The results of the first systematic study of green buildings are in and they look good! Specifically, the study filtered sample data to Class A office buildings larger than 200,000 sf, 5 stories or more, built since 1970, and multi- tenanted. To compare green versus non-green, they used Energy Star and non-Energy Star buildings, and therefore, the sample contained 223 Energy Star buildings (111.7 million square feet) and 2,077 non-Energy Star buildings (889.1 million square feet). The results: (1) HIGHER occupancy rates, (2) HIGHER rental rates, and (3) HIGHER sales prices psf for Energy Star buildings.
Ciralight caught the attention of a few attendees at this year’s Greenbuild 2007 exhibition. Their flagship product, SunTrackerOne, is free-standing, solar-powered, and completely self-contained. SunTrackerOne has three mirrors that track and reflect the sun into buildings through a thermal barrier, light well, and diffuser. It’s different than passive lighting because it collects more light and diffuses it more effectively throughout a building. This lighting system is a major green innovation to keep an eye on, especially since Ciralight touts a seductive 15 – 35% return on investment on energy savings alone.
Today, actually within the last couple hours, Brad Pitt announced more specific plans and designs for his Make It Right NOLA project. Last night, I was looking at their website, but it didn’t have any new announcements. Today, their site is redesigned with all sorts of information. More information to come later tonight, but make sure to sponsor a home and check out the Pink Project. Also, check out this N.Y.Times story on the announcement.
Green certifications are important, but can you imagine a world where buildings are better than the best Platinum level certification? Can you imagine a building that lives? A living building is self-sustaining and off-the-grid in terms of energy and water usage. A living building goes beyond the paper requirements for certification and seeks true sustainability. Earlier this month at Greenbuild, the Cascadia Region Green Building Council and the USGBC announced winners of the 2007 Living Building Competition. Here are the winners:
- OHSU – Center for Health and Healing (Portland, OR)
- Omega Center for Sustainable Living (Rhinebeck, NY)[Pictured Above]
- Seminar II (Olympia, WA)
- Warren Skaaren Environmental Learning Center at Westcave Preserve (Round Mountain, TX)
- Alice Ferguson Foundation (Accokeek, MD)
- Kenton Living Building (Portland, OR)
There’s a lot of innovative information on each building, and you can click the links above to read directly about that specific project.
Recently, Former President Bill Clinton announced a joint partnership of the Clinton Climate Initiative and the City of Chicago that will give the 1,450 feet tall building a green makeover. Through the partnership, the Chicago landmark will be retrofitted, making it more cost-effective and energy efficient. The project is part of Clinton’s message: going green can save some green. He said, “This is not a big bottle of castor oil we have to drink. This is the greatest economic opportunity that our country has had to mobilize and democratize since we mobilized from World War II." Clinton also predicts that in the next 18 months, there will be a race to build structures that produce energy instead of consuming it. The move from energy-consuming buildings to energy-producing buildings is intended, at least in part, to wean the country of its coal addiction. Let’s hope this momentum continues beyond 18 months, too. Via Equity Green + Medill.
(S2) = Skyscraper Sunday, a weekly article on green skyscrapers.