Sidwell Friends School, Anatomy of a Green School

Sidwell Friends School

The Sidwell Friends School is the first LEED Platinum-rated K-12 school in the world, but what’s incredible is the story behind it.  First, it’s a renovation of a fifty year old facility.  Second, the renovation involved the students, so everyone was able to participate and learn about the benefits of a green building.  Matter of fact, about sixteen 5th – 8th graders studied the building, wrote about its benefits, and recorded an audio feature explaining each green feature.  Feel free to take the green building tour to learn about low-VOC materials, CO2 monitoring, natural light, native plants, the green roof and biology pond, photovoltaic panels, a heat recovery wheel, vertical solar fins, and the settling tank, etc.  This is quite the impressive interactive visual/audio tour.  Seriously, great work. 


Modern Green Cherokee Lofts

Cherokee Lofts

Update 12/13/09: Platinum Lofts @ Cherokee Studios Now Complete!

There's a lot to mention with REthink Development's project called Cherokee Lofts:  history, sustainability, modern design, materials innovation, etc.  This Pugh + Scarpa-designed development is on track to be named the first, privately developed, LEED Gold Certified, mixed-use project in Southern California.  The project will have 12 loft units, all ranging in size from 1,000 – 2,000 sf, and 2,800 sf of commercial space. 


By |October 3rd, 2007|Gadgets, LEED, Materials, Modern architecture, Nature, Solar|0 Comments

UMB Bank Colorado, Denver's Second Green Roof Building [Updated]

UMB Stapleton

UMB Bank Colorado, a chartered bank of UMB Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: UMBF), is getting ready to unveil their new “green” banking center at Stapleton, which opens to the public on Monday, October 1. The UMB Bank at Stapleton is Denver’s second building to incorporate a grass roof into the structural design. The banking center is located at 3515 Quebec Street in Quebec Square at Stapleton.  Speaking of the building’s green roof, Mariner Kemper, chairman and CEO of UMB Bank Colorado, said, “Amidst growing concerns over the health of the environment and the rising cost of natural resources, there is a national trend to develop ‘green’ buildings … green buildings are designed to reduce the impact on the environment by conserving resources such as water and energy while blending with the features of the natural landscape. Our new banking center in Stapleton further supports UMB’s commitment to a cleaner, safer, and sustainable environment.” 

NOTE: I wasn’t able to find an actual picture of the building, but I know we have some JG readers in Denver on the scene.  Feel free to email me live pictures if you have them (jetsongreen at yahoo dot com).


By |September 28th, 2007|Land Use, Nature, News, Vegetation, Water Efficiency|0 Comments

Coal + Climate Change, ASLA's Green Roof, Sprawl Costs, Nanotechnology, Greener Homes + LEED Criticism (WIR)

Week in Review
  • The highly respected Ed Mazria, founder of Architecture 2030, says, "The only fossil fuel that can fuel global warming is coal. If you stop coal, you stop global warming. End of story."
  • The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) reports on their green roof: it retained lots of water, reduced building energy costs, and lowered the outdoor air temperature.
  • Green Technology Forum report finds that nanotechnology can make green buildings more cost-effective, energy-efficient, and in tune with their environment. 
  • Greener homes mean much more than planting lots of trees.
  • Texas Traffic Institute study says traffic congestion is worse than last year and cost the nation over $78 billion, including the cost of lost time. 

BONUS: A Wave of LEED Critical News

[Video] PowerPod, 500 sf of Modular, Green Living

CNET PowerPod Video

Recently, I wrote an article about the energy efficiency of the PowerPod, and now, CNET’s Martin LaMonica has a video of the first PowerPod demo resting in a defunct coal power plant in Lawrence, Massachusetts.  Clicking the picture above will take you directly to the video.  I really like the PowerPod.  It’s modular, green, and very simple in design.  The PowerPod could be used as a home for a bachelor or intimate duo, but it’s more likely going to be used as an office, vacation abode, lake cabin, or something like that.  And as far as cost is concerned, with your basic residential green finish out, you’re talking about $100k for 500 sf.  You can also view more info and photos at CNET

Seattle Off-Grid Concept Combines Chickens, Crops + Sustainable Living (S2)

Center for Urban Agriculture

In the heart of Seattle, the design professionals at Mithun see a farm rising vertically into the sky.  Although it may never be built, the Center for Urban Agriculture (CUA) won “Best of Show” in the Cascadia Region Green Building Council’s Living Building Challenge.  Vertically constructed on a .72 acre site, the off-grid building is designed to be completely energy and water sufficient and will include 318 affordable apartments (studio – 2 bedroom).  And on top of that, there will be greenhouses, rooftop gardens, a chicken farm, and fields for growing vegetables and grains.