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Mashup of Modern Topiary + Living Walls

Louis Vuitton Topiade

Gas Design Group designed this overlay facade, "Topiade", for an already existing Louis Vuitton store.  I think the name "Topiade" comes from a combo of the terms topiary and facade, which is pretty creative, if you ask me.  The idea of taking wild greenery and applying design and creativity through topiary is something I’ve seen personally in both Japan and Taiwan.  It appears to be popular in France, as well.  So when applied to the vertical context, the environmentalists get excited.  We like green roofs, living walls, and natural buildings. 

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Next Generation Wal-Mart Uses 25% Less Energy!

Walmart_supercenter

I know, I know.  I’m treading on thin water with this one, what with all the haters and anti-sprawlsters out there.  But strictly to make the point that businesses can use less and save money, I like this story.  Next week, Wal-Mart will open the first store of the company’s next generation of green stores in Romeoville, Illinois.  Where their first generation of two green stores saved about 20% energy, this store will save about 25% energy.  The energy savings result from experimentations in refrigeration and heating/cooling systems in their first generation of green stores. 

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Vento Residences, Greenest Multifamily in N. America!

Vento Residences

The Vento Residences has earned North America’s first LEED Platinum* certification for a multi-family residential project.  Located in Calgary, Alberta and built for a price of $8 million, this multi-use urban infill project has 20 two-story townhouse suites that are situated above retail space.  Interestingly, the development was coming online at the same time as several other developments in the area and sold out quickly at a slight premium in price (compared to the competition).  Purchasers identified with the dark green units and bought them up in a heartbeat.

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Chipotle, Minimal and Uniquely Green

Chipotle

I’m writing this article on Chipotle, and I can’t help but think how nice a little midnight chicken burrito would taste.  I love this place.  Minimalist.  Exposed.  Clean.  And.  Green.  Ever notice the fact that no two Chipotle Restaurants look alike?  They put their restaurants in all sorts of locations, old and new.  We just got a new one in an old building, but the restaurant is nice.  It’s fantastic.  Their napkins are made of recycled content, and if my memory serves correctly, I remember reading on one of their cups that they source their beans fair trade.  But that’s not all.

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Block 21, Super Green Platinum Austin (S2)

Whotel Austin recently witnessed the groundbreaking of Block 21, a $260 million mixed-use development in downtown being built to platinum certification under the USGBC’s LEED program.  Block 21 includes a 250-room W Hotel® and 200 residential condominiums, a new television studio for the world- renowned Austin City Limits, a 2,200 seat live music venue, the Austin Children’s Museum Dell Discovery Center, retail space, restaurants, and an open-air public plaza.  The project is expected to be one of the first mixed-use developments in the world built to this level of LEED standards. 

The 35-story building will include the five-star W Hotel on the lower levels and 200 units of residential condos on the upper levels.  The 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom condos will range in size from 643 to 3,183 sf, with top-of-the-line, luxury finishouts.  The development will also include a state-of-the-art spa, a signature restaurant, and 47,000 sf of retail space. 

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Kohl's to Build LEED Stores Starting in 2008

Kohls

Hot on the heels of a growing bundle of green retailers comes news of Kohl’s future plans for new construction.  Starting in 2008, newly constructed retail stores will be built to LEED certification.  Currently, Kohl’s has plans for about 80 new stores and the changes will include adding more insulation, using recycled or reusable building materials, ensuring that materials are locally supplied, and controlling lights, heat, and cooling from central headquarters to prevent excess energy consumption.  Twenty-two stores in California will use solar power to supply roughly 40% of their energy needs, and three stores in Wisconsin will use solar to power about 20% of their energy needs. 

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