Solera Apartments in downtown Denver held its grand opening last month with 30% occupancy and a steady flow of potential lessees. The 11-story, 120-unit project received LEED Gold certification — believed to be the first for a project of this kind in the Rocky Mountain Region — and was named Multi-family Project of the Year by Denver University's School of Real Estate. Beyond that, Solera is expected to save about 60% or more on energy.
As you know, there’s been a lot of back and forth between wood certification bodies, stakeholders, and the USGBC relating to the certified wood credit applicable all commercial LEED rating systems. The debate was documented in a five-part series in The Tyee recently, and led to the creation of the Forest Certification Benchmark.
Perhaps you heard about a report by Environment & Human Health, Inc., which was published earlier this year, LEED Certification: Where Energy Efficiency Collides with Human Health. In it, to summarize, the authors suggest that the USGBC creates a false impression that buildings are "healthy" when the LEED system doesn't really do much to remove harmful chemicals from products and buildings. The report started a media frenzy on the topic.
While not as pronounced as the California Academy of Sciences museum, I think it's safe to say that this undulating green roof covering the new h2hotel is just as beautiful. The hotel, which gets its name from being the sister to Hotel Healdsburg, was designed by David Baker + Partners and is pursuing LEED Gold certification. It's also a nominee for the People's Choice Award from the Redwood Empire Chapter of the AIA.
There’s a lot of green building in Austin, but it’s not all single family. This luxury residential high-rise, The Austonian, recently received a Four Star rating (which is about the same as LEED Gold) from Austin Energy Green Building. The building sits on less than three quarters of an acre and was built with enough room for 166 luxury family homes.