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The USGBC’s Earth Day Challenge

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Everyone has something to say on Earth Day, and that’s not all that bad.  We’re going to keep the noise to a minimum, but here’s the thing:  A good Earth Day experiment just might lead to greater commitment, so why not give this one day a shot?  The USGBC sent out an email with an Earth Day challenge that may pay dividends long after this day is over …

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High Design for LEED Gold School

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Some of the students of tomorrow will have the opportunity to learn in incredible, well-designed buildings.  Take for instance this $28 million building designed by Ross Barney Architects with the assistance of The Sheward Partnership.  Commodore John Barry Elementary School was designed to LEED Silver certification but ended up obtaining LEED Gold (at no extra cost to the School District of Philadelphia).  The District has obtained certification for two other schools and committed to build all future schools to LEED Silver certification.  Four such schools are on the boards right now. 

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Chicago Hotel Arista Seeking LEED Silver

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With all the LEED certified buildings in the world, hotels still comprise only a small portion of the total.  Hotel Arista, for instance, is seeking the first LEED certification for a hotel in Illinois.  Designed by Lohan Anderson, this 144,000 square foot building is part of the CityGate Centre lifestyle development in Naperville, which also is undergoing LEED certification.  The 144 room hotel features luxury amenities wrapped up in the style of classic modernism and some of the following green features:

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New Financial Study: Living Buildings Are Cost Effective

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Today the Cascadia Green Building Council published their findings of a financial study of Living Buildings.  The study — officially named The Living Building Financial Study: The Effects of Climate, Building Type and Incentives on Creating the Buildings of Tomorrow — is extensive and we're still going through all the details.  But there's one major takeaway that I noticed: investing in Living Buildings is the financially smart thing to do, especially for institutions, corporations, and homeowners looking to hold on to their real property assets for more than a few years.  The study was put together by Cascadia, SERA Architects, Skanska USA Building, Gerding Edlen Development, Interface Engineers, and the New Buildings Institute (referred to below as "contributors").  Let's look a little deeper. 

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First LEED Platinum Home in Ohio

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This is an affordable green home that is also the first, LEED-H Platinum, single-family home in Ohio.  In addition, the home is said to be the first in state to feature both solar thermal and photovoltaic solar panels on one roof.  It's beautiful and traditional — definitely the kind of home our non-modern readers dream about — and accented by a leisurely large front porch.  If you're in the area, there's an open house on Thursday, May 21, 2009; if you're not, we have some great photos to give you a peek inside.  Check out its green features:

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Autodesk Seeks LEED Platinum for Waltham Headquarters

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Autodesk recently completed tenant improvements at their new headquarters building on the East Coast. The company retained the services of KlingStubbins and Tocci Building Companies to design and build the interior to a LEED Platinum level of certification using LEED-CI.  The result is modern office structure with abundant natural light and, of course, plenty of style.  My favorite design element is the custom, prefabricated millwork explained in the YouTube video below.

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