehensive and impressive database of green apartments, condos, and residential communities located throughout the United States and Canada.  It’s a veritable reservoir of information relating to modern + green structures, many of which have been featured on Jetson Green: The Visionaire, Arterra, + Green Valley Lofts (to name a few).  The site allows visitors to rate green buildings, research a building’s green credentials, and search for green buildings in a certain city.  As more buildings are built, this database is only going to get bigger and bigger.

Green Experts
Depending on who you are and what you need, Modern Green Living also has a database of green architects, green builders + contractors, green consultants, green interior designers, green realtors, and green remodelers.  Find who you need, where you need, and get yourself listed (if you fit in one of the categories).  Overall, I’m impressed with the site’s navigability and clarity–there really is a rich bank of information on green experts and buildings.  I’m also surprised at how fast the website has grown in such a short amount of time.  Go take a gander…

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