- USGBC’s New D.C. Headquarters Go Platinum – The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) can now hold itself out as an example of what green building is all about. The USGBC has a 22,000 square-foot office suite in the Gold Certified Service Employees International Union Building (LEED-NC). What’s incredible is that the USGBC’s office suite just obtained LEED Platinum for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI). So the building is gold on the outside and platinum on the inside.
- Steelcase Products Awarded Indoor Advantage Certifications for Low Emissions – Steelcase Inc. (NYSE: SCS), a global office environments manufacturer, today announced that over 20 of its product lines have received Indoor Advantage(TM) certifications from Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), an independent third-party certifier.
- EPA Gives Six NM Buildings Energy Star Ratings – Six buildings in New Mexico have earned an Energy Star rating from the EPA for cutting their energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions. The buildings encompass more than 1.9 million square feet and saved an estimated $350,000 annually in lower energy bills. They also prevented more than 5 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions, equal to the emissions of more than 400 vehicles.
- CoStar Group Promotes Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Green Buildings by Adding Energy Star Rating to Commercial Properties in its Database – CoStar Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSGP) announced that it will begin adding the ENERGY STAR rating–the most recognized national metric for evaluating building energy efficiency–to properties in its massive online database, which currently contains more than 2 million researched and verified commercial properties of all classes and types.
As one of the first residential LEED homes on the west coast, the Kelly Woodford home is blazing a trail for the future of residential construction. In addition to its USGBC certification, the home is "net zero energy use" and Energy Star certified. The 2,000 square-foot, three-bedroom/two-bath retreat has a great view of Mt. Hood and some pretty impressive green features. Tom Kelly and Barbara Woodford built the home as a family getaway (with the Neil Kelly Company as general contractor), but they’ve also made the home available half the year to Neil Kelly employees to enjoy.
Today, Corgan Associates Inc. opened the doors to its brand new LEED Silver headquarters. Corgan is a Dallas-based architectural + design firm and designed the three-story, 60,000 square-foot looker. Being a tenant in the West End area of downtown since 1986, Corgan is a long-time downtown stalwart–it’s great to keep them there with a brand new building. I drive by it on the way home from work, so I’ve been watching construction for the past year or so. It looks great. I really dig the copper facade on the north + west walls.
From what I understand, Corgan’s HQ was built by Turner Construction, well-known for pretty much every green building in the area, including Pat Lobb Toyota, SMU’s Embrey Engineering Building, and the energy-efficient Wal-Mart. According to Corgan, "The architectural style and features of the West End will be reflected in the new building. In a contemporary way, Corgan’s heavily rusticated masonry building will draw from area warehouse vocabulary. The interior will feature a heavy timber structural frame, typical of historic structures in the West End. The three floors of interior design studio spaces will also feature large expanses of glass." Looks amazing. Corgan’s HQ: 401 N. Houston Street. Via DBJ.
Calm, clear, and cool, very cool, 340 on the Park is the logical choice for city living. It’s rather timely that I picked a Chicago building for today’s Skyscraper Sunday column, because it just so happens that the USGBC is switching locations for Greenbuild 2007 from LA to Chicago. Chicago is making big-time strides in all things green–they’re vying for the position as the greenest city in America. With that in mind, 340 on the Park is going to be the first residential high-rise in Chicago designed to meet LEED standards. It’s huge, too. Designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz, 340 is a 64 story tower with a 2+ floor winter garden starting on floor 25. It will have all the amenities a luxury resident could ask for, including sauna, steam rooms, hot tub, wi-fi, yoga + aerobics room, fitness center, 25-yard lap pool, and men’s + women’s locker rooms.
As far as its green features, I haven’t found many specifics, but 340 will use high-tech, energy efficient heating and cooling; fully-insulated windows; an advanced, air-quality management system; rainwater collection system for landscaping; and environmentally friendly construction materials. Pretty general, I know. With a two-bedroom (roughly 1,650 square feet) residence starting at nearly $681,000, you’re certain to get a nice view to go along with that green home. Construction is set for completion in 2007.
- The Law Firm of Holland & Hart Announces New Global Climate Change Practice – The firm is the first and only law firm based in the Rocky Mountains to organize a practice group concentrating on this rapidly emerging area of law and policy. Holland & Hart’s Global Climate Change Practice Group consists of attorneys who counsel clients on the climate change aspects of energy and natural resources development, industrial energy use, regulatory compliance, renewable energy and energy infrastructure projects, corporate disclosure and governance, carbon markets, litigation, and government relations.
- New Resource Bank Aims to Make it Easier to Build Green – A new banking program here aims to encourage developers and investors to start green building projects by offering financial incentives like providing more money at a lower cost, higher loan-to value, and lower interest rates.
- Texas Issues First Lease for Geothermal Energy Exploration and Development along Gulf Coast – Texas has awarded the state’s first lease for geothermal energy production to Ormat Technologies, Inc., which plans to explore the renewable energy’s potential along seven Gulf Coast counties. The company paid $55,645, or $5 an acre, for the right to explore 11,129 acres for pockets of hot water and steam under the ocean floor, the General Land Office announced Tuesday.
- Building Greener and Cheaper than LEED – While many argue over the costs and benefits of requiring LEED-certification, some affordable housing developers have shown that building green doesn’t require following the program’s recommendations.
In Portland, Oregon, there’s a sustainable development called The Headwaters at Tryon Creek, which is a 2.88 acre, master-planned, mixed-income community that prioritizes sustainable building practices, energy + water conservation, wildlife habit restoration, and stormwater management. One portion of the development includes the Dolph Creek Townhomes, which are 14 for sale, attached townhouses that are LEED Silver, Energy Star, and Earth Advantage certified. Quite the list of certifications! These luxury townhouses vary in size from 1,585 – 1,695 square feet, and in price from $369,950 – $379,950…purchasers qualify for the State Residential Energy Tax Credit.
In addition to saving up to 45% on annual energy costs, here are some of the green features: solar panels with 80 gallon storage tank, energy efficient windows, green label carpet, formaldehyde free cabinetry and wood products, heat recovery ventilators, on-demand gas and solar water heating, polyfoam insulation, exhaust fans in all the garages, drip irrigation system, and low-flow toilets, showers, and water faucets. Of course, the floors will be bamboo (hopefully not the Chinese import variety) and the patio will have ipe hardwood decking. From what I’ve seen, this looks like quite the community.