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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By |September 23rd, 2007|Conservation, Hotel, LEED, Skyscraper|0 Comments

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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SG Blocks Rolling Out Safe, Green Building System

Fort Bragg Container Home

Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of discussing the phenomenon of container housing with David Cross, Chief Business Development Officer for SG Blocks LLC.  SG Blocks, short for Safe and Green, is a sustainable building system made from containers.  Going beyond the trendy fascination with exposed container architecture design–modern, industrial, and extremely good looking, in my opinion, SG Blocks intends to use containers as a fundamental component to building construction.  A container home doesn’t necessarily have to look like a container home (that’s up to you), but it can have all the same advantages: comfortable, strong, green, and affordable.   

The home you see above is an example of container modules being used on a traditional home as a framing system.  From the outside or inside, you’re not going to know that it was built with container modules.  The cost of framing a home built with SG Blocks is about $22-30 psf, which is roughly comparable to other forms of construction.  BUT did you know that recycling containers into steel beams takes nearly 8,000 kW of energy at a cost of roughly $800?  Rather, it takes about 400 kW of energy to turn containers into a home.  At about 5% of the energy when compared to straight recycling, that’s not bad.  And right now, SG Blocks is in the process of rolling out their building system nationally.

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By |September 11th, 2007|Affordable, Container Design, Gadgets, Materials, Prefab|0 Comments

Portland City Storage Brings Big Solar (S2)

Portland City Storage

I sat on this post for a while trying to find up-to-date information on its status but was unable to locate anything.  This is a storage facility planned for the east bank of the Willamette River.  Typical storage facilities can take up to 30 acres, but this one, designed for house boats, recreational vehicles, and storage pods, is going to be maxed out on 3 acres.  The taller tower rises 22 stories into the sky and uses a giant mechanical arm capable of lifting 40,000 lbs.  Interestingly, the project is planning construction to LEED Platinum standards and will include more than 175,000 sf of solar panels (making it the largest solar facility in the northwest).  With the estimated project costs at about $40 M, Portland City Storage also plans to rehabilitate the riverfront property adjacent to the towers. 

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By |September 9th, 2007|Gadgets, Land Use, LEED, Modern architecture, Skyscraper, Solar|0 Comments

New Haworth Center HQ Setting Green Example

Haworth Center

I really like Haworth.  In short, Haworth is a leader in office furniture and architectural interiors.  They do everything with a commitment to appealing aesthetics, thoughtful ergonomics, and sustainability.  I came in contact with some Haworth employees when I was finishing my JD/MBA program in Dallas, and they gave me a personal tour of the super-stylish Dallas showroom (a commercial interiors office display built to LEED-CI Gold standards).  Now, Haworth is working on a major, award-winning overhaul of their Holland, Michigan Headquarters.  The 300,000 sf renovation was designed to meet LEED-NC Gold standards; some of the building’s green features include the following:

  • The new facade will have a sun-filled atrium and vegetated green roof, blending the boundary between the structure and natural environment;
  • All of the interior 830 workstations will have access to daylight views;
  • Over 99% of the existing materials collected during deconstruction and recovery are being recycled; and
  • Although the footprint of the building will increase by 20%, energy use will remain at pre-renovation levels due to sustainability improvements. 

Of the green headquarters, Haworth Chairman Dick Haworth said, "The new Haworth Center will be a leading example of change. We’re not just building a better building … we’re building a better future."

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Green Tower Pair Planned for Metropolitan DC (S2)

Rosslyn

A proposed million square foot, mixed-use development for Rosslyn Central Place in Arlington, Virginia (metropolitan DC area), recently received approvals.  With construction set to begin early in 2008, the objective of this development is to create an image and identify for Arlington, as well as a sense of place in the heart of Rosslyn.  This area of Rosslyn should become a hub of pedestrian activity, with various retail opportunities on the ground level.  There will be two LEED certified towers: one commercial tower will have 500,000 sf of premium space and the other tower will house 350 residential units.  The base of both towers will have about 50,000 sf of retail  amenities.  And one of the main luxuries of the development is the 10,000 sf observation deck above the commercial tower (pictured below).  The observation deck will feature 360 degree views of some of the most famous locations in the country.  See also Beyer Blinder Belle + WAN

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By |September 2nd, 2007|LEED, Modern architecture, Skyscraper|0 Comments