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Eco-Laboratory Concept Living Building

Eco-Laboratory View from NE

This could just be one of the most innovative sustainable designs you’ll see all year.  Here’s the background: a team from Weber Thompson designed this building for the Cascadia Natural Talent Design Competition put on by the Emerging Green Builders of the USGBC.  They won the Cascadia competition and moved on to compete against about 15 other regional winners from around the country.   They won there, too, and "Eco-Laboratory" was announced as the winner of the 2008 Natural Talent Design Competition at Greenbuild.  Eco-Laboratory is a theoretical design set in Seattle with affordable and market-rate residential housing, a job training center, homeless shelter, hygiene station, and public farmer’s market. 

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Photo Tour: FROG Zero Classroom

Project FROG FROG Zero Classroom

 

The classroom of the future was on display throughout Greenbuild 2008 and it’s safe to say that attendees were impressed.  Project FROG built the classroom using their FROG Zero system of modular construction — a zero-energy building system.  What’s interesting, though, is that the contractor, Fisher Development, assembled and finished it in six days.  And it’s beautiful inside and out.  The company has received venture funding and can sell their classrooms for 25% cheaper than the competition.  Soon enough, we’ll all be able to watch the proliferation of healthy, architecturally-designed learning environments.

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LEED Platinum Home Breaks Records

Gottfried Home - LEED Platinum

We’ve seen a ton of LEED Platinum homes on this site, but today’s home achieves something new.  USGBC founder David Gottfried and his family recently finished the green renovation of their 1440 square foot Craftsman bungalow, a home that was originally built in 1915, and took it through the LEED for Homes certification process.  In doing so, they received a total of 106.5 points (out of a total 136) and the noteworthy accomplishment of being the highest-scoring green home renovation since LEED-H launched earlier this year.  The Platinum home is designed to be net-zero energy and utilizes technology such as solar photovoltaics and a solar- and hydronic-powered water heating system. 

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Sustainability Within a Generation

Starting this Wednesday, the USGBC’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo will convene and I’m geeked to take some time to fly out and participate.  The USGBC and LEED, I believe, should take a lot of credit for creating new opportunities in this exciting green building movement in which we all participate.  At the same time, though, I try not to forget that many of our neighbors, friends, or family may not have an idea as to what’s growing into a watershed moment in building, design, and construction.  To get an idea of how far this movement has evolved, the USGBC just released eight, short videos in a series called 15 Years, 15 Stories.  The video highlights various leaders and their collective perspective over fifteen years of working with the USGBC. 

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Iconic Dubai Anara Tower Looking Forward to LEED Silver Certification

Anara Tower

Developer Tameer Holding has another iconic tower in the works for Dubai called Anara Tower.  Designed by Atkins, the 600 meter (~1969 feet) tower won’t be as tall as the world’s tallest tower, Burj Dubai, which is ~707 meter (~2,320 feet), but it’s not too far behind.  With 125 stories, Anara will have office space, 300 residential apartments, 250 hotel keys, and all sorts of other luxury amenities, such as pools, shops, and sky gardens every 27 floors. The design was inspired by the minaret, tall spires near Muslim mosques, with a purpose of being instantly recognizable worldwide. 

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Google Puts Plans for Beyond LEED Platinum Offices On Hold

Google Living Building Plans

Well over a year ago, I heard William McDonough was working with Google on some green design plans near the Googleplex (all hush hush-type stuff covered by an NDA).  Since that time, I haven’t really noticed much information on those plans, that is, until I caught this article in Mountain View Voice talking about Google’s extraordinary building plans.  It appears that SHoP Architects coordinated the work of several architectural firms to get these preliminary plans going.  But, for the time being, Google has decided to put the green office structure on hold. 

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