- The Urban Revival – Cities may be the key to curbing climate crisis.
- Fat Zones – Does where you live influence what you eat? A new study says ZIP codes are surprisingly accurate predictors of obesity.
- Another new study suggests that people who live in damp, moldy homes may be prone to depression.
- A new roof and attic system being developed at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory could help owners lower summer utility bills by 8% or more.
- Alcoa announced the start-up of a 588,000 watt, roof-mounted photovoltaic solar power system at its California manufacturing facility, enabling the supply of clean and reliable renewable energy.
Jefferson Green, not to be confused with Jetson Green, is one of only twelve LEED-CS Gold buildings in the country. It’s also the first Gold commercial building and the largest and most energy-efficient LEED building in New Mexico. AND it’s expected to be the first commercial building in New Mexico to certify under LEED-CI (this one Gold, too). That’s a double Gold. The three-story, 85,000 sf spec office building uses 30% less water and 45% less energy than the average local office building. Designed by Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, Jefferson Green is a model for commercial buildings of the future. The design called for some of the following features: underfloor air system, operable windows, water-efficient plumbing fixtures, xeric landscaping, low-VOC interior materials and applicants, IceStone countertops, Armstrong Dune ceiling tile, 3Form resin, and Forbo Marmoleum flooring. The building received all the possible LEED points in the Indoor Environmental Quality category and almost all the possible points in the Water Efficiency category. Nice work.
- Why is new housing so big and lousy? Why do builders build these homes?
- Despite unwavering focus by the media, government and business, "going green" is only of moderate concern to most consumers, according to a recent research study.
- There is a reason why homes rot (hint: it has to do with much more than age).
- Shades of Green – with more large companies going green, the entire industry is under scrutiny.
I’m pleased to share some information and renderings on ELEMENT, Starwood Hotels & Resorts new extended-stay hotel brand set to open in 2008. The idea behind ELEMENT is to make smart choices intuitive and support the lifestyles of guests while they are away from home. ELEMENT Hotels performed research on guest behavior, which revealed that socially conscious hotel guests are more likely to leave their good habits at home when traveling. That’s because, depending on the hotel, it may be difficult to recycle, conserve water, or maintain a lower impact lifestyle. ELEMENT Hotels aims to change that. Key smart design features of this green hotel include the following:
- Shampoo/conditioner dispensers will eliminate multiple mini-bottles;
- Low-flow sink faucets and dual flush toilets will lead to an estimated conservation of 4,358.6 gallons of water per room each year;
- Eco-friendly materials will be used throughout, including recycled content carpets;
- Low-VOC paints for improved indoor air quality for guests and staff;
- CFL light bulbs will be used throughout the building to reduce energy consumption; and
- Biophilic design that maximizes natural light and sightlines to the outdoors will help connect occupants to their natural surroundings.
Feel free to click on over to this PDF brochure to read more about the ELEMENT Hotel and what it will look like. The hotel design is pretty incredible, as you will see from the images below the fold.
I read an excellent article about San Francisco’s Clipper House by LORAX Development in Solar Today magazine and wanted to share some info about it. The Clipper House has become a showcase for residential sustainable features, basically showing off everything but the financial case for green building. The 2,600 sf home was designed by John Maniscalco/Architecture, Inc., and was completed in the summer of 2006. For a cool $1.9 M, you could probably purchase this incredible home–often referred to as the Greenest Home in San Francisco.
If you do, here’s what you’re going to get: 1.7 kw DC photovoltaic array with BP Solar panels installed by SolarCity (total cost $16,700, net AR $11,543); 64 sf of solar thermal glazed collectors by Heliodyne ($6,750); warmboard radiant heating system using PEX tubing ($50,000); rainwater-catchment system by Wonderwater Inc. ($25,000); hemp carpets colored with vegetable dyes; low-VOC paints and caulks throughout; energy-efficient windows and doors; hardwood floors made from 100-yr-old TerraMai railroad ties from Southeast Asia; FSC-certified kitchen cabinets; Richlite kitchen counters made from recycled paper products; recycled blue jean insulation by Bonded Logic; 50-year warranty James Hardie fiber-cement siding made partially with fly ash; and recycled plastic and wood Trex composite decking. The Clipper House certainly prioritizes energy-efficiency, properly sourced sustainable materials, and indoor air quality. Real nice.