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300 North LaSalle, Exposing LEED Benefits (S2)

Feature I received an email from a reader recently about the progress of 300 North LaSalle, which is a 60-story office tower under construction at the northwest corner of North LaSalle Street and the Chicago River in Chicago.  It received LEED-CS Gold pre-certification and should be ready for occupation near January 2009.  Back in 2005, developer Hines signed Kirkland & Ellis to occupy a mind-numbing 24 floors.  (too many lawyers in Chicago?)  The rest of the building, comprising about 400,000 sf will be available for lease.  And unlike many of the wicked shapes we see in some green buildings, the pragmatic, modern 25,000 rsf floor plates are good for tenants that like to use what they’re paying for.  The building was designed by Pickard Chilton, an architectural firm that is becoming increasingly known for their green office and professional buildings.  I’ve included some interesting background and images/renderings below. 

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McDonald’s re Recent LEED Criticism

McDonald's LEED

You’ve probably heard that Fast Company wrote a recent article about some of the potential problems with the LEED system.  Well, Bob Langert, Vice President of CSR at McDonald’s, just wrote a small response to Fast Company Magazine in an article titled “LEED = Progress for the Environment.”  Starting with the quote, “Perfection is the enemy of good,” Langert continued:

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Marmol Radziner Prefab Coming to Venice

Marmol Radziner Prefab Venice

This is a short post because there isn’t all that much information on the home, but Marmol Radziner Prefab is planning a custom prefab home for Venice, California.  The 2,800 sf, three bedroom, two and a half bath California House will be pieced together with 12 modules in the company’s very own prefab factory.  As of yet, there’s no word on whether the home will feature any green amenities (other than the efficiency advantages of constructing a home in their factory controlled environment).  If we could get more information on these homes, we’d feature Marmol Radziner Prefab a lot more, because after all, they are one of the early innovators in the business.  They’re committed to the concept and have invested a lot of money in a company-owned factory.  We’ll be eagerly watching for more.  Via LA Curbed

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Inhabit, Growing Prefab into Green Apartments

Inhabit Finished

UPDATE: 5/1/08 – you can buy the original Inhabit now at Dwell.

Imagine stacking 50 to 100 prefabricated, modular units to create a high-tech, green, multifamily apartment building.  That’s what Unico is all about.  Over the last 18 months, Unico has been perfecting the development of a 15′ x 45′ foot box referred to as "Inhabit."  The company started with idea of using shipping containers, but they later decided to build the box from scratch (and may revisit the use of containers later on).  They partnered with Mithun and Hybrid Architecture, both major innovators in the modern and green space. 

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WAV Project, Affordable Artist Green Loft Living

WAV Project

The Working Artists Ventura (WAV) Project by PLACE is a $57 million, state-of-the-art community designed by Adele Santos, Dean of Architecture at M.I.T.  In total, the project will include 69 affordable artist spaces with monthly rent from $388-963; 13 market-rate, for sale lofts from $686,000-1,050,000; and 6,000 sf of arts-friendly businesses.  The 130,000 sf, 4-floor building will be LEED certified and two blocks from local transit.  The community will also have the area’s first car sharing program.  Also check the video below.   

++Working Artists Ventura Project PDF Brochure [PLACE]
++Affordable LEED Live/Work Space for Artists [Building Green TV]

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Stroh Haus, Unbelievably Modern Straw Bale Home

Stroh Haus

Stroh Haus is a home in Switzerland made of compressed straw bale and designed by Felix Jerusalem.  As you can see from the images below, the staw bale is used not only for the external walls, but also as a sound barrier insulation on the inside.  What’s incredible, though, is that green tint, translucent sheeting on the exterior.  Quite compelling, isn’t it?  I wish I had more to say on the home, but there’s not much information, other than what I’ve seen at Architechnophilia

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