[Run time = 2:21] If you’re a prefab enthusiast, you’ve probably heard of Hive Modular–they’re pushing the envelope on modern, highly-customized, affordable modular homes. I’ve included a short video with Paul Stankey talking about some of the benefits of modular building. Notice, prices are going to be variable due to extreme variations in land costs, but a Hive Modular will run about $100-200 per square foot, generally speaking. And while the company makes it’s homes energy-efficient and has less construction waste (than site built homes), their focus is on modern design. As the company’s relationships grow, they plan to incorporate more green amenities into their plans. Via Moco.
The Navy has commissioned a $39.5 million, 2-level, 6 courtyard apartment community for about 420 Naval service members in Norfolk Naval Station. What’s most impressive is that the community will use environmentally friendly design and pursue LEED certification. Dubbed Market Style Apartments, the apartments were designed by VOA Associates, a Chicago-based firm with considerable LEED experience. In addition to the spacious courtyard areas, there will be 3 two-story lounge areas for social gatherings. Generally speaking, the design is part of an overall movement towards friendlier, welcoming military housing. In addition to using recycled materials in its construction, the apartments are expected to consume 20% less energy. There will be low-VOC paints, carpets + other indoor products and the fixtures will be chosen for water savings (low-flow fixtures, efficient shower heads, and automated water shut-offs). Construction begins in the Spring 2007 and finishes 2008-2009. Via MHN.
Never mind the fact that I’m supposed to be finishing a final for intellectual property, I spent the day at Victory Park and the new Dallas W Hotel, attending the Mixed Use Summit, presented by Commercial Property News and Multi-Housing News. I found the seminar extremely enlightening and educational; I wanted to pass on some nuggets of green development wisdom. If you could provide a nugget, a quote of sorts, on green building and the future of sustainability, what would it be? Comments are open.
"If you’re not thinking about sustainability, you’re missing the boat. TODs, urban development, LEED, etc. There are four reasons you should be thinking about it: (1) it’s the right thing to do, (2) your competition’s doing it, (3) it adds value to the project, and (4) it speeds up the process." – Ken Ryan, Principal of EDAW Inc.
- "This is where the future is going and groups are getting staffed up with LEED Accredited Professionals, they’re getting everyone certified."
- "It’s sort of a best practices thing."
- "It’s easier to sell LEED to corporate tenants, rather than human tenants, but we’re starting to get there…"
- "If you have a project and people are worried about the bottom line, it’s tough to go LEED, especially the contractors–they’re hard to get on board, but the sales appeal is very big. Developers know the appeal is big and they’re trying to figure it out…"
- "In a place like Chicago, with all the requirements they have, you’re about 3/4 the way to LEED, so you might as well take the plunge and go all the way."
This conference had many of the best developers and architects from around the country in one room, strategizing and talking about the future of land use, specifically urban development + smart growth, in the US.
Dubai has money like no other place I’ve ever seen. They’re working to beat Taipei 101, so they can have the tallest building in the world. Now, they’ve announced this building called Times Residences, which is aiming to be the only rotating residential structure in the world. Solar energy will be stored and used to rotate the 80,000 ton, 30-floor structure, 52 degrees every 24 hours. The project will cost about $109M/Dh400. Construction is slated to begin June 2007 and end in the first quarter of 2009. Units will range in size from 1-5 bedrooms and everything will be up-scale + luxurious. The project was designed by Glenn Howells Architects + Palmer and Turner.
In total, there will be 200 residences and everyone will have a 360 degree view due to the solar- powered rotation. Apparently, one will also be able to tell time by the way the building is lined up, etc. Although prices for the residences have not been released, sales are expected to begin in March 2007. What’s more, the developer, Dubai Property Ring, plans to build 23 more rotating towers in each of the world’s time zones. Whether the building actually gets built is another story. And although the company states the technology will allow the building to rotate 5 mm/second using a mere 21 electric kettles’ worth of electricity, I’m thinking there must be a better use for all that solar power. What do you think? Via ecofriend.
- Enertia: Houses Heated + Cooled by the Sun – [includes video] No furnace, air conditioner, heat pump or swamp cooler — just an innovative design that harnesses geothermal energy and sunlight year round.
- Sydney Leading Light in Hour of No Power – This ambitious plan aims to send a message to Australians about climate change. It hopes its Earth Hour campaign will demonstrate the connection between the electricity people use in homes and offices and the climate change pollution that coal-fired power stations generate. Via Linton.
- New World Record Achieved in Solar Cell Technology – With DOE funding, a concentrator solar cell produced by Boeing-Spectrolab has recently achieved a world-record conversion efficiency of 40.7 percent, establishing a new milestone in sunlight-to-electricity performance. Via Celsias.
- Mileage From Megawatts: Enough Grid Capacity to Charge Plug-in Hybrids – A new study for the Department of Energy finds that "off-peak" electricity production and transmission capacity could fuel 84 percent of the country’s 220 million vehicles if they were plug-in hybrid electrics.