A lot of people in Pennsylvania have been talking about green building, but according to my quick research, no one in the state has received the USGBC's highest certification under the LEED for Homes program yet. But that could change if the stars align for Thin Flats — the developer is seeking LEED-H Platinum for all residences and waiting on Energy Star certification. Thin Flats includes eight, market-rate, up-down units split between four rows. The newly completed project recently received case study treatment by GreenSource Magazine, and from what I've read, observers either love or hate the exterior facade. Personally, I like it, but what do you think?
We've seen some interesting living walls and green roofs, but this goes beyond these applications and into the realm of being a complete living house. Referred to as the Lost in Paris House, the structure took five years to complete and was designed by R&Sie architects. The unique living envelope comprises 1200 ferns (or Dryopteris filix-mas) in a hydroponic system – the plants are not sustained by soil but by a chemical mixture of bacteria, nutrients, and rainwater.
The Pacific Garden Mission has been a steadfast anchor in the Chicago community since 1877. The Mission has served as a safe-haven for homeless men and women, offering nourishment for both body and soul. Today, the Mission continues it's work in a newly constructed 156,000 square foot facility. It was designed by Tigerman McCurry Architects to obtain LEED Silver certification and includes 100 solar-thermal panels, green roof with native vegetation, low flow water fixtures, locally sourced materials, and recycled construction waste. The solar panels were donated by the City of Chicago's Renewable Energy Program, which all together, over $245,000 in clean energy grants were donated by the City of Chicago.
If you know us, you know we like to introduce cutting edge projects, even in the rendering stage. But we also like to follow up on completion, too, and there's nothing better than seeing a finished project. Take for instance this 1940s Cape Cod home in St. Paul that was converted into a modern, green home. We mentioned it back in April of last year and now look at it. It's ultra stylish and so green! EcoDEEP is using the home as their offices, too, so potential clients get to see and experience first-hand what a green home feels like.
One of Chicago’s biggest names in landscaping now lays claim to one of the greenest locations in the city. Christy Webber Landscapes, along with the City of Chicago and GreenWorks, came together to develop an area in a struggling neighborhood. After decades of abuse as an auto impound, landfill, and iron-works, the polluted site had been declared a brownfield. Subsequently, in 2003 the City of Chicago proposed an initiative to reclaim the site, and a short three years later, the 12.5 acre piece of land was clean and fully operational. Called "Rancho Verde," in honor of the mostly Hispanic workforce that makes up the landscaping industry, the former brownfield is now the headquarters for Christy Webber Landscapes. Rancho Verde features a one-story office building, warehouse, and a shop-yard big enough to hold dozens of trucks that keep Chicago looking healthy all year round.