Looks like Chicago city planners have big ideas for a 1140 acre swathe of land in South Chicago. The spot is former U.S. Steel land, and planners have been mulling development options for the spot since about 2000. Now, they'd like to submit a proposal for a green development with sustainable neighborhoods, green buildings, street cars, and bicycle paths, etc. Officially referred to as the "South Chicago LEED Neighborhood Development Initiative," the plan would be rated by the USGBC's LEED-ND pilot program and would unravel over roughly 20-30 years.
Some of you may be in Park City for the Sundance Film Festival this week, and while you're in town, you might want to go check out some green projects. Probably the greenest building in Utah is located near Kimball Junction — Swaner EcoCenter — it's a must tour facility and nature preserve. Another project worth checking out, and maybe worth buying, is a three townhouse community called Tahoma. With Tahoma, a local developer took a dive into green development waters and ended up achieving the first Built Green Utah certified residential development in Park City. Tahoma was developed by Baker Street Properties, and based upon my communications with the developer, they're ready to build even greener for future projects.
Talk about a serious transformation! VaST, a Colorado-based a+d firm, purchased an old porn shop earlier this year — the building was located close to Boulder — and completely gutted the place. Now, you wouldn’t even know it used to have super skeezy viewing booths. VaST took all that out and set a new standard in using green materials, particularly salvaged and unique materials. Located at 1720 15th Street in Boulder, Candy Shop is the right kind of place for a budding green professional or socially aware independent looking for some co-working space. Plus, they’ve just added solar panels to supply a portion of the building’s energy … check out the particulars of the renovation:
When we first published news that Dallas was planning the nation’s first sustainable city block, the exact location hadn’t been named. In anticipation of the location, I guessed south downtown, and it turns out, hit the proverbial nail smack dab on the head. The sustainable city block is right by the convention center and Dallas City Hall (designed by I.M. Pei and featured shortly in Terminator I believe). It’s also in the general vicinity of another green project we featured previously called Buzz Lofts. So the location is spot on and prime for some serious green innovation.
What would it take to create a fully sustainable city block in downtown Dallas? That’s the question and discussion that will begin this Friday, December 5, 2008, at Dallas City Hall. The City of Dallas, in collaboration with Urban Re:Vision and Building Community Workshop, is hosting a Design Charrette to examine the framework and community impact of a sustainable, urban square block. And by sustainable, the vision is to create a place that is healthy in social, economic, and environmental terms.
Over the last month, I’ve seen several reports on green building, and we’ll try to address them all in due time. With reports like this, though, we have to spread it out – this is geeky stuff, it’s not leisurely eye candy or anything like that. But we like to follow the numbers in anticipation of future trends. In that regard, the Green Outlook 2009: Trends Driving Change report by McGraw-Hill Construction has some interesting information. According to the report, the value of green building construction starts was up five times from 2005 to 2008, with values escalating from $10 billion to $36-$49 billion. Also, by analysis, the report estimates that construction starts could triple over the next five years and reach $96-$140 billion.