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State of the Green Building Union, a USGBC Report on the Numbers

Green Buildings by the Numbers

Last month USGBC posted Green Buildings by the Numbers, a three-page, bite-size State of the Green Building Union that simply brings together some useful stats.  This palatable little report helps a person wrap their head around the realities and opportunities for green building.  The authors seem to have attempted a sort of realistic optimism with a series of facts and percentages that say ‘there’s been progress in gaining market share for green buildings and buildings stand to make huge gains in the struggle to create a more sustainable human existence, but we’re not there yet.’  Included are a couple of specific statements on the expectations for green building market penetration (see one of the more intriguing quotes below), but the authors shied away from detailing market penetration thus far.

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BrightBuilt Barn on Track for Platinum

BrightBuilt Barn

When we last brought news of BrightBuilt Barn in September, it was only partially constructed.  Now it's all built and looks quite good.  Its trademark feature is the exterior LED lightskirt, which was designed to change color depending on the home's energy use.  GREEN means the BrightBuilt Barn is generating more energy than it consumes; YELLOW indicates a borderline condition; and RED means the energy usage is higher than required to meet the yearly net energy goal.  And like the lightskirt, everything about this home has been planned with meticulous care to create a livable, sustainable, replicable, flexible, and educational net-zero energy home.

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34 Stunning LEED Platinum Projects

Swaner EcoCenter

Update – 12/29/08: added one more that’s now going for Platinum.

There’s so much innovation in the green building space, it’s pretty hard to keep up with it all.  I mean, check out these articles below.  In the past year alone, we’ve discussed at least thirty-four different LEED Platinum projects — some are done, some are under way, and some are still on the boards.  Wow, what an incredible year in green building news!  Innovation at the highest rung of the USGBC’s LEED system continues.  And so you know, we plan to pay more attention to the greenest of green projects over the next year.  Keep us informed if your project is a legit Platinum contender, we’re certainly interested:

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Former Bathhouse Gets LEED Platinum

Kerr Foundation

Located in a formerly desolate area of downtown St. Louis, the William A. Kerr Foundation building is a showcase for sustainable renovation strategies.  It started out in the late 1800′s as a bathhouse (it sits above a natural mineral spring), and thereafter as a paint warehouse — over time, it fell into disrepair.  The neighborhood was blighted when it was acquired by the owners, and they wanted to restore the building for the foundation’s offices and educational activities.  Subsequent to remediation and renovation, it was awarded 58 out of a possible 69 points by the USGBC and received LEED Platinum certification.  The William A. Kerr Foundation building has the following green features:

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Rock Row Small Lot Eco Town Homes

Rock Row Renderings

Last month, Heyday Partnership began construction on a slick small lot development called Rock Row.  Located in the Eagle Rock area, which is north of downtown LA, Rock Row will feature town home-esque (no party wall) properties at affordable-ish ($475k-$550k) prices.  Believe it or not — those of you outside of New York and California, Rock Row is considered one of the first, reasonably-priced, green housing projects in Los Angeles.  The development team includes an architect, developer, and builder working in collaboration, so Heyday is able to pass on affordability to future home buyers.

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Curvacious, Stylish and Green h2hotel

h2 Hotel - North

This is the design for a new place to stay called h2hotel in Healdsburg, California.  Healdsburg is a small town of something like eleven thousand people.  It’s smack dab in the heart of Sonoma County, a place where wine enthusiasts and travelers go for rest and respite. Environmentalism is quite common in northern California, so its natural that h2hotel would be designed to include a plentiful array of green amenities.  And starting in 2010, transients and guests of all kinds will have the opportunity to stay in one of thirty-six rooms in the four-floor h2hotel.

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