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Seattle Off-Grid Concept Combines Chickens, Crops + Sustainable Living (S2)

Center for Urban Agriculture

In the heart of Seattle, the design professionals at Mithun see a farm rising vertically into the sky.  Although it may never be built, the Center for Urban Agriculture (CUA) won “Best of Show” in the Cascadia Region Green Building Council’s Living Building Challenge.  Vertically constructed on a .72 acre site, the off-grid building is designed to be completely energy and water sufficient and will include 318 affordable apartments (studio – 2 bedroom).  And on top of that, there will be greenhouses, rooftop gardens, a chicken farm, and fields for growing vegetables and grains. 

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The Tallest and Greenest Building in India (S2)

Parkhyatt Not only is this tower designed to be the greenest in India–it’s shooting for LEED Gold certification, but it’s going to have a little something for everyone.  On a small 3 acre site, Park Hyatt Tower will have retail, lodging, and residential apartments and penthouses.  As the models below illustrate, the retail component will be on the bottom, with the hotel and spa area in the middle, and the residential lofts near the top.  Each vertical use is sandwiched with garden level lookouts.  I bet those garden spaces have incredible views.  The 85-story (?) tower is currently under construction in South Mumbai, India, and is expected to be complete in 2010.  Environmentally speaking, the tower will incorporate solar shading, natural ventilation, daylighting, rainwater harvesting, and green interior finishes and materials.  FXFOWLE Architects designed the 882,000 sf green tower for Park Hyatt.  Via skyscraper city

::"S2" is short for "Skyscraper Sunday," a weekly article on green skyscrapers posted every Sunday::

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Verdi Award-Winning Modular Landscape System

Verdi Lawnscaping System

First, it receives a 2006 red dot design award, and now, the Verdi Lawnscaping System has received a 2007 Gold IDEA Award.  Verdi is a low-maintenance, modular landscaping system that hopes to become the alternative to traditional grass lawns.  Verdi tiles are pre-seeded with built-in irrigation and they interlock for easy installation.  Once completed, the entire system can be attached to a grey water pump, which uses certain recycled water from the home to irrigate the landscaping.  The Verdi system also has other modular parts, such the solar-powered light tiles, shrub planters and path tiles, recycled glass composite inserts, and bamboo or molded recycled plastic inserts.  The technology is compelling because it has the capability to transform the process of landscape design in the backyard, terrace, or even on the roof.  And the built-in irrigation system reduces inefficient use of water, too.  This is a cool product concept to keep an eye on. 

Truro Residence, Zero Energy Modern Beach House

Truro Residence

Let’s talk about zero energy architecture and the Truro Residence.  It’s an amazing residence, currently under construction on one of Cape Cod’s beaches in Massachusetts.  Designed by Independence Energy Homes (IEH) and being constructed by Silvia and Silvia, the Truro Residence is meant to accommodate a large family and friends and still remain environmentally responsible.  When complete, it will have a tight building envelope, a geothermal heating system, solar photovoltaic system, tank-less water heaters, compact fluorescent lighting, and Energy Star appliances.  The home also will feature popular green materials such as bamboo flooring, blue-jean insulation, and natural stone.

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Jetson Green Partners with West Coast Green

West Coast Green I’d like to make it easy for you to attend West Coast Green 2007.  This will mark our 1st year as a premiere Media Partner with the nation’s largest residential green building conference and trade show. The event takes place on September 20-22, 2007, at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, CA. The first two days of the conference are reserved for trade only, and on day three, the doors open to homeowners. 

Taking a walk on the trade show floor of West Coast Green will provide you with hundreds of ideas on how to green your home; from simple items like eco-friendly paints and sustainable home furnishings to building a green home from the ground up.  West Coast Green has gone the distance to find and showcase the best green building resources, exhibits, trainings, presentations, and educational tracks, while ensuring you have an unparalleled experience.

Highlights for 2007 include:

  • 275 exhibitors displaying the latest in green design and building products
  • 250 renowned speakers and visionaries
  • The Futures Room – filled with green innovations soon to come
  • Green Built Pre-fabricated Home – designed by Michelle Kaufmann and built by Extreme Homes, to be placed on City County Plaza directly across from West Coast Green for the duration of the conference and will be open for West Coast Green attendees to tour (the mkLotus).

As a special gift, I’m proud to announce, by the generosity of West Coast Green, a 20% discount on your full conference registration.  Please enter the following promotional code when registering to receive discount:  jg3554.  Register at West Coast Green or call 1-800-724-4880. 

Visualizing the Benefits of Clean Tech

Harnessing Wind

I have a couple clean tech articles I want to focus on.  It’s my personal belief that if we can learn and understand these technologies, we can apply and benefit from them.  The first article by BEST LIFE is called "5 Best Ways to Go Zero Energy at Home."  The article explains hot water panels, solar roofs, small wind turbines, water harvesters, and geothermal wells.  Importantly, for each technology, the generalized cost and potential benefits are explained.  If we know what the technology can do, and we can live with the price, why not talk to a professional about getting that technology installed on that next project?  That’s the way I see it. 

The other article is really an interactive web feature developed by National Geographic.  Titled "Harness the Power of Wind," the website takes you inside the workings of a wind turbine.  You can see what makes wind turbines work.  I gave it a look and figured out why wind turbines aren’t as effective here in the mountains of Salt Lake City, as opposed to locations near the ocean.  I also gave the "Try it Out" feature a try and maxed everything out.  With a 150 ft blade radius, 315 tower height, 49 mph wind speed, and 0 altitude, I’m producing 2,300 kw of power for roughly 759 homes.  I like those numbers. 

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