"F2" is short for "Flickr Friday," a weekly short posted on Friday with an image from Flickr and a quick description. Feel free to email me your F2 ideas.
I’ve been writing an article a week for Green Options and wanted to pass on the links to some of my articles. I think the toilets article is the most light-hearted…go give them a look if you’re interested in the content.
- Flush It All Away – the Green Way [02/22/2007]
- USGBC’s New D.C. Headquarters Go Platinum [02/16/2007]
- Collective Power Program + Solar Power to Mountain View [02/09/2007]
- Technology Adoption Goal: Zero Energy Homes [02/01/2007]
- Education is Fastest Growing Green Building Sector [01/28/2007]
- Top 20 Financially Smart Green Building Strategies [01/26/2007]
Sometimes, I’m amazed at what technology can do. Recently, I read an article about Michael Klug + Michele Grieshaber’s 1926 bungalow in Austin’s historic Hyde Park, which was renovated in accordance with the Austin Green Building Program. The original home was about 1,500 sf, but after renovations and adding some space, the 2,300 sf home uses half the energy of the original. The house is part of an 8-show feature on This Old House, and you’ll be impressed to find a time-lapse video of the renovation project. The DMN article suggests that the eco-friendly additions to the renovation added a price premium of about 10%, but let’s not forget that this home is outfitted with some pretty good stuff, including photovoltaics.
Here are some of the green features: rainwater reclamation for irrigation and landscaping; spray-foam insulation for added energy efficiency; recycled glass tile and countertops by IceStone; formaldehyde-free wood composites; milled wood from deconstruction used throughout the home in various places; James Hardie fiber cement siding, which can be a good substitute for wood siding; low-flow bathroom plumbing and high-efficiency kitchen appliances; a heat-reflecting standing-seam metal roof; and an array of photovoltaic panels on the south-facing roof. Below, you’ll see pictures of the water reclamation tank and the cabinets that were made with Lyptus, a eucalyptus hybrid plant that grows fast. DMN Article + Pictures.
In 2009, China is expected to surpass the U.S. as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the world. Over 26% of the population (roughly 340 million people) lack access to clean drinking water and over 40% of Chinese cities lack sewage treatment facilities. But the country is trying to innovate solutions for the future. Recently, USA Today had an interesting article called "China Envisions Environmentally Friendly ‘Eco-City.’" According to the article, state-run developers are building an eco-city in Dongtan, which is 3/4 the size of Manhattan. Dongtan is located on Chongming Island about an hour from Shanghai. The $1.3 billion project may be a model for eco-cities all over the world.
The eco-city will be carbon neutral with the main grid of the city designed for walking and cycling, not for cars. The city will be powered by solar and wind power, biofuels, and recycled organic material. There will be green roofs for energy efficiency and insulation benefits and rainwater capture to maintain the landscaping. All vehicles will operate on clean fuels and about a fourth of the city will be open green space. Without all the gas and diesel vehicles clogging the streets, residents should be able to open up a window and enjoy the air. About 20% of the city is held out for affordable housing, but some of the farmers still say it’s out of their price range. See also SIIC.
MGM Mirage is developing a 76 acre site between the Bellagio and Monte Carlo called CityCenter. With about 18 million square feet of new construction (residential, hotel, resort, casino, etc.), CityCenter is being dubbed a "city-within-a-city." If the project is completed according to LEED standards as planned, City Center will be the largest LEED project in the world. MGM has lined up some of the world’s best architects for the project, including Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects (61-story resort-casino), Studio Daniel Libeskind (retail + entertainment district), Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects (The Residences at Mandarin Oriental), RV Architecture LLC (Vdara Condo Hotel), Foster and Partners (The Harmon), and Helmut Jahn (The Veers). Generally speaking, some of the sustainable design benefits include eliminating 48,000 tons of GHG per year, diverting over 80% of construction waste through re-use and recycling, and having improved indoor air quality by using low-VOC and non-toxic materials.
In 2005, the Nevada Legislature created a statewide tax abatement program that allows LEED building owners to cut property taxes 35-50%. But that’s not the only reason MGM’s going green on this project. For most companies, their most expensive asset is people. Green buildings boost productivity among occupants and providing healthy, well-designed buildings is one way to create value for employees. CityCenter is slated for completion in November 2009. Via SunHerald.
::"S2" is short for "Skyscraper Sunday," a weekly article on green skyscrapers posted every Sunday::
[Run time: 54:30 min.] I was reading the Scobleizer and found a fairly substantial video interview with Toby Long, founder of the San Francisco-based, design-build firm CleverHomes. Cleverhomes is one of those companies swimming upstream in a construction river of anti-progress, anti-innovation, and staunch traditionalism. I love the Scoble laugh, seriously, it makes the interview pretty good. Long talks about the interface of technology + construction, or what I’m calling Construction 2.0, with an added dimension of sustainability. Going forward, the environmental consequences associated with construction need to be figured into a given project’s analysis. He also mentions structural insulated panels (SIPs), building information modeling (BIM), sustainability, and modern vernacular. Get past the beginning and give it go…