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Arrowhead by SOM in South Quay, London (S2)

SOM Arrowhead

With the weird looking skyscrapers, there’s a business problem of having expensive, unusable space.  Often, the most pragmatic, profitable shape is the plain old rectangle.  So for the sake of staying grounded in reality, today I’m going back to the boxy, modern-style skyscraper.  Above is Arrowhead, a 525,000 sf office building under construction in South Quay, London (UK) by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.  The 26-story building is expecting an "excellent" rating under BREEAM, the environmental building assessment tool used in the UK.  Among other green features, Arrowhead will have a green roof on the top and a mid-level rooftop terrace.  The building also has a glass climate wall with external metal shading to retain heat gain in the winter and permit cooling in the summer. 

Good Links:
++Arrowhead, London, United Kingdom [SOM]
++SOM Gets Green Light for Office Development in Millennium Quarter [WAN]

SOM Arrowhead Lobby

::"S2" is short for "Skyscraper Sunday," a weekly article on green skyscrapers posted every Sunday::

Siberian Mixed-Use Ecological Tower by Foster + Partners

Ecologicaltower
Siberiantower

When I first saw the concept renderings, I thought I was looking at a diamond perched upon a hill.  To the contrary, the images show a new mixed-use sustainable tower concept, or "ecological tower," by Foster + Partners for Khanty Mansiysk, Siberia.  The tower rises on the foundation of two podium buildings, each diamond-cut in style to allow light to penetrate the atrium.  The apex of the tower will have a panoramic viewing platform and restaurant for guests to gaze out into the city.  Paramount to the design is the desire to facilitate solar gain (it’s cold in Siberia) and allow natural lighting.  Encompassed by a densely wooded area, the architects designed the building to minimize disturbance to the landscape. 

Good Links:
++Designs Revealed for New Ecological Tower in Siberia [Foster + Partners]
++Siberia’s Sparkling Eco Tower [WAN]

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EcoUrban's LEED Platinum Home + Missouri's Newest Modular Developer [Updated]

Ecourban


Being Green Can Be Easy.  EcoUrban Homes Proves It.  The first of several up and coming EcoUrban homes was recently completed, and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay was on location to celebrate the grand opening.  It just so happens that this home is probably one of the greenest homes in Missouri — it has obtained LEED Platinum rating.  Located at 3140 Pennsylvania Avenue in St. Louis, this 3-bedroom, 2-bath, modular home has a bamboo stairs, fiber cement board siding, double-pane low-e windows, R-40 Icynene insulation in ceilings and floors, built-in security system and recycling center, solid wheat board interior doors, ultra-low VOC paints, dual-flush high-efficiency toilets, and Energy Star lighting and appliances, to name a few green amenities. 

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Building Green TV, Kevin Contreras, + 13-Episode PBS Series

I’ve embedded a quick view from the first season of Building Green TV for PBS.  Kevin Contreras is the show’s host and he’s going to navigate viewers through a variety of different green building situations.  In addition to the episode above, you can catch some more at their newly redesigned website.  Coming June 2007. 

Jason Hammond Home + From the Ground Up

Jason Hammond Home

I was blown away when I found out about this online blog at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  It’s called From the Ground Up and the journal is tracking Jason Hammond’s quest to build a unique, modern home in the Twin Cities.  The blog also includes information from the project’s architect, Michael Huber, and the project’s builder, Corey Benedict.  From the Ground Up has become a huge success, with people of all backgrounds and interests chiming in to figure out what it takes to live in something modern + green.  What I really like about the blog, however, is the pragmatic approach to building green.  For many of us, myself included, it’s expensive to get into a well-designed, green home.  So the process from beginning to end must be comprehensive and calculated, especially if you don’t want to waste money.  From the Ground Up will "consider the balance between [Hammond’s] family’s needs, the project costs, and the environmental considerations that go along with new home building."  I already like what I see and can’t wait to continue reading about their home as it approaches completion.  Via rolu | dsgn

Mashup: MKD + SketchUp + Google Earth

MKD SketchUp

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to put a Michelle Kaufmann Designs home on your piece of land?  Now you can do it, and you’re going to love this.  Here’s what you do:

  1. Step 1:  Go to the Google 3D Warehouse and type in "MKD."  You should see designs for the mkSolaire, Sunset Breezehouse, and Glidehouse.  Nice.  These files are for use with SketchUp.  Download the design you want for your home. 
  2. Step 2:  Download a free copy of Google SketchUp and use SketchUp to open the file you downloaded in Step 1.  Using SketchUp, modify the landscape of your home.  (I must admit, I’m still learning how to use this program and do this step). 
  3. Step 3:  Download a free copy of Google Earth.  Find the location of your site.  Plop your SketchUp model on the site that you’ve located.

That’s the process.  It’s a pretty cool mashup allowing you to envision the land of your dreams with the home of your dreams.  If anyone does anything cool, drop a line below. 



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