The new science and library building at Crossroads College Preparatory School, located in the city of St. Louis, is seeking LEED Platinum certification. If obtained, it will be the first K-12 school in St. Louis to earn certification. Head of School Billy Handmaker* was committed to achieving the highest level of certification possible, while still spending within the budget and ending up with a good looking building. He said, "from the beginning, we said 'we want Platinum, but won't compromise."
About a month and a half ago, Marken Projects, founded by developer Alexander Maurer and based in Vancouver, BC, announced plans to build this 2,400 square foot home. It’s going to be Passive House certified, LEED Platinum certified in Canada, and built using a German modular wood building system. Needless to say, it has all the components of the kind of projects we like.
We all know there's money in energy efficiency, but sometimes, it's hard to justify the upfront costs to receive the benefits over time. When crunching the numbers, it helps to recall the Energy Pie Chart that Steven Chu posted to his Facebook recently — lighting accounts for 26% of energy use in commercial buildings! Which is why Holiday Inn will save ~$4.4 million annually as they swap out their neon and fluorescent signage for super efficient LED signage.
In the mid-1980s, Amory Lovins, co-founder, chairman, and chief scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute, built an efficient, 4,000 square foot home in Colorado for living and working. By today’s thinking, the home is a little larger than most greenies would prefer, but it was built to be 90% more efficient than a traditional home of its size. That’s pretty impressive, especially at a time when the panels on the roof of the White House were being taken down for “repair.”
The NY Times picked up on a trend that's been gaining momentum for a long time. In "Some Buildings Not Living Up to Green Label," Mireya Navarro discusses the "gap between design and construction, which LEED certifies, and how some buildings actually perform." Navarro's not breaking any new ground here, especially for those ensconced in the green building world; however, like the ingredients of a hot dog, the general population needs to understand what LEED is made of.
Would you be shocked to learn that a LEED building may or may not be energy or water efficient? Don't be.
About two days after hearing that Coolerado had won the Western Cooling Challenge for the hybrid commercial version of this technology, I saw this on a newly built home. This is what appears to be the M50 Coolerado. Coolerado says they have the most efficient air conditioning system made — it uses up to 90% less electricity than a traditional air conditioner, depending on the humidity and elevation above sea level. High and dry works best; see how: