Remodeling is big these days, and Boulder-based VaST Architecture has a knack for transforming rundown places into vibrant spaces (as they did with a co-work space called the Candy Shop). VaST recently helped Gregg Olsen convert his Boulder, Colorado, 1960s, split-level home into an efficient abode with modern interior design. The interior and exterior renovation was completed at a cost of $107 psf.
Chicago's Hotel Felix, formerly known as Wacker Hotel, re-opened its doors in April 2009. Felix is a 225-room, boutique hotel that's been designed (not yet certified) to receive LEED Silver certification. The lodging also received four out of five Green Eco-Leafs, which indicates that the hotel has been audited and complies with 38 (of 70) unique eco-initiatives. Some of these green features and initiatives include the following:
Today, the Holcim Foundation honored four projects with Global Holcim Awards – a nod to projects that improve lives, reduce environmental footprints, and lead the way to a more sustainable future. I thought the “Innovation” project was quite interesting. The $50k Innovation prize went to Liz Ogbu and John Peterson of San Francisco-based Public Architecture for their design of an informal station where laborers can meet and wait for casual work. If you haven’t already seen the self-contained, off-the-grid station, check it out below:
The Henry Miller Theatre on 43rd Street in Times Square is pursuing LEED Gold certification. The broadway theater is located inside Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park and will have 1,055 seats. But what's interesting about it is how the facade was braced from the front while everything behind it was demolished (see below). The 1918 Georgian facade fronts a brand new 50,000 square-foot facility with 95% air filtration, FSC-certified wood products, locally-sourced marble, and waterless urinals, etc.
Zac Blodget, designer and owner of Portland’s first LEED Platinum home, sent me an email recently. His smartly designed home lacks the fuss usually associated with LEED Platinum palaces – no pun intended, but it’s down-to-earth – and Blodget has the green house listed for sale at $340,000. Located two blocks from Concordia University, the 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 1680 square-foot residence sits on a tight footprint on a corner lot. I’ve explained a number of its green elements below, but we also have a one-question poll at the end of the article (scroll down).
This is the first LEED Platinum home in Vermont, although perhaps more importantly, it’s a documented and legitimate zero net energy home. From January 2008 to January 2009, the 2,800 square-foot, single-family residence exported 16 kWh of electricity to the grid. Over the same time period, a Bergey 10 kW net-metered turbine generated 6,286 kWh of on-site, green energy. Designed by Pill – Maharam Architects, the handsome farmhouse was built for a family of four and features a number of green elements: