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Platinum BASF Near-Zero Energy Home – Paterson, NJ

BASF Near-Zero Energy Home

That’s right, Platinum.  LEED-H Platinum, that is.  The Near-Zero Energy Home in Paterson, NJ, is quite the achievement.  I first saw a picture of it in BusinessWeek, if I recall correctly.  The home’s website at www.betterhomebetterplanet.com has a pretty good bank of construction and finished photos, as well as general info relating to the construction of a high-performance home.  An interesting note about the Near-Zero Energy Home is that it will serve as a template for a project to build over 3,000 affordable housing units in Paterson. 

Green Features:
Green building requires a holistic approach, where the aggregation of several energy efficient, environmentally conscious, and resource efficient pieces come together to create a home of high-performance.  Here, there are three main systems (building envelope, solar power, and mechanical HVAC) that interact to create a home that’s 80% more efficient than your typical abode.  Click here for a visualization of how each system works.  The Near-Zero Energy Home has solar panels, solar water heating systems, cool metal roofing, Energy Star windows, insulated concrete forms (ICFs), structural insulated panels (SIPs), an Amana air conditioning system, and more…

BASF + China + McDonough?
Another interesting note relates to the future cooperation of Eco-tect William McDonough and BASF.  Over the next 12 years, McDonough is charged with building seven cradle-to-cradle cities in China, housing +400 million people.  Many of the technologies used in this Near-Zero Energy Home will also be used to help China achieve 65% reductions of energy use by 2020.  Must be good. 

BASF Kitchen BASF Living Room

My Green Options: Toilets, Zero Energy Homes, Financially Smart Green Building + More

Greenoptions

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. 

1926 Hyde Park Home's Green Renovation Televised in This Old House

1926_austin_bungalow

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

Steel Blue Lyptus Rainwater Reclamation

United Technologies Ad: First Zero Net Energy Building is Coming

Utc_ad

I just thought I would blog about this real quick because it caught my attention in the latest edition of BusinessWeek.  There was a full page ad saying, "Imagine that.  You can do well in the world without hurting it."  Pictured in the ad is a pretty neat looking building (above), which is interactive at www.utc.com/curious.  Go give it a look…United Technologies’ (NYSE: UTX) green building page has information on electrochromic glazing, 100% recycled structural steel, vertical axis wind power turbines, photovoltaic solar power arrays, zero VOC paints, green roofs with an integrated reclamation systems, conserving energy, fuel cell power plants, and combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP) systems.  Maybe someone should actually build the structure that’s in this rendering. 

Platinum USGBC, Steelcase's IAQ, Energy Star Hits NM + CoStar Group (WIR)

Week in Review
  1. USGBC’s New D.C. Headquarters Go Platinum – The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) can now hold itself out as an example of what green building is all about. The USGBC has a 22,000 square-foot office suite in the Gold Certified Service Employees International Union Building (LEED-NC). What’s incredible is that the USGBC’s office suite just obtained LEED Platinum for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI). So the building is gold on the outside and platinum on the inside.
  2. Steelcase Products Awarded Indoor Advantage Certifications for Low Emissions – Steelcase Inc. (NYSE: SCS), a global office environments manufacturer, today announced that over 20 of its product lines have received Indoor Advantage(TM) certifications from Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), an independent third-party certifier.
  3. EPA Gives Six NM Buildings Energy Star Ratings – Six buildings in New Mexico have earned an Energy Star rating from the EPA for cutting their energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions.  The buildings encompass more than 1.9 million square feet and saved an estimated $350,000 annually in lower energy bills. They also prevented more than 5 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions, equal to the emissions of more than 400 vehicles.
  4. CoStar Group Promotes Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Green Buildings by Adding Energy Star Rating to Commercial Properties in its Database – CoStar Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSGP) announced that it will begin adding the ENERGY STAR rating–the most recognized national metric for evaluating building energy efficiency–to properties in its massive online database, which currently contains more than 2 million researched and verified commercial properties of all classes and types.

Video: Construction 2.0 + CleverHomes

[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…



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