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Grand Junction Federal Courthouse May Become First Net-Zero Building on U.S. National Register of Historic Places

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Recently rededicated following almost two years in construction, the 95-year old Wayne S. Aspinall Federal Building and Courthouse in Grand Junction, Colorado has seen the last of its transformations by the U.S. General Services Administration. Building systems performance will be measured and verified against energy targets by project architect, Westlake Reed Leskosky (WRL), for one year, beginning in April 2013, in hopes of achieving LEED Platinum status and becoming the National Register of Historic Places’ first net-zero-energy building.

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Park Passive is First Certified Passive House in Seattle

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Attendees of the 2013 Explore Design Home Tour, sponsored by American Institute of Architects (AIA) Seattle, will get up close and personal with Park Passive, one of seven homes on the Tour and the first home in Seattle to be designated as a Passive House in accordance with the requirements set by Passive House Academy as authorized by the Passivhaus Institut. Passivhaus sets international standards for a certification program by which ultra-low energy buildings are evaluated.

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San Francisco Exploratorium Shoots for LEED Gold and the World’s Largest Net-Zero Museum

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The historic Exploratorium, a science museum in San Francisco, California, has been working on its $300 million project to relocate from the Palace of Fine Arts to Piers 15 and 17 at the heart of the Bay Area’s waterfront Embarcadero. It is the first major development to be undertaken on the waterfront since the San Francisco Giants’ ballpark was built over a decade ago.

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LEED Platinum Texas Home Has Net-Zero Water Use


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This 3,600 square feet home in Leon Springs, Texas is LEED Platinum-certified and features several affordable green building strategies that contribute to its net-zero water use. The homeowners asked architect Karla Greer (of Lake Flato Architects of San Antonio, Texas) for a sustainable home that celebrated nature and provided space for entertaining and energy-efficient living.

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Former WWII Military Base is Now a Sustainable Farmhouse

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Allies Farmhouse is a renovation of structures on a former military base that was used by the United States Air Force 381st Bombardment Group during World War II when it was known as airbase RAF Ridgewell. Farmers James and Claudia Grey enlisted Cameron Scott from Timber Design to transform the single-story public building and the one-and-a-half story housing area into a sustainable home on their farm. Doors and windows are from Rationel doors and windows.

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1960s Maine Ranch Renovation is LEED Platinum Candidate

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Renovating this 1960s ranch-style house in Maine is a “rags to riches” story that may achieve LEED Platinum. Jesse Thompson, AIA, partner at Kaplan Thompson Architects, and his wife Betsy Scheintaub, a fiber textile artist, collaborated on the Ranch Revival project while living in the run-down house with their two children.

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