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Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at 11:30 am
Collaborative business software company SAP recently announced the certification of a new building on its office campus in the town of Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. At 200,000 square feet, the campus, which achieved Platinum certification, is the largest Platinum-certified project in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, according to a press release about the facillity.
Next door to another LEED-certified building on the Newtown Square campus, the new four-story building received the most points possible in the water efficiency and design process categories. Standout water efficiency measures undertaken in the new building include a 50,000-gallon cistern that supplies water for landscape irrigation and the flushing of toilets, as well as low-flow fixtures in the restrooms, all part of a state-of-the-art water management system.
"When we laid the foundation for the new SAP building in Pennsylvania, our goal was to create an inspirational work place for our Philadelphia-area...
Monday, August 30, 2010 at 11:56 am
Sony Pictures Entertainment announced recently that its studio lot and office construction project, in Culver City, California, has received a Gold rating in keeping with the guidelines of LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC), according to a recent article.
The project involved the construction of two new 100,000 square foot office buildings, and a parking structure located in the heart of the studio’s historic lot in Culver City. Designed by Gensler with developer Georgetown Company and general contractor CW Driver, the buildings were recognized for environmental features including the use of local and recycled building materials as well as diversion of 93 percent of construction waste from landfills; the integration of an onsite filtration system for storm water runoff and low-flow toilets and urinals; use of low-emitting carpeting, paint, sealants, adhesives , and wall-coverings; installation of motion detector lights and energy-efficient light bulbs; implementation of...
Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 5:45 am
The new Mueller neighborhood of Austin, Texas recently received a Silver certification from the USGBC according to the guidelines of LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND), according to a recent article.
The new neighborhood is one of the first developments in the country to earn the designation, which promotes sustainability for whole neighborhoods and larger mixed-use projects. Mueller is at least twice the size of most other pilot projects to be certified under the new designation, according to the article.
Mueller, a master-planned community located on 700 acres of land formerly occupied by Austin’s old airport, is a joint public-private project created by the city of Austin and developer Catellus, and shaped by community input over the course of nearly two decades.
"Mueller's strength as a green community begins with its central location, which helps increase urban density, slow Central Texas sprawl, and, ultimately, reduce commute times and auto...
Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 5:24 am
The new Social Sciences and Mathematics Building at the University of Victoria (Canada) recently received a Gold-level certification from the Canada Green Building Council (CAGBC), according to a University press release.
The building, which provides 9,090 square meters (roughly 97,000 square feet) of classroom and office space for students and faculty in the departments of geography, political science, mathematics, and statistics, becomes the third building on the British Columbia university campus to be certified.
The facility includes four tiered classrooms for general campus use; four lecture theaters; faculty, graduate, and staff offices; research labs, meeting rooms, and classrooms, and a variety of student service and student organization spaces.
The building’s design combines passive energy-saving measures with high-tech green attributes, ranging from occupancy sensors in classrooms to low-flow toilets and sensor faucets in the building’s restrooms. The design...
Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 10:29 am
A new 75,000 square foot fitness center at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida opens tomorrow. Built to LEED specifications, it is expected to earn a Platinum rating under the auspices of LEED for New Construction, according to the article. If the Platinum certification is granted, it will become the first Defense Department building to earn such a high certification.
The new building, which cost $18 million to construct, includes an energy-efficient roof, a photovoltaic solar array that will help produce nine percent of the facility’s energy needs, regionally-sourced products, and water saving features that will reduce the facility’s use by 40 percent, compared with a conventionally constructed building.
“The design of the structure was recognized by the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment with a Merit Award for Concept Design,” said Brian Allen, 325th Civil Engineer Squadron mechanical engineer and project manager, in an article about...
Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 10:11 am
The Hormel Foods Corporation recently announced the certification of its Progressive Processing LLC production facility, according to a recent article. The facility, located in Dubuque, Iowa, joins an elite group of manufacturing plants across the country that have earned the certification.
“We are very proud of the fact that Progressive Processing is LEED Gold certified, which sets a new standard for the food industry,” said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer at Hormel Foods. “When we decided to open Progressive Processing, we saw an opportunity to build a state-of-the-art sustainable facility that aligns with our strong commitment to corporate responsibility.”
The facility will use at least 25 percent less energy and water than a conventionally designed and built plant, according to the article. The facility was also built using materials that had more than 36 percent recycled content. Other green features of...
