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New Financial Study: Living Buildings Are Cost Effective

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Today the Cascadia Green Building Council published their findings of a financial study of Living Buildings.  The study — officially named The Living Building Financial Study: The Effects of Climate, Building Type and Incentives on Creating the Buildings of Tomorrow — is extensive and we're still going through all the details.  But there's one major takeaway that I noticed: investing in Living Buildings is the financially smart thing to do, especially for institutions, corporations, and homeowners looking to hold on to their real property assets for more than a few years.  The study was put together by Cascadia, SERA Architects, Skanska USA Building, Gerding Edlen Development, Interface Engineers, and the New Buildings Institute (referred to below as "contributors").  Let's look a little deeper. 

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Babcock Ranch 100% Solar Powered City

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We've heard about ecocities in far away lands, but now there's one planned for the Unities States.  Located near Fort Meyers, Florida, Babcock Ranch will be powered entirely by solar power.  It's a bold and progressive plan, and if Kitson & Partners can secure all the necessary regulatory approvals, construction will begin this year.  The city includes a 75-megawatt, on-site, photovoltaic facility constructed by Florida Power & Light for nearly $350 million.  

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How to Design Livable Streets

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It’s no secret that Good produces the best graphics to illustrate the most current and important points.  They tend to go viral and get passed around.  I like their popular graphic on vampire energy and guide to prefab constructionGood has a knack for distilling complex information, and I think their new guide to livable streets is worth reading.  In it, they explain ten ways to redesign and transform streets to become livable:

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First LEED Platinum Home in Ohio

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This is an affordable green home that is also the first, LEED-H Platinum, single-family home in Ohio.  In addition, the home is said to be the first in state to feature both solar thermal and photovoltaic solar panels on one roof.  It's beautiful and traditional — definitely the kind of home our non-modern readers dream about — and accented by a leisurely large front porch.  If you're in the area, there's an open house on Thursday, May 21, 2009; if you're not, we have some great photos to give you a peek inside.  Check out its green features:

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Autodesk Seeks LEED Platinum for Waltham Headquarters

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Autodesk recently completed tenant improvements at their new headquarters building on the East Coast. The company retained the services of KlingStubbins and Tocci Building Companies to design and build the interior to a LEED Platinum level of certification using LEED-CI.  The result is modern office structure with abundant natural light and, of course, plenty of style.  My favorite design element is the custom, prefabricated millwork explained in the YouTube video below.

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Picton Brothers LEED Platinum Home

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This beautiful and traditional home is the first LEED Platinum home in Connecticut.  The three bedroom and two bathroom home was designed/built by Jim and Mark Picton, or Picton Brothers, LLC, and was profiled last month by the new folks at GreenBuildingAdvisor.  It's the kind of home that prioritizes design first and expensive green technology second.  Picton Brothers went with a super-insulated envelope — R40 in the walls and R60 in the roof — which definitely helped the home earn a HERS score of 30, Five Star + Energy Star rating, and of course, the LEED Platinum certification.  Check out some of this home's other green elements:

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