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Hammarby Sjöstad: A Legitimate Eco-City

Sweden Stockholm Hammarby

There’s a lot of talk about eco-cities and we’ve mentioned at least two of them (Dongtan + Masdar).  But an unassuming Swedish suburb, known as Hammarby Sjöstad, has received high praises as a legitimate sustainable community.  In Hammarby Sjöstad, houses use half the energy and water than normal Swedish properties.  Plus, all the homes are built to sustainable standards and will house roughly 25,000 people by 2015 (11,000 units).

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REI Boulder Continues Green Building Tradition

REI Boulder

Over the weekend, REI opened the doors on a brand-spanking new, LEED-CI Silver certified, green retail store in Boulder, Colorado.  Designed by Gensler, this store is an extension of REI’s commitment to green building.  REI’s director of store development, Dean Iwata, said, "REI’s Boulder store builds on our more than 10 years of green building experience, and helps us test concepts that will pave the way for how our stores are built in the future, including design, material selections and use of technology."  I couldn’t be happier for the company — I think I’ve found a justification to splurge $165 on a new North Face Denali jacket.  Vote with your money, right?!

The store has tons of green technology, such as specially-designed Solatubes (which save major deniro and energy).  Also, using efficient, low-flow fixtures, the store uses 30% less water than federal code mandates.  70 percent of the store’s hot water is heated through solar energy.  REI Boulder is the first retail integration of Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) and uses recycled, renewable, and low-VOC materials throughout.  Plus, as many responsible builders do, REI diverted 75% of construction waste from the local landfills by using it in other areas of the store or recycling it. 

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Bahrain WTC Wind Turbines, Coming Soon (S2)

Bahrain WTC Turbines

The word on the street is that the three wind turbines on Bahrain World Trade Center will starting generating electricity the last week of October.  As you can see from the images below, construction of the towers is moving along nicely.  The turbines are expected to generate roughly 11-15% of the buildings’ energy needs, or 1100 to 1300 megawatt-hours per year.  Architecturally, this building explores new territory by integrating large-scale wind turbines with the structure.  I’m sure Atkins Architecture has worked out all the modeling on noise and vibration, so the world is excited to learn from this experience.  Enjoy the images below. 

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The Austonian to be Green, Austin's Tallest Tower (S2)

The Austonian

In a city known for its aversion to development and proudly celebrated with the phrase "Keep Austin Weird," what does it take to get the go ahead approvals on what will be the tallest tower in the skyline?  Quite simply, a commitment to green building.  The Austonian, developed by Benchmark Development and designed by Ziegler Cooper Architects, is going to be one of a kind in Austin.  And judging by the renderings, it’s going to tower over everything else in the city, too.  The 56-floor building will have 188 residential condominiums, with pricing from $550,000 (rough revenue analysis = 188 * $550k = $103.4 M).  But there’s also going to be some ground floor retail, and according to Emporis, construction is expected to be complete in 2009.

The Austonian will be built to Austin’s well-known Green Building Program, with features such as a rainwater capture system; high-performance, low-E glass walls; Mecho-Shades; and Energy Star-rated appliances.  There’s also going to be an urban garden a first-class fitness room on the top floor.  The tower will feature a glass and aluminum “skin” that is layered to provide depth to its slender shape.  So, all in all, it looks good and if you’re going to build high, at least it’s in the middle of downtown. 

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330 Hudson Street, Sustainable Design + Historic Preservation (S2)

330 Hudson Street Developer Tribeca Associates has chosen Brennan Beer Gorman Architects (BBG Architects) to design the overhaul of an historic 1910 warehouse building.  At a price of $220 million, the existing structure will be redeveloped into 292,000 sf of office space, with 12 stories of new hotel space rising from the office pedestal.  There will be a small portion of retail space and the hotel will be one of the few Silver LEED Certified buildings in the U.S.  Located at 330 Hudson Street (324-344 Hudson) in the downtown Hudson Square area of Manhattan, the new structure will combine sustainable design and historic preservation in a powerful 22-story package.  The iconic masonry exterior of the existing structure will undergo meticulous restoration, and the finished structure will include amenities such as event space, rooftop pool, sky bar, signature restaurant, outdoor terraces, conference center, and a fitness center.  Via Wired NY.

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Seattle Off-Grid Concept Combines Chickens, Crops + Sustainable Living (S2)

Center for Urban Agriculture

In the heart of Seattle, the design professionals at Mithun see a farm rising vertically into the sky.  Although it may never be built, the Center for Urban Agriculture (CUA) won “Best of Show” in the Cascadia Region Green Building Council’s Living Building Challenge.  Vertically constructed on a .72 acre site, the off-grid building is designed to be completely energy and water sufficient and will include 318 affordable apartments (studio – 2 bedroom).  And on top of that, there will be greenhouses, rooftop gardens, a chicken farm, and fields for growing vegetables and grains. 

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