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Half-Moon Outfitters Takes Platinum in Green Rehab

Halfmoon

It’s nice to hear about companies that stretch just to get the LEED Platinum certification, especially when it’s easier to go ‘certified’ and brandish that certification like it’s a shiny, new, plug-in hybrid.  Half-Moon Outfitters received the Platinum certification in the middle of the summer for their 9,600 sf distribution center in North Charleston, South Carolina.  They went for Platinum under the LEED-NC 2.2 system, and more importantly, they didn’t skimp in the energy and atmosphere category, opting instead to rack up ten points.  The distribution center was formerly an old Piggly Wiggly store, but it’s been through what could be the greenest renovation in the country.  It’s now a super green, corporate office and distribution center. 

Here’s what they did:  First, they installed two 1550 gallon storage tanks, which combined with the water efficient fixtures and native landscaping, helped them use about 78% less domestic potable water than a conventional building.  Second, they added insulation throughout the building and installed both a 4,900-watt photovoltaic system and 19 SEER efficient Lennox heat pump system.  Third, they switched to energy-efficient fluorescent lamps and found ways to benefit from the building’s east-west orientation (passive and active solar strategies).  Nice work!

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Hood River Modern Home, Compact and Green

Mounthoodmodern

I was completely intrigued by this article in the New York Times about two architects’ vacation getaway, which just so happens to be green built.  And before everyone flips out saying "second homes aren’t green," I’m going to preempt that by not getting into it.  The house itself is an example of good design, small living, and green construction.  The 935 sf modern home has a living roof, FSC-certified tigerwood flooring with vegetable wax finish, water-efficient toilet, on-demand water heater, and solar tube in the bathroom, etc. 

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Top-10 Green Building Products 2007 [BuildingGreen]

SunEye from Solmetric

Well, it’s that time again and BuildingGreen, a company that also publishes the GreenSpec Directory, today announced their list of Top-10 Green Building Products.  It’s not so much that these products are better than everything else on the market, although they may be better, it’s that they’re cool additions to the GreenSpec Directory over the last year or so.  Most of the following ten products have multiple environmental attributes, but here’s a slim breakdown:  4 save energy, 2 save water, 3 are made of green materials, 1 helps situate solar power, and 2 avoid hazardous manufacturing/disposal of materials.  Without further ado:

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Urban Rio, Panama's First Affordable Green Container Project

Urban Rio

UPDATE 3/16/09Urban Core International has gone dark.  The website was shut down.  If you have any concerns, feel free to contact us

Aaron Newman, founder and managing partner of Urban Core International, sent me the details of his latest project, Urban Rio.  Specifically, Urban Rio is a product of Urban Core's prefab and container division called Envision Prefab.  It's easy on the eyes, to say the least, and just so happens to be the first sustainable, affordable, container project in Panama. 

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mkLoft, Solar-ready Green Townhouse

Mkloft

Today, Michelle Kaufmann Designs officially announced their newest home, the mkLoft.  MkLoft is a townhouse loft home with 2 bedrooms, 1 loft, and 2 bathrooms, all wrapped up in a modern package.  The home has double-height living space, comes solar-ready, and has all the wonderful, green materials and interior details that come standard in MKD homes:  high-performance mechanical systems, low-flow plumbing fixtures, fsc-certified cabinetry, etc. 

One of the cool things about mkLoft is its scalability.  Units can be 2-story or 3-story, live/work or residential, and the lower level can be parking, retail, or studio.  You name it.  You can have one or one hundred units, depending on your project needs.  Developers can rely on the expertise of MKD for predictability in time and cost.  mkLoft prices out at $130 – $140 psf, and you’re in the lower price range if the project calls for +40 units.  mkLoft is the ultimate multifamily solution for developers wanting to go green.

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Agro-Housing Becoming an Option for China

Agrohousing

In China, there’s a massive exodus from the rural to urban areas, but it’s controlled because the country doesn’t have enough housing for everyone that wants to live in a city.  At the same time, urbanization accentuates the air and soil pollution problems.  So, Knafo Klimor Architects proposed an agro-housing project that blends agriculture and high-rise housing in one structure.  This agro-housing project brings the food-supply directly to the building, and to the extent that residents can realize the benefits of urban farming, there is a decreased reliance on transportation for agricultural products (shopping and delivery to stores).  Plus, with the building’s integrated water capture systems, the project has the potential to reduce water consumption and runoff.  Residents could make money off the crops, too. 

This agro-housing project is going to be built in Wuhan, China.  As you can see from the renderings, the building has quite the elaborate labyrinth to control water, air, and heat.  Structurally, it will be made with SIPs and a majority of the materials will come from steel, aluminum, and terracotta — all materials that can be recycled at the end of the building’s life.  Via Dwell

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