Articles With "Development" Tag

Scientists Suspect Sprawl Destroyed Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat Temple Model

The implications of this research are unbelievable.  Seriously.  I’ve written about the ten common problems associated with sprawl previously, but this story opens up the discussion again.  Angkor Wat is the home of a magnificent temple in Cambodia and was the center to one of the largest cities in the pre-industrialized world.  Recently, NASA used ground-sensing radar to study the extent of the city and found that it took up approximately 400 square miles.  In comparison, Phoenix sprawls across about 500 square miles, not including the suburbs.  The research revealed a complex network of canals, 1,000 man-made ponds, and roughly 70 long-lost temples.  The canals carried and distributed water towards the temple and through the south of Angkor.  Interestingly, the study also revealed evidence of breaches in dykes and areas where they attempted to fix the canals. 

What’s most interesting is the idea that Angkor’s increasingly intricate and complex system of canals might have been too expensive and difficult to maintain.  So, there was an elaborate infrastructure that might have run into disrepair … which possibly contributed to the downfall of Angkor?  This is very interesting research.  Apply that to our situation and query whether the issues we have with the levees in New Orleans or the bridge in Minnesota parallel the situation in Angkor.  Do we have an infrastructure, fueled by sprawl and fractional planning, that is too expensive to maintain? 

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Green Sky Tower to be Tallest in Abu Dhabi (S2)

The Gate & Sky Tower

This development on Reem Island called The Gate is currently under construction in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  We’re talking about a total of 11,300,000 sf of development space.  One building is the Sky Tower.  Sky Tower will be the tallest tower in Abu Dhabi and (only) the fifth largest tower in UAE.  Topping out at 83 stories and 300 meters, it is anticipated that Sky Tower will be the first building in the UAE to receive LEED certification.  The Gate Development will also include five 62-story towers and two 31-story buildings.  Designed and planned by Arquitectonica, The Gate is supposed to become the gateway to a new city. 

It’s a pretty incredible looking development.  By all means, check the images below and let me know if you think it has a slight resemblance to Stonehenge.  Anyone agree?  When completed, The Gate will have a total of 4,600 residential units, 344,488 sf of office space, and 44,291 sf of retail space. 

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The Conservatory to Become Florida's First LEED Platinum Building

Siderendering

Overture Development Group has what I think is the best designed website for a real estate group that I’ve ever seen.  It’s incredible looking.  They’re 100% confident that green buildings are the future of real estate, too.  Financial benefits?  Check.  Occupancy benefits?  Check.  Marketing and messaging appeal?  Check.  Good for the environment?  Check.  The Conservatory is in the final stages of receiving permitting approval from Osceola County, and once that’s squared away, we’re looking at completion in mid-2008 or so.  When finished, The Conservatory at Celebration Place will have 178,000 sf of Class A+ office condominium space spread through six floors.  And from the renderings, it looks like there will be a healthy dose of green roofing and solar panels, too.

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12.5 Condos Bring Eco-Modernism to Portland

12.5 Condos

Quality modern, green projects just keep coming and there’s no stopping them.  Here’s a project called 12.5 Condos.  Why 12.5?  Well, there’s going to be twelve 3-story townhouse condominiums and one 2-story condominium.  Designed by Holst Architecture and built by Portland green builder Barrs & Genauer Construction, 12.5 will be located in the MLK corridor.  With construction expected to finish by the end of this year, 12.5 is going to be an awesome example of green construction.  At least 90% of construction debris will be recycled.  Materials will include FSC-certified wood, recycled content site and structural metals, low-VOC non-toxic products, and fly ash concrete.  Appliances will be Energy Star certified, toilets will be dual-flush, and the HVAC system will be ultra-efficient.  Count on the skylights to usher in natural light, and everything will be super clean and linear.  Extremely sustainable and extremely good looking.  Look for these condos at the corner of NE Knott Street and NE 7th Avenue in Portland, Oregon.  Prices starting from $295k and $375k. 

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Pursuing a Ken Yeang Built World

Chongqing Tower

There's an excellent interview by CNN with Ken Yeang, principle of the UK firm Llweleyn Davis Yeang.  Almost a year ago, I wrote about Yeang's fascinating Menara Mesiniaga building, and that article has been a popular one in terms of visitors.  Yeang is an ecological, architectural visionary designing in a way that blurs the boundary between the natural and human-built environments.  With eco-logical design, the goal is to build a structure with no pollution or waste.  And we're getting there, too.  To quote Yeang, "we'll see green buildings long before 2020 — I think the movement is intensifying. Within the next 5-10 years we'll see a lot more green buildings being built. Not just buildings but green cities, green environment, green master plans, green products, green lifestyles, green transportation. I'm very optimistic."  The green buildings pictured in this post are only a fraction of those designed by Ken Yeang.  If you're looking for more information, feel free to pick up his latest book: ECODESIGN: A Manual for Ecological Design

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Home(scale) Brings Innovation to Modern Green Project for Philly

5th Street View

I’ve been sitting on details of the newest green development in Philly and I just can’t hold it any longer.  Actually, CEO Steven Nebel shot me an email and said it was okay to use the renderings.  The development is called High Street Development, and it’s expected to be a net zero energy, mixed use community.  High Street Development will have modern residential units ranging in size from 1000 to 2100 sf.  Recently, the project was presented to the community and enthusiastically received, which I think is due to the project’s innate approachability and sustainability.  Let me explain that. 

The developer, home(scale), has three primary goals in mind with this project: (1) offer a project with the sophistication of something like the Hearst Building in NYC, (2) make it at a price point that is affordable to an average middle-class consumer, and (3) provide high-class, superior amenities that look incredible.  To do this, you have to be smart and resourceful–it takes serious effort and experience to create an approachable product without all the cost overruns.  Currently, home(scale) is working with Silpa Inc., an environmental consultancy, to provide the best systems, whether that’s shared geothermal and solar systems with fully automated controls, or otherwise.  There’s also going to be a car sharing program for residents.  But these are just a few of the details being finalized.  Expect to see High Street Development completed sometime late winter or spring 2008.  More images below. 

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