This news isn’t all that surprising because the government (at various levels) has shown significant support for green buildings, but recently, NASA set the wheels in motion to have a $54 million LEED Silver building built in Greenbelt, Maryland. This three story office and laboratory structure will be the future Exploration Sciences Building at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. And as a side note, NASA has determined that all future buildings will be constructed to the LEED Silver level, at a minimum. Designed by EwingCole, the completed building will end up at about 265,500 sf. Looks good. UPDATED 8/23/2007: new images swapped out.
I’m going to be talking with the CEO of Jeriko House, Shawn Burst, later this week, but I still want to post an update on what’s happening with this Louisiana-based modern prefab company. I broke the story on Jeriko House last January and a lot has happened since that time. Right now, Jeriko House is smack dab in the middle of three different projects, with more on the development table. Feel free to head on over the newly redesigned, updated website for current projects, the gallery, and other information on what the company has to offer.
Hypothetical: What Would it Take?
Jeriko House is prepared to adapt their designs for a variety of climates and sites, so they can go anywhere in the United States. With that in mind, let me throw out a little hypothetical to satisfy my own curiosity. Assume your are in the market for a new home and you have an empty lot. What would it take to put a Jeriko House on your lot? Any thoughts? Unload in the comments. Also, some incredible pictures below the jump.
This excellent story was originally published by Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter on July 21, 2007. Inconspicuously placed into the blog stream of information on a Saturday, it’s particularly special in that it offers a glimpse of taking prefab from nothing to something. I hope you enjoy the following information, links, and images as much as I did.
Until recently my day job was working with Royal Homes to promote modern prefab. We commissioned Kohn Shnier Architects to design the small and efficient Q series, which was seen by a Toronto patron of the Arts, who asked for a larger version as a second home for two families in Muskoka, Ontario. I visited the site this week for the first time since the construction and installation, which can be seen here. Another disclosure: I am a terrible photographer and these pictures do not do it justice.
The building is essentially a sixteen foot deep wall; that the maximum width that can go down the road, and Martin Kohn took advantage of this to create the thin, long structure.
The publishing world is going crazy with good eco-friendly content. I’ve added some new titles to the Jetson Green Sustainability Bookstore, in case you’re interested in keeping up with the latest trends and research on topics relevant to Jetson Green.
- The World Without Us – Alan Weisman @ $14.97
- Ecological Design, 10th Anniversary Edition – Sim Van der Ryn @ $29.95
- The Designer’s Atlas of Sustainability – Ann Thorpe @ $29.95
- PreFab Now – James Grayson Trulove, Ray Cha @ $26.37 (release: 7/31)
I’m particularly interested in sitting down to The World Without Us near the end of the week.
With a skyscraper farm, the idea is that one can control the environment and manner of producing crops. Unless the building is wiped out by tornado or earthquake, vertical farms have the potential to reduce weather-related crop failures. And with modern engineering, one could set up an elaborate system of rainwater reclamation and filtering to avoid water runoff pollution. Plus, skyscrapers go everywhere. You could have towers in Tokyo, London, Shanghai, Dallas, or where ever, growing organic goods. Locally-produced organic goods sans the transportation premium and carbon emissions–now that has the potential to be disruptive! Vertical farms use artificial light and with the right combination of renewable energy power a building, I could see this being a legitimate endeavor. Experts suggest we’re about 15 years away from realizing something like this, but hey, it’s not one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard.
The above image is the Living Tower by Pierre Sartoux. The first level below the jump is Gordon Graff’s SKYfarm. The second level is the Vertical Farm by Chris Jacobs. Link for background story; link for images.
Crappy GHG Homes, Water-efficient Golf, Green Retail Centers + Wells Fargo's $1B in Green Lending (WIR)
- 88% of new homes are crappy, greenhouse gas spewing energy hogs – meaning they don’t meet the comparatively weak Energy Star standards.
- Las Vegas golf courses are using better water-efficient landscaping to save over 1 billion gallons of water per year.
- Regency Centers is teaming up with the USGBC to implement a pilot program aimed at developing green shopping centers across the country (this is badly needed).
- Wells Fargo passes the $1 Billion mark in financing for LEED certified buildings with loans ranging from $10 to $225 million per project.