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Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation Synagogue, a Modern LEED Platinum Building

JRC Synagogue

The Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation synagogue is a beautiful building on 303 Dodge Avenue in Evanston, Illinois.  The Chicago Tribune reports that it’s "believed to be the first synagogue designed to achieve the highest level — platinum — in the [USGBC's LEED] rating system."  That’s probably true.  The  JRC board of directors mandated LEED Platinum certification, but my search of LEED Certified projects does not list the JRC synagogue yet.  Nevertheless, it’s a fine example of green architecture in the religious building context, which is something we don’t see too often. 

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The 32nd Street Eco-Infill Home

Studiohtreal

Prefab company Eco-Infill and architectural services firm Studio H:T designed this modular, green home to be the first LEED certified, factory-built home in Colorado.  The 32nd Street home was built with two staggered modules with the top module jutting out the back to create a shaded patio.  It’s quite the great looking home, and as you can tell with the rendering above, it’s all done (took about 7 months total from start to finish).  A recent article about the home in Rocky Mountain News reports that the home cost about $325,000 to construct and $150,000 for the land, which equals about $176 psf.  Not bad in Colorado. 

The 2,700 sf home is currently in the process of seeking LEED certification.  Maybe I’ll drive down and check it out sometime.  Looks pretty close to the rendering below, too.   

++First LEED Certified Factory-built, Modular Home in Colorado [PDF]

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Greenbelt, Brooklyn's First LEED Residences

Greenbelt Brooklyn

For starters, when complete, Greenbelt will use roughly 40% less energy and 30% less water than a comparable building.  And it looks fantastic, too — another case that living green doesn’t require throwing out your style.  Located at 361 Manhattan Avenue, the eight unit building has one- and two-bedroom condos that range in price from $599k – $815k.  In addition to all the green features listed below, I like how the developers plan to incorporate enhanced sound proofing and insulation in the walls, ceilings, and floors.  People would probably be more willing to live in attached spaces, if they knew the extraneous sounds wouldn’t be a problem.  Nevertheless, it’s clear the developers are setting a good example in that regard because Greenbelt will have the latest technology to minimize noise disruptions. 

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Orchid Street Cityhomes Platinum Living

Orchidstreet

I just received a tip on this modern, LEED for Homes-built home being built and sold in Portland, Oregon.  It looks like a great design for a tough, slanted site.  Located at 9130 SW 7th, this 1,982 sf home has a cool, two-story, up-down feel that’s common in townhouses, without the hassle and noise of a party wall (technically, it’s in the garage).  Nice.  I’m just going to roll through some of the green features, just to get a general idea of how green it is:  reclaimed Oregon Myrtle wood floors on second level, durable standing seem metal roofing, IceStone countertops, radiant heating system with solar hot water assist, whole house heat-recovery ventilation and air filtration, occupancy sensors for efficient lighting, rainwater catchment system, photovoltaic solar electric system, formaldehyde-free cabinets, and radiant concrete first floor, etc. 

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Independence Station, #1 Highest Scoring LEED Building

Independence Station

This is going to be a cool development when it’s complete.  Slated to be the #1 highest scoring LEED building in the world by a fair margin (meaning: Platinum Certification at 64-66 points), Independence Station is 35% complete and should beat Oregon’s strict energy code by about 74%.  Steven Ribeiro, developer and principal at Aldeia Development, energetically remarks on his project: "This retro-futuristic, mixed-use building will run on 100% renewable energy, primarily vegetable oil and the sun."  Sounds good to me. 

Here’s a list of some of the green features planned for Independence Station:

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The Green Building Revolution, a Book Giveaway

Greenbuildingrevolution I really hate to do this, but I’m giving away a new, autographed copy of a book that I really like.  You know the drill:  leave a comment, and after 48 hours, I’ll pick a winner based on the number of your comment.*  This book is particularly hard to let go, because I keep referring back to it for different pieces of information.  It’s called The Green Building Revolution by Jerry Yudelson.  Yudelson is a serious expert in the industry and maintains an information-rich website at www.greenbuildconsult.com — plug it into the feed, you’ll be happy you did.  The book itself is loaded up with information, but it’s not a chore to read.  It’s accessible on the one hand and super thorough on the other.  Seems hard to do, but Yudelson finds a way to deliver the straight facts without leaving you lost.  Particularly, I was engrossed by three chapters:  the business case for green buildings, the costs of green buildings, and the future of green buildings.  He delivers a compelling case for green buildings and our future, and it’s not just about the money. 

*Open commenting ends at the end of the day on Saturday, midnight MST.  Say anything you want, but if you’re shy or don’t know what to say, tell us where you’re from.  Ex: Salt Lake City, Utah in the green house.  Offer only available in the U.S. for shipping reasons.  Shipping is on me.  I will email you for a mailing address and after shipping it, the winner will be announced in the comments.   



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