Can we keep constructing buildings to meet ever-increasing population growth without completely annihilating the natural environment? Rocky Mountain Institute thinks we can.
The Philip Merrill Environmental Center is the first building to reach the highest level of LEED certification and is a model for sustainable development.
Smith Middle School in North Carolina teaches sustainability by making its green features obvious to the kids, encouraging them to ask questions.
The North Clackamas High School in Oregon is one of the greenest schools in the nation and one of the first to use performance-based fees.
Wish we’d done it ourselves! It’s been on the list, but we haven’t gotten to it yet. Now the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has given us a platform to catalog and learn about high-performance building projects around the world. The High Performance Buildings Database has been seeded with about 25 projects – most of them well known – and you can add your own. You can enter a project of any size, from any country, from a campus to a home. You can search by building type, location, size, keyword, and many other parameters. There is lots of flexibility in the depth of information you enter and in the project itself: it can simply have several notable green features or be a certified LEED project. A convenient menu on the left enables you to quickly look through the project’s features: finance, land use, site and water, energy, materials, indoor environment, images, ratings and awards. One of the profiles, Stadium Australia, served as the main arena for the Sydney 2000 Olympics. The design team employed the most comprehensive energy modeling to date for a stadium project. The building systems and materials chosen optimized energy use – passive ventilation and natural […]
This year’s top 10 green building projects selected by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) range from a 950-square-foot renovated cabin to a 125,000-square-foot office building, and include government, private, non-profit examples of exemplary building design. The design competition evaluates projects based on performance, aesthetics, community connection, and stewardship of the natural environment. According to the AIA, the award and the range of submissions it attracts demonstrate the market transformation underway in the U.S. and around the world. There is increasing recognition of the benefits of sustainable design to people, the environment, and to the bottom line. Examples of winning buildings: Edificio Malecon, Buenos Aires, ArgentinaArchitects: HOKBuilt on a reclaimed brownfield site, this 125,000-square-foot office building is designed as a long narrow slab to minimize solar gain. The broad north side which is the primary solar exposure, is shaped to track the sun and is fully shaded to eliminate direct solar gain during peak cooling months. A Green Roof keeps the roof cool and manages stormwater runoff. Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities, Ankeny, IowaArchitects: RDG Bussard DikisThis 13,000-square-foot training facility doubles was designed and constructed on a modest budget. It uses 48 percent less energy than an equivalent conventional building […]
After Steve Strong, president of Solar Design Associates, showed IBEW Local 332’s building committee and the membership how quickly solar is expanding in Europe and Japan, and in the U.S., the membership voted overwhelmingly to install PV on their building. The IBEW sees the importance of distributed on-site electricity generation using renewable energy sources, and the jobs associated with them as an important part of their future. Their new headquarters building in San Jose, California now features the largest commercial solar power installation west of the Mississippi. Designated as a Green Building model by the City of San Jose, the PV system generates 55 kilowatts of power, enough to provide for 70-80 percent of the building’s total electrical needs. The use of PV cuts the facility’s utility bill in half and sends power back to the utility grid. The building is located in the heart of Silicon Valley, home to high tech businesses, R & D labs, microchip manufacturers and biotech facilities. IBEW conducts tours of the building to architects, engineers, contractors, students and others interested in learning how to use solar energy in new or renovated commercial buildings. Most importantly, IBEW members installed the solar arrays themselves as part […]
The Hockerton Housing Project is the UK’s first earth-sheltered, self-sufficient ecological housing development. The group now offers services to help people create their own communities, based on the Hockerton experience. They offer tours, presentations, and the publication, The Sustainable Community – A Practical Guide. Setting up a sustainable community involves challenges related to planning, legal and financial issues, as well as new building techniques and technologies. Living in a sustainable community involves many other attributes including new skills and ways of relating to others. The 52-page guide is designed to help others plan and set up their own sustainable projects. The main sections include: * Key Issues: it identifies 28 key issues, including community, legal, financial, planning and design subjects. For each issue, the guide presents an explanation of the main considerations, tips, and details of how they managed the issue. * Directory of contacts of organizations linked to key issues.* Directory of useful resources* General information about sustainable communities and key barriers to developing them.[sorry this link is no longer available][sorry this link is no longer available]
Aspen Skiing Company is out to prove sustainability in the ski industry is not an oxymoron.
DCAT reports on barriers to green building, Greenpeace on U.S. growth of renewables, US PIRG on State efforts on green power, and more...