Overture Development Group has what I think is the best designed website for a real estate group that I’ve ever seen. It’s incredible looking. They’re 100% confident that green buildings are the future of real estate, too. Financial benefits? Check. Occupancy benefits? Check. Marketing and messaging appeal? Check. Good for the environment? Check. The Conservatory is in the final stages of receiving permitting approval from Osceola County, and once that’s squared away, we’re looking at completion in mid-2008 or so. When finished, The Conservatory at Celebration Place will have 178,000 sf of Class A+ office condominium space spread through six floors. And from the renderings, it looks like there will be a healthy dose of green roofing and solar panels, too.
Nanosolar wants to create paper-thin, flexible solar panels that can be made at 1/3 the cost of heavy, silicon-made solar panels. It’s important to keep an eye on tech like this because Nanosolar is currently building the largest solar panel manufacturing plant in the U.S. If successful, this stuff is going to be on every building and structure starting in 2008. It’s going to change the way the game is played in a major way.
To give you an idea of how compelling, how enormous this is, check this: the Google founders are investing in Nanosolar, an IBM manufacturing executive just joined Nanosolar, and the U.S. Department of Energy just awarded them $20 million.
Based on the old "hippy" classic VW Westfalia camper, Alexandre Verdier has completely redesigned the Westfalia into a modern, green camper with major appeal. This camper is powered by a 200 hp hybrid (fuel or diesel) + electric engine. Some other features include solar panels on the camper roof (40 watt – 12 volt), GPS navigation, wireless internet, and a sink with 4 spots for cooking. Priced at $69,000, I’m thinking there’s market for something like this. Don’t you? Video + images below; via Modern Flat.
I’ve been sitting on details of the newest green development in Philly and I just can’t hold it any longer. Actually, CEO Steven Nebel shot me an email and said it was okay to use the renderings. The development is called High Street Development, and it’s expected to be a net zero energy, mixed use community. High Street Development will have modern residential units ranging in size from 1000 to 2100 sf. Recently, the project was presented to the community and enthusiastically received, which I think is due to the project’s innate approachability and sustainability. Let me explain that.
The developer, home(scale), has three primary goals in mind with this project: (1) offer a project with the sophistication of something like the Hearst Building in NYC, (2) make it at a price point that is affordable to an average middle-class consumer, and (3) provide high-class, superior amenities that look incredible. To do this, you have to be smart and resourceful–it takes serious effort and experience to create an approachable product without all the cost overruns. Currently, home(scale) is working with Silpa Inc., an environmental consultancy, to provide the best systems, whether that’s shared geothermal and solar systems with fully automated controls, or otherwise. There’s also going to be a car sharing program for residents. But these are just a few of the details being finalized. Expect to see High Street Development completed sometime late winter or spring 2008. More images below.
Our built environment should integrate clean tech and renewable energy generation of all forms and this is an example of that concept. Michael Jantzen proposed a design for California State University at Fullerton that would turn the everyday gathering pavilion into a discussion on sustainability. The pavilion could serve as the gathering place for up to 300 people. From the images, notice the wind turbine and the solar panels on the roof. Towering into the air at 150 feet tall, any energy harvested from the turbine and solar panels could be used by the university. Inside, there’s a cylindrical digital projection display screen, roof-mounted fogging nozzles to cool the interior, and benches that can be stored inside the floor when not in use. I think it’s an excellent idea, especially because students always want a place to gather and hang. Why not here? Via WAN + HumanShelter.org.
I was excited to receive a copy of The Green Book in the mail from Crown Publishing the other day. Actually, my wife took it over before me, so I had to wait for her to finish. I’ve been interested in reading it ever since I saw that Will Ferrell had a part in there about his electric car. I wasn’t disappointed either. This book is excellent. The celebrity asides really make the book shine I think. I can just hear them talking as I’m reading it. I’ve taken the liberty of including Owen Wilson’s commentary below–it’s a little long, but the guy just kills me. He’s so casual and chilled out, it’s hard not to appreciate what he’s saying. I mean, he’s absolutely dead on. Go get a copy at the Jetson Green Sustainability Store, inside you’ll find tons of discourse on the small and big things we can do (with research references if you have more questions).
"I started driving a Prius a few years ago, and I was surprised to find myself a little defensive about it. ‘You know, aside from the whole environmental thing," I’d say, almost dismissively, "it’s actually a pretty cool car to drive.’ It was like I was halfway apologetic because I didn’t want to be aligned with any group, or movement. Sort of like, ‘Hey, just because I’m driving a hybrid doesn’t mean I’m turning into Ed Begley Jr.’ But you know people say marijuana is a gateway drug? That’s sorta what buying a Prius was for me…in terms of becoming environmentally sensitive. Because before too long, I stopped wondering if driving it made me some kind of a preachy do-gooder and I actually started looking for other ways to ‘go green."