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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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Photo Tour: Swaner EcoCenter, the Greenest Building in Utah

Swaner EcoCenter

The other day I was able to tour Swaner EcoCenter with the Salt Lake City Professional Chapter of Net Impact.  I took several pictures in an attempt to let you see everything I saw, so scroll down and make sure to visit the Swaner EcoCenter flickr set for more views.  Although I’m an amateur when it comes to taking photos, I hope you get the idea how impressive this building is.  It has beautiful woodwork, artful touches of 3form, and incredible views.  The folks behind Swaner are seeking to obtain the first LEED Platinum certification in Utah, but nonetheless, the building is the greenest in Utah. 

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Green versus Greed by Rick Fedrizzi


On Friday Rick Fedrizzi, founding chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council and current President and CEO, sent out a letter to USGBC constituents to address general market concerns relating to the economy and future of green building.  I thought the letter was interesting because he mentions something I’ve been thinking about for over a year now: the allocation of sustainable accountability.  Whether it’s the newest green ad campaign or some politician’s promise, I feel the prevailing mentality is that the government or businesses or someone else, someone other than me, is going to help us figure out the toughest of tough issues.  Anyway, I don’t want to put words in the venerable Mr. Fedrizzi’s mouth, so here’s the letter if you didn’t get the email yesterday:

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Will There Be One Global Green Building Standard to Rule Them All?

Planet Plenty by Weef Kichards

This article was written by Phil Clark who blogs about green building and development in the UK at Zerochampion.  Make sure to come back after visiting his site …

Will there ever be one green building standard to rule them all?  It’s an interesting question given the explosion of new ones that are emerging around the globe: in the past month news has reached us over here of a new standard planned by the recently German Sustainable Building Council (this was discovered by Building Sustainability columnist and U.S. expert Jerry Yudelson, a reference of which is in this article) and of a new guide for eco-friendly projects in New Zealand.

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LEED Platinum Twin Eco Towers Planned for Abu Dhabi

Eco Tower

It’s *interesting* to hear story after story coming out of the Middle East, almost as if there’s no shortage of capital in that part of the world.  This project was announced during Cityscape last week, but the news was lost among the clamor for information on Jumeira Gardens, a development we’ll mention later.  These two so called Eco Towers have been designed to be the first mixed-use towers in the Middle East with LEED Platinum certification.  The 23-story Eco Towers are being developed by Connection Real Estate for ~$245 million USD. 

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LEED Platinum Home of the Future Reduces Energy Costs by 80%

SMUD Home of the Future

This home is the first LEED Platinum certified home in the Sacramento area.  Located in Folsom, this "Home of the Future" is the product of a collaboration between BP Solar, OCR Solar & Roofing, R.J. Walter Homes, and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.  Working together, the focus of the home was to design it using state-of-the-art energy efficient materials.  It has dual pane windows, solar-assisted hot water and space heating, LED lighting, energy efficient appliances, and advanced framing and insulation. 

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