Overture Development Group has what I think is the best designed website for a real estate group that I’ve ever seen. It’s incredible looking. They’re 100% confident that green buildings are the future of real estate, too. Financial benefits? Check. Occupancy benefits? Check. Marketing and messaging appeal? Check. Good for the environment? Check. The Conservatory is in the final stages of receiving permitting approval from Osceola County, and once that’s squared away, we’re looking at completion in mid-2008 or so. When finished, The Conservatory at Celebration Place will have 178,000 sf of Class A+ office condominium space spread through six floors. And from the renderings, it looks like there will be a healthy dose of green roofing and solar panels, too.
Nanosolar wants to create paper-thin, flexible solar panels that can be made at 1/3 the cost of heavy, silicon-made solar panels. It’s important to keep an eye on tech like this because Nanosolar is currently building the largest solar panel manufacturing plant in the U.S. If successful, this stuff is going to be on every building and structure starting in 2008. It’s going to change the way the game is played in a major way.
To give you an idea of how compelling, how enormous this is, check this: the Google founders are investing in Nanosolar, an IBM manufacturing executive just joined Nanosolar, and the U.S. Department of Energy just awarded them $20 million.
Eco-Cities, 1 Hotel & Residences, Consumer Perception of Green Business + Variety in Green Homes (WIR)
- Eco-cities, centers that showcase the cutting-edge of land use and urban planning, are being planned for the UK and China but do they have what it takes to solve environmental challenges?
- Atlanta’s The Streets of Buckhead will be one of the first cities in the southeast to gain a luxury, eco-friendly hotel in the new Starwood Capital Group brand, 1 Hotel & Residences.
- An increasing number of businesses are making a commitment to the environment, but it seems that consumer perception of "going green" businesses could be mixed.
- The Tale of Two Green Homes – one is efficient and thrifty, and the other is stylish and opulent. They both help the environment, right?
The following post may seem a little esoteric, if not absolutely dry, but don’t be intimidated. Bear with me a second as the idea opens up towards the end of this article. Every year, roughly 1.89 billion tons of cement (the main component of concrete) are manufactured. Cement accounts for about 7-8% of all human-generated CO2 emissions (a main ingredient in the recipe for climate change). Here’s what happens: cement is made by burning fossil fuels to heat a limestone and clay powder to 1500 °C. Then, the resulting cement powder is mixed with water and gravel and the invested energy in the powder is released into chemical bonds that form calcium silicate hydrates. Those calcium silicate hydrates bind the gravel to create concrete.
So, the idea goes, human bone could show us how to manufacture concrete with less CO2 emissions. Human bone achieves a similar packing density to concrete at the nanoscale, but with human bone, this packing density is achieved at body temperature with no extra release of CO2. Stated otherwise, bone strength is achieved naturally without having to heat powder at a high temperature, and thus, without the CO2 release. The problem is, however, the hardening of apatite minerals in the bone takes a long time. Say, a month or more.
- Rooftop vegetation and gardens are catching on–though there are still many questions about how and when to apply the technique.
- Cleantech venture capital investments are small but growing.
- Monster Homes: Enough is Enough – some places will make you pay for that big thing.
- Developer sells its LEED certified project and it was "certainly a stellar return."
If you know me, you know I like to read. You name it, I read it. Books. Magazines. Newspapers. Online. Actually, I have a theory on book reading, which goes like this: if you don’t pay reasonable market value for it, you won’t be motivated to read it. It’s like a gym membership. With this in mind, I’ve put together an online shop of sustainable books, The Jetson Green Sustainability Bookstore, in case anyone is searching for good material on environmentalism. There’s a lot out there. Let me know if I left something out that you think merits inclusion. Here are the categories:
++ Non-fiction/Business + Green Lifestyle ++
This isn’t a money maker for JG, I’ve never made more than $10 /quarter from Amazon…this is more intended to be a resource library for those of us at all levels in the journey towards living and working in a greener way. Again, let me know if I left a good book out. Also, I’ve gotten into Eco-Libris thanks to Victoria-E. Eco-Libris plants a tree for every book that you purchase an offset for. I’m not going to get into the offset controversy, but suffice it to say, I like the idea and will do it from now on.