62 posts categorized "Water Savings" Feed

November 13, 2007

Half-Moon Outfitters Takes Platinum in Green Rehab

Halfmoon

It's nice to hear about companies that stretch just to get the LEED Platinum certification, especially when it's easier to go 'certified' and brandish that certification like it's a shiny, new, plug-in hybrid.  Half-Moon Outfitters received the Platinum certification in the middle of the summer for their 9,600 sf distribution center in North Charleston, South Carolina.  They went for Platinum under the LEED-NC 2.2 system, and more importantly, they didn't skimp in the energy and atmosphere category, opting instead to rack up ten points.  The distribution center was formerly an old Piggly Wiggly store, but it's been through what could be the greenest renovation in the country.  It's now a super green, corporate office and distribution center. 

Here's what they did:  First, they installed two 1550 gallon storage tanks, which combined with the water efficient fixtures and native landscaping, helped them use about 78% less domestic potable water than a conventional building.  Second, they added insulation throughout the building and installed both a 4,900-watt photovoltaic system and 19 SEER efficient Lennox heat pump system.  Third, they switched to energy-efficient fluorescent lamps and found ways to benefit from the building's east-west orientation (passive and active solar strategies).  Nice work!

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November 12, 2007

Hood River Modern Home, Compact and Green

Mounthoodmodern

I was completely intrigued by this article in the New York Times about two architects' vacation getaway, which just so happens to be green built.  And before everyone flips out saying "second homes aren't green," I'm going to preempt that by not getting into it.  The house itself is an example of good design, small living, and green construction.  The 935 sf modern home has a living roof, FSC-certified tigerwood flooring with vegetable wax finish, water-efficient toilet, on-demand water heater, and solar tube in the bathroom, etc. 

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November 09, 2007

Top-10 Green Building Products 2007 [BuildingGreen]

SunEye from Solmetric

Well, it's that time again and BuildingGreen, a company that also publishes the GreenSpec Directory, today announced their list of Top-10 Green Building Products.  It's not so much that these products are better than everything else on the market, although they may be better, it's that they're cool additions to the GreenSpec Directory over the last year or so.  Most of the following ten products have multiple environmental attributes, but here's a slim breakdown:  4 save energy, 2 save water, 3 are made of green materials, 1 helps situate solar power, and 2 avoid hazardous manufacturing/disposal of materials.  Without further ado:

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November 08, 2007

Urban Rio, Panama's First Affordable Green Container Project

Urban Rio

UPDATE 3/16/09 - Urban Core International has gone dark.  The website was shut down.  If you have any concerns, feel free to contact us

Aaron Newman, founder and managing partner of Urban Core International, sent me the details of his latest project, Urban Rio.  Specifically, Urban Rio is a product of Urban Core's prefab and container division called Envision Prefab.  It's easy on the eyes, to say the least, and just so happens to be the first sustainable, affordable, container project in Panama. 

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November 01, 2007

mkLoft, Solar-ready Green Townhouse

Mkloft

Today, Michelle Kaufmann Designs officially announced their newest home, the mkLoft.  MkLoft is a townhouse loft home with 2 bedrooms, 1 loft, and 2 bathrooms, all wrapped up in a modern package.  The home has double-height living space, comes solar-ready, and has all the wonderful, green materials and interior details that come standard in MKD homes:  high-performance mechanical systems, low-flow plumbing fixtures, fsc-certified cabinetry, etc. 

One of the cool things about mkLoft is its scalability.  Units can be 2-story or 3-story, live/work or residential, and the lower level can be parking, retail, or studio.  You name it.  You can have one or one hundred units, depending on your project needs.  Developers can rely on the expertise of MKD for predictability in time and cost.  mkLoft prices out at $130 - $140 psf, and you're in the lower price range if the project calls for +40 units.  mkLoft is the ultimate multifamily solution for developers wanting to go green.

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October 25, 2007

Agro-Housing Becoming an Option for China

Agrohousing

In China, there's a massive exodus from the rural to urban areas, but it's controlled because the country doesn't have enough housing for everyone that wants to live in a city.  At the same time, urbanization accentuates the air and soil pollution problems.  So, Knafo Klimor Architects proposed an agro-housing project that blends agriculture and high-rise housing in one structure.  This agro-housing project brings the food-supply directly to the building, and to the extent that residents can realize the benefits of urban farming, there is a decreased reliance on transportation for agricultural products (shopping and delivery to stores).  Plus, with the building's integrated water capture systems, the project has the potential to reduce water consumption and runoff.  Residents could make money off the crops, too. 

