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Are Skyscraper Farms Part of the Solution? (S2)

Vue_nocturne

With a skyscraper farm, the idea is that one can control the environment and manner of producing crops.  Unless the building is wiped out by tornado or earthquake, vertical farms have the potential to reduce weather-related crop failures.  And with modern engineering, one could set up an elaborate system of rainwater reclamation and filtering to avoid water runoff pollution.  Plus, skyscrapers go everywhere.  You could have towers in Tokyo, London, Shanghai, Dallas, or where ever, growing organic goods.  Locally-produced organic goods sans the transportation premium and carbon emissions–now that has the potential to be disruptive!  Vertical farms use artificial light and with the right combination of renewable energy power a building, I could see this being a legitimate endeavor.  Experts suggest we’re about 15 years away from realizing something like this, but hey, it’s not one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard. 

The above image is the Living Tower by Pierre Sartoux.  The first level below the jump is Gordon Graff’s SKYfarm.  The second level is the Vertical Farm by Chris Jacobs.  Link for background story; link for images.

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$400 M Green Project "Blvd6200" Approved for Hollywood

Plaza

Looks like LA City Council has unanimously approved a $400-million mixed-use green development totaling 1.1 million sf called Blvd6200.  Blvd6200 will feature more than 1,000 apartments, 40,000 sf of live-work office space, and 175,000 sf of retail and restaurant uses on a seven-acre site.  Designed by Santa Monica-based Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh, the new LEED project will occupy a site that spans both sides of Hollywood Boulevard at Argyle Avenue east of Vine Street.  The project is going to be developed by the Clarett Group, a top New York development company, and other than having 10 flex cars available for residents, specifics on green certification aren’t available yet.  I’ll keep tabs on the project.  More images below the fold.  Via Globe St.

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Smart Growth, Valuable Green Ideas, Energy Efficiency Investments + Affordable Green Developments (WIR)

Week in Review
  1. Boston suburbs urged to adhere to smart growth principles or face the loss of open space and dwindling water resources. 
  2. There’s money to be made in green ideas; the business landscaped has changed from risk management to chasing revenue growth opportunities. 
  3. Businesses are investing in energy efficient measures for the main purpose of decreasing rising energy costs. 
  4. Enterprise Green Communities continues support for green buildings by handing out four grants of $70,000 to Los Angeles-based affordable housing developers. 

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

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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Building Green TV, Kevin Contreras, + 13-Episode PBS Series

I’ve embedded a quick view from the first season of Building Green TV for PBS.  Kevin Contreras is the show’s host and he’s going to navigate viewers through a variety of different green building situations.  In addition to the episode above, you can catch some more at their newly redesigned website.  Coming June 2007. 

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