Green building certification is an interesting phenomenon. It’s meant to convey a message about the building’s level of “green” or “sustainability,” but the message is only as strong as the system that creates it. If you push beyond that message, you might ask: how many of these certified buildings are, say, positive energy? That’s the goal of Elithis Tower recently opened in Dijon, France. It has 1,600 sensors that examine energy and emissions. This information is then displayed on a special public sign in full transparency for everyone to see. The sign is both dynamic and clear.
At one time, Paradise Park Children's Centre in London had a lush vertical hydroponic garden covering certain portions of the structure. That time is no more, reports The Architects' Journal, the BBC, and the London Evening Standard. The building, designed by DSDHA, called for a living wall to mitigate against planting the structure on a portion of open park space. DSDHA retained landscape architect Marie Clarke and had the green wall system installed at a cost of £100,000.
About a month and a half ago, Marken Projects, founded by developer Alexander Maurer and based in Vancouver, BC, announced plans to build this 2,400 square foot home. It’s going to be Passive House certified, LEED Platinum certified in Canada, and built using a German modular wood building system. Needless to say, it has all the components of the kind of projects we like.
There's something about the simple design of this small container home that I really like. It was mentioned on A Site-Specific Experiment, which is run by Chutayaves Sinthuphan out of Bangkok, Thailand. The one-bedroom, one bathroom home was built using two, 20-foot containers with cutouts for windows and doors. There's a prefab bathroom inside and the interior is insulated with a recycled content material.
Just yesterday, architecture firm RMJM announced plans for a $1 billion, landmark green project for the Atasehir district of Istanbul, Turkey. The Varyap Meridian development is slated for a new residential and business district — and just might transform into a new financial district for Turkey. Of course, the buildings will each seek LEED certification, and if obtained, it could be the first green development of its kind in the country.
The Guardian just published an interesting article about the world's first Active House. An Active House, as compared to a super low-energy Passive House, is a highly efficient home that captures more energy than the occupants need for heat and power. In particular, this Denmark Active House should generate enough electricity over 30 years to cancel out the energy costs of building it. And it operates like a machine: a computer monitors the temperature and climate of the interior and opens, closes, and adjusts windows accordingly.