Being Green Can Be Easy. EcoUrban Homes Proves It. The first of several up and coming EcoUrban homes was recently completed, and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay was on location to celebrate the grand opening. It just so happens that this home is probably one of the greenest homes in Missouri — it has obtained LEED Platinum rating. Located at 3140 Pennsylvania Avenue in St. Louis, this 3-bedroom, 2-bath, modular home has a bamboo stairs, fiber cement board siding, double-pane low-e windows, R-40 Icynene insulation in ceilings and floors, built-in security system and recycling center, solid wheat board interior doors, ultra-low VOC paints, dual-flush high-efficiency toilets, and Energy Star lighting and appliances, to name a few green amenities.
I’ve embedded a quick view from the first season of Building Green TV for PBS. Kevin Contreras is the show’s host and he’s going to navigate viewers through a variety of different green building situations. In addition to the episode above, you can catch some more at their newly redesigned website. Coming June 2007.
Recently, I’ve run across the work of an environmentally friendly Thai architect named Singh Intrachooto. Singh saw a problem in the industry and decided to do something to close the loop. If you’ve ever been involved with construction of any form, you know there’s tons of wasted materials. That’s where Singh comes in. He takes left over scrap from construction sites and designs furniture with them, each piece being different depending on the size and shape of the materials that get salvaged. Now, Singh’s furniture has exploded and is on display in Los Angeles and Paris.
Singh sells the furniture via his website, OSISU, but I’m not necessarily advocating the purchase of his work. It’s incredible and inspiring, but we have our own construction waste here in the U.S. We have tons of it. And it’s going straight to the landfill. Why not find value in that trash? Let’s close the loop and put good materials to use. With Singh, it was just about 18 months ago that he decided to start making this furniture, and in his words, "people thought he was crazy." Now it’s getting big-time coverage all over the media. All it takes is asking the construction workers to set aside scraps like wood, steel, and concrete. The pieces pictured were made from reclaimed teak morsels. Via reuters.
Riverhouse, or One Rockefeller Park, is slated to open in late 2007 in Manhattan, and the word on the street is that it could be one of the greenest, most stylish residential developments on the East Coast. The developer, Sheldrake Organization, is planning on LEED Gold certification for the building. To do that, Sheldrake has enlisted the help of Polshek Partnership Architects for the exterior design and Ismael Leyva Architects for the interior design. In addition, the famous Rockwell Group is working on interior design for the one-, two-, and three-bedroom residences and other aspects of the building.
Here’s a list of some of the things the developer will do: use recycled wastewater for cooling the tower and landscaping; generate electricity from solar photovoltaic panels on the roof; draw in natural lighting without heat gain by using low-E, double-pane glass; use Energy Star appliances to save energy and Toto dual-flush toilets to save water; construct the building with about 20% recycled materials and recycle over 80% of the construction waste; and acquire over 40% of the building materials locally.
If you’re like me, you don’t have The Sundance Channel and you buy each episode of Big Ideas on iTunes for $1.99. I downloaded the last episode called "BUILD" and liked it so much, I’m going to buy a copy of the video on iTunes for the first 5 people to comment in this post. It’s really good. In an information-packed 25 minutes and 38 seconds, the producers take us through Michelle Kaufmann’s prefab factory, the process of building a Glidehouse, Carlton Brown’s green multifamily housing in New York, the advantages of green building, the future of green building with technology, and Mitchell Joachim’s fab tree hab.
Note – I’ll use the email that you comment with to gift the episode to you through iTunes. This is not a Sundance promo, this is JG promoting modern, green building.
Starting in December 2007, Hotel Terra is going to add itself to an exclusive list of green hotels operating in the United States. The Terra Resort Group (TRG) is developing this hotel for the market niche that desires luxury + sustainability. The Jackson Hole offering, which is going to be LEED certified, will be the first of 12-15 eco-boutique resort hotels that TRG plans to build by 2015. Hotel Terra is going to have every luxury one would need in a resort stay: spa + fitness center, ‘Terra Living Room’, rooftop hot tub, two restaurants, and a snowboard/ski rental shop. Also, guest rooms will have a Bose speaker setup, flat screens, and free wireless.
As far as the LEED features are concerned, Hotel Terra is going to be decked out pretty good: 100% recycled "Eco Shake" roof shingles; low-VOC carpets, sealants, paints, adhesives, etc.; personalized, energy-efficient heating and cooling zones; radiant heating on the bottom level to minimize direct heat loss and energy use; air quality and moisture filtering technology; Energy Star windows with low-E coating; water saving features such as dual-flush toilets, low-flow water fixtures, waterless urinals, and native landscaping; rainwater capture and runoff mitigation technology; chemical free cleaning and laundry products used in the hotel operations; hotel design to maximize internal exposure to natural lighting; 80% recycled content steel in the building structure; 50% construction waste reused or recycled; wind power used for 35% of electricity purchased by Hotel; and heavy reliance on renewable or recycled building materials such as bamboo, crushed glass, and seatbelts.
I’ve blogged about two other green hotel matters, Starwood’s 1 Hotel and Gaia Napa Valley Hotel. I have a feeling that Hotel Terra is going to have a leg up, assuming the absence of another market shock-type event like 9/11, on the other groups that are thinking about leveraging a serious green hotel brand. I’m also thinking I may have to take a quick jaunt up to Jackson Hole next December, since I’m going to be in SLC starting in May. Nice.