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?
Just noticed a new product called Invitrum by high design, Italian kitchen maker Valcucine. Invitrum is being referred to as a 100% recyclable kitchen, which means the product can be recycled at the end of its lifecycle — but the consumer needs to make that happen. To help the consumer, as you can see with the image below, the cabinets have been labeled for recyclability. The structure is of drawn, recycled aluminum and the base units are of recyclable glass. Invitrum was designed to be manufactured with less material and energy. So slick …
The small house movement is going buck wild. Some say it's because of a concern for the environment. Others say it's because of the economy. We could all say it's a confluence of both the economy and the environment, but what's important is that people actually rethink what a home can be — including how big it needs to be. Just the other day, The Economist, published a story about two of the main players in the super small home genre, Tiny Texas Houses and Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. We've mentioned Tumbleweed previously, but I learned something new about Tiny Texas Houses.