Thoughts on The Clean Tech Revolution (Updated)

Thecleantechrevolution So I received from HarperCollins a copy of Ron Pernick + Clint Wilder’s latest book called The Clean Tech Revolution.  I’m a big enthusiast of renewable technology because it has the potential to change the world of real estate and green living.  Preliminarily, let me say that this book is an incredible read.  Seriously.  It’s smart and approachable.  To get an idea of the breadth of the book, here are the chapter subjects:  solar energy, wind power, biofuels and biomaterials, green buildings, personal transportation, smart grid, mobile technologies, water filtration, creating your own Silicon Valley, and clean-tech marketing.  And the book is geared towards individuals, investors, corporations, and governments alike. 

The authors are Clean Edge guys and they know what they’re talking about.  The research put into each topic is unbelievably thorough.  The Clean Tech Revolution is not some chump book by someone that just recently jumped on the green bandwagon (not that there’s anything wrong with that).  The authors talk about the tipping point of green brought about by six C’s–cost, capital, competition, China, consumers, and climate.  These six things have come together to make clean tech something of a revolution that will occur over the next 20, 30, 40 years plus.  It’s pretty exciting.  In each of the chapter categories mentioned above, the authors identify several companies to watch.  For instance, the authors say we should keep an eye on the following companies in the ‘green building’ chapter:  Aspen Aerogels, Clarum Homes, Cree, The Durst Organization, Interface Engineering, Ortech, PanaHome, Rinnai, Turner Construction, Wal-Mart Stores

Update:BusinessWeek published an extensive review over the weekend saying, in part: "But what sets Pernick and Wilder’s book apart is its focus on the business benefits of going green, from money saved by building eco-friendly corporate headquarters and lowering heating and cooling bills, to money earned by startups committed to creating clean technologies. Other books, magazines, and Web sites tend to include clean-tech and green business within a spectrum of other lifestyle, political, environmental, or design topics."

I’m not going to give away too much, but I’m really impressed with this book.  Actually, I’ve got two people in mind that I want to pass a copy to, and they’re not getting mine. 

5th STREETpads by Greenpads LLC

5th STREETpads

The husband and wife team of Liz Miranda and Tim Rempel started Greenpads LLC in 2005, and 5th STREETpads is their first project.  Matter of fact, this six-unit multifamily development received a slew of awards, including the 2006 Build It Green Award + 2006 Design Advocates Design Award for Multi-family Development.  5th STREETpads has six, 2-3 floor townhomes that vary in size from 1360-1640 sf.  The development is a great example of comfortable, lower-impact living as a result of building up, not out.  Here are some of the green features:  Borrego solar system that provides up to 85% of each unit’s electricity; hydronic radiant floor heating with floor-to-floor thermostat control; blown-in wet cellulose and bonded logic thermal insulation; SIP panel roof system; low-VOC painting in all the units; FSC-certified Brazilian cherry flooring; large double-glazed, low-E windows and sliding doors for optimal natural lighting; skylights in all the units; green Italian laminate cabinetry; filtered water and Energy Star appliances throughout; and Toto low-flow toilets.  These are incredible homes.  And although some materials seem to have a heavy carbon impact due to shipping and transporting, we’re talking about a solid step in the right direction for the greening of multifamily real estate development. 

Good Links:
++Greenpads LLC
++Rempel Architects

Sprawl Lawsuit, Green Multifamily, Greener Hotels, & CB Richard Ellis (WIR)

Week in Review

  1. Citing the threat posed by climate change, California State Attorney General Jerry Brown has filed suit against San Bernardino County for failing to rein in sprawl. 
  2. AIA releases a web feature on incorporating green design elements to enhance multifamily communities. 
  3. Major hotel chains are starting to change their environmentally wasteful ways and design "greener" buildings. 
  4. CB Richard Ellis Group becomes the first major commercial real estate services company to announce plans to go carbon neutral (and do it by 2010) and assist its clients with energy-efficiency programs. 
By |June 16th, 2007|Energy Efficiency, Hotel, News, Week in Review|0 Comments

First 1 Hotel & Residences, Starwood's Green Brand, Breaks Ground in Seattle

Seattle1hotelresidences It looks like the joint-venture partnership of AvStar Seattle LLC, which is the combo of Starwood Capital Group Global LLC (SCGG) and Avalon Holdings, broke ground on the world’s first 1 Hotel & Residences in Seattle.  The 23-story, mixed-use development will be at Second Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Seattle.  The $200 M development, which is slated for occupancy in the winter 2008, includes retail, residential, and hotel components with amenities such as a 40,000 sf athletic club, organic specialty restaurant and grocer, and 8,000 sf spa.  There will be 110 "City Suites" and 98 condominiums, of which, the City Suites have already been oversubscribed and pre-reserved.  Also, the LEED-certified hotel will receive the 5-star management services of SCGG.  We know the building was designed by Sienna Architecture, and there are some good renderings at the links below, but specific details on green amenities are still a little tough to come by.  We’ll keep monitoring the roll out of the 1 green hotel brand. 

Good Links:
++1 Hotel & Residences [Official Website]
++1 Hotel & Residences [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]
++Avalon, Starwood Capital Break Ground on First 1 Hotel & Residences [GLN]
++Starwood Announces New Green Hotel: 1 Hotel & Residences [JG]

By |June 14th, 2007|Energy Efficiency, Hotel, LEED, Skyscraper|0 Comments

Siberian Mixed-Use Ecological Tower by Foster + Partners

Ecologicaltower
Siberiantower

When I first saw the concept renderings, I thought I was looking at a diamond perched upon a hill.  To the contrary, the images show a new mixed-use sustainable tower concept, or "ecological tower," by Foster + Partners for Khanty Mansiysk, Siberia.  The tower rises on the foundation of two podium buildings, each diamond-cut in style to allow light to penetrate the atrium.  The apex of the tower will have a panoramic viewing platform and restaurant for guests to gaze out into the city.  Paramount to the design is the desire to facilitate solar gain (it’s cold in Siberia) and allow natural lighting.  Encompassed by a densely wooded area, the architects designed the building to minimize disturbance to the landscape. 

Good Links:
++Designs Revealed for New Ecological Tower in Siberia [Foster + Partners]
++Siberia’s Sparkling Eco Tower [WAN]

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EcoUrban's LEED Platinum Home + Missouri's Newest Modular Developer [Updated]

Ecourban


Being Green Can Be Easy.  EcoUrban Homes Proves It.  The first of several up and coming EcoUrban homes was recently completed, and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay was on location to celebrate the grand opening.  It just so happens that this home is probably one of the greenest homes in Missouri — it has obtained LEED Platinum rating.  Located at 3140 Pennsylvania Avenue in St. Louis, this 3-bedroom, 2-bath, modular home has a bamboo stairs, fiber cement board siding, double-pane low-e windows, R-40 Icynene insulation in ceilings and floors, built-in security system and recycling center, solid wheat board interior doors, ultra-low VOC paints, dual-flush high-efficiency toilets, and Energy Star lighting and appliances, to name a few green amenities. 

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