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Sunday, May 9, 2010 at 5:15 am
Mark Miller Toyota is the first car dealership in Utah, and only the third in the nation, to receive LEED-Gold certification, according to a recent article.
Below, a video tour shows off some of the dealership’s sustainable numerous sustainable features.
The facility, located in downtown Salt Lake City, includes sun-tracking skylights to optimize natural daylight use and lessen the need for artificial lighting; a cool-roof system to lower the overall heat that comes off of large buildings; self-sustaining, drought-resistant landscaping; low-flow bathroom faucets and toilets, as well as waterless urinals and paperless hand dryers; and a cistern system to collect and distribute rainwater and air conditioning condensation (used for irrigation and for the washing of cars).
Five other Toyota dealerships around the country have either received or are in the process of being reviewed for LEED certification, according to the article. Toyota expects to have 100...
Sunday, May 9, 2010 at 5:03 am
A new home in California’s Marin County, north of San Francisco, recently became the first house in that jurisdiction to achieve a Platinum rating under the auspices of LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC), according to a recent San Francisco Chronicle blog post.
Located in the suburb of Mill Valley, the Hillside House, as the property is known, was designed by owner/architect Scott Lee, who is also the owner of the property. "My wife and I are committed to going green and doing the right thing, in terms of the building design, saving resources, and setting an example for our colleagues and our children,” Lee said in the article. Scott is a partner in the San Francisco architectural practice SB Architects.
Set into a steep hillside that had been previously developed, the home is to be featured on the upcoming Marin Living Home Tours, sponsored by the San Francisco chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
The 3-bedroom, 3.5 bathroom home incorporates a wide...
Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 7:17 am
The new addition to the Art Institute of Chicago recently earned a Silver certification from the USGBC, according to a recent article.
The 264,000 square foot addition, opened last year, was designed by the renowned Renzo Piano Building Workshop.
"We are honored to be recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council," said James Cuno, President and Eloise W. Martin Director of the Art Institute of Chicago, in the article. "Sustainable building in museum design is an extremely challenging prospect, given the unique mission that museums have to preserve and display one-of-a-kind works of art in very specific conditions. We were very fortunate to have worked with [Piano] to successfully balance the twin priorities of building a sustainable museum and creating the safest conditions for works of art. And we are also very grateful to the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation and Exelon Corporation, the Green Architecture Partners of the Modern Wing."
The green design...
Wednesday, May 5, 2010 at 7:45 am
The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) recently announced the launch dates for new LEED AP specialty exams in Canada. A CaGBC news release details the exam release dates, which will be available beginning this coming June.
Credentials are available to a range of building professionals, helping candidates select a credential that is most relevant to their line of work. Passing the exam adds a candidate’s name to the roster of more than 10,000 Canadians that achieved the original LEED credential.
Launch dates for the specialty exams are as follows:
- LEED AP ND (Neighborhood Development): June 11, 2010
- LEED AP BD+C (Building Design + Construction): September 1, 2010
- LEED AP Homes: September 9, 2010
- LEED AP O+M (Operations + Maintenance): September 9,...
Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 8:15 am
The new Ritz-Carlton Charlotte recently received a Gold rating per the guidelines of LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC), according to a recent article. The new hotel is the first in the Ritz-Carlton group to earn the designation. The 146-room hotel opened in October 2009, and earned its Gold certification last month. In two years, the hotel will apply for ongoing certification under the auspices of LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EBOM), according to the article.
The hotel features a number of green services and accoutrements that qualify it for the Gold certification. For example, the 18-story hotel is topped by a green roof, featuring 18,000 sedum plants, a chef’s herb garden, and two new beehives that will assist in pollination while providing up to 70 pounds of raw honey per hive for the hotel.
Other LEED-worthy features include a water purification system that will save approximately 605 million BTUs of electricity and 104 barrels of oil per year. As a side benefit,...
Monday, May 3, 2010 at 9:37 am
A coalition of business leaders in the solar industry is offering President Obama a free solar photovoltaic array for the roof of the White House, according to a USA Today article. Part business opportunity and part advertising campaign, their Globama campaign proposes a system that would reduce the White House electric bill by 81 percent, according to the Globama website.
The placement of solar panels on the White House roof would not actually be a White House first: the President’s official residence has had solar panels before. Former President Jimmy Carter installed a 32-panel system on the House’s roof in 1979, but the array was removed by President Ronald Reagan, who had allowed Carter’s solar tax credits to expire in 1985.
