- Ten "Zero-Energy" Town Home Community Planned in Issaquah, Washington [Seattle Times]
- McGraw-Hill Construction’s GreenSource Magazine and ENR.com Win Neal Awards [PRNewswire]
- Bahrain Twin Skyscraper Complex Becomes World’s First Commercial Development to Include Large-Scale Wind Turbines in its Structure [GE Eco-Business]
Back in December, the USGBC awarded Sweetwater Creek State Visitors Center the coveted Platinum level LEED-NC, making it just the 20th building in the world to receive the USGBC’s highest certification. Sweetwater was designed by Gerding Collaborative, an Atlanta-based architecture firm, to reduce the building’s potable water usage by 77% and energy usage by 51%. At these numbers, when compared to a similar building, Sweetwater avoids about 27 tons of carbon emissions annually. Plus, there’s the financial case for the building. Sweetwater was completed at $175 per sf, which I understand is highly competitive for the area.
In the words of Dan Gerding, AIA, Managing Principal of Gerding Collaborative, "The Sweetwater Project is a great example of how a new way of looking at design is good for the building’s owner, good for the people who use the building on a daily basis, and good for the environment." His firm walks the talk. About 70% of the firm’s technical staff is LEED Accredited (LEED-AP).
The building has a slew of classic green features such as a 10.5 KW photovoltaic array, vegetated roof, composting toilet system, drip irrigation system, and rainwater collection system. Also, for the architects out there, Sweetwater is one of the first LEED-Platinum buildings to be designed using 3D "virtual building" technology, Archicad 10. I understand the technology allowed different members of the team to visualize the project in context to provide design and technology solutions more effectively than if the project were designed with the typical 2D approach.
Sweetwater Platinum LEED Design Press Release
- Homebuilder Lennar to Build Largest Solar Homes Development in U.S. – According to a deal with Sacramento Municipality Utility District (SMUD), Lennar will build 1,254 energy-efficient homes with solar power systems as a standard feature in 11 communities in the Sacramento area. SMUD will provide a maximum of $10.9 million in incentives and Lennar will receive the rebates after homes are constructed. That’s about $8,700 per home for solar.
- Philips Supports a New Call-to-Action to Adopt More Energy-Efficient Lighting in North America – A congressional coalition of energy efficiency advocates announced plans for proposed legislative action for a major shift toward incorporating high-efficiency lighting technologies in home and office settings. The call-to-action was introduced by Philips Lighting North America, the Lighting Efficiency Coalition, Congressman Don Manzullo (R- Ill.) and Senator Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) to support the adoption of more energy- efficient lighting in North America.
- DOE Selects 13 Solar Energy Projects for up to $168 Million in Funding – U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman announced the selection of 13 industry-led solar technology development projects for negotiation for up to $168 million (FY’07-’09) in funding, subject to appropriation from Congress under President Bush’s Solar America Initiative. These projects will help significantly reduce the cost of producing and distributing solar energy.
Tonight, I had the great opportunity to talk with Ed Begley Jr. at the unveiling of the Phoenix Sport Utility Truck in Dallas, Texas. Ed is a really nice guy, and he’s smart, too. He knows his stuff. He was showcasing the Phoenix SUT, which is a five-passenger, all-electric, freeway-speed sport utility truck. I test drove it and had a good time. I see the future with this thing. I really do. Actually, I punched it coming off the line, and it had some get up and go.
- Green is Right for Utah’s Future, Sustainable Building Proponents Say – Peter McMahon joined Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, Rep. Ralph Becker and Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon on the panel. Their topic was ‘Build Green. Can you Afford Not To?’ “Not many people in certain parts of the U.S. get it yet,” McMahon said. “I think we’re going to see a really huge shift in the next five years. It’s happening in a lot of countries.”
- EPA Awards Energy Star Awards to 53 Buildings in Midwest – Last year, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded Energy Star status to 53 office buildings, schools, hospitals, public buildings and college dormitories in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. "These buildings are among the nation’s top energy savers, they use about one-third less energy than average buildings which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and saves money."
- Green Building Materials Gain Ground in a Soft Housing Market – Environmentally friendly options like upgraded insulation and more efficient air conditioners and furnaces are doing well in an otherwise soft housing market.