Today's green project on 53 Standish Street is the first LEED for Homes project certified in Massachusetts and the first multi-unit building (up to 4 units) in the country to achieve this certification. The project was designed by Tony Butler of AB Architects and built by Aedi Construction LLC.
DFW builder Don Ferrier‘s daughter wanted an affordable, green home, so they retained the best, local green architect, Gary Olp of GGOArchitects, to get the job done. The result is Heather’s Home, which has its own website at www.heathershome.info. What’s interesting about this home is that it’s economically pragmatic, but it looks goods–it’s proof that a modern, green home can be relatively affordable. We’re talking about a 2,038 square-foot home in the price range of about $117 per square foot ($230,000). After getting the home design, she had to wait two months due to materials shortages, but the home took four months to build after that. The monthly home heating and cooling bill averages $20-30 month. That’s amazing, especially in Texas.
There’s a rainwater collection system connected to a 3,000-gallon holding tank, which is used for irrigation and toilet water. Toilets are low flush, of course. She landscaped with drought-tolerant, native Texas plants, to conserve water. She didn’t install a full blown solar system (costs about $30,000), but she did install enough solar panels to power the tankless water heater (also saves water). The home design called for Structural Insulated Panels (SIP) to create a more energy-efficient, tight building envelope. For heating and AC, the builder installed a Daikin HVAC system that runs at 20 SEER. The HVAC system price tag was $5,500, which is cheaper than a geothermal heat pump and about 90% as efficient. Of course, low-VOC paints and stains were used throughout. Lights and appliances are energy star.
The stairs are bamboo and some of the floors are stained concrete. The kitchen island surface is a grenadine Formica (Green Guard certified) and the cabinets were created from regionally produced ash, treated with a low VOC stain. You’ll notice the 33 glass block windows on the northerly wall, which invite natural lighting without diminishing interior privacy. There’s a solar tube in the closet for natural lighting. In the rooms with carpet, it is PET (polyethylene terephthalate) carpet, which is created from reclaimed polyester resins of two-liter soda bottles and and other plastic containers. Some of the other carpet is InterFLOR modular carpet, made from corn husks. The list of green features goes on and on! You can go to this link to find the source of all the products used in this home.
I’ve been keeping an eye on Salt Lake City, Utah (SLC) because I’m moving there in June 2007. Recently, there’ve been rumors that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the "Mormons") is in plans to officially adopt LEED standards on a going forward basis for its churches + buildings. Generally speaking, Mormons strive for thriftiness and gratitude, and these principles applied to construction mean that buildings should conserve and reuse resources where possible. While the church hasn’t made such an announcement, recent SLC news is the next best thing because the city’s population is about 50% Mormon. In early November 2006, the City Council unanimously approved an ordinance requiring commercial, apartment, and condominium builders to meet LEED standards if they are funded by city loans, grants, or tax rebates. The same ordinance also ratified Mayor Rocky Anderson’s summer executive order requiring new municipal buildings to meet LEED-silver standards.
SLC is changing in a big way. The entire downtown landscape will be transformed over the next five years as $1.5 billion in capital is placed in new construction. This movement, aka Downtown Rising, is garnering support from all levels in the community. According to the Vision Summary of Downtown Rising, one goal is to "develop environmentally efficient buildings, districts and public spaces."
Ostensibly, SLC’s main goal in providing LEED incentives is to promote environmentally friendly construction. This ordinance isn’t the last step for eco-building in SLC, however. They’re working on further incentives to promote green building; they’re considering expedited permits/plan reviews or lowered fees for all developers that incorporate LEED certification in their plans. Talk about major opportunities! It’s a great time to be a green developer. I can’t wait to get to SLC.
Albanese Organization (AO) is a great example of an interesting phenomenon: once you go green, you don’t go back. AO is the forward-thinking real estate firm behind two other green buildings, The Solaire and The Verdisian. Their specialty is sustainable and high performance buildings. They’ve partnered with Starwood Capital Group Global LLC for their third green project, which has yet to be named, located at 70 Little West Street, surrounded by Battery Place, Little West Street, Second Place, and Third Place. The $310 million, 33-story project will have 152 condominium units and retail space on the first floor. Slated for occupation in 2008, the design architect is Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects; the building architect is Schuman, Lichtenstein, Claman & Efron; the interior design is by Stedila Design Inc.; and the general contractor is Turner Construction.
