We’ve mentioned Ideabox several times over the years, and their new offering, the Fortino, has to be one my favorites. The Fortino was on display at the Seattle Home Show 2, although, unfortunately, there was a huge pole at the show obstructing photos. You’ll have to imagine the Fortino in a well-manicured, xeriscaped setting on the lot of your choosing. Something like 30,000 people saw the Fortino in Seattle, and Jim Russell, founder of Ideabox, tells me the response was incredible.
The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) conducted a post-occupancy study of 25 LEED commercial projects in Illinois and just published the first round of results from their research. The Regional Green Building Case Study Project is one of the first post-occupancy studies to measure energy performance, greenhouse gases emissions, water use, transportation effects, construction and occupancy costs, health benefits, and occupancy comfort on a regional scale. Although CNT found that some LEED projects perform better than others, they also determined that investing in energy efficiency pays off.
The visitor center at the Bernheim Arboretum in Clairmont, Kentucky, which was completed in 2005, continues to garner attention. In 2007, it was awarded LEED Platinum certification. Most recently, the visitor center has received the EPA's prestigious Lifecycle Building Challenge Award. This is the third year that the EPA has held the challenge where entrants are judged on their building's ability to minimize waste, reduce energy consumption, and be disassembled for material reuse. The visitor center took an award in the Building–Professional Built category and an Outstanding Achievement Award for Best Greenhouse Gas Reduction.