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 […]
Looks like LA City Council has unanimously approved a $400-million mixed-use green development totaling 1.1 million sf called Blvd6200. Blvd6200 will feature more than 1,000 apartments, 40,000 sf of live-work office space, and 175,000 sf of retail and restaurant uses on a seven-acre site. Designed by Santa Monica-based Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh, the new LEED project will occupy a site that spans both sides of Hollywood Boulevard at Argyle Avenue east of Vine Street. The project is going to be developed by the Clarett Group, a top New York development company, and other than having 10 flex cars available for residents, specifics on green certification aren’t available yet. I’ll keep tabs on the project. More images below the fold. Via Globe St.
Our built environment should integrate clean tech and renewable energy generation of all forms and this is an example of that concept. Michael Jantzen proposed a design for California State University at Fullerton that would turn the everyday gathering pavilion into a discussion on sustainability. The pavilion could serve as the gathering place for up to 300 people. From the images, notice the wind turbine and the solar panels on the roof. Towering into the air at 150 feet tall, any energy harvested from the turbine and solar panels could be used by the university. Inside, there’s a cylindrical digital projection display screen, roof-mounted fogging nozzles to cool the interior, and benches that can be stored inside the floor when not in use. I think it’s an excellent idea, especially because students always want a place to gather and hang. Why not here? Via WAN + HumanShelter.org.
I was excited to receive a copy of The Green Book in the mail from Crown Publishing the other day. Actually, my wife took it over before me, so I had to wait for her to finish. I’ve been interested in reading it ever since I saw that Will Ferrell had a part in there about his electric car. I wasn’t disappointed either. This book is excellent. The celebrity asides really make the book shine I think. I can just hear them talking as I’m reading it. I’ve taken the liberty of including Owen Wilson’s commentary below–it’s a little long, but the guy just kills me. He’s so casual and chilled out, it’s hard not to appreciate what he’s saying. I mean, he’s absolutely dead on. Go get a copy at the Jetson Green Sustainability Store, inside you’ll find tons of discourse on the small and big things we can do (with research references if you have more questions).
"I started driving a Prius a few years ago, and I was surprised to find myself a little defensive about it. ‘You know, aside from the whole environmental thing," I’d say, almost dismissively, "it’s actually a pretty cool car to drive.’ It was like I was halfway apologetic because I didn’t want to be aligned with any group, or movement. Sort of like, ‘Hey, just because I’m driving a hybrid doesn’t mean I’m turning into Ed Begley Jr.’ But you know people say marijuana is a gateway drug? That’s sorta what buying a Prius was for me…in terms of becoming environmentally sensitive. Because before too long, I stopped wondering if driving it made me some kind of a preachy do-gooder and I actually started looking for other ways to ‘go green."
Project7ten proves that ultra green can look ultra good. This is another cool residential home project that will get LEED certified at the Platinum level. Actually, as one of only a few LEED Platinum homes in the country, this project could become the discourse for a greener home. The home was designed by Melinda Gray, founder of GRAYmatter Architecture, and is currently under construction. Upon completion in the fall, there will be an open house for everyone to see how good a green home can look. 710 Milwood Avenue, Venice, California.
The event where project7ten was introduced drew a crazy celebrity crowd with the likes of Cindy Crawford, John Cusak, David Duchovny, Toby McGuire, Laird Hamilton, Gabrielle Reece, and Ed Begley Jr. How’s that for some ‘razzi fodder?
So what’s going to make this home so green? Rainwater reclamation system and grey water recycling, locally-sourced sustainable materials, recycled content countertops and insulation, FSC-certified lumber, solar panels to power the home, and appropriate landscape to shade the home during the summer and allow light during the winter. Also, there will be Energy Star appliances and Kohler water-efficient fixtures. The lucky purchaser will get an 18-month lease on a Ford Escape Hybrid, too. Not too shabby. Plus, with all the sponsors lined up to support the project, the developer Minimal Productions will donate a share of proceeds to charity. More images below the fold.