Articles With "Green Business" Tag

Armstrong's HQ Receives LEED-EB Platinum Award

Armstrong HQ

[Video: 4:25 min.Armstrong World Industries, Inc. (NYSE: AWI) is based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and operates in the business of designing and manufacturing floors, ceilings, and cabinets.  Their current headquarters was built in 1998 and is now part of an elite group of buildings to obtain the LEED Platinum certification for existing buildings.  Feel free to click the above link to see video of Armstrong’s HQ building.  The 3-story building is a glass and steel structure that has workspaces for about 235 employees.  Here are a few things they did to take the green plunge:

  • 60% of the building’s waste is recycled;
  • Building water use was reduced to 420,000 gallons (from 800,000 gallons);
  • Less than 1.5 watts/sf of energy is used, which is 1/2 the national average for comparable properties;
  • 75% of the building’s power is supplied by wind energy; and
  • Green Seal-certified cleaning products are used throughout the building. 

Now the question is:  if you own your headquarters, have you looked into LEED-EB certification through the USGBC?  We’ve seen Adobe & Owens Corning do it.  Now we have Armstrong.  Who’s next?

Good Links:
++Armstrong LEED-EB Facts & Information Page
++Armstrong Headquarters Receives LEED-EB Platinum Certification [PR]

Thoughts on The Clean Tech Revolution (Updated)

Thecleantechrevolution So I received from HarperCollins a copy of Ron Pernick + Clint Wilder’s latest book called The Clean Tech Revolution.  I’m a big enthusiast of renewable technology because it has the potential to change the world of real estate and green living.  Preliminarily, let me say that this book is an incredible read.  Seriously.  It’s smart and approachable.  To get an idea of the breadth of the book, here are the chapter subjects:  solar energy, wind power, biofuels and biomaterials, green buildings, personal transportation, smart grid, mobile technologies, water filtration, creating your own Silicon Valley, and clean-tech marketing.  And the book is geared towards individuals, investors, corporations, and governments alike. 

The authors are Clean Edge guys and they know what they’re talking about.  The research put into each topic is unbelievably thorough.  The Clean Tech Revolution is not some chump book by someone that just recently jumped on the green bandwagon (not that there’s anything wrong with that).  The authors talk about the tipping point of green brought about by six C’s–cost, capital, competition, China, consumers, and climate.  These six things have come together to make clean tech something of a revolution that will occur over the next 20, 30, 40 years plus.  It’s pretty exciting.  In each of the chapter categories mentioned above, the authors identify several companies to watch.  For instance, the authors say we should keep an eye on the following companies in the ‘green building’ chapter:  Aspen Aerogels, Clarum Homes, Cree, The Durst Organization, Interface Engineering, Ortech, PanaHome, Rinnai, Turner Construction, Wal-Mart Stores

Update:BusinessWeek published an extensive review over the weekend saying, in part: "But what sets Pernick and Wilder’s book apart is its focus on the business benefits of going green, from money saved by building eco-friendly corporate headquarters and lowering heating and cooling bills, to money earned by startups committed to creating clean technologies. Other books, magazines, and Web sites tend to include clean-tech and green business within a spectrum of other lifestyle, political, environmental, or design topics."

I’m not going to give away too much, but I’m really impressed with this book.  Actually, I’ve got two people in mind that I want to pass a copy to, and they’re not getting mine. 

First 1 Hotel & Residences, Starwood's Green Brand, Breaks Ground in Seattle

Seattle1hotelresidences It looks like the joint-venture partnership of AvStar Seattle LLC, which is the combo of Starwood Capital Group Global LLC (SCGG) and Avalon Holdings, broke ground on the world’s first 1 Hotel & Residences in Seattle.  The 23-story, mixed-use development will be at Second Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Seattle.  The $200 M development, which is slated for occupancy in the winter 2008, includes retail, residential, and hotel components with amenities such as a 40,000 sf athletic club, organic specialty restaurant and grocer, and 8,000 sf spa.  There will be 110 "City Suites" and 98 condominiums, of which, the City Suites have already been oversubscribed and pre-reserved.  Also, the LEED-certified hotel will receive the 5-star management services of SCGG.  We know the building was designed by Sienna Architecture, and there are some good renderings at the links below, but specific details on green amenities are still a little tough to come by.  We’ll keep monitoring the roll out of the 1 green hotel brand. 

Good Links:
++1 Hotel & Residences [Official Website]
++1 Hotel & Residences [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]
++Avalon, Starwood Capital Break Ground on First 1 Hotel & Residences [GLN]
++Starwood Announces New Green Hotel: 1 Hotel & Residences [JG]

EcoUrban's LEED Platinum Home + Missouri's Newest Modular Developer [Updated]

Ecourban


Being Green Can Be Easy.  EcoUrban Homes Proves It.  The first of several up and coming EcoUrban homes was recently completed, and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay was on location to celebrate the grand opening.  It just so happens that this home is probably one of the greenest homes in Missouri — it has obtained LEED Platinum rating.  Located at 3140 Pennsylvania Avenue in St. Louis, this 3-bedroom, 2-bath, modular home has a bamboo stairs, fiber cement board siding, double-pane low-e windows, R-40 Icynene insulation in ceilings and floors, built-in security system and recycling center, solid wheat board interior doors, ultra-low VOC paints, dual-flush high-efficiency toilets, and Energy Star lighting and appliances, to name a few green amenities. 

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Smart-Home Tech, Big Houses, Wind Energy White Paper, + Peddling Smart Growth (WIR)

Week in Review
  1. Wired to Sell – Smart-home technology is becoming increasingly available with a variety of conservation and convenience features. 
  2. Why Big Houses? The average, new American home is 2,400 sf; experts weigh in on America’s fascination with bigger is better. 
  3. Wind Energy White Paper "In Defense of Wind," by Dallas attorney Trey Cox outlines concerns about wind energy industry’s rapid and unregulated growth. 
  4. Peddling Smart Growth – call your project "smart" – even when it isn’t – and get millions in public funds. 

Wachovia to Build 300 Green Bank Centers by 2010

Wachovia

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 wayVia

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