Monday, August 16, 2010 at 10:16 am
The founder of the US Green Building Council, David Gottfried, shows off his eco-friendly home in Oakland, California, which achieved a Platinum rating under the auspices of the LEED for Homes program. The home features a plethora of sustainable features, including radiant heating, rain barrels to collect storm water runoff, and a photovoltaic solar array. In fact, the home renovation earned the highest amount of possible points (106.5), 26.5 points over the 80 points needed to achieve Platinum certification, makes it the highest-scoring LEED renovation achieved yet, anywhere.
In addition to the USGBC, Gottfried has founded the World Green Building Council (WGBC), a union of national green building councils whose mission it is to accelerate the transformation of the global built environment, reorienting it toward sustainability. He is also the chief executive officer of Regenerative Ventures, a consultancy that partners with entrepreneurs and corporate management teams,...
Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 7:06 am
The New Hollenbeck Community Police Station in Los Angeles—the city’s largest police facility—recently earned LEED Gold certification under the auspices of LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC), according to a recent Inhabitat article.
Designed by architects AC Martin, the building stands out for its striking exterior, with an illuminated façade, made up of translucent curtain wall panels, that presents the station as approachable and positive. At the same time, the façade is also bulletproof, a requirement of many modern public buildings, especially law enforcement facilities.
The 173,000 square foot facility, located in the Boyle Heights section of the city, is much more than just a police station. It also houses a four-story parking structure and a one-story maintenance facility and car wash facility, in addition to a two-story, ultra-modern police station. The Hollenbeck Community Police Station achieved its Gold rating by using efficient equipment...
Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 6:16 am
The Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence, a 42-year-old building in the Keystone State’s capital city of Harrisburg, has recently become LEED-Gold certified according to the guidelines of LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB), according to a recent press release.
"The greening of the Governor's Residence underscores our commitment to make state-owned buildings as energy-efficient as possible," said DGS Secretary James P. Creedon, who also serves as co-chairperson of the Governor's Green Government Council. "By using fewer resources, we are saving taxpayers' money while reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to a healthier environment."
Improvements in the Residence’s energy efficiency were achieved through the installation of an automated energy management system, a geothermal ground-source heat pump system, a humidification system, and high-efficiency motors for ventilation fans and water pumps. In addition, insulation was...
Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 10:54 am
The American Lung Association recently released the 2010 State of the Air report, which ranks metropolitan areas by the levels of ozone and particle pollution over the years 2006, 2007, and 2008.
The report includes a ranking of the 25 Most Polluted Cities, with regards to ozone, year-round particle pollution, and short-term particle pollution, respectively.While some cities have high levels of certain pollutants, they don’t show up on other lists. The cities listed are ranked by the air quality of the most polluted counties in the metropolitan area.
California’s cities fare poorly in the ratings. In terms of ozone pollution, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, California leads the pack, followed by five other metro areas in California. In fact, 12 of the 25 metro areas with the worst ozone pollution are in California; the other 13 include cities from Houston (#7) to Cincinnati (#18) and Las Vegas (#21).
The year-round particle pollution list is headed by...
Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 10:50 am
The new Whistler Public Library, located in the resort community of Whistler, British Columbia, recently received a Gold certification under the auspices of LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC), according to a recent article.
The building excelled for its passive solar design principles, its geothermal heating and cooling system, its high-efficiency baseboard heaters, and its compact fluorescent light bulbs, according to the article.
"You basically get a plaque and you get to say that you've actually achieved what you said you were doing," said Ted Battiston, strategic energy emissions manager for the Resort Municipality of Whistler.
The certification comes one year after it was reported that Whistler’s new library were actually 35 percent higher than library administrators and project managers had been hoping for. The higher energy costs were due in part to a malfunctioning geothermal heating and cooling system, the article said.
Regardless of the energy expenses,...
Monday, April 19, 2010 at 9:21 am
A new affordable housing development in New Jersey has recently become the state’s first Gold certified affordable housing community. Stafford Park Apartments recently earned the designation, under the auspices of the LEED for Homes rating system, according to a recent article.
Located in the South Jersey town of Barnegat, the 370-acre mixed use Stafford Park project integrates housing, office space, and a large-scale retail complex. Stafford Park Apartments, one component of the larger project, consists of five multi-story buildings, featuring 112 one, two and three-bedroom apartment layouts with rents ranging from $468 to $1,207 per month.
The apartment buildings earned LEED credits for including features such as spray foam insulation; high-efficiency, on-demand water heaters; low-VOC adhesives, sealants, and paints; high-efficiency air filtration; use of recycled content and local materials in construction; drought-tolerant plants; and high-efficiency irrigation....
