14 posts categorized "Philip" Feed

March 19, 2010

A New Path for Green Building Codes

Igcc-by-the-book

Last week, the formation of the new International Green Construction Code was announced through the partnership of several organizations already deeply connected with green building efforts. The preliminary version of the model code is now available for public review and comment.

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February 14, 2010

Super Green Design for British Columbia

CIRS-living-wall-rendering

The University of British Columbia's Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) will be a candidate to be regarded as one of the greenest buildings in North America once it is completed.  The building, which is presently under construction in Vancouver, is not only a superb example of sustainability in building design, but its purpose is to foster and accelerate sustainability and to bring together researchers, businesses, and nonprofits to work collaboratively on issues of sustainability. 

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February 05, 2010

Ultra-Thin Super Insulation with Aerogel

Aspen-aerogel-insulation

Despite the fact that we are now living in the 21st century, aerogel insulation seems like a material out of science-fiction. It is the lightest solid known, although by volume it is 99% air. It is breathable, but it doesn't absorb water. It is incredibly strong for its weight. But most importantly, it is a fantastic insulator.

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January 13, 2010

Drainwave Helps Avoid 'Dry Drain' Problems from Water Efficient Fixtures

Drainwave-c

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. 

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December 02, 2009

Chicago Awaits a LEED Aqua Tower

Gang-AQUA

Chicago has a new 82-story tower on its skyline that is due for completion in the Spring of 2010.  But in a city of grids and rectilinear forms, the AQUA tower has a distinctive character with a more fluid appearance coming from the deep projecting balconies which are reminiscent of geologic rock formations.  Designed by Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects, AQUA is also currently the tallest structure designed by a woman-led firm.

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November 30, 2009

A LEED Gold Green Building Laboratory

Urbanretreat-a3c

Ann Arbor, Michigan architectural firm A3C has turned its building into a showcase for a number of green building components, and managed to produce a LEED-CI Gold renovation of the existing two-story building while they were at it.  The firm wanted to have a showcase for a variety of green building options, as well as providing themselves with firsthand experience with a number of different systems.

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November 10, 2009

New Library of LEED Pilot Credits

The USGBC has unveiled a half-dozen new credits for LEED which are being investigated in a pilot program currently underway.  Pilot LEED credits include: Life Cycle Assessment of Building Assemblies and Materials; PBT Source Reduction; Medical and Process Equipment Efficiency; Innovative Ventilation; and Preliminary Integrative Project Planning & Design (2 credits).

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September 17, 2009

Kebonization Process Creates an Alternative to Tropical Hardwoods

Kebony1

The photograph above may not be what you would expect.  The outdoor bench in this detail is not made from an unsustainably harvested tropical hardwood.  The wood itself is actually maple, a widely available species that can be farmed and harvested without ripping up acres of rainforest.  But maple and many other similar woods are too susceptible to decay and rot when used unprotected outdoors.  The usual alternative has been treatment with chemical pressure treatment.  Now, through a method called kebonization, a Norwegian company, Kebony ASA, treats soft woods in a non-toxic process that allows readily available woods to be used for outdoor uses.

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July 01, 2008

Draft LEED 2009 Review and Discussion

USGBC - LEED

As we noted here a few weeks ago, the draft for a new version of U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program was released for public comment and review.  In general, as a LEED Accredited Professional, what I saw in the program looked good.  The changes that are proposed will make improvements to the system.   Below is a discussion of changes we can look forward to in the next generation of LEED. 

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April 22, 2008

Sophisticated Simplicity with Shipping Containers

Skinners Playground

The Skinners Playground project by Phooey Architects of Melbourne, Australia is a project that makes compelling use of shipping containers.  Many container architecture projects do little that breaks out of the strong rectilinear form of the component boxes.  While only four shipping containers were used for Skinners Playground, they are cut and amended in such as way as to make much more of them than simply four box-shaped rooms.  Even if the exteriors had been painted over, it would be immediately obvious that this was built from shipping containers.  But, at the same time, this is a case of the whole being far more than merely a sum of its parts.

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