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First LEED Certified Parking Structure Generates Most Its Own Power

Santa Clara Civic Center Parking Lot

I realize that by blogging about this, I’m risking some criticism as to whether a parking structure can be green.  I think it can, but I’ve heard mention from others that the term "green parking lot" is an oxymoron of sorts.  After giving it some thought, I just can’t imagine a world, or a city for that matter, with absolutely no parking lot.  They’re going to exist, so they might as well be super green and zero energy, to the extent possible.  This building, which is the Santa Monica Civic Center parking structure, has a solar array that provides all the building’s energy needs.

But it’s not just energy efficient, it’s green, too.

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How Green Can Monster Homes Be? Topic Renewed.

Bighome

The topic pops up every month or two.  Last month, the issue of big green homes came up in the context of eco-terrorism.  Five luxury homes priced over $2 million each were set on fire with a sign left behind saying: "Built green?  Nope Black!  McMansions + RCD’s R Not Green – ELF"# #  The luxury homes were advertised as green, but clearly the eco-terrorists disagreed.#   The burnt homes were about 4200 to 4750 sf in size, which isn’t that bad, when compared to some so-called luxury green homes we’ve seen (this one being 9800 sf).  The incident highlights the tension between big homes and sustainability.   

Today the NY Times resurrects the issue in the context of a new development in Connecticut.  As you can tell from the image above, the homes are built in a style meant to evoke 19th-century English country houses.  I’m not really interested the style, but some people are and I understand that.  The above home is the model home — the first of at least twenty-four, extravagant "green" homes.  It’s 7,000 sf.

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CityFlats Hotel Stylishly Seeking LEED [Michigan]

Wall Art Bathroom

Eco-boutique CityFlats Hotel is a modern spot in Holland, Michigan that expects to get LEED Silver within the next month.  When certified, it’ll be one of only a few green hotels in the country, which is weird because hotels focus so much on energy and water efficiency.  Some of the bigger hotel companies have announced trendy green hotel brands, but they’re moving slow and in the mean time, we’re seeing eco-boutiques like CityFlats pop up in various locations.

As you can tell from the images, style wasn’t sacrificed for sustainability at CityFlats. 

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Green Worry, LEED or Not, Impact of Green Buildings, + Carbon Footprints [WIR]

Week in Review

*WIR = Week in Review; a Saturday showcase of excellent links.

Green Buildings Financially Crush and Outperform Non-Green Buildings!!

20bill

Flat out, this news is big!  CoStar just released details of their study of LEED and Energy Star buildings, and I have to say, I was surprised by the numbers.  They analyzed roughly 1,300 LEED and Energy Star buildings representing 351 million square feet of commercial buildings.  The green buildings were compared with non-green properties of similar size, location, class, tenancy, and year built characteristics to extrapolate the economic case for green buildings.  The result:

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First LEED Certified MLB Stadium [Nationals]

Washington Nationals

HOK and Devrouax +Purnell teamed up to design what could be the first LEED certified Major League Baseball stadium around.*  As the new home of the Washington Nationals, the stadium has a slew of green features such as high-efficiency field lighting, a 6300 sf green roof, state-of-the-art wastewater system that uses sand filters, and an in-house recycling center.  Originally, architects estimated an extra cost of $10-20 million for certification, but it ended up being only $2 million.  Plus, the up-front costs are expected to be returned in lower operating costs.  For a frame of reference, though, the owners agreed to spend $611 million for the stadium. 

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