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Jahn's 50 West Street Going LEED Gold

50 West Street by Helmut Jahn

Time Equities, Inc. just broke ground on 50 West Street, Manhattan’s newest green condo and hotel skyscraper.  Designed by influential architect Helmut Jahn, the $600 million, 580,000 sf mixed-use eco-tower is shooting for LEED Gold certification upon completion in 2011.  As a result, the 65-story tower will incorporate a host of green features and measures, including a green roof, water-efficient fixtures, automated blinds and energy control systems, recycling of demolition materials, use of sustainable and rapidly renewable materials, and an energy-efficient glass facade to filter in daylight and filter out UV rays. 

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Pittsburgh Three PNC Plaza Going Green

Three PNC Plaza

Slated to open in 2009, Three PNC Plaza is planned to be one of the largest, environmentally-friendly, mixed-use buildings in the U.S.  The 23-story building is also Pittsburgh's first new high-rise in 20 years.  3 PNC will have office space, 28 condominiums, a restaurant, retail space, underground parking, and a Fairmont Hotel.  Three PNC Plaza fronts a large public park (see site plan below). 

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[Video] Green "Rotating Tower" Planned for NYC?

I’ve not blogged about this interesting and innovative Rotating Tower, which was designed by David Fisher of Dynamic Architecture, because critics have downplayed the concept saying it’s not capable of being built.  But now comes news that the Rotating Tower is not only on the cusp of construction in Dubai, but it’s in advanced design phase for Moscow and intended for New York.  Let me say that again: Fisher intends to design a Dynamic Tower for the Big Apple!  If you haven’t heard about it yet, make sure to watch the above video.  Here’s the general idea:

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Foster + Partners' Newest Energy-Efficient Structure for Amsterdam [S2]

Construction just finished on this 24-story building designed by Foster + Partners for Vivaldi Park area in Amsterdam.  It’s quite the efficient structure — exceeding Dutch environmental regulations by 10%, and features flexible floor plates that are perfect for big name tenants such as Ernst & Young.  The design calls for an ecological pond, fully glazed windows on sun-exposed facades, and the retention of 65% of rainwater.  In addition to its energy efficient elements, probably one of the more interesting aspects of the structure, and one that has grown on me, is Foster + Partners’ signature use of the aluminum-clad, steel diagrid structure.  Any thoughts relating to the diagrid pattern on the building exterior?

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Nano Vent-Skin Demonstrated in Concept Tower

Nvs_building

I was pretty impressed by Agustin Otegui’s design for Nano Vent-Skin (NVS), rendered on the building above.  NVS is a building skin that uses organic photovoltaics to capture sun and micro-wind turbines to capture wind.  Otegui envisions nano-manufacturing with bioengineered organisms as the production method for NVS, and because it’s organic, the wall provides the additional benefit of capturing CO2 from the air. 

Obviously, the concept building above would be a new design built to reap the benefits of NVS, but Otegui also thinks the skin would be perfect for making existing buildings greener. 

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Kuwait's First LEED Tower To Be Crowned with Wind

Sabahalahmendifc KEO International Consultants has received word from the USGBC that its design for Sabah Al Ahmed International Finance Center (ICF) has been precertified at the Gold level under the LEED-CS green building rating system.  The 1.2 million sf, 40-story tower is the first building in Kuwait to be registered or precertified by the USGBC.  As you can partially tell from the renderings, the design includes four stacked courtyard atriums ranging from 8-13 floors each.  Three of the atriums serve the office portion of the building, while the fourth atrium serves the 200 key, 4-star business class hotel.  The tower generates part of its energy from a PV system, as well as from roof-mounted wind turbines.  You may be able to see the lattice-work of wind turbines at the crown of the building; I think they’re the vertical axis, helical-type, but it’s hard to tell with this one image.  We’ll make sure to keep you posted …

The use of wind turbines at the building’s apex is similar to what’s planned for Discovery Tower in Houston.  It’ll be interesting to see these designs meet reality — the media world will definitely have fun running video and stories of building integrated wind turbines.

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