The Mississippi Lofts are a new mixed-use development (56,000 square feet) coming to Portland's Mississippi Historic District. It looks as if they are going all out on this one. Brownfield redevelopment...check. Storm-water Management system...check. Use of regional materials...check. Certified wood, use of low-e paint and materials, water efficient landscaping...all check. The are shooting for LEED Golf certification, which requires between 39-51 points on a LEED scorecard and the Mississippi Lofts are attempting to receive 48 points. They are scheduled to be completed by next month but by the looks of their blog, they seem to still be in the construction phase. HOA fees seem to run from about $170 to $300 per month depending on the unit. Some of the smaller units are going for about $393 per sq/ft (737 total square feet) where as the larger units go for about $341 per sq/ft (1172 total square feet).
Starwood Hotels has confirmed that its newest brand, ELEMENT hotels, will require all of its developments to pursue LEED certification from the USGBC. ELEMENT'S key green features include daylighting, energy-efficient appliances and water-efficient faucets. The first of such properties is scheduled to open this July in Lexington, Massachusetts.
If you haven't heard by now, T. Boone Pickens (The King of Takeovers) is planning a huge wind farm in the panhandle of Texas, which would be the largest in the world. Well, he took the first step in that plan today by ordering 667 turbines from GE for about $2 billion (almost $3 million a turbine)...and that's just 25% of the total turbines he plans to purchase. Once built, the wind farm would have the capacity to supply power to over 1,200,000 homes in North Texas, which could be sometime in 2014. Just to check, I plugged in Pampa, Texas (site of wind-farm) into Firstlook to check the average wind speed of the area, which is an impressive 18.6 mph (at a height of 80 meters). Just to compare, at a height of 80 meters, Chicago averages 14.6 mph; San Francisco averages 12.7 mph; Seattle averages 10.6; Albuquerque averages 10.2. Looks as if Mr. Pickens has chosen a pretty good location.
Hopefully, as more companies begin to adopt a full-service green strategy, you will hear more "Work from home!" and less "Get to work!" A panel at the recent CoreNet Global Summit encouraged U.S. corporations to implement worker mobility "telecommuting" programs in an effort to reduce carbon footprints. Gervais Tompkin (no relation to Ricky Gervais), principal at architectural firm Gensler, reports that about 73 million square feet of office space was delivered in the US during 2007. Alternatively, studies have found that as much as 55% of the nation's office space is underutilized. At HP in the UK, instituting a mobility program resulted in consolidating more than 2,800 workers in 451,000 square feet of office space down to 165,000 square feet...resulting in a 49% energy savings! Given the transition from the manufacturing to the service sector AND the focus on corporate globalization over the past 50 years, mobility programs of one variety or another should be carefully considered at many, if not all, service firms in the US. In theory, all you need is a computer and an internet connection, right?
If Pottery Barn built green homes on white sandy beaches with views of the Pacific Ocean, they wouldn't do it any better than Seabrook Land Company's Seabrook community. Spearheaded by town founder & president, Casey Roloff, Seabrook is an "authentic beach town atop a well-situated bluff on the Washinton State coast (map)." The homes come loaded with green features like...
I came across a couple green sites recently...they provide wind and solar information based on your address. The first is findsolar.com. This site helps determine the solar viability of your home. Once basic information is entered (address and power company), the site spits out the utility savings per month, total cost, solar panel size, tax credits and anything else you would need to know before you installed a solar panel on your house. The second site is firstlook.3tiergroup.com. With this site, after you create an account, you can figure out how much wind hits your property by providing your location. These sites provide excellent initial cost info on the solar and wind investment decision. When you consider the fact that installing a solar panel can cost between $30,000 and $60,000 (before credits), you want to make sure that you are figuring out all of the relevant costs and benefits of a particular decision.
I got an invite from the FHA Mortgage Center today about a contest they are running for real estate bloggers. So, I submitted Equity Green to the contest and we will see if it can make some noise over the next month. The contest runs through June 1st and they give out prizes based on votes received, Editor's Choice, etc. They have a leaderboard, which is cool but it sort of feels like I'm in a golf tournament. Anyway, if you like what I have been doing with Equity Green, I would appreciate your vote! In the meantime, I will keep the posts coming!