This agro-housing project is going to be built in Wuhan, China.  As you can see from the renderings, the building has quite the elaborate labyrinth to control water, air, and heat.  Structurally, it will be made with SIPs and a majority of the materials will come from steel, aluminum, and terracotta -- all materials that can be recycled at the end of the building's life.  Via Dwell

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October 17, 2007

Sidwell Friends School, Anatomy of a Green School

Sidwell Friends School

The Sidwell Friends School is the first LEED Platinum-rated K-12 school in the world, but what's incredible is the story behind it.  First, it's a renovation of a fifty year old facility.  Second, the renovation involved the students, so everyone was able to participate and learn about the benefits of a green building.  Matter of fact, about sixteen 5th - 8th graders studied the building, wrote about its benefits, and recorded an audio feature explaining each green feature.  Feel free to take the green building tour to learn about low-VOC materials, CO2 monitoring, natural light, native plants, the green roof and biology pond, photovoltaic panels, a heat recovery wheel, vertical solar fins, and the settling tank, etc.  This is quite the impressive interactive visual/audio tour.  Seriously, great work. 

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October 09, 2007

Hammarby Sjöstad, A Legitimate Eco-City

Sweden Stockholm Hammarby

There's a lot of talk about eco-cities and in full disclosure, we've mentioned at least two of them (Dongtan + Masdar).  But an unassuming Swedish suburb, known as Hammarby Sjöstad, has received high praises as a sustainable community.  In Hammarby Sjöstad, houses aim to use half the energy and water than normal Swedish properties.  All the homes are built to sustainable standards and will inhabit roughly 25,000 people by 2015 (11,000 units).  Interestingly, in this community, families live in apartments, prefabrication is the norm rather than the exception, and buildings are going up at an unusually quick pace.  Also, rather than using a natural, pristine greenfield site for development, the community is built on a former industrial and harbor brownfield site.  Suburb of the future?

The model, or eco-cycle model, used to handle energy, waste, and water is known as the Hammarby Model (pdf - image below).  This models shows how sewage processing and energy systems interact and how refuse is handled.  It also illustrates the added-values society gains from modern sewage and waste processing systems.  To be honest, it seems quite complicated, but the results are undeniable.  What's more, the public transportation system has helped decrease car use by 10% -- early planning and integration prevented residents from getting used to cars.  We're talking about a city that considers every aspect of life and pushes the envelope on sustainable development. 

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REI Boulder Continues Green Building Tradition

REI Boulder

Over the weekend, REI opened the doors on a brand-spanking new, LEED-CI Silver certified, green retail store in Boulder, Colorado.  Designed by Gensler, this store is an extension of REI's commitment to green building.  REI's director of store development, Dean Iwata, said, "REI's Boulder store builds on our more than 10 years of green building experience, and helps us test concepts that will pave the way for how our stores are built in the future, including design, material selections and use of technology."  I couldn't be happier for the company -- I think I've found a justification to splurge $165 on a new North Face Denali jacket.  Vote with your money, right?!

The store has tons of green technology, such as specially-designed Solatubes (which save major deniro and energy).  Also, using efficient, low-flow fixtures, the store uses 30% less water than federal code mandates.  70 percent of the store's hot water is heated through solar energy.  REI Boulder is the first retail integration of Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) and uses recycled, renewable, and low-VOC materials throughout.  Plus, as many responsible builders do, REI diverted 75% of construction waste from the local landfills by using it in other areas of the store or recycling it. 

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September 29, 2007

UMB Bank Colorado, Denver's Second Green Roof Building [Updated]

UMB Stapleton

UMB Bank Colorado, a chartered bank of UMB Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: UMBF), is getting ready to unveil their new “green” banking center at Stapleton, which opens to the public on Monday, October 1. The UMB Bank at Stapleton is Denver’s second building to incorporate a grass roof into the structural design. The banking center is located at 3515 Quebec Street in Quebec Square at Stapleton.  Speaking of the building's green roof, Mariner Kemper, chairman and CEO of UMB Bank Colorado, said, “Amidst growing concerns over the health of the environment and the rising cost of natural resources, there is a national trend to develop ‘green’ buildings ... green buildings are designed to reduce the impact on the environment by conserving resources such as water and energy while blending with the features of the natural landscape. Our new banking center in Stapleton further supports UMB’s commitment to a cleaner, safer, and sustainable environment.” 

NOTE: I wasn't able to find an actual picture of the building, but I know we have some JG readers in Denver on the scene.  Feel free to email me live pictures if you have them (jetsongreen at yahoo dot com).

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