Modus Development is an innovative development group that works with infill sites in good locations to enhance the value of the land by improving the quality of life for those that live on it. How do they do that? With modern, cutting-edge, green designs. Currently, Modus is working on a 9 townhouse project in Scottsdale, Arizona, called Array. Each townhouse in Array will have a 2-kilowatt photovoltaic system provided by American Solar Electric. The system is expected to generate about 28,800 kilowatt hours of electricity annually and offset roughly 30,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, Modus is building the project to LEED standards, which will make it the second LEED-certified project in the area. According to Ed Gorman, President of Modus Development, "By adding the solar panels to the rooftops of every home, we create homes that are both architecturally unique and cost very little to operate." Each 3-story townhome will have about 1,800 sf, with 2-bedrooms, a den/office/bedroom option, 2.5 bathrooms, and a detached 2-car garage.
This year’s Met Home Design 100 list has a ton of green projects and products and one of the magazine’s choices is the David Hertz LivingHome shown above. Built from a unique, aluminum-based panelized system, the Hertz home is about 2,650 sf with four bedrooms + four bathrooms. For ease of reference, I’m going to refer to this home as DH1 (see also RK1 and RK2), which I think works because in all likelihood, LivingHomes will feature more Hertz designs in the future. DH1 features a green roof and a private balcony that can be accessed by three of the four bedrooms. And like the other LivingHome prefab products, it will be LEED certified.
At a price point of about $215 psf, I hear LivingHomes is looking for the right client to take the plunge on DH1. What does it take? (1) land in or near Los Angeles, (2) intent to build within the next six months, (3) a budget of about +$750,000, (4) interest in building a green home, and (5) tolerance and patience throughout the process.
To me, this is a no-brainer. If I were out of college and established in business, I’d plop down a million in a heartbeat just to get the DH1 built and use it as a vacation home (at a minimum). I’d buy it for the joy of having one of the greenest prefabs in the country and I’d let all my friends stay in it. Actually, I’d probably hire a management company to lease it out by the day, week, or month, so anyone in the world could test out the joys of living in a modern + green home. I’d invite builders from all over the country to stay in it for free and showcase the green benefits. I’d make green viral. That’s what you can do with a great-looking, high-performance home like the DH1.
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.
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.
I’m not sure whether this is already in the works or whether this is just a proposal, but I thought it was creative and interesting enough to talk about. From the pictures above, you’ll notice a few things. Its slanting shape. The protruding containers. The juxtaposition of ultra-modern and historical landmark neighbors. The developer of the NYC Chinatown project, Mr. Woo of Young Woo & Associates, was interested in LOT-EK‘s design and considered the use of large, metal shipping containers in residential construction "fascinating" and "environmentally friendly." You’ll also notice from the renderings that the developer plans to have an array of solar panels on the roof.
To make it work, the slant begins on the third floor of the south end and the six floor of the north end. What that does is create some unusable square footage for the occupants on the south face (depending on the acuteness of the angle), with a pretty cool view for the occupant on the north face. Those on the north slant will have the benefit of peering over the ledge without having to worry about falling in. Also, I’d be interested in seeing a sun model of this to see how the building design takes on natural lighting for the occupants. All in all, it’s cool to see innovative building designs. Someone needs to push the entrepreneurial envelope, right? Via Lloyd of Treehugger.
+LOT-EK Container Housing Coming to New York [Treehugger]
+Leaning Tower of 87 Lafayette Explodes Our Brains [Curbed]
+Slanted Tower Studied Next to Landmark Firehouse [CityRealty]
+New Tower on Lafayette Street? [Wired-NY]
The Philadelphia Sustainability Awards Finalists have been chosen and one of the projects that was overlooked is the following 13-unit, affordable, environmentally-friendly housing project designed by Interface Studio, LLC. One of the goals of this project was to design affordable homes with extremely low utility costs. When money is tight, being hit by the utility man is tough on morale, that’s for sure. The architect relied on modular design to lower costs of construction and challenge the bland look of typical affordable housing. Engineers estimate that units will be 30-40% more efficient than your standard Energy Star building upon completion. Pretty incredible, actually.
Although Sheridan Street Housing was not selected for the Philadelphia Sustainability Awards, it has received an AIA Philadelphia Silver Medal 2006 + residential architect Design Award 2007. Sheridan Street was designed with unique materials such as slate-like fiber cement cladding panel and textured exterior grade plywood cladding panel. Also, as you can tell from the images above, the design incorporates an airy third-floor terrace. I’d pay big money for that. I think another innovative aspect of the project is how the designer squeezed 13-units into an oddly shaped 40′ x 450′ piece of land. Each building dances with another in interlocking L-shaped footprints to maximize the available land.
Here are links to some of the other green projects considered for the Philadelphia Sustainability Awards: Bernice Elza Homes, Brewerytown Square, Jackie O’Neil Zero-Energy Prototype Homes (finalist), One Crescent Drive, Pembroke North Condominium, and The Reserve at Packer Park.