Part of an abandoned, former industrial site in Oakland is now Ironhorse at Central Station, a 99-unit affordable housing development. Owned by Bridge Housing, designed by David Baker + Associates, and built by J.H. Fitzmaurice, the ~$41.4 million project includes one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments for families with incomes ranging from $18,000 to $50,000. Ironhorse is a fascinating display of green, affordable housing that's also solar-powered.
Water efficiency is an important measure in green building everywhere, but in Australia — one of the driest countries in the world — water conservation is more widely practiced and water awareness is generally higher than it is in North America. In addition to pioneering water efficiency, Australians have discovered some problems due to the use of efficient, low-flow fixtures. One is the potential problem of "dry drains," however, a new invention called the Drainwave aims to solve the problem.
Several years ago, Adobe made business news by sharing how their green building initiatives saved the company big money. Its San Jose headquarters facility includes three office towers that have received three LEED Platinum certifications. Over time, the company has reduced indoor water use by 22%, landscape water use by 76%, electricity by 35%, and natural gas by 41%. Now Adobe generates on-site energy with 20 Windspire small wind turbines by Mariah Power.