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Rancho Verde Takes Platinum for Innovative Brownfield Redevelopment

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One of Chicago’s biggest names in landscaping now lays claim to one of the greenest locations in the city.  Christy Webber Landscapes, along with the City of Chicago and GreenWorks, came together to develop an area in a struggling neighborhood.  After decades of abuse as an auto impound, landfill, and iron-works, the polluted site had been declared a brownfield.  Subsequently, in 2003 the City of Chicago proposed an initiative to reclaim the site, and a short three years later, the 12.5 acre piece of land was clean and fully operational.  Called "Rancho Verde," in honor of the mostly Hispanic workforce that makes up the landscaping industry, the former brownfield is now the headquarters for Christy Webber Landscapes.  Rancho Verde features a one-story office building, warehouse, and a shop-yard big enough to hold dozens of trucks that keep Chicago looking healthy all year round. 

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Mag-Wind New Wind Turbine [Video]

[Ed. note - video removed by owner]

Jay Leno’s all about the green tech, I mean, his garage is running on wind and solar, and it powers approximately two-thirds of the place.  So recently, he just put up this video demonstrating a new technology for rooftop wind applications.  The Mag-Wind turbine is made by Enviro Energies and both Jay Leno and Ed Begley Jr. have their own versions on order.  Naturally, Leno was excited to point out that his turbine will be bigger than Begley’s, but in addition to that, you’ll get an idea from the video how interesting the technology actually is.  It’s built using magnetic levitation technology that reduces friction, noise, vibration, and energy loss.  Some other interesting aspects of the Mag-Wind System include:

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ASU Salvages Old Building for New School of Sustainability

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Check out this bright, contemporary renovation of an old, 1960s nursing building.  The renovation was led by the design team of Lord, Aeck & Sargent and Gould Evans Associates; they’re anticipating LEED Silver certification and did it all with a $6 M budget.  Now complete, it will be used for Arizona State University's Global Institute of Sustainability and a newly formed School of Sustainability.  In terms of performance, the Institute is anticipated to save 18.7% on energy and 50.3% on water use compared with its baseline usage — plus, it's been outfitted with six, hard-to-miss, state-of-the-art AeroVironment parapet turbines. 

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