The companies that are participating in the Globama campaign are led by Sungevity, a California company who installs residential solar photovoltaic systems exclusively. The company points out that the installation of solar panels on the...
Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 5:03 am
According to a recent article, the new Holy Wisdom Monastery outside Madison, Wisconsin recently scored the highest amount of points ever recorded on a LEED project. The building’s 63 points, out of a total of 69 possible, earned it a Platinum rating under the auspices of LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC).
The monastery, run by three Benedictine sisters, reflects the core mission of the order: caring for the Earth. "People who know us see it as falling out of our mission. They see it as something they would expect from us," Sister Mary David Walgenbach said in the article. The facility formally opened last August.
The new 30,000 square foot facility sits on 130 acres of land near Madison, on property formerly occupied by a Catholic girls’ high school. A whopping 99.75 percent of that building’s materials were either reused or recycled in the construction of the monastery. The building is “right-sized,” in that it is half as large as its...
Friday, April 30, 2010 at 11:23 am
A new skyscraper in Mexico City that will become Latin America’s tallest building upon completion will also be on track to earn LEED-Platinum certification under the auspices of LEED for Core and Shell (LEED-CS), according to a recent article.
The Torre Reforma, a 244-meter tall, wedge-shaped tower, will feature green design moves from top to bottom. While a 16-story robotic parking garage will hold over 1,000 vehicles efficiently in the tower’s sub-basements, the siting of the building close to Mexico City’s public transportation lines will set a precedent for increased density in the Mexican capital, according to the article. The tower’s slender wedge shape will help contribute to energy efficiency by maximizing natural light presentation into the building’s interior spaces.
Among the building’s most visible sustainable features is the southern façade of the tower, which will be clad in solar photovoltaic panels. Meanwhile, windows in the...
Friday, April 30, 2010 at 8:20 am
A federal program is helping the state of Maryland triple the amount of solar energy it produces, by paying for solar installations on 32 government buildings, according to a recent article.
The program, Project Sunburst, funds solar installations for 21 different government agencies at public building sites in the state. The installations, provided by monies allocated through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), pay $1,000 for each kilowatt of solar power produced at the government buildings, which include airports and public schools.
Project Sunburst, administered by the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), is designed to maximize available incentives and limit upfront costs for public buildings that wish to utilize solar energy.
“Maryland continues to lead by example through clean energy programs and incentives for all sectors, and Project Sunburst is yet another tangible step towards the realization of our Renewable Portfolio Standard goal of 20 percent...
Friday, April 30, 2010 at 7:58 am
A new design center for Intel in the Israeli city of Haifa recently earned a Gold rating within the rubric of LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC), according to a recent article. The Intel Design Center 9 (IDC 9) becomes the first building in Israel to receive a LEED certification for sustainable construction.
Green features at IDC 9 include highly efficient lighting and air-conditioning systems, as well as an automatic control system that regulates the flow of natural light into the building. A green roof atop the building helps improve the facility’s thermal insulation and prevent it from retaining excessive heat, while an automatic system for measuring CO2 levels in the office produces improved indoor air quality.
The building also captures and recycles condensate water from the air conditioning system, for use in irrigating the building’s landscaping. It also harvests waste heat generated by the air conditioners and data center computers for use in heating the...
Friday, April 23, 2010 at 9:00 am
The new sanctuary of Plano United Methodist Church, in Plano, Texas, will become the first church building in Texas to be LEED-certified, according to a recent article. It joins 11 other church buildings nationwide to have been awarded the LEED designation.
In the article, Reverend Don Underwood cites a higher calling to his congregation’s actions: "It's clear that creation itself is a gift from God….We think it's important to be good stewards of all the resources God has given us."
According to the article, the $15 million, 1,200-seat sanctuary will cost less than 1 percent more than it would have without the sustainable measures, and those extra expenses should be recouped with energy savings within two years.
Green features in Plano United’s sanctuary include low-flow toilets and sinks, as well as waterless urinals in the restrooms. Together, these reduce water usage by 42 percent compared to conventional fixtures. High-efficiency insulation,...
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at 8:53 am
According to a recent article, the Sweetwater Union High School district, in the San Diego suburb of Chula Vista, is planning nine concurrent building projects, all designed to conform to LEED-EB Gold standards. In addition, the school district has planned a replacement for its aging Montgomery Middle School that is expected to achieve LEED-NC Platinum certification when complete.