The glass and terracotta tower will have a curved facade to create river views from all four corners of the building. Like most modern buildings, this building will include a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, rooftop gardens, dining area, children’s playroom, parking garage (not always a given in NYC), and a lounge room with a fireplace.
I’ve heard rumors that some LEED buyers (not necessarily this one) are looking for the LEED label and point shopping around the energy efficient requirements–why do that? The point is, buildings need to be grid-independent and levered less to energy price fluctuations. By point shopping, you’re losing money by purchasing a hollow certificate (not to mention losing valuable environmental benefits).
Anyway, this building will be 35% more energy efficient than standard code buildings; 5% of the energy load will be provided by building-integrated solar panels and 35% of the building’s energy will be provided by wind generation. Geothermal systems will provide heating/cooling for part of the building. Low or no-VOC materials will be used throughout. There will be a high efficiency air filtration system to optimize indoor air quality ("IAC"). Individual residences will have year-round climate control via digital thermostat that controls a four-pipe fan coil system. A black water treatment plant will recycle bathroom and kitchen water to resupply toilets and supply make-up water for the HVAC system cooling tower. 10,000 gallons of water will be harvested and used to irrigate the rooftop garden, which provides a layer of insulation for the building. See also Multihousing News.
What’s the point of architectural design? Depends on who is using the building, but talented designers and architects around the world can do unbelievable things with buildings. Today’s post is an example of the power of well-designed living spaces. Enter: The Happy New House. Designed by Neil M. Denari Architects (NMDA), the happy house is just that, a place where the Alan Family can express its "family brand." They wanted a home renovation that expressed their distinct family attributes: artsy but not artsy-fartsy, cultured but not elitist, spontaneous but not disorderly, informal but not messy, into Macs and iPods but not techie, and into the finer things of life but not extravagant.
Noticeably, the architect went with multi-toned, bright colors to express the Alan Family brand. The interior design includes a clever mixture of public and private spaces to allow for individuality, but still encourage "elbow-rubbing" opportunities. Tons of integrated shelving blends into the modern design and helps reduce clutter, and the outdoor living room blurs the indoor/outdoor barrier, which allows the family to connect to the backyard area.
We’ve all lived in places that just didn’t work out that well. The same place might fit another person completely, but the reality is, individuals and families do have differences that can be accounted for with creative design. The extra cost of designing your home or office, just might pay dividends in productivity, livability, and enjoyability later on. Yet another reason why first costs could be misleading. See also Archinect.
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Limited (privately-held corporation with ownership of Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto Marlies Hockey Club, Air Canada Centre, and Leafs TV + Raptors NBA TV) is behind an innovative, forward-looking project development called Maple Leaf Square. Being inspired by the mixed-use projects developing around sports franchise centers such as Dallas and Miami, the Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Corporation will be unique in one significant aspect: it’s green, LEED-certified, that is. The project, designed by KPMB and Page + Steele, contains two aspiring towers (54 + 50 floors) built on top of a seven story podium, all including the following: 900 residential condominiums, boutique hotel with about 170 rooms, 6,000 square foot daycare, over 200,000 square feet of office space , indoor/outdoor swimming pools, fitness facilities, and high-technology restaurants, sports bars, and retail stores. It’s the quintessential multi-use development of the future, blending sports, entertainment, living, vacationing, night life, and work.
In addition to being one of the most technologically advanced building structures in the world, the project contains some important green features (note, technology also can make a building green): green roof, energy-efficient appliances in every suite, Enwave (low cost, energy efficient supplier of heating, cooling, and domestic hot water supply), individual storage/bicycle lockers, and close proximity to Toronto’s PATH system. Technologically, the building will use RFID door locks and Intelligent Building Technology (visit the website for a demonstration).
The project has been welcomed with open arms by the public; reports vary, but the Residences of Maple Leaf Square are reportedly 95% sold already. Talk about unmet demand for a modern, green structure! Available residences range in size from 400 – 2,100 square feet and price from $200,000 – $1,400,000. North Tower opens in October 2009 and South Tower in March 2010. Found by EarthChangeII.