Steve Case, the former CEO, Chairman, and co-founder of AOL, recently announced the launch of his new company, Revolution, which will build a sustainable resort, Cacique – Costa Rica, in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. I saw the press release and asked the PR department for some images of the resort … needless to say, the above is all I received. So I think we’re in the very beginning stages of planning. One thing is for sure: that’s a beautiful island with lots of trees. Wouldn’t it just be incredible to sit there and chill out … take in the vibe … enjoy it the crystal clear water? Cacique – Costa Rica will feature high-end, luxury services and amenities with a focus on intelligent, environmentally friendly designs that reduce energy and water demand and take advantage of spatial, wind, and solar patterns to maximize natural ventilation, shade, and daylight. Fairly general information, I know, but we’ll keep it on our green resort watch. See the press release.
This news isn’t all that surprising because the government (at various levels) has shown significant support for green buildings, but recently, NASA set the wheels in motion to have a $54 million LEED Silver building built in Greenbelt, Maryland. This three story office and laboratory structure will be the future Exploration Sciences Building at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. And as a side note, NASA has determined that all future buildings will be constructed to the LEED Silver level, at a minimum. Designed by EwingCole, the completed building will end up at about 265,500 sf. Looks good. UPDATED 8/23/2007: new images swapped out.
[Video: 4:25 min.] Armstrong World Industries, Inc. (NYSE: AWI) is based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and operates in the business of designing and manufacturing floors, ceilings, and cabinets. Their current headquarters was built in 1998 and is now part of an elite group of buildings to obtain the LEED Platinum certification for existing buildings. Feel free to click the above link to see video of Armstrong’s HQ building. The 3-story building is a glass and steel structure that has workspaces for about 235 employees. Here are a few things they did to take the green plunge:
- 60% of the building’s waste is recycled;
- Building water use was reduced to 420,000 gallons (from 800,000 gallons);
- Less than 1.5 watts/sf of energy is used, which is 1/2 the national average for comparable properties;
- 75% of the building’s power is supplied by wind energy; and
- Green Seal-certified cleaning products are used throughout the building.
Today, Corgan Associates Inc. opened the doors to its brand new LEED Silver headquarters. Corgan is a Dallas-based architectural + design firm and designed the three-story, 60,000 square-foot looker. Being a tenant in the West End area of downtown since 1986, Corgan is a long-time downtown stalwart–it’s great to keep them there with a brand new building. I drive by it on the way home from work, so I’ve been watching construction for the past year or so. It looks great. I really dig the copper facade on the north + west walls.
From what I understand, Corgan’s HQ was built by Turner Construction, well-known for pretty much every green building in the area, including Pat Lobb Toyota, SMU’s Embrey Engineering Building, and the energy-efficient Wal-Mart. According to Corgan, "The architectural style and features of the West End will be reflected in the new building. In a contemporary way, Corgan’s heavily rusticated masonry building will draw from area warehouse vocabulary. The interior will feature a heavy timber structural frame, typical of historic structures in the West End. The three floors of interior design studio spaces will also feature large expanses of glass." Looks amazing. Corgan’s HQ: 401 N. Houston Street. Via DBJ.
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.
Officially, this is the third post in a mini-segment here at Jetson Green called the “Green Office.” First I talked about getting set up with a Think chair, and then I mentioned the Liege Desk. What next? How about the thing you use most in the office? Your supplies. There’s a great resource for finding sustainable supplies at the comprehensive www.thegreenoffice.com. The Green Office is “an online retailer of recycled, environmentally friendly, and sustainable business products, school supplies, and paper.” With regard to green products, it really is the most complete source for supplies (paper, envelopes, calendars, binders, folders, ink, toner, etc.), technology (fax, printer, shredder, telephone, etc.), furniture (shelving, storage, tables, etc.), janitorial supplies (waste containers, cleaning supplies, light bulbs, etc.), and breakroom supplies (cups, plates, etc.).
Established in 2005 by Alex Szabo, The Green Office itself is committed to setting an example as a sustainable business. Feel free to skip over to EcoTalk for a 7:50 minute interview with Szabo. Originally a sustainability consultant, he’s quite the eco-entrepreneur. In his interview, he talks about how he came upon the idea of starting this business and what he does to continually update the Green Office catalog with nascent product offerings. See you next time.