The $22 million Montgomery Middle School project will involve demolishing existing buildings and constructing a 2-story, 16-classroom, 45,2000 square foot building, with space for a library, counseling center, and cafeteria. The new building is expected to exceed state energy efficiency standards by nearly 40 percent. Sustainable features of the new facility will include a rooftop solar photovoltaic system, designed to provide 80 percent of the facility’s electrical needs. Additionally, the building will include a thermal displacement ventilation system, that will push conditioned air...
Monday, April 19, 2010 at 8:46 am
Officials at the College of Marin, located north of San Francisco, recently learned that the newly renovated Irwin P. Diamond Physical Education Center earned LEED-EB Gold certification, according to a college press release.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment for all involved in our modernization efforts and a great testament to the leadership and vision of our Board of Trustees who made green building a high priority,” said college Superintendent/President Dr. Frances L. White.
The center earned 47 total LEED credits, for features including light pollution reduction, water efficient landscaping; integration of solar power; water use reduction; construction waste management (resulting in the diversion of 3,579 tons of construction waste from landfills during the construction process); and use of recycled materials in the building’s construction. Additionally, the building earned Innovation in Design credit for instituting a comprehensive transportation management...
Sunday, April 18, 2010 at 5:23 am
Ten years of planning to revitalize the downtown of Oberlin, Ohio will soon result in the opening of one of the first LEED for Neighborhood Development projects in the state, according to a recent Inhabitat post.
Sustainable Community Associates’ $15 million project, located on a reclaimed brownfield, will open in a couple of months. The development consists of three mixed-use buildings that together form a courtyard and commercial block. Retail spaces connect the street to the interior commons space, and underground parking enhances density and preserves open space, the article said. Above the ground floor, a mix of low-income housing, loft spaces, live/work spaces, and condominiums will help ensure a mixed and vibrant community.
Sustainable Community Associates was formed by three alumni of Oberlin College, the liberal arts college that calls the northern Ohio town home.
Naomi Sabel, one of the three developers, states her aspirations for the project in the Inhabitat post:...
Sunday, April 18, 2010 at 4:57 am
Travelers passing through Boston Logan International Airport may not realize that they are using one of the country’s most energy-efficient airports, according to a recent article.
Logan Airport now utilizes a 200 kW solar energy system, comprised of 1,000 solar panels, which are expected to save 3,500 barrels of oil per year. This is equivalent to five percent of the total energy use of the Terminal B Garage, where the panels can be found installed atop structural steel “trees.”
Terminal B’s garage is also the first airport garage in the country to be list by LED bulbs, the article notes. The facility’s ongoing sustainable transformation can also be seen elsewhere: Logan is already equipped with 20 wind turbines that are propelled by the facility’s up-drafted air.
The energy upgrades are part of more than $1 billion of spending currently underway at the airport. Massport, the airport’s operating authority, has allocated funding toward...
Friday, April 16, 2010 at 6:55 am
A 20-story building being planned for downtown Oakland, California was recently awarded LEED-Platinum pre-certification, according to a recent Mother Nature News article. The owners of the site, SKS Investments, are waiting to sign a lease with an anchor tenant before beginning construction, the article said.
Below, a video explores the building’s green features.
The 310,000 square foot building, called 1100 Broadway, will rise in a spot adjacent to another 37,000 square foot building. That structure, the Key System Building, was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Its restoration is included in the scope of the building project.
The building’s green features will include a photovoltaic solar array, a high-performance glass façade to minimize cooling costs, daylight harvesting, a raised-floor HVAC system, a green roof, and a rainwater collection, filtration, and reuse system. The site is adjacent to the 12th Street BART station as well as several bus...
Friday, April 16, 2010 at 6:37 am
The new University Services Center at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) has earned a Platinum designation from the USGBC, making it only the second facility at a college or university in New York State to earn such a high level of certification. The University Services Center also becomes the first building in Monroe County to earn the award, according to a RIT press release about the building.
Below, a video explores the building’s green features.
The three-story, 54,000 square foot building opened in summer of 2009 and serves as the administrative hub for numerous support services for the institution. Its centerpiece is the circular, glass-enclosed Student Innovation Center, where workshops, seminars, innovation courses, competitions, and pilot projects are housed.
