I just thought I would blog about this real quick because it caught my attention in the latest edition of BusinessWeek. There was a full page ad saying, "Imagine that. You can do well in the world without hurting it." Pictured in the ad is a pretty neat looking building (above), which is interactive at www.utc.com/curious. Go give it a look…United Technologies’ (NYSE: UTX) green building page has information on electrochromic glazing, 100% recycled structural steel, vertical axis wind power turbines, photovoltaic solar power arrays, zero VOC paints, green roofs with an integrated reclamation systems, conserving energy, fuel cell power plants, and combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP) systems. Maybe someone should actually build the structure that’s in this rendering.
In 2009, China is expected to surpass the U.S. as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the world. Over 26% of the population (roughly 340 million people) lack access to clean drinking water and over 40% of Chinese cities lack sewage treatment facilities. But the country is trying to innovate solutions for the future. Recently, USA Today had an interesting article called "China Envisions Environmentally Friendly ‘Eco-City.’" According to the article, state-run developers are building an eco-city in Dongtan, which is 3/4 the size of Manhattan. Dongtan is located on Chongming Island about an hour from Shanghai. The $1.3 billion project may be a model for eco-cities all over the world.
The eco-city will be carbon neutral with the main grid of the city designed for walking and cycling, not for cars. The city will be powered by solar and wind power, biofuels, and recycled organic material. There will be green roofs for energy efficiency and insulation benefits and rainwater capture to maintain the landscaping. All vehicles will operate on clean fuels and about a fourth of the city will be open green space. Without all the gas and diesel vehicles clogging the streets, residents should be able to open up a window and enjoy the air. About 20% of the city is held out for affordable housing, but some of the farmers still say it’s out of their price range. See also SIIC.
MGM Mirage is developing a 76 acre site between the Bellagio and Monte Carlo called CityCenter. With about 18 million square feet of new construction (residential, hotel, resort, casino, etc.), CityCenter is being dubbed a "city-within-a-city." If the project is completed according to LEED standards as planned, City Center will be the largest LEED project in the world. MGM has lined up some of the world’s best architects for the project, including Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects (61-story resort-casino), Studio Daniel Libeskind (retail + entertainment district), Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects (The Residences at Mandarin Oriental), RV Architecture LLC (Vdara Condo Hotel), Foster and Partners (The Harmon), and Helmut Jahn (The Veers). Generally speaking, some of the sustainable design benefits include eliminating 48,000 tons of GHG per year, diverting over 80% of construction waste through re-use and recycling, and having improved indoor air quality by using low-VOC and non-toxic materials.
In 2005, the Nevada Legislature created a statewide tax abatement program that allows LEED building owners to cut property taxes 35-50%. But that’s not the only reason MGM’s going green on this project. For most companies, their most expensive asset is people. Green buildings boost productivity among occupants and providing healthy, well-designed buildings is one way to create value for employees. CityCenter is slated for completion in November 2009. Via SunHerald.
::"S2" is short for "Skyscraper Sunday," a weekly article on green skyscrapers posted every Sunday::
- USGBC’s New D.C. Headquarters Go Platinum – The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) can now hold itself out as an example of what green building is all about. The USGBC has a 22,000 square-foot office suite in the Gold Certified Service Employees International Union Building (LEED-NC). What’s incredible is that the USGBC’s office suite just obtained LEED Platinum for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI). So the building is gold on the outside and platinum on the inside.
- Steelcase Products Awarded Indoor Advantage Certifications for Low Emissions – Steelcase Inc. (NYSE: SCS), a global office environments manufacturer, today announced that over 20 of its product lines have received Indoor Advantage(TM) certifications from Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), an independent third-party certifier.
- EPA Gives Six NM Buildings Energy Star Ratings – Six buildings in New Mexico have earned an Energy Star rating from the EPA for cutting their energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions. The buildings encompass more than 1.9 million square feet and saved an estimated $350,000 annually in lower energy bills. They also prevented more than 5 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions, equal to the emissions of more than 400 vehicles.
- CoStar Group Promotes Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Green Buildings by Adding Energy Star Rating to Commercial Properties in its Database – CoStar Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSGP) announced that it will begin adding the ENERGY STAR rating–the most recognized national metric for evaluating building energy efficiency–to properties in its massive online database, which currently contains more than 2 million researched and verified commercial properties of all classes and types.
Click for more information on the LV Home by Rocio Romero, which is a 1,150 square-foot prefab with a living room, dining room, kitchen, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and closets–all starting at $33,900.
"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.
[Run time: 54:30 min.] I was reading the Scobleizer and found a fairly substantial video interview with Toby Long, founder of the San Francisco-based, design-build firm CleverHomes. Cleverhomes is one of those companies swimming upstream in a construction river of anti-progress, anti-innovation, and staunch traditionalism. I love the Scoble laugh, seriously, it makes the interview pretty good. Long talks about the interface of technology + construction, or what I’m calling Construction 2.0, with an added dimension of sustainability. Going forward, the environmental consequences associated with construction need to be figured into a given project’s analysis. He also mentions structural insulated panels (SIPs), building information modeling (BIM), sustainability, and modern vernacular. Get past the beginning and give it go…