Over the weekend, Hoffman Construction lifted four Southwest Windpower turbines into place on top of a new building, Twelve West. Located at Southwest 12th Avenue and Washington Street, Twelve West includes a mixture of office and apartment spaces and was designed by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects to achieve LEED Platinum certification. ZGF included the turbines in early renderings, and developer Gerding Edlen, probably the foremost green developer on the West Coast, determined to give the turbines serious chance.
Oxygenics was kind enough to send us their new STORM showerhead, which was designed to provide 20%-70% water and energy savings. The unit has 54 spray nozzles that shower you with 30% more water pressure compared to other brands. They do this with their Pressure Boosting Technology (see below), which squeezes the stream of water while adding air to it.
The energy management space is really crowded, and the pace of innovation is hard to keep up with. While researching the various options on the market, I saw an opportunity to learn what one company's doing. Vantage, a long-time provider of home automation solutions for luxury homeowners, is located down the road in Orem, Utah, and the company just released a new Energy Management Solution. It's designed to save homeowners upwards of $600 – $1,500 per year, and the Vantage was kind enough to give me a tour of their offices to see how the solution works.
Photographer John B. Carnett just launched a monthly blog called Green Dream on Popular Science. You're probably going to want to follow it. On Green Dream, Carnett's sharing his experience building a dream home using geeky, affordable, green technology. I was drawn in by one of his early articles on the framing / insulation system that he's using to eliminate thermal bridging.
Commentators take pot shots at the bike storage and showers credit available in the LEED Green Building Rating System, but I've always liked it — it's hard to ride a bike to work when there's no bike rack. Certainly bike transportation is good for the environment, and Bike Arc has designed a modular bike park system that I believe will be huge in the next few years. The company incorporated the system into several designs to suit different needs: the Rac Arc is low profile, the Umbrella Arc saves space (see video below), and the Tube Arc and Half Arc versions protect vehicles from the elements.
As the magazine does every year, Sustainable Industries has just published its list of the Top 10 Green Building Products of 2009. Selections are chosen based upon environmental performance, scalability / market impact, innovation, design aesthetic, value, and compatibility with LEED. Download the guide at Sustainability Industries. Here are the top ten: