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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. 

5th STREETpads by Greenpads LLC

5th STREETpads

The husband and wife team of Liz Miranda and Tim Rempel started Greenpads LLC in 2005, and 5th STREETpads is their first project.  Matter of fact, this six-unit multifamily development received a slew of awards, including the 2006 Build It Green Award + 2006 Design Advocates Design Award for Multi-family Development.  5th STREETpads has six, 2-3 floor townhomes that vary in size from 1360-1640 sf.  The development is a great example of comfortable, lower-impact living as a result of building up, not out.  Here are some of the green features:  Borrego solar system that provides up to 85% of each unit’s electricity; hydronic radiant floor heating with floor-to-floor thermostat control; blown-in wet cellulose and bonded logic thermal insulation; SIP panel roof system; low-VOC painting in all the units; FSC-certified Brazilian cherry flooring; large double-glazed, low-E windows and sliding doors for optimal natural lighting; skylights in all the units; green Italian laminate cabinetry; filtered water and Energy Star appliances throughout; and Toto low-flow toilets.  These are incredible homes.  And although some materials seem to have a heavy carbon impact due to shipping and transporting, we’re talking about a solid step in the right direction for the greening of multifamily real estate development. 

Good Links:
++Greenpads LLC
++Rempel Architects

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. 

Read more »

Winds of Change: Bingaman-Reid Renewable Portfolio Standard Energy Amendment

Powerofwind

For those that follow the political realm, you may be aware that the Senate is considering a huge energy bill over the next 24 hours.  Some of the details of this bill were the subject of an opinion article in the LA Times today.  There are pros and cons of the bill affecting all sorts of energy concerns such as renewable fuels, coal-to-liquid technology, and automobile efficiency standards.  Up for consideration is the Bingaman-Reid renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requiring the nation to get 15% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.  An RPS requires electric utilities to include a specific percentage of clean, renewable energy in their generation portfolios, or to purchase renewable energy credits from others.  If you want to help see that the Bingaman-Reid RPS is supported, feel free to use the Power of Wind website to let your Senator know.

S2: The Top Ten Green Skyscrapers (EcoGeek)

Greenscrapers

Every Sunday, Jetson Green features a different green skyscraper, and flat out, I’m amazed at the innovation architects and engineers are putting into these towering eco-phallics.  So, in the spirit of looking at what we can do with modern technology, I thought it would be fun to highlight an article called "Uber-Eco-Towers: The Top Ten Green Skyscrapers," by Jon Schroeder for EcoGeek.  Building on the hype from the recent sustainable skyscraper design conference (link), Jon has a list of what he’s determined to be the top ten green towers.  Here they are from top to bottom:

  1. The Bahrain World Trade Center Towers
  2. The Pearl River Tower
  3. Bank of America Tower – One Bryant Park
  4. The Lighthouse Tower
  5. The CIS Tower
  6. The Hearst Tower
  7. The Burj al-Taqa – Energy Tower
  8. Waugh Thistleton Residential Tower
  9. 340 on the Park
  10. The Urban Cactus

Looks like 7 of the 10 that made Jon’s cut have been featured previously on Jetson Green.  I’ll make sure to write an article on the other 3 buildings detailing their accomplishments.  Nice list EcoGeek…

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



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