Sunday, June 6, 2010 at 3:15 am
Two new buildings in the nation’s smallest state earned LEED certification last week, according to a recent article. The Center for Biotechnology at the University of Rhode Island (URI), and the new headquarters for commercial insurance company FM Global both received a Gold rating per the requirements of LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC).
The$54 million URI building is the first at the university to achieve LEED certification, according to an article about the building. Designed by Payette Associates of Boston, LEED efforts were championed by local associate architect Lerner Ladds + Bartels, according to the article. The building, which will serve as a hub for scientific research, education, and job creation, bolsters the university’s sustainable credentials even as it has already garnered mention in the Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges.
“The LEED award is the result of a determined team of design architects, building committee, capital...
Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 10:37 am
On April 23rd, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the Lead-Safe Renovation Rule, which aims to protect children and pregnant women from exposure to lead-based paint in the renovation of pre-1978 structures. According to an agency press release, more than a million children across the country have elevated blood lead levels as a result to exposure to lead hazards, which can lead to lower intelligence, learning disabilities, and behavioral issues. Children under the age of six are especially susceptible. Meanwhile, adults who are exposed to lead hazards can suffer from high blood pressure and headaches.
Banned by the federal government from housing in 1978, lead paint is likely found in most structures built before the ban, according to the release.
“Our lead-safe program will protect children and families from lead-based paint hazards associated with renovation and repair activities in houses built before 1978,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator...
Monday, August 9, 2010 at 10:21 am
Soon to rise adjacent to the presidential library that honors John F. Kennedy, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate will seek LEED certification, according to a recent article about the project.
The 40,000 square foot facility, being designed by Rafael Vinoly, will be located on the campus of the University of Massachusetts, Boston (UMass-Boston), next to the JFK Library. It honors the memory of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, who represented Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate for several decades.
According to its website, the center is “dedicated to educating the public about our system of government and enhancing civic engagement. The goal is to invigorate public discourse, encourage participatory democracy and inspire the next generation of citizens and leaders.”
The building will feature an interactive Exhibition Hall, a digital library and research area, and five classrooms equipped with distance learning capabilities. Most notably, the building...
Sunday, August 8, 2010 at 10:57 am
The 60-year-old Duthie Center at the University of Louisville, in the Kentucky city of the same name, recently received a Gold rating according to the guidelines of LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (LEED-EBOM), according to a recent Mother Nature News article. Despite the structure’s age, roughly 95 percent of the original structure’s components were reused in the renovation, according to the article.
The building is the first LEED certified renovation on the Louisville campus. During the renovation process, 27 percent of new materials used had recycled content, while 31 percent were regionally sourced. Other sustainable design moves include room occupation sensors that control both the lighting and the air-handling systems; low-flow plumbing fixtures that contribute to a 54 percent reduction in water use; premium parking for fuel-efficient cars; and easy access to mass transit.
The renovation was guided by the architectural firm Lord, Aeck, and...
Sunday, August 8, 2010 at 10:52 am
A recent CleanTechnica piece explores a new kind of solar technology, pioneered by a steel framing manufacturer that is trying to remake itself for the 20th century.
The “peel and stick” solar laminates in the article, manufactured by Whirlwind Solar, cut a building’s energy use significantly. The laminate system consists of panels that fit between the ridges of conventional metal roofing systems, most typically found in the Southeastern US. The panels stick to the metal roof, and are connected to an inverter that converts DC current from the panels into AC current that can be used to power the home. The panels use amorphous silicon solar cells that absorb blue, green, and red sunlight in different layers (amorphous silicon is a flexible form of silicon that can be deposited in a thin film). While less efficient than crystalline solar cells, the laminate panels are less expensive and require less precision in positioning to achieve maximum efficiency. The laminate...
Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 10:16 am
The City Hall in Cambridge, Ontario, recently earned a Gold rating under the auspices of LEED for New Construction, according to an article about the project. The building’s achievement makes it the first in Canada to garner a Gold rating.
The design of the building, executed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects of Toronto, focuses on energy conservation. Altogether the building expects to save roughly 42 percent on energy costs, through the incorporation of a high-efficiency modulating gas boiler, daylight harvesting, and motion sensors that reduce the need for artificial lighting. That translates to roughly C$160,000 per year, or C$1.6 million over 10 years, according to the article.
The centerpiece of the building is its “living wall,” which climbs four stories through the lobby, acting as a biofilter and providing clean air that is circulated through the building’s ventilation system. The building also includes radiant heating panels, operable windows, and a...
Saturday, July 31, 2010 at 1:53 am
A recent article describes the LEED-Gold certification earned by Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, a zoo and amusement park in San Jose, California, making it the first such venue to do so.