Altogether, the building features a nearly 50 percent reduction in energy use compared to a conventionally constructed structure, as well as a 43 percent reduction in water usage. 35 percent of the...
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 at 9:46 am
A new home in Ann Arbor, Michigan leverages green building materials and walkable surroundings to achieve Platinum certification under the auspices of LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC).
The house on Spring Street incorporates geothermal heating, high-efficiency insulation in the walls and roof, low-flow fixtures in the restrooms, locally sourced building materials, low and no-VOC finishes, extensive daylighting and enhanced ventilation. In addition, the home’s central location in the city affords its owners an enviable, walkable lifestyle.
Below, a video about the project explores the home's green attributes.
--- Chris Timmerman Contributing Writer Green Education Services...
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 at 9:28 am
International real estate firm Hines recently announced that its portfolio of properties in the USGBC’s LEED program now exceeds 100 million square feet, representing nearly 200 projects. This total includes projects owned and developed by Hines as well as those that are managed by the Houston-based company.
Of the 100 million square feet, 25 million square feet have been LEED-certified, while 10 million square feet have achieved LEED pre-certification. Another 65 million square feet have been registered with the USGBC and anticipate LEED certification within the next three to 36 months. Of all Hines projects, over 65 percent have achieved a Gold certification, according to an article about the milestone.
Hines’ LEED-certified and pre-certified properties can be found in numerous metro areas across the country, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco, Stamford, Toledo, and Washington DC. The...
Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 9:54 am
A recent National Geographic video highlights the Jeppesens, a family of seven in Denmark that recently installed a wind turbine to produce all the electricity the family needs. What electricity they don’t use from their turbine can be sold to neighboring families.
--- Chris Timmerman Contributing Writer Green Education Services...
Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 9:41 am
Below, a video discusses the sustainable alterations and additions that enabled global pharmaceutical corporation Johnson & Johnson to garner a LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) Gold certification for its headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Modifications to the building include a solar array made up of more than 850 panels, as well as expanded in-house recycling programs, and the installation of high-efficiency HVAC systems.
--- Chris Timmerman Contributing Writer Green Education Services...
Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 8:49 am
Registration is now open for the USGBC’s Natural Talent Design Competition, which provides applied learning experience in the principles of integrated design, sustainability, and innovation. Participants compete in local competitions, and the top winner of each moves on to compete for a national award at the USGBC’s annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo. Rewards for winning include green building scholarships, as well as travel and registration to Greenbuild, where finalists’ entries are displayed and final judging takes place.
The 2010 Natural Design Competition is focused on the rebuilding of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Competitors will be divided into student and young professional groups and will design a LEED for Homes project that is priced affordably and workable for elderly occupants. Up to four designs will be selected from local competition finalists to be showcased at Greenbuild, and for the first time the designers...
Monday, April 5, 2010 at 9:45 am
In Atlanta, the Emory Conference Center Hotel’s (ECCH) recent addition recently received a Silver rating from the U.S. Green Building Council, according to a recent article about the project. The ECCH project brings the total number of LEED buildings on the Emory University campus to 13.
The five-story addition scored points with the LEED rating system for its proximity to alternative transportation, and the recycling and reuse of building materials and resources. The addition includes a six-lane private bowling alley with a cork floor; 127 guest rooms; and additional meeting space.
“LEED certified buildings are an important element of Emory’s overall sustainability vision and efforts,” Vice President of Campus Services Robert Hascall wrote in an e-mail to the Emory Wheel, the university’s student newspaper, according to the article. He added that all future buildings will be LEED certified at the silver level as a minimum.
Read earlier coverage about a...
Monday, April 5, 2010 at 8:59 am
The first Platinum-certified shopping center in the country recently opened for business in Springfield, Missouri. The Green Circle Shopping Center attained its superlative status under the auspices of LEED for Core and Shell (LEED-CS) in February, according to a recent article about the project.
Designed by Kansas City, Missouri design firm Hufft Projects, the $3 million, 23,000 square foot Green Circle Shopping Center development utilizes recycled materials, porous paving surfaces, daylight harvesting, composite lumber, high-efficiency heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC), photovoltaic solar cells, a green roof, and geothermal energy in its design. In addition, the location of the building on the site was chosen to preserve as many trees and as much green space as possible.
A commitment to sustainability continues inside the retail spaces: one of the retail operations occupying space at the shopping center is currently undergoing review for certification under the...
Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 7:03 am
The 360 State Street apartment complex in New Haven recently became the first residential project in Connecticut to earn a Platinum designation, according to a recent article.
The $180 million, 700,000 square foot project consists of a 32-story mixed-use tower on a long-underutilized site in New Haven’s central business district. Featuring 500 apartments, 16,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, a grocery store, parking garage, and early childhood education center, the building is the first new major residential construction project in downtown New Haven in more than 20 years. Most recently, the site was occupied by a partially paved parking lot, though originally the site was home to the former Shartenberg department store.
Green design features abound in the complex, from recycled stone countertops, Energy Star appliances, and programmable thermostats in each unit to a pool heated via fuel cell and elevators that harvest their own energy. Altogether, the...
Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 11:05 am
The University of Notre Dame’s new Geddes Hall facility recently received a Gold certification under the LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC) rating system, according to a recent University news release.
The 65,000 square foot building, home to the Notre Dame Center for Social Concerns and the Institute for Church Life, received all 42 credits originally sought by the building’s project team. The building opened in August, 2009.
The building’s design includes a number of sustainable features, including a variety of materials made from either rapidly renewable materials and/or recycled content. This includes structural steel, insulation, bamboo and cork flooring, carpeting, ceiling tiles, concrete, and gypsum drywall. 97 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills, including the waste from the demolition of the site’s former occupant, the original, 7,000 square foot Center for Social Concerns.
Meanwhile, the use of low-flow plumbing fixtures...
Sunday, March 28, 2010 at 11:31 am
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a list of U.S. metropolitan areas with the largest number of energy-efficiency buildings earning EPA’s Energy Star designation in 2009. Headed by Los Angeles, the list includes Washington D.C., San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Houston, Lakeland (Florida), Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, and New York.
“These cities see the importance of taking action on climate change,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, in the article. “Communities from Los Angeles to Louisville are reducing greenhouse gases and cutting energy bills with buildings that have earned EPA’s Energy Star.”
The EPA first issued its ranking of cities with the most Energy Star buildings last year. Los Angeles retains its top spot, while Lakeland and New York City are new to the top 10.
According to the article, more than 3,900 commercial buildings earned the Energy Star...
Sunday, March 28, 2010 at 11:13 am
Known as the most famous prison in the United States, Alcatraz, situated on an island in San Francisco Bay, is being transformed into a beacon of solar energy, according to a recent news article.
The National Park Service, which manages the Alcatraz site, recently announced that the island prison will soon be equipped with 1,000 solar photovoltaic panels. These panels, to be installed on the main prison and the adjacent laundry building, will provide between 40 to 60 percent of the prison’s electrical needs and eliminate the needs for two diesel generators that currently cost more than $700,000 annually to operate.
The solar system will be installed the spring using money drawn from the Obama administration’s economic stimulus package. The system will include an estimated 464 panels, providing about 285 kilowatts of electricity, or as much as 90 typical home systems.
"The long-term goal is to create a fully sustainable island that uses 100 percent renewable...
Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 9:35 am
A video produced by DePaul University publicizes the green features of the new Monsignor Andrew J. McGowan Environmental Science and Chemistry Building, on the school’s campus on Chicago’s North Side.
The $40 million facility, known as McGowan South, earned Gold certification under the auspices of LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC) in September, 2009. The four-story, 130,000-square-foot structure houses spaces belonging to the university’s environmental science, chemistry, and biology departments.
“This is where our next generations of scientists, health care professionals, policy makers and science educators will receive the kind of innovative, collaborative education for which DePaul is known,” said the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., president of DePaul, in a news release about the building’s opening. “This new hub of excellence will provide a rich resource for DePaul students, future K-12 educators and science-competent...
Sunday, March 21, 2010 at 3:27 am
NYC Business Solutions is a government agency that helps businesses start, operate and expand in New York City. Among the various services they offer, the most valuable of these is assistance training employees. The agency’s training program is called NYC Business Solutions Training Funds and it provides up to $400,000 to fund 60-70% of eligible training costs. Funding is available for on-site or off-site training. It can be provided by an internal employee, or an external training provider (i.e. open-enrollment LEED seminars). Although dates are subject to change, below are the application deadlines for the funding periods. Please check the program’s website for the most accurate deadlines and to access a complete funding application.
As companies strive to...