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12 Platinum Net Zero Energy Homes

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In North Boulder, there's a new, green neighborhood development called Spring Leaf.  The neighborhood's first home, its model home, has been completed.  In total, Spring Leaf will include six single-family homes and six townhomes that will be all-electric, super efficient, and easily LEED Platinum.  Moreover, they'll all be net-zero energy homes powered by solar and geothermal systems.  

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Two Passive House Row Homes in Philly

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If you're in the area, the next project by Postgreen, the development company behind the award-winning 100k House, will be open for tours on Thursday, December 17.  Dubbed The Passive Project, the tour will include two newly constructed row houses built to a rigorous and trendy German Passiv Haus standard.  When certified, these homes — located at 2318-2320 Amber Street — should be the first to do so in the Philadelphia. 

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Lofts at Cherokee Studios Now Complete, Seeking LEED Platinum

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A few years ago, we mentioned this project and want to take an opportunity to follow up.  The new Lofts @ Cherokee Studios, designed by Pugh + Scarpa and developed by REthink Development, is now complete.  Built on the same site as Cherokee Recording Studios, which was MGM Studios before that, the location saw the likes of numerous past and present musical giants, including Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Elton John, David Bowie, and Dave Matthews.  It's now a mixed-use location seeking LEED Platinum certification. 

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Blu Launches Origin Folding Prefab

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Early this month, Blu Homes announced the launch of their new product line dubbed Origin.  As you can see below, Origin is built using Blu’s folding technology, which allows the company to ship homes nationally, and then unfold them to widths up to 17-20 feet.  It’s an interesting take on factory-built construction.  And Blu just delivered four Origins to the new late night talk show Lopez Tonight in Burbank, California.

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Living Smart, Green in Salt Lake City

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The other day, Andrew Stone took me through this newly constructed abode located on an infill lot in Salt Lake City.  The contemporary home, currently listed for $685,000, was designed by A.K. Smith Architects and comes with some slick green technology.  The entire home is wired up with a Control4 Home Automation System — accessible on an iPhone — and connected to the fireplace, thermostat, and lighting.

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Chicago Awaits a LEED Aqua Tower

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Chicago has a new 82-story tower on its skyline that is due for completion in the Spring of 2010.  But in a city of grids and rectilinear forms, the AQUA tower has a distinctive character with a more fluid appearance coming from the deep projecting balconies which are reminiscent of geologic rock formations.  Designed by Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects, AQUA is also currently the tallest structure designed by a woman-led firm.

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