If you've ever been to Taiwan, you'll probably agree that this design for Chinatrust Bank's headquarters is spot on for the region. Taiwan is so lush and green — the extensive allowance for green roofs, vertical courtyards, and open space in the central plaza likely blends right in to the terrain. Designed by the LA office of NBBJ, with the assistance of local firm Fei & Cheng Associates, the development includes a 30-story headquarters building, 21-story commercial office building, 10-story hotel, and four-level retail center. The development just broke ground earlier this month and will end up with 2.5 million square feet by about 2012.
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.