- Wired to Sell – Smart-home technology is becoming increasingly available with a variety of conservation and convenience features.
- Why Big Houses? The average, new American home is 2,400 sf; experts weigh in on America’s fascination with bigger is better.
- Wind Energy White Paper "In Defense of Wind," by Dallas attorney Trey Cox outlines concerns about wind energy industry’s rapid and unregulated growth.
- Peddling Smart Growth – call your project "smart" – even when it isn’t – and get millions in public funds.
This is a pretty huge announcement. The financial case for green building is so compelling that we occasionally see companies making the green change cold turkey saying, "Everything from now on will be green." That’s what Wachovia is doing. First comes news that Wachovia will take space in the Charlotte, N.C, green tower designed by TVS architects. Now, we have an announcement that starting in 2008, all bank branch construction will be according to LEED specifications. With major expansions expected in California and Texas, we’re talking about 300 green bank centers. Here’s the incredible part. Wachovia has determined that each green building will save the company about $80,000 in construction costs and 20% in operating costs, when compared to a traditionally constructed branch. Additionally, when leasing new space in the future, Wachovia has committed to take on space certified under the LEED for Commercial Interiors program. The company is currently studying ways to retrofit existing branches in a green way.
In addition to using about 20% less energy and 25% less water, these healthier buildings should increase worker productivity and have better indoor air quality. Wachovia plans to roll out its recycling program for paper, plastics, aluminum, and glass. Also, branches will feature preferred parking for low-emitting vehicles. Move Hummer, get out the way. Via.
If everything pans out, 5IVE is going to be one of the hottest homes to hit the modern + green scene. You watch, I’m calling it right now. This Minneapolis, Minnesota home is aiming for the distinct accomplishment of LEED Platinum certification under the U.S. Green Building Council guidelines. Platinum green homes get attention. John Dwyer, professor at University of Minnesota and founder of Shelter Architecture, designed the home for Jeff and Saleno Gallo. 5IVE is built with precast concrete walls with an r-value in the 30s, has one of the most efficient heating and cooling systems on the market, and will use the greenest possible materials, products, appliances, and fixtures.
The blogosphere is cool because we can use it to peer into the lives of others and learn from their experiences. Jeff Gallo and Dwyer are collaborating on a blog by documenting the step-by-step process of building one of the greenest homes in Minnesota. Right now, details are a little scant (for the unbuilt portions), so check the progress at the 5IVE blog for more specifics.
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, Paris-based architect Jacques Ferrier unleashed his "Hypergreen" mixed-use skyscraper concept, which was submitted for a project competition in Paris. Hypergreen incorporates a curving lattice facade made of ultra-high-performance concrete that acts as the building’s primary structural system. It has the look of steel, almost resembling some of Foster’s designs such as Hearst Tower or 30 St Mary Axe. Measuring 246 meters in height, Hypergreen has the following green features: geothermal heat pumps, photovoltaic panels, integrated wind turbines, earth cooling tubes, vegetated sky lobbies, a roof garden, rainwater recovery system, and flexible and adaptable floor plates. The exoskeleton reduces the number of columns that make for odd floor plates.
++Jacques Ferrier Architecture [Official Website]
++Green Skyscraper Will Have ‘Steel-like’ Concrete Skin [BD+C - PODCAST]
- North America sees the installation of +3M square feet of new green roofs in 2006– an increase of 25% over 2005.
- Home Depot launches $100M plan to support the development of 100,000 affordable, healthy homes, and the planting/preservation of more than 3 million trees over the next decade.
- Troubled Waters: drought, pollution, mismanagement and politics have made water a precious commodity in much of the world.
- New proposed green building standard (Standard 189P) nears completion and is now open for public comment.