The park achieved the certification following a $72 million renovation project, which included renovation of the existing ride areas, as well as a four-acre expansion that houses the new “Zoo on the Hill,” an education complex, a new entry plaza complex, two new rides, 11 additional exhibits, and new play areas, totaling 12,800 square feet. A fixture in the Bay Area since it opened its gates in 1961, Happy Hollow offers a combination of family rides, amusements, a Puppet Theater, play areas, and an accredited Zoo with over 140 animals.
In the article, Suzanne Wolf, Happy Hollow’s general manager, said, “Not just one building was certified. The certification is for all the new areas of the facility. We are proud to be a green model for the nation and the Zoo and Aquarium...
Saturday, July 31, 2010 at 1:51 am
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently announced an additional allocation of $16 million worth of funding aimed at projects that reclaim brownfields, according to a recent post. The funds are specifically targeting brownfield projects that create new green jobs in nearby communities.
The current EPA brownfields/green jobs program has provided more than $96 million in revolving loans and grants to dozens of projects, which has leveraged more than $2.5 billion in reclamation and redevelopment efforts. The EPA estimates that its program has spurred the creation of almost 6,500 new jobs relating to site remediation, construction, and redevelopment.
According to the EPA, there are roughly 450,000 abandoned brownfield sites in the United States, totaling about 14 million acres of land. While some are only minimally contaminated, others are so polluted that their future use is necessarily limited. The new round of funding will target the first category, and will include a...
Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 10:31 am
An addition to the University of New Mexico’s College of Education was recently awarded a Platinum rating under the auspices of LEED for New Construction, making it only the second building in the state to achieve that level of certification.
“This is an extraordinary honor for the University of New Mexico community”, said Richard Howell, dean, UNM College of Education, in an article. “We want to thank all of our partners that helped us to achieve this goal including the design and construction team of Gregory T. Hicks and Associates, Jaynes Corporation, along with their many subcontractors, our UNM partners, Office of Capital Projects and Physical Plant Department and staff from the College of Education.”
The new 26,000 square foot building houses classrooms, learning areas, and administrative...
Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 10:29 am
A recent NPR piece explores the phenomenon known as the “urban heat island effect,” wherein the concentration of darkly colored hard surfaces in an urban area (black asphalt, dark roof membranes) contribute to higher temperatures than those in suburban and rural areas.
As the piece explains, the difference in the air temperature that one of these dark surfaces generates can be dramatic, ranging from five degrees during the day to up to 22 degrees at night, as buildings release the heat that has been absorbed during the day.
"In the last few days, for example, we've seen temperatures in downtown Baltimore that did not drop below 80 degrees at night, whereas it was in the 70s just outside the cities," said Bruce Sullivan, a National Weather Service forecaster based in Camp Springs, Md. "During the day, it's a smaller difference, but buildings heat up faster because they've retained heat from overnight."
A dark roof can add 90 degrees to the ambient...
Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 10:16 am
Best known as a low-cost lodging option for travelers nationwide, the Hotel 6 name is not necessarily one that evokes images of sustainability. However, the first facility in the company’s network of hotels—a new Motel 6 in Northlake, Texas—is set to become the first economy hotel in the country to be LEED certified, according to a recent Fast Company article. It will also be the first hotel for Motel 6’s parent company, Accor, to receive such a distinction.
Motel 6’s development of its LEED-worthy Phoenix prototype--of which the Northlake property is one--demonstrates that green lodging, formerly the province of high-end luxury hotels, need not be expensive. The Northlake property’s green features include thermal solar water heating, a reflective cool roof, low e-glass tinted windows, low-energy lighting, wood-effect flooring made from 80 percent pre-consumer recycled material, water-efficient landscaping, and low-flow pressurized...
Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 9:53 am
Renovations and an addition to the University of New Hampshire’s James Hall have received a Gold LEED certification, according to a recent press release. The first building project at the university to seek LEED certification, James Hall houses the departments of Earth Sciences and Natural Resources and the Environment.
Below, a video explores the building’s sustainable features.
James Hall Renovation from UNH Video on Vimeo.
The $34.2 million project, designed by EYP Architecture and Design, was begun in August 2008 and completed in January of this year. According to university architect and director of campus planning Douglas Bencks, the renovation exceeded expectations when it came to LEED certification: “This gold certification exemplifies and advances UNH’s long-standing commitment to sustainability, energy efficiency, resource conservation and enduring facility construction….We sought silver certification but achieved gold, thanks in part to the...
