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Former AOL CEO to Build Costa Rican Eco-Resort

Cacique Costa Rica

Steve Case, the former CEO, Chairman, and co-founder of AOL, recently announced the launch of his new company, Revolution, which will build a sustainable resort, Cacique – Costa Rica, in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.  I saw the press release and asked the PR department for some images of the resort … needless to say, the above is all I received.  So I think we’re in the very beginning stages of planning.  One thing is for sure: that’s a beautiful island with lots of trees.  Wouldn’t it just be incredible to sit there and chill out … take in the vibe … enjoy it the crystal clear water?  Cacique – Costa Rica will feature high-end, luxury services and amenities with a focus on intelligent, environmentally friendly designs that reduce energy and water demand and take advantage of spatial, wind, and solar patterns to maximize natural ventilation, shade, and daylight.  Fairly general information, I know, but we’ll keep it on our green resort watch.  See the press release

Denver's 2020 Lawrence – Green + Affordable?

2020 Lawrence

2020 Lawrence breaks ground early next year, but it’s already making headlines.  With prices ranging from $290k-$800k, 20 of the 60 units have been pre-sold.  But there’s a compelling financial scenario lurking in the numbers of this $20 million development:  buyers that go with the 2-kw photovoltaic system will get a quarter point break on the 30 year mortgage (assuming buyer’s go with Countrywide Financial).  The result is that it becomes cheaper to buy a unit with the pv system, than without the system.  Nice. 

Additionally, 2020 Lawrence will be built to LEED silver certification and will be the first condo community in the region to receive a Near-Zero Energy Home designation.  As far as green amenities, 2020 Lawrence will have dual-flush toilets, sustainable hardwood floors, reserved hybrid vehicle parking, and rooftop solar power, to name a few.  Via BGTV

Green Sky Tower to be Tallest in Abu Dhabi (S2)

The Gate & Sky Tower

This development on Reem Island called The Gate is currently under construction in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  We’re talking about a total of 11,300,000 sf of development space.  One building is the Sky Tower.  Sky Tower will be the tallest tower in Abu Dhabi and (only) the fifth largest tower in UAE.  Topping out at 83 stories and 300 meters, it is anticipated that Sky Tower will be the first building in the UAE to receive LEED certification.  The Gate Development will also include five 62-story towers and two 31-story buildings.  Designed and planned by Arquitectonica, The Gate is supposed to become the gateway to a new city. 

It’s a pretty incredible looking development.  By all means, check the images below and let me know if you think it has a slight resemblance to Stonehenge.  Anyone agree?  When completed, The Gate will have a total of 4,600 residential units, 344,488 sf of office space, and 44,291 sf of retail space. 

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12.5 Condos Bring Eco-Modernism to Portland

12.5 Condos

Quality modern, green projects just keep coming and there’s no stopping them.  Here’s a project called 12.5 Condos.  Why 12.5?  Well, there’s going to be twelve 3-story townhouse condominiums and one 2-story condominium.  Designed by Holst Architecture and built by Portland green builder Barrs & Genauer Construction, 12.5 will be located in the MLK corridor.  With construction expected to finish by the end of this year, 12.5 is going to be an awesome example of green construction.  At least 90% of construction debris will be recycled.  Materials will include FSC-certified wood, recycled content site and structural metals, low-VOC non-toxic products, and fly ash concrete.  Appliances will be Energy Star certified, toilets will be dual-flush, and the HVAC system will be ultra-efficient.  Count on the skylights to usher in natural light, and everything will be super clean and linear.  Extremely sustainable and extremely good looking.  Look for these condos at the corner of NE Knott Street and NE 7th Avenue in Portland, Oregon.  Prices starting from $295k and $375k. 

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Pursuing a Ken Yeang Built World

Chongqing Tower

There's an excellent interview by CNN with Ken Yeang, principle of the UK firm Llweleyn Davis Yeang.  Almost a year ago, I wrote about Yeang's fascinating Menara Mesiniaga building, and that article has been a popular one in terms of visitors.  Yeang is an ecological, architectural visionary designing in a way that blurs the boundary between the natural and human-built environments.  With eco-logical design, the goal is to build a structure with no pollution or waste.  And we're getting there, too.  To quote Yeang, "we'll see green buildings long before 2020 — I think the movement is intensifying. Within the next 5-10 years we'll see a lot more green buildings being built. Not just buildings but green cities, green environment, green master plans, green products, green lifestyles, green transportation. I'm very optimistic."  The green buildings pictured in this post are only a fraction of those designed by Ken Yeang.  If you're looking for more information, feel free to pick up his latest book: ECODESIGN: A Manual for Ecological Design

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Eco-Cities, 1 Hotel & Residences, Consumer Perception of Green Business + Variety in Green Homes (WIR)

Week in Review
  1. Eco-cities, centers that showcase the cutting-edge of land use and urban planning, are being planned for the UK and China but do they have what it takes to solve environmental challenges?
  2. Atlanta’s The Streets of Buckhead will be one of the first cities in the southeast to gain a luxury, eco-friendly hotel in the new Starwood Capital Group brand, 1 Hotel & Residences. 
  3. An increasing number of businesses are making a commitment to the environment, but it seems that consumer perception of "going green" businesses could be mixed. 
  4. The Tale of Two Green Homes – one is efficient and thrifty, and the other is stylish and opulent.  They both help the environment, right?

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