Articles With "Development" Tag

Skyscraper Sunday: LEED Gold Connecting Old + New (Seattle)

Fifth_and_madison Boc_north_face

I came across an interesting statistic (which will be obsolete in no time) about LEED certified office buildings.  There are about 669 LEED certified office buildings, and of that number, only 38 are remodels.  Why?  When you have a building that’s occupied, how are you going do a green renovation without losing rents?  Here’s one way.  The former Union Bank of California Center, the 41-story, 34-year-old building owned by Beacon Capital Partners, is looking to be one of the few LEED-Existing Building (EB) certified structure in the United States.  Because most of the leases are due to expire over the next five years, the company will be able to renovate as space opens up.  They’ll shift tenants around until the building is complete.   

This is about a $36 million remodel job.  Green amenities will include the following:  shaved columns for added light; automated artificial lights; recycled and recyclable carpet; no- or low-VOC paints; recycled metal in ceilings; new insulation in walls that were uninsulated; new high-efficiency heating and cooling systems; water-efficient bathroom fixtures; and runoff water landscaping. 

Additionally, BCP started construction next door on a new, 24-story, 126-unit green condo tower at Fifth Avenue and Madison Street.  The new building will be complete in 2008.  BCP officials said they are seeking LEED Gold for both buildings.  I must say that will be a powerful juxtaposition of the old and new:  both environmental leaders in their own way (EB + NC).  Via Seattle Post-Intelligencer + Emporis.

Noteworthy Green News: Week in Review

Week in Review
  1. Kulongoski Proposes $30 Million for Green Energy – Oregon Governor Kulongoski’s budget proposal includes $5.2 million for the nation’s first in-water wave generation and demonstration research facility, $2 million to the state’s energy department to place solar panels on top of schools and $10 million to foster geothermal projects at Oregon universities. Another chunk of money, $3.7 million, would provide tax breaks for businesses that use and make products that consume biofuel.
  2. Help Wanted–Green; Green Development Could Be a Big Generator of Good Jobs, If America will Seize the Opportunity – There are good jobs to be had in environmentally friendly development, and construction jobs are just the beginning. Thousands of jobs are in products that go into green buildings. The job potential in renewable energy production is even more impressive…
  3. China Chokes on Coal-fired Boom: Toxic Cloud of Progress Can be Seen from Space – the Chinese plan to build no fewer than 500 new coal-fired power stations, adding to some 2,000, most of them unmodernised, that spew smoke, carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere…Cancer rates are soaring, child health is a time bomb and…an estimated 400,000 premature deaths nationwide because of pollution every year.
  4. Short-term Air Pollution Increases Risk of Heart Attack for Those with Clogged Arteries – A new Brigham Young University study (by Arden Pope) published in the world’s top heart journal shows that a one- or two-day rise in air pollution causes a significant increase in the risk of unstable angina and heart attacks in the millions of Americans who have significant coronary artery blockage.

Brad Pitt + Global Green USA Seeking Partners for New Orleans Green Community

Brad_pitt_global_green

This is fantastic news–we have a little quid pro quo that could change the future of a company forever.  Seriously.  Pitt + Global Green USA have partnered to build a sustainable community in New Orleans.  They are seeking cornerstone partners, each with category exclusivity, to help create a prototype for affordable, green housing.  Housing will be energy-efficient with environmentally conscious and weather-resistant materials.  Here’s how the deal works:

Potential Partner Company Provides:

  • $1-2 million in year one, with right of first refusal in years two-four
  • Support for green initiatives through employee education
  • Support for green initiatives through consumer awareness program, sales of iconic products, etc. 

Potential Partner Company Receives:

  • Inclusion in Global Green USA stories with media outlets such as "The Oprah Winfrey Show," People Magazine, "The Today Show," "Dateline NBC," VH1, etc. 
  • Earn consumer trust and brand loyalty through commitment to Go Global Green
  • Affiliation with celebrity spokesperson Brad Pitt

The deadline to act on this is January 31, 2007.  That’s about it as far available information, but I think this could be a great opportunity to get your company going on an explosively green track.  Will it be profitable?  Hard to say, but there looks to be substantial upside.  Via PRNewswire via ‘razzi

Hive Modular Video: Modern, Semi-Affordable + Light Green

[Run time = 2:21] If you’re a prefab enthusiast, you’ve probably heard of Hive Modular–they’re pushing the envelope on modern, highly-customized, affordable modular homes.  I’ve included a short video with Paul Stankey talking about some of the benefits of modular building.  Notice, prices are going to be variable due to extreme variations in land costs, but a Hive Modular will run about $100-200 per square foot, generally speaking.  And while the company makes it’s homes energy-efficient and has less construction waste (than site built homes), their focus is on modern design.  As the company’s relationships grow, they plan to incorporate more green amenities into their plans.  Via Moco.

Hive_modular_front Hive_modular_interior

Market Style Apartments: Comfortable, Green Apartment Community for Naval Personnel

Market_style_apartments_1 The Navy has commissioned a $39.5 million, 2-level, 6 courtyard apartment community for about 420 Naval service members in Norfolk Naval Station.  What’s most impressive is that the community will use environmentally friendly design and pursue LEED certification.  Dubbed Market Style Apartments, the apartments were designed by VOA Associates, a Chicago-based firm with considerable LEED experience.  In addition to the spacious courtyard areas, there will be 3 two-story lounge areas for social gatherings.  Generally speaking, the design is part of an overall movement towards friendlier, welcoming military housing.  In addition to using recycled materials in its construction, the apartments are expected to consume 20% less energy.  There will be low-VOC paints, carpets + other indoor products and the fixtures will be chosen for water savings (low-flow fixtures, efficient shower heads, and automated water shut-offs).  Construction begins in the Spring 2007 and finishes 2008-2009.  Via MHN

Mixed Use Summit 2006: 4 Reasons To Think About Sustainability

Mixed_use_summit_2006

Never mind the fact that I’m supposed to be finishing a final for intellectual property, I spent the day at Victory Park and the new Dallas W Hotel, attending the Mixed Use Summit, presented by Commercial Property News and Multi-Housing News.  I found the seminar extremely enlightening and educational; I wanted to pass on some nuggets of green development wisdom.  If you could provide a nugget, a quote of sorts, on green building and the future of sustainability, what would it be?  Comments are open. 

On Sustainability:
"If you’re not thinking about sustainability, you’re missing the boat.  TODs, urban development, LEED, etc.  There are four reasons you should be thinking about it:  (1) it’s the right thing to do, (2) your competition’s doing it, (3) it adds value to the project, and (4) it speeds up the process."  – Ken Ryan, Principal of EDAW Inc. 

On LEED:

  • "This is where the future is going and groups are getting staffed up with LEED Accredited Professionals, they’re getting everyone certified."
  • "It’s sort of a best practices thing."
  • "It’s easier to sell LEED to corporate tenants, rather than human tenants, but we’re starting to get there…"
  • "If you have a project and people are worried about the bottom line, it’s tough to go LEED, especially the contractors–they’re hard to get on board, but the sales appeal is very big.  Developers know the appeal is big and they’re trying to figure it out…"
  • "In a place like Chicago, with all the requirements they have, you’re about 3/4 the way to LEED, so you might as well take the plunge and go all the way." 

This conference had many of the best developers and architects from around the country in one room, strategizing and talking about the future of land use, specifically urban development + smart growth, in the US. 



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