As one of the first residential LEED homes on the west coast, the Kelly Woodford home is blazing a trail for the future of residential construction. In addition to its USGBC certification, the home is "net zero energy use" and Energy Star certified. The 2,000 square-foot, three-bedroom/two-bath retreat has a great view of Mt. Hood and some pretty impressive green features. Tom Kelly and Barbara Woodford built the home as a family getaway (with the Neil Kelly Company as general contractor), but they’ve also made the home available half the year to Neil Kelly employees to enjoy.
In Portland, Oregon, there’s a sustainable development called The Headwaters at Tryon Creek, which is a 2.88 acre, master-planned, mixed-income community that prioritizes sustainable building practices, energy + water conservation, wildlife habit restoration, and stormwater management. One portion of the development includes the Dolph Creek Townhomes, which are 14 for sale, attached townhouses that are LEED Silver, Energy Star, and Earth Advantage certified. Quite the list of certifications! These luxury townhouses vary in size from 1,585 – 1,695 square feet, and in price from $369,950 – $379,950…purchasers qualify for the State Residential Energy Tax Credit.
In addition to saving up to 45% on annual energy costs, here are some of the green features: solar panels with 80 gallon storage tank, energy efficient windows, green label carpet, formaldehyde free cabinetry and wood products, heat recovery ventilators, on-demand gas and solar water heating, polyfoam insulation, exhaust fans in all the garages, drip irrigation system, and low-flow toilets, showers, and water faucets. Of course, the floors will be bamboo (hopefully not the Chinese import variety) and the patio will have ipe hardwood decking. From what I’ve seen, this looks like quite the community.
The Energy Star-rated Owens Corning (NYSE: OC) world headquarters building in Toledo, Ohio, has added another badge of honor with Silver LEED-EB certification. Designed by Cesar Pelli (listed by the AIA as one of the 10 Most Influential American Architects) and built in 1996, Pelli spoke approvingly of the certification, "I am pleased this facility provided the solid foundation needed to earn the recognition that the LEED Existing Building certification provides." For a couple other examples of LEED-EB buildings, feel free to click over to read about Adobe + Union Bank of California Center. Owens Corning also runs The Pink Panther Energy Blog, which informs customers on insulation + energy conservation best practices.
Here are just a few of the green features mentioned in the certification: under-floor ventilation for energy-efficient air delivery and specific control of thermal comfort; low maintenance, indigenous landscaping; easterly facing building allowing for natural lighting control via adjustable shading; and reusable, removable, non-adhesive carpet squares throughout almost the entire building. See also CO + PRNewswire.
Arterra is an urban living, high-rise community in Mission Bay that will have a mixture of flats and townhomes of various sizes. Arterra has three buildings: "Sky," a 16-level tower, "City," a 9-level building, and "Park," a 6-level building with 2-story homes. Go to the Arterra website and you can watch a video that shows you the views from each building. Because Arterra is a high-end lifestyle community, you will have benefits such as 24-hour concierge, state-of-the-art fitness center, community lounge, rooftop sun deck with lounge and barbecue, etc. But, another feature of Arterra is that it will be the first LEED-Certified Green high-rise community in San Francisco.
Arterra is going after LEED certification, so here are some of the current green amenities being planned: formaldehyde-free cabinets (Studio Becker); low-emitting paint and carpets; high-efficiency water heating boiler; Kohler dual-flush toilets and other water-saving features; low-E, energy-efficient, insulated windows; Energy Star home appliances and gas ranges; bamboo for all standard kitchen floors; cork flooring at all elevator levels; recycled glass floors and FSC-Certified wood walls in entry-level lobby; bicycle storage in the parking garage; and recycled content panels for the exterior facade. Arterra is being developed by Intracorp Companies.
You may have already heard that House & Garden Magazine took a green approach in its latest installment, the February issue I believe. One article talks about an interview with William McDonough, in which he mentions the orientation of a home. Earlier, I blogged about Global Green USA’s Top 20 list of low- or no-cost green building strategies and orientation was #1. Regarding orientation, the rule is to "orient a building to maximize natural daylighting." As part of the orientation process, one needs to find a building’s true south and build it in such a way, to maximize sun exposure/non-exposure, and thereby, optimize energy-efficiency (i.e., use the sun instead of artificial lighting, use the sun’s warmth instead of heating, use the shade’s cool instead of air conditioning, etc.).
McDonough pointed out that many architects and builders don’t know how to find true south. If a compass is used, the compass indicates south, which can differ from true south by more than 15 degrees. Remember, orienting a home is about orienting the home to sun exposure, not magnetic south. To find true south, one needs two things: (1) to know your geography’s solar noon, and (2) to use the sun to draw perfect north/south line exactly at solar noon. Solar noon is the time when the sun hits the highest point in the sky and can be found using the following Sunrise/Sunset Calculator. Once the solar noon is figured out, take a line with a weight attached to it, hold it up in the air at solar noon, and the shadow line will reveal the proper north/south orientation of a home. That line will point to true south and will help you build the home properly, assuming you have some latitude in deciding the orientation of the home.
[Runtime = 28:46 min.] You probably heard about Green Sandwich Technologies (GST) earlier this year when William (Bill) McDonough, FAIA, announced that he’d be on the company’s advisory board. Structural Concrete Insulating Panel (SCIP) technology, also known as Welded Wire Sandwich Panel, has been mentioned in most popular magazines and has the unique achievement of meeting the Cradle to Cradle design protocol. This video shows Green Sandwich panels in action.
GST panels have 7 main advantages: (1) strength – wind load capacity of 200 mph+ and earthquake tolerance of 8.0+; panels resist pests, mold, and vermin; have the highest fire rating in the industry and are water resistant; (2) speed – allow buildings to be erected in 1/2 the time of conventional construction; (3) flexibility – panels can be used for residential, commercial, and industrial uses for floors, walls, roofs, ceilings, pools, and fences; (4) superior sound insulation – they transfer 66% less noise than wood and steel frame walls; (5) superior temperature performance – delivers R-40 performance, good for both hot and cold climates; homeowners can save up to 60% on home energy costs; (6) environmental friendliness – panels contain about 60% recycled/reclaimed materials by volume (40% by weight) + all waste is 100% recyclable; and (7) affordable – builders recognize value in cost savings such as 50% less construction time, 4-12% labor savings, 4-12% material savings, equipment savings, loan carrying cost savings, and energy savings up to 60%. Click here to see a list of building applications.