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Project Green, Cluster Subdivisions, Sustainable Schools, + LEED-EB + Lodging [WIR]

Week in Review

BONUS: Newsweek Project Green

*WIR = Week in Review; a Saturday showcase of excellent links.

Schaar's Bluff Gathering Center, a Living Building

Schaar's Bluff

I’m not going to write too much about this project because it’s under construction and we’ll end up doing more when it comes to life.  Here, though, is the design for a living building — one that gives something back.  It’s the kind of building that goes beyond LEED (although I think it will also get LEED certification, too).  Schaar’s Bluff Gathering Center ranks within the top 1% of all sustainable structures, as compared to the USGBC’s registered buildings.  How?  The structure will generate its own power, react to weather conditions, reuse rainwater, and feed the animals with a trellis planted specifically with fruit vines.  Located in Nininger Township, Minnesota, the 3,500 sf Gathering Center will also have an on-site wind turbine, operable windows linked to the HVAC system, a high performance building envelope, automated shading devices, in-floor radiant heating, and rainwater capture and treatment. 

The Gathering Center will be a model of sustainable building for the future: living buildings. 

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Huangbaiyu, Tough Combo of Sustainability + Urbanism

Huangbaiyu China

In January of this year, Frontline/World reporter Timothy Lesle published a three-part, video documentary on Huangbaiyu called "China: Green Dreams – A NOT SO model village."  Here’s a teaser intro to the report: "The village of Huangbaiyu in rural northeast China was supposed to be a model for energy-conscious design.  The initial project was to build 400 sustainable homes, a collaboration between U.S. architect William McDonough and the Chinese.  But something went awry.  [Timothy Lesle] traveled to the region to investigate."  I’m not going to tell the whole story — the series is quite compelling, and Mr. Lesle presents an honest perspective of Chinese urbanization. 

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