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.
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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.
I’m happy to announce that Jetson Green has signed on as an official media sponsor for the Ecocity World Summit, which takes place April 22-26, 2008 in San Francisco, California. I couldn’t be happier to be supporting such a stellar event.
You should know, however, that this is no ordinary conference. Ecocity World Summit recognizes it’s time to take a closer look at the largest of humanity’s creations — cities — directly and fearlessly. Over 85% of humanity currently live in cities, towns, and villages –- the built community of our species. The Ecocity World Summit challenges and inspires each individual, no matter where we call home, to build something different: the city for ourselves, the city for people and all life on the planet. For a sneak peak, take a look at some of the projects that will be explored.
Speakers at the event include some of the following: