This news isn’t all that surprising because the government (at various levels) has shown significant support for green buildings, but recently, NASA set the wheels in motion to have a $54 million LEED Silver building built in Greenbelt, Maryland. This three story office and laboratory structure will be the future Exploration Sciences Building at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. And as a side note, NASA has determined that all future buildings will be constructed to the LEED Silver level, at a minimum. Designed by EwingCole, the completed building will end up at about 265,500 sf. Looks good. UPDATED 8/23/2007: new images swapped out.
For those that follow the political realm, you may be aware that the Senate is considering a huge energy bill over the next 24 hours. Some of the details of this bill were the subject of an opinion article in the LA Times today. There are pros and cons of the bill affecting all sorts of energy concerns such as renewable fuels, coal-to-liquid technology, and automobile efficiency standards. Up for consideration is the Bingaman-Reid renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requiring the nation to get 15% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. An RPS requires electric utilities to include a specific percentage of clean, renewable energy in their generation portfolios, or to purchase renewable energy credits from others. If you want to help see that the Bingaman-Reid RPS is supported, feel free to use the Power of Wind website to let your Senator know.
[Run time: 1:09 min.]I found this blog dinking around with my Blackberry’s feedreader software. David Hunter has a blog called "Nashville Modern Prefab," and he’s documenting his experience trying to build a modern Hive Modular home near downtown Nashville. For anyone that’s interested in some of the hurdles of getting approvals, etc., for a non-traditional home, this is a great blog to scan over. Check the video above, which is a 3D rendering of Hunter’s future home. Hope the approvals finally come through! For those of you that like Hive Modular’s work, you may enjoy some of the videos and links below.
Actually, my new city, Salt Lake City, feels a lot greener than my old city, Dallas (but it’s always my first home). The population in SLC is edgy, kind of like Portland and Austin, but there’s also a substantial conservative undercurrent. I’ve found that the conservatives (myself included) really care about the environment as much as the liberals, and that issues relating to the environment are fairly bipartisan. Here are a few tidbits about Utah and SLC that I know about right now:
- Utah Governor Huntsman joined the Governator and five other states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Huntsman signed the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative.
- Salt Lake City and Mayor Rocky Anderson approved a LEED ordinance to promote green construction for projects funded by city money.
- Many of the area’s leaders came together and agreed that building green is the direction Salt Lake City and Utah is going to take.
- A 38-acre Park City Community called Newpark received LEED-ND pre-certification.
- Speaking of Park City, the Sundance Channel and Robert Redford are really going in the green direction also.
- The Utah Department of Transportation, in conjunction with research performed at Utah State University, has devised a plan to grow biodiesel crops on the freeways.
- The City Council is working on a way to invest money into greening its zoo, arts, and parks projects.
- A major Salt Lake City law firm, Holland & Hart LLP, announced the opening of its new Climate Change Practice Group.
- The University of Utah Sustainability Practicum and several students came together to design eco-friendly features for a new building scheduled to open in 2009.
Really, this is just the tip of the iceberg in Salt Lake City. There’s a lot of good green things going on and I’m excited to be here.
$5B Clinton, Eco-Yahoo!, Health-Care Constuction, Nevada Ungreens, Porous Paving, Ed Begley Jr.'s Green Website, & Green Building Studio (WIR)
- Clinton Climate Initiative Offers $5B to Green Municipal Buildings at Cities Nationwide.
- Yahoo! Issues ‘Greenest City in America‘ Challenge with Reward of Hybrid Taxi Fleet.
- $41B Health-care Construction Industry Going Green to Save Energy, Cut Infection Rates.
- Nevada State Board Hopes to Change (Remove) Green Building Standard, Mislead About LEED.
- Porous Paving Grows in Popularity as a Stormwater Management Solution.
- Ed Begley, Jr. Launches a Truly Unique Sustainable Living Website at FixingThePlanet.com.
- Green Building Studio being dubbed A Google for Green Building Products.
- Commentary on Why Green Buildings Cannot Save the Planet.