There’s a lot of green building in Austin, but it’s not all single family. This luxury residential high-rise, The Austonian, recently received a Four Star rating (which is about the same as LEED Gold) from Austin Energy Green Building. The building sits on less than three quarters of an acre and was built with enough room for 166 luxury family homes.
A solar and wind powered green substation isn't the only project in Portland to receive federal funds. The Edith Green/Wendall Wyatt Federal Building is getting well over a $100 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to renovate all aspects of the building. The most noticeable change will be a vast wall of greenery covering the westerly facade.
Chicago has a new 82-story tower on its skyline that is due for completion in the Spring of 2010. But in a city of grids and rectilinear forms, the AQUA tower has a distinctive character with a more fluid appearance coming from the deep projecting balconies which are reminiscent of geologic rock formations. Designed by Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects, AQUA is also currently the tallest structure designed by a woman-led firm.
Green building certification is an interesting phenomenon. It’s meant to convey a message about the building’s level of “green” or “sustainability,” but the message is only as strong as the system that creates it. If you push beyond that message, you might ask: how many of these certified buildings are, say, positive energy? That’s the goal of Elithis Tower recently opened in Dijon, France. It has 1,600 sensors that examine energy and emissions. This information is then displayed on a special public sign in full transparency for everyone to see. The sign is both dynamic and clear.
A little over a year ago, we took a look at the green roof planned for Olive 8. It's massive — one of the largest in the city of Seattle. Now, the hotel/condo tower in downtown Seattle has been open for several months and officially received LEED Silver certification. It's one of only twenty other green hotels in the country to receive certification from the USGBC.