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Photo Tour: Swaner EcoCenter, the Greenest Building in Utah

Swaner EcoCenter

The other day I was able to tour Swaner EcoCenter with the Salt Lake City Professional Chapter of Net Impact.  I took several pictures in an attempt to let you see everything I saw, so scroll down and make sure to visit the Swaner EcoCenter flickr set for more views.  Although I’m an amateur when it comes to taking photos, I hope you get the idea how impressive this building is.  It has beautiful woodwork, artful touches of 3form, and incredible views.  The folks behind Swaner are seeking to obtain the first LEED Platinum certification in Utah, but nonetheless, the building is the greenest in Utah. 

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Nubanusit Could Be Greenest Neighborhood in the Northeast

Nubihomes

Maybe you’ve never considered living in a cohousing* situation, but some of the greenest neighborhoods in the country are trying to use this pattern of living for their communities.  The images in this article show a peaceful, cohousing condominium community called Nubanusit Neighborhood & Farm.  Nubanusit is located in Peterborough, New Hampshire, and all the homes will be super green — that is, if they’re all not LEED Platinum certified.  Imagine that: 29 homes on 70 rolling acres and all of them are LEED Platinum certified!

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Off-Grid and Carbon Free in Samsø

Samso

A few months ago, I became interested in Samsø after reading Elizabeth Kolbert's column in The New Yorker entitled The Island in the Wind.  Then, just this week, I noticed a photo essay of Samsø in The Guardian with pictures from Nicky Bonne.  What's interesting about Samsø is that it's a producer of energy — the entire island produces more energy from renewables than it uses.  They sell the rest and have been doing so since 2003. 

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REX House Accomplishes 100% Reuse

Rex House

Shannon Quimby, as far as I can tell, is the first to successfully reuse 100% of an old dilapidated home in a new home construction project.  The REX House, or Reuse Everything eXperiment, is located at 2030 SE Rex Street in Portland, Oregon and Shannon has been documenting the entire process since December 2007.  What she’s doing is quite difficult, especially if/when you’re deconstructing a house that has toxic materials, lead, asbestos, and other damaged parts.  But that’s the goal of the project: to share with everyone how to recycle and keep landfills from overflowing with useable construction materials. 

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World's First Dual LEED Platinum Building

Christman

There's an interesting story to the green building certification of the historic Mutual Building in Lansing, Michigan.  Not only did it receive LEED Platinum certification in both the LEED-CS and LEED-CI ratings systems, making it the world's first building to do so, it's also an historic building that's been preserved, renovated, and certified.  People will, in all likelihood, discuss the building's double platinum certification, but I think it is more commendable and noteworthy that they did all that in the context of a building listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks.  It's quite incredible …

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Muffler Shop Converted to First LEED-NC Architect Office in Georgia

Menefee + Winer LEED Office

As an interesting example of adaptive reuse, I thought it would be fun to showcase the design of Menefee + Winer’s office in Atlanta, Georgia.  Located at 1075 Brady Avenue near Georgia Tech, the 4,100 sf building used to be bland, gray muffler shop (see bottom) — but now with its vibrant colors and fierce shape, how about the transformation?  This LEED Silver building is also, interestingly, the first LEED-NC certified architect’s office in Georgia.  Here are a few things they incorporated through the gut rehab:

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