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An Example of Green Renovation, the Brownstone

Vanessa Rae, excellent host of the Pulse Videocast, takes us through this video of green builder Blake Holden as he turns a dilapidated Brooklyn brownstone into a vintage green home. While reclaimed wood and materials preserve the look and feel of a classic brownstone, energy–saving features like blue jeans insulation and radiant heating minimize the home’s carbon footprint. Natural building materials prevent toxic indoor air pollution.

O2 Student Village, A Community of M-CHs (F2)

O2 Student Village

This is a pretty popular photo of the O2 student village at the Technical University of Munich.  In addition to being sponsored by O2 Germany, the community of seven micro-compact homes (posted about previously here) is also sponsored by Siemens.  Six students and one professor stay in the homes for an entire school year.  Each home includes a plasma screen, high-speed internet, a bed, and state-of-the-art kitchen and bathroom appliances (although you probably wouldn’t want to powder your nose and cook at the same times as these are only about 76 sf big).

"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.

The Greenest Home in San Francisco – Clipper House by LORAX Development

The Greenest Home in San Francisco - The Clipper House

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. 

Good Links:
++Pushing Boundaries, Advancing a Market [Solar Today]
++520 Clipper in Noe Valley: Smart, Green, Luxe [LORAX - PDF]
++Clipper Street Green Home Facts & Images [LORAX]

Thoughts on The Clean Tech Revolution (Updated)

Thecleantechrevolution So I received from HarperCollins a copy of Ron Pernick + Clint Wilder’s latest book called The Clean Tech Revolution.  I’m a big enthusiast of renewable technology because it has the potential to change the world of real estate and green living.  Preliminarily, let me say that this book is an incredible read.  Seriously.  It’s smart and approachable.  To get an idea of the breadth of the book, here are the chapter subjects:  solar energy, wind power, biofuels and biomaterials, green buildings, personal transportation, smart grid, mobile technologies, water filtration, creating your own Silicon Valley, and clean-tech marketing.  And the book is geared towards individuals, investors, corporations, and governments alike. 

The authors are Clean Edge guys and they know what they’re talking about.  The research put into each topic is unbelievably thorough.  The Clean Tech Revolution is not some chump book by someone that just recently jumped on the green bandwagon (not that there’s anything wrong with that).  The authors talk about the tipping point of green brought about by six C’s–cost, capital, competition, China, consumers, and climate.  These six things have come together to make clean tech something of a revolution that will occur over the next 20, 30, 40 years plus.  It’s pretty exciting.  In each of the chapter categories mentioned above, the authors identify several companies to watch.  For instance, the authors say we should keep an eye on the following companies in the ‘green building’ chapter:  Aspen Aerogels, Clarum Homes, Cree, The Durst Organization, Interface Engineering, Ortech, PanaHome, Rinnai, Turner Construction, Wal-Mart Stores

Update:BusinessWeek published an extensive review over the weekend saying, in part: "But what sets Pernick and Wilder’s book apart is its focus on the business benefits of going green, from money saved by building eco-friendly corporate headquarters and lowering heating and cooling bills, to money earned by startups committed to creating clean technologies. Other books, magazines, and Web sites tend to include clean-tech and green business within a spectrum of other lifestyle, political, environmental, or design topics."

I’m not going to give away too much, but I’m really impressed with this book.  Actually, I’ve got two people in mind that I want to pass a copy to, and they’re not getting mine. 

Arrowhead by SOM in South Quay, London (S2)

SOM Arrowhead

With the weird looking skyscrapers, there’s a business problem of having expensive, unusable space.  Often, the most pragmatic, profitable shape is the plain old rectangle.  So for the sake of staying grounded in reality, today I’m going back to the boxy, modern-style skyscraper.  Above is Arrowhead, a 525,000 sf office building under construction in South Quay, London (UK) by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.  The 26-story building is expecting an "excellent" rating under BREEAM, the environmental building assessment tool used in the UK.  Among other green features, Arrowhead will have a green roof on the top and a mid-level rooftop terrace.  The building also has a glass climate wall with external metal shading to retain heat gain in the winter and permit cooling in the summer. 

Good Links:
++Arrowhead, London, United Kingdom [SOM]
++SOM Gets Green Light for Office Development in Millennium Quarter [WAN]

SOM Arrowhead Lobby

::"S2" is short for "Skyscraper Sunday," a weekly article on green skyscrapers posted every Sunday::

EcoUrban's LEED Platinum Home + Missouri's Newest Modular Developer [Updated]

Ecourban


Being Green Can Be Easy.  EcoUrban Homes Proves It.  The first of several up and coming EcoUrban homes was recently completed, and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay was on location to celebrate the grand opening.  It just so happens that this home is probably one of the greenest homes in Missouri — it has obtained LEED Platinum rating.  Located at 3140 Pennsylvania Avenue in St. Louis, this 3-bedroom, 2-bath, modular home has a bamboo stairs, fiber cement board siding, double-pane low-e windows, R-40 Icynene insulation in ceilings and floors, built-in security system and recycling center, solid wheat board interior doors, ultra-low VOC paints, dual-flush high-efficiency toilets, and Energy Star lighting and appliances, to name a few green amenities. 

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