- Builders return to class for lessons in ‘green.’
- California energy regulators adopted a target that all homes built after 2020 produce at least as much energy as they consume.
- Going green draws talent, cuts costs.
- New eco-friendly condo towers defy the logic of the market downturn.
- Green building projects will skyrocket over next five years.
Overnight, Postgreen announced its first development project in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. It will be a small project with two small, two-bedroom homes that will be modern, green, and affordable, a powerful trifecta of aspirations. Generally speaking, the homes will be designed by Interface Studio Architects and will be loftstyle with 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, and enough green amenities to qualify for about a LEED Silver certification.
Interestingly, Postgreen is also conducting a case study to try to build one of the homes for only $100K. The purpose would be to prove that modern, green homes can be affordably built today. They’ve started a blog, the 100k House, to document the entire process from planning to construction to sale. If you have experience in this endeavor, and I’m sure you do or you wouldn’t be reading Jetson Green, Postgreen is looking for feedback for every step of the process, which you can do by visiting the 100k House blog. More here.
Austin recently witnessed the groundbreaking of Block 21, a $260 million mixed-use development in downtown being built to platinum certification under the USGBC’s LEED program. Block 21 includes a 250-room W Hotel® and 200 residential condominiums, a new television studio for the world- renowned Austin City Limits, a 2,200 seat live music venue, the Austin Children’s Museum Dell Discovery Center, retail space, restaurants, and an open-air public plaza. The project is expected to be one of the first mixed-use developments in the world built to this level of LEED standards.
The 35-story building will include the five-star W Hotel on the lower levels and 200 units of residential condos on the upper levels. The 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom condos will range in size from 643 to 3,183 sf, with top-of-the-line, luxury finishouts. The development will also include a state-of-the-art spa, a signature restaurant, and 47,000 sf of retail space.
UPDATE 3/16/09 – Urban 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.
There’s an interesting article in the November issue of Inc. Magazine about Full Spectrum NY and their low-income, green development, The Kalahari. Located at 116th Street in Harlem, Kalahari has an interesting design — it’s actually inspired by designs of the Ndebele tribes of southern Africa. The building is currently under construction and is aiming for LEED Silver certification; some of the green technology used in this building include wind and solar power, low-flow water fixtures, energy-efficient appliances, vegetated green roofing, and bamboo floors. About half of the 249 units are set aside for families earning in the $56,000 per year range. The article goes on to explain how successful Full Spectrum NY has been developing in the low-income, green housing niche. Very cool.
Hot on the heels of a growing bundle of green retailers comes news of Kohl’s future plans for new construction. Starting in 2008, newly constructed retail stores will be built to LEED certification. Currently, Kohl’s has plans for about 80 new stores and the changes will include adding more insulation, using recycled or reusable building materials, ensuring that materials are locally supplied, and controlling lights, heat, and cooling from central headquarters to prevent excess energy consumption. Twenty-two stores in California will use solar power to supply roughly 40% of their energy needs, and three stores in Wisconsin will use solar to power about 20% of their energy needs.