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Seattle Off-Grid Concept Combines Chickens, Crops + Sustainable Living (S2)

Center for Urban Agriculture

In the heart of Seattle, the design professionals at Mithun see a farm rising vertically into the sky.  Although it may never be built, the Center for Urban Agriculture (CUA) won “Best of Show” in the Cascadia Region Green Building Council’s Living Building Challenge.  Vertically constructed on a .72 acre site, the off-grid building is designed to be completely energy and water sufficient and will include 318 affordable apartments (studio – 2 bedroom).  And on top of that, there will be greenhouses, rooftop gardens, a chicken farm, and fields for growing vegetables and grains. 

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Net Metering, Minimum Floor Areas, Kendall House, Green Banks + Natural Landscaping (WIR)

Week in Review

Portland City Storage Brings Big Solar (S2)

Portland City Storage

I sat on this post for a while trying to find up-to-date information on its status but was unable to locate anything.  This is a storage facility planned for the east bank of the Willamette River.  Typical storage facilities can take up to 30 acres, but this one, designed for house boats, recreational vehicles, and storage pods, is going to be maxed out on 3 acres.  The taller tower rises 22 stories into the sky and uses a giant mechanical arm capable of lifting 40,000 lbs.  Interestingly, the project is planning construction to LEED Platinum standards and will include more than 175,000 sf of solar panels (making it the largest solar facility in the northwest).  With the estimated project costs at about $40 M, Portland City Storage also plans to rehabilitate the riverfront property adjacent to the towers. 

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America's First + Greenest Private Spaceport

Spaceport

It’s not an airport, it’s a spaceport–a commercial station for the burgeoning business of space travel.  As you can see from the renderings, this structure is the New Mexico Spaceport Authority Building, aka Spaceport America, which was designed by Foster + Partners (and SMCP Architects).  As the first private spaceport in America, Spaceport America will be built to LEED Platinum standards.  Perhaps more importantly, the building should have minimal impact on the surrounding environment: "the low-lying form is dug into the landscape to exploit the thermal mass, which buffers the building from the extremes of the New Mexico climate as well as catching the westerly winds for ventilation. Natural light enters via skylights, with a glazed façade reserved for the terminal building, establishing a platform for the coveted views onto the runway."  The project is expected to cost about $31 million and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic will be the main tenant. 

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Fat ZIP Codes, Urban Revival, Depressing Moldy Homes, Alcoa's Green Roof + Home Efficiency (WIR)

Week in Review
  • The Urban Revival – Cities may be the key to curbing climate crisis. 
  • Fat Zones – Does where you live influence what you eat?  A new study says ZIP codes are surprisingly accurate predictors of obesity. 
  • Another new study suggests that people who live in damp, moldy homes may be prone to depression. 
  • A new roof and attic system being developed at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory could help owners lower summer utility bills by 8% or more. 
  • Alcoa announced the start-up of a 588,000 watt, roof-mounted photovoltaic solar power system at its California manufacturing facility, enabling the supply of clean and reliable renewable energy. 

The Tallest and Greenest Building in India (S2)

Parkhyatt Not only is this tower designed to be the greenest in India–it’s shooting for LEED Gold certification, but it’s going to have a little something for everyone.  On a small 3 acre site, Park Hyatt Tower will have retail, lodging, and residential apartments and penthouses.  As the models below illustrate, the retail component will be on the bottom, with the hotel and spa area in the middle, and the residential lofts near the top.  Each vertical use is sandwiched with garden level lookouts.  I bet those garden spaces have incredible views.  The 85-story (?) tower is currently under construction in South Mumbai, India, and is expected to be complete in 2010.  Environmentally speaking, the tower will incorporate solar shading, natural ventilation, daylighting, rainwater harvesting, and green interior finishes and materials.  FXFOWLE Architects designed the 882,000 sf green tower for Park Hyatt.  Via skyscraper city

::"S2" is short for "Skyscraper Sunday," a weekly article on green skyscrapers posted every Sunday::

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