"F2" is short for "Flickr Friday," a weekly short posted on Friday with an image from Flickr and a quick description. Feel free to email me your F2 ideas.
That’s right, Platinum. LEED-H Platinum, that is. The Near-Zero Energy Home in Paterson, NJ, is quite the achievement. I first saw a picture of it in BusinessWeek, if I recall correctly. The home’s website at www.betterhomebetterplanet.com has a pretty good bank of construction and finished photos, as well as general info relating to the construction of a high-performance home. An interesting note about the Near-Zero Energy Home is that it will serve as a template for a project to build over 3,000 affordable housing units in Paterson.
Green building requires a holistic approach, where the aggregation of several energy efficient, environmentally conscious, and resource efficient pieces come together to create a home of high-performance. Here, there are three main systems (building envelope, solar power, and mechanical HVAC) that interact to create a home that’s 80% more efficient than your typical abode. Click here for a visualization of how each system works. The Near-Zero Energy Home has solar panels, solar water heating systems, cool metal roofing, Energy Star windows, insulated concrete forms (ICFs), structural insulated panels (SIPs), an Amana air conditioning system, and more…
BASF + China + McDonough?
Another interesting note relates to the future cooperation of Eco-tect William McDonough and BASF. Over the next 12 years, McDonough is charged with building seven cradle-to-cradle cities in China, housing +400 million people. Many of the technologies used in this Near-Zero Energy Home will also be used to help China achieve 65% reductions of energy use by 2020. Must be good.
Sometimes, I’m amazed at what technology can do. Recently, I read an article about Michael Klug + Michele Grieshaber’s 1926 bungalow in Austin’s historic Hyde Park, which was renovated in accordance with the Austin Green Building Program. The original home was about 1,500 sf, but after renovations and adding some space, the 2,300 sf home uses half the energy of the original. The house is part of an 8-show feature on This Old House, and you’ll be impressed to find a time-lapse video of the renovation project. The DMN article suggests that the eco-friendly additions to the renovation added a price premium of about 10%, but let’s not forget that this home is outfitted with some pretty good stuff, including photovoltaics.
Here are some of the green features: rainwater reclamation for irrigation and landscaping; spray-foam insulation for added energy efficiency; recycled glass tile and countertops by IceStone; formaldehyde-free wood composites; milled wood from deconstruction used throughout the home in various places; James Hardie fiber cement siding, which can be a good substitute for wood siding; low-flow bathroom plumbing and high-efficiency kitchen appliances; a heat-reflecting standing-seam metal roof; and an array of photovoltaic panels on the south-facing roof. Below, you’ll see pictures of the water reclamation tank and the cabinets that were made with Lyptus, a eucalyptus hybrid plant that grows fast. DMN Article + Pictures.
MGM Mirage is developing a 76 acre site between the Bellagio and Monte Carlo called CityCenter. With about 18 million square feet of new construction (residential, hotel, resort, casino, etc.), CityCenter is being dubbed a "city-within-a-city." If the project is completed according to LEED standards as planned, City Center will be the largest LEED project in the world. MGM has lined up some of the world’s best architects for the project, including Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects (61-story resort-casino), Studio Daniel Libeskind (retail + entertainment district), Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects (The Residences at Mandarin Oriental), RV Architecture LLC (Vdara Condo Hotel), Foster and Partners (The Harmon), and Helmut Jahn (The Veers). Generally speaking, some of the sustainable design benefits include eliminating 48,000 tons of GHG per year, diverting over 80% of construction waste through re-use and recycling, and having improved indoor air quality by using low-VOC and non-toxic materials.
In 2005, the Nevada Legislature created a statewide tax abatement program that allows LEED building owners to cut property taxes 35-50%. But that’s not the only reason MGM’s going green on this project. For most companies, their most expensive asset is people. Green buildings boost productivity among occupants and providing healthy, well-designed buildings is one way to create value for employees. CityCenter is slated for completion in November 2009. Via SunHerald.
::"S2" is short for "Skyscraper Sunday," a weekly article on green skyscrapers posted every Sunday::
[Run time: 54:30 min.] I was reading the Scobleizer and found a fairly substantial video interview with Toby Long, founder of the San Francisco-based, design-build firm CleverHomes. Cleverhomes is one of those companies swimming upstream in a construction river of anti-progress, anti-innovation, and staunch traditionalism. I love the Scoble laugh, seriously, it makes the interview pretty good. Long talks about the interface of technology + construction, or what I’m calling Construction 2.0, with an added dimension of sustainability. Going forward, the environmental consequences associated with construction need to be figured into a given project’s analysis. He also mentions structural insulated panels (SIPs), building information modeling (BIM), sustainability, and modern vernacular. Get past the beginning and give it go…
Jeriko is Different… Design… Strength… Green… Flexibility… Living. Jeriko House: It Lives in you
Jeriko is Different… Design… Strength… Green… Flexibility… Living. Jeriko House: It Lives in you. Today, New Orleans-based CEO of Jeriko House, Shawn Burst, announced his company’s plans to enter the modular/prefab home building market with 5 different models (each with an infinite number of configurations). Burst teamed up with a German engineer to use a patented, interlocking aluminum framing system–one that is strong enough to meet the strictest U.S. earthquake and hurricane building codes. The plumbing, appliances, lighting, hardware, interior finishes, and exterior cladding are all integrated into an advanced structural system through the collaborative efforts of a team and network of design/construction professionals. Starting at $175 per square foot, a Jeriko House will have such luxuries as Asian teak wood finishes, coconut skin walls, Indian rosewood door handles and stone, and marble + ceramics from around the globe. Homes will also include "biometric systems and homeowner-friendly technology." Bourne-style, I presume.
The first home will be completed in New Orleans and the company anticipates orders of 100 more relatively soon. Actually, they’re taking orders right now for May delivery. Their website says a purchaser is responsible for permits, site work, foundation, plumbing, electrical, HVAC rough in, and landscaping. Shipping is included in the cost of the home, and Jeriko will help you build it.
Straight from the website: "We feel it is our duty at Jeriko House to take a leading role in the efforts to save our planet. Sustainability, energy efficiency and environmental friendliness are at the core of our beliefs. With a R&D team searching the globe for the latest and greatest green innovations and technology Jeriko will fulfill its roll as a socially responsible company at the forefront of the Green Revolution." I like what Jeriko’s saying, but we can’t forget that acting locally, rather than globally, has its green benefits as well. Also, take a look at today’s press release. For every 10 houses sold, those 10 owners form a committee that votes to give a Jeriko House to a family in need somewhere in the U.S. I think Jeriko is taking an innovative perspective to all facets of the business and can’t wait to see the first home! Maybe I’ll just drive down and see it when they’re done.