Solera Apartments in downtown Denver held its grand opening last month with 30% occupancy and a steady flow of potential lessees. The 11-story, 120-unit project received LEED Gold certification — believed to be the first for a project of this kind in the Rocky Mountain Region — and was named Multi-family Project of the Year by Denver University's School of Real Estate. Beyond that, Solera is expected to save about 60% or more on energy.
This self-sufficient home took a 2010 Evergreen Award from Eco-structure in the Greenhouse category and features some impressive, green elements. Built in Houston for owners Daniel and Adele Hedges, the home – referred to as Virginia Point – is net-zero energy, near net-zero water, and the first home in Houston to receive LEED Platinum certification.
Of all the beautiful homes in the most recent issue of Dwell, I must say this one made the greatest impression on me. In “Worth the Wait,” Amber Bravo writes about The Porter Cottage in Ragged Island, Maine. The self-sufficient home – roughly 480 square feet including a screen porch – is both off-pipe and off-grid and made with durable and green materials.
Blu Homes recently installed and completed this factory-built home for two professors in Long Island. It’s based on the Element line, which is basically the same model used to build this Rhode Island retreat that we mentioned previously. Maura McCarthy, co-founder of Blu Homes, told me in an email that steel frame construction helped the permitting process because the site is in a 120 mph wind zone near the ocean.
The small town of Oroville — north central Washington four miles from the border — has big aspirations. A developer has plans to build the first Passive House hotel in North America, according to Examiner.com.
While not as pronounced as the California Academy of Sciences museum, I think it's safe to say that this undulating green roof covering the new h2hotel is just as beautiful. The hotel, which gets its name from being the sister to Hotel Healdsburg, was designed by David Baker + Partners and is pursuing LEED Gold certification. It's also a nominee for the People's Choice Award from the Redwood Empire Chapter of the AIA.