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Project Green, Cluster Subdivisions, Sustainable Schools, + LEED-EB + Lodging [WIR]

Week in Review

BONUS: Newsweek Project Green

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

Schaar's Bluff Gathering Center, a Living Building

Schaar's Bluff

I’m not going to write too much about this project because it’s under construction and we’ll end up doing more when it comes to life.  Here, though, is the design for a living building — one that gives something back.  It’s the kind of building that goes beyond LEED (although I think it will also get LEED certification, too).  Schaar’s Bluff Gathering Center ranks within the top 1% of all sustainable structures, as compared to the USGBC’s registered buildings.  How?  The structure will generate its own power, react to weather conditions, reuse rainwater, and feed the animals with a trellis planted specifically with fruit vines.  Located in Nininger Township, Minnesota, the 3,500 sf Gathering Center will also have an on-site wind turbine, operable windows linked to the HVAC system, a high performance building envelope, automated shading devices, in-floor radiant heating, and rainwater capture and treatment. 

The Gathering Center will be a model of sustainable building for the future: living buildings. 

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Planet Reuse, Sourcing and Selling Green Materials

Planetreuse

Have recycled or reusable materials to sell?  Looking for recycled or reusable materials?  Need materials that contribute towards LEED MR credits?  Well, starting on or about March 17, you’re going to have a pretty nice looking resource to tap in the form of Planet Reuse.  Planet Reuse "aims to divert existing products and materials from landfills, create less waste and use of virgin materials entering the waste stream, and create a solution for designers, homeowners, architects and builders seeking to design, create, and use more environmentally responsible practices.

People that have materials can go to the website and create listing to sell the product.  Buyers can then search for materials by location and various other categories.  After Planet Reuse attracts critical mass and community participation, it’ll be a killer resource for LEED APs.  Great idea, Planet Reuse!

LEED, Say It Don't Spray It [Open Thread]

++LEED, follow or get out of the way!! [CP]

On a related note, I realize there are some strong opinions about LEED and its so called issues or problems.  Let’s treat this as an open thread for comments relating to anything and everything you’ve heard that is a potential problem with LEED.  True or not, list the obstacle.  I’m going to be working on something based on the comments below.  Say it don’t spray it. 

Discovery Tower Peaks with a Mini Wind Farm [S2]

Discovery Tower Wind Turbines

Construction just began on what could be one of the most innovative office towers in the U.S.  Located at 1501 McKinney Street in Houston, Discovery Tower is a 30 story office building that will cost upwards near $300 million to build.  And as you can tell from the above renderings, the pinnacle was designed to have 10 wind turbines.  But that’s not just some fancy, green add-on to an otherwise generic building.  Discovery Tower will be built to achieve LEED Gold certification from the USGBC. 

With construction set to finish in the second quarter of 2010, the Gensler-designed green skyscraper will have air filtration, water-efficient plumbing, and an energy efficient heating and cooling system, among other things. 

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Hawaii Gateway Energy Center, a Fascinating Display of Solar Potential

HGEC

The Hawaii Gateway Energy Center (HGEC) is a 3,600 sf, $3.4 million facility situated on the south coast of Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii.  The new building serves both the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii and the Hawaii Ocean Sciences and Technology Park.  And as you may be able to gather from the images and models below, HGEC is a fascinating display of the future potential for synergies of solar power and building efficiencies.  The entire building is designed as a thermal chimney that captures heat and creates air movement using the structural form and thermodynamic principles.  Also, with the help of glazing, the building orientation and design pretty much eliminates the need for electric lighting during the day.  Notably, HGEC consumes about 20% of the energy that’s required by a comparable building. 

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