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Skyscraper Sunday: LEED Silver One Victory Park

One Victory Park

Taking a page from local developer Harwood, it looks like Hillwood decided to throw its hat into the green development ring with One Victory Park.  1VP is a 20-story, 450,000 square-foot, LEED-Silver office building slated for completion in 2008.  I’ve read a few conflicting reports on the actual details of the building, so we’ll have to watch and really determine the true specs.  Hines + Hillwood will be co-developing the project, which includes a Two Victory Park that seems identical to 1VP.  Boka Powell is the lead architect with Austin Commercial as the general contractor.   

1VP already has a tenant for six floors of the building.  Haynes and Boone recently announced that it would relocate from the Bank of America tower (tenant of 22 years), retaining Gensler as the interior design architect.  A recent news article pointed to suggestions that all the offices would be the same size, meaning senior and junior attorneys would be indistinguishable according to office size.  Why?  Efficiency and money savings.  Use your imagination on this one.  Image via

Clarification Please! Is Green Building More Expensive or Not?

20_dollar_bill

Recently, I attended a guest lecture by a seasoned real estate developer, and he was talking about the profitability of his projects.  This speaker has major experience will all types of investments including retail, single family, industrial, condo, etc.  I put him on the spot and asked him about the numbers he’s seen on sustainable developments.  His answer:  "They’re expensive, a break-even proposition at best.  Development is going that direction, but not now.  They’re not cheap, at all.  We’re talking 20, 30, 40% more expensive.  I won’t do them."  I was blown away. 

In stark contrast, on Monday, January 22, Rick Fedrizzi, CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council, said to the Miami Herald, "We are now at the point where you can build to LEED standards and it is not one penny more than conventional buildings.  We are more experienced now.  We have a proliferation of green building products and services."  From this perspective, it’s profitable and financially responsible to be environmental and build green. 

Someone’s wrong, who is it?

When I hear Fedrizzi’s statement, I’m led to believe that he’s accounting for construction on a first costs basis (not including the operational savings).  And I think he is.  He’s saying it costs the same to build green as non-green, on a first costs basis.  I mentioned the obstacles to building green recently, so is this a case where the developer was unaware?  What’s the deal?  I’m interested in hearing some real world discussion here. 

Skyscraper Sunday: Arterra – The LEED-Certified San Francisco Treat

Arterra

Arterra is an urban living, high-rise community in Mission Bay that will have a mixture of flats and townhomes of various sizes.  Arterra has three buildings: "Sky," a 16-level tower, "City," a 9-level building, and "Park," a 6-level building with 2-story homes.  Go to the Arterra website and you can watch a video that shows you the views from each building.  Because Arterra is a high-end lifestyle community, you will have benefits such as 24-hour concierge, state-of-the-art fitness center, community lounge, rooftop sun deck with lounge and barbecue, etc.  But, another feature of Arterra is that it will be the first LEED-Certified Green high-rise community in San Francisco. 

Green Features:
Arterra is going after LEED certification, so here are some of the current green amenities being planned:  formaldehyde-free cabinets (Studio Becker); low-emitting paint and carpets; high-efficiency water heating boiler; Kohler dual-flush toilets and other water-saving features; low-E, energy-efficient, insulated windows; Energy Star home appliances and gas ranges; bamboo for all standard kitchen floors; cork flooring at all elevator levels; recycled glass floors and FSC-Certified wood walls in entry-level lobby; bicycle storage in the parking garage; and recycled content panels for the exterior facade.  Arterra is being developed by Intracorp Companies

Arterra_rendering

IceCycle: Innovation in Thermal Energy Storage


Guest post contributed and co-authored by Mark Glover, CEO of Trinity Thermal Systems, and David Anderson, COO of Trinity Thermal Systems.  Mark and David are joint founders, inventors, and pioneers in green energy storage technology.

The Current Energy Situation
Storage is an integral part of every man-made system we have.  We have food in our pantries, fuel in our car gas tanks, and water in our water towers to meet our needs on demand.  Man’s greatest machine is our mass network of electricity and grid, but it does NOT have storage built in.  Which means, it is not only how much, but when we use electricity that is important.  Electrical supply and demand must perfectly balance every minute of every day; standby electric capacity must exist to instantly ramp up to the highest possible peak demand at a moments notice, with reserve capacity of ten to fifteen percent in case demand is under estimated or mechanical breakdown occurs.  If we fail to meet even a moment of this growing demand, we have blackouts or brownouts that paralyze our business economy and threaten the health of our families.

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The Sustainable, High-Performance illumaWALL by Duo-Gard

Illumawall_picture

The "illumaWALL," which is a translucent illuminated wall system designed to project a programmable million+ colors, has been singled out by both Architectural Record and Buildings magazines in their 2006 lists of top products.  If I must say so, that’s quite the achievement.  The illumaWALL incorporates translucent polycarbonate glazings with programmable LED lighting for custom design/build applications.  Depending on the type of energy a project is looking for, the illumaWALL could be used both in the interior and exterior, and in commercial, retail, hotel, education, entertainment, industrial, healthcare, or residential uses. 

From what I understand, the wall will also contribute LEED points towards a building owner’s certification.  The translucent polycarbonate glazings minimize heat gain and glare (which leads to lower heating and cooling costs) and the LED lighting incorporates low-voltage, low-heat design.  Not bad.  I could see how the illumaWALL would be good for a restaurant, spa, or retail store, depending on the overall design and brand concept.  Via PRNewswire + Duo-Gard + Info PDF

Illumawall

Skyscraper Sunday: LEED Gold Connecting Old + New (Seattle)

Fifth_and_madison Boc_north_face

I came across an interesting statistic (which will be obsolete in no time) about LEED certified office buildings.  There are about 669 LEED certified office buildings, and of that number, only 38 are remodels.  Why?  When you have a building that’s occupied, how are you going do a green renovation without losing rents?  Here’s one way.  The former Union Bank of California Center, the 41-story, 34-year-old building owned by Beacon Capital Partners, is looking to be one of the few LEED-Existing Building (EB) certified structure in the United States.  Because most of the leases are due to expire over the next five years, the company will be able to renovate as space opens up.  They’ll shift tenants around until the building is complete.   

This is about a $36 million remodel job.  Green amenities will include the following:  shaved columns for added light; automated artificial lights; recycled and recyclable carpet; no- or low-VOC paints; recycled metal in ceilings; new insulation in walls that were uninsulated; new high-efficiency heating and cooling systems; water-efficient bathroom fixtures; and runoff water landscaping. 

Additionally, BCP started construction next door on a new, 24-story, 126-unit green condo tower at Fifth Avenue and Madison Street.  The new building will be complete in 2008.  BCP officials said they are seeking LEED Gold for both buildings.  I must say that will be a powerful juxtaposition of the old and new:  both environmental leaders in their own way (EB + NC).  Via Seattle Post-Intelligencer + Emporis.

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