Monday, July 19, 2010 at 11:32 am
As reported in a recent article, a Montessori school in Cleveland Heights, Ohio recently received a LEED certification, according to the guidelines of LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance. However, what sets the school, Ruffing Montessori, apart from all the other schools that have earned LEED certification is its curriculum, which earned bonus points in the certification process for its innovative content and approach to teaching sustainability.
The school’s curriculum employs the facility as a learning lab, and copyrighted activity-based Montessori-style materials introduce students to increasingly more complex ideas centered on sustainability, stewardship, and individual responsibility. This focus garnered a Northeast Ohio Environmental Award for the school in 2009, given by the area’s Biodiversity Alliance for “innovative curriculum that permeates the whole school.”
Ruffing Montessori’s numerous green features include a...
Monday, July 19, 2010 at 5:14 am
During President Bill Clinton’s second term with bipartisan support, Congress passed the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, which created a network of local delivery job training sites throughout the country. The goal of this federal law is to “provide workforce investment activities, through statewide and local workforce investment systems, that increase the employment, retention, and earnings of participants, and increase occupational skill attainment by participants, and as a result, improve the quality of the workforce, reduce welfare dependency, and enhance the productivity and competitiveness of the Nation." (29 U.S.C. 2811)
With 15 million unemployed and an unemployment rate of 9.5 percent in the U.S., many jobseekers have sought to pursue other careers or develop new workplace skills. Local Workforce Boards seek to accommodate jobseekers to find training programs that promote high job-placement rates.
Green Education Services, a proprietary school that...
Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at 2:16 am
June 9, 2010 – Salt Lake City, UT—Green Education Services, a green building education provider, recently trained thirty-six Salt Lake City employees on USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) in a push to educate the city’s Planning and Building Review department on green building and planning strategies.
“Salt Lake City, under the direction of Mayor Becker, is striving for a sustainable city,” stated Salt Lake City Planning Programs Supervisor Nole Walkingshaw. “The opportunity to train our Planning and Building Review personnel in the LEED processes served as an investment in our people and the City.”
The two days of training provided an overview of LEED, an internationally recognized green building rating system, and prepared attendees to take the LEED Green Associate credentialing exam, which is offered by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). Topics covered included sustainable design...
Sunday, July 18, 2010 at 2:19 am
The Houston Toyota Center, home of local NBA franchise the Houston Rockets, has earned Silver certification under the auspices of LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (LEED-EBOM), according to a recent article.
The Toyota Center is second only to the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon (covered here earlier), in terms of NBA facilities that are LEED-compliant. The Rose Garden earned a Gold rating earlier this year. The Toyota Center and the Rose Garden are joined by the American Airlines Arena in Miami and the Philips Arena in Atlanta in the small group of NBA facilities that are LEED-certified.
Tad Brown, CEO of the Rockets and Clutch City Sports and Entertainment, commented on the Toyota Center’s achievement in a release on the Rockets’ website. “This certification serves as validation that our aggressive approach to energy management, recycling and waste reduction programs have made a difference here at Toyota Center and in our community. Toyota...
Sunday, July 18, 2010 at 1:22 am
Holden Thorp, the chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, recently announced that the campus will end its use of coal in the next decade.
The chancellor touted the initiative as one way that UNC is helping lead sustainability efforts on college campuses nationwide. “Carolina is proud to be a national leader in sustainability in American higher education,” Thorp said. “Our systems for energy efficiency, cogeneration of electricity and steam, waste recycling, green building, mass transit and water conservation are models.”
As a step toward ending coal use at the university, the campus’s cogeneration facility will test co-firing coal with biomass in the form of dried wood pellets, along with torrefied wood (a product similar to charcoal), in the coming months. The university plans to replace 20 percent of its coal with biomass products like these no later than 2015, and perhaps as early as 2012.
The decision to end coal usage is...
Monday, July 12, 2010 at 9:53 am
A recent post on the EcoNewsNetwork lays out the top five “most eco-friendly” colleges in the country. Located in all regions of the United States, the ten highlighted institutions earn their rankings through various sustainability measures ranging from on-campus composting programs to green course offerings. While many colleges and universities are taking steps toward a lower impact on the Earth, the following five institutions stand out for their commitments to sustainability.
1) Allegheny College (Meadville, PA)
Allegheny students learn about sustainability through academics, internships, and participation in student organizations. They also learn about sustainability through the example set by the college itself: its composting program processes between 800 and 900 pounds of food, paper, and plastic each day. Meanwhile, the college requires LEED-Silver certification for all new campus buildings, and purchases 15 percent of its energy...