"A challenge for green finance is the ongoing struggle among appraisers and underwriters to understand the value and risk of sustainability."--Scott Muldavin, Executive Director of the Green Building Finance Consortium in San Rafael, CA.
It's back! Welcome to the largest residential green building movement get-together! Featuring over 380 exhibitors, 6,000 industry professionals, and this WCG is featuring a "Homeowner Day" where the public can have full access to the tradeshow. Click for a list of the speakers and exhibitors. West Coast Green is an opportunity to share best practices and get ideas on the green movement.
Yesterday, the guys at Genzyme (NASDAQ: GENZ) held a conference call with green bloggers to discuss their green building efforts. As far as I know, Genzyme is one of the first bio-tech firms to really embrace and enter the green building space. Led by Rick Mattila, director of enviornmental affairs, and Lisa Hartman, principal environmental engineer, the group discussed the Genzyme Center (corporate headquarters) based in Cambridge, Mass., which was awarded the LEED-Platinum certification, the highest green rating a building can receive. When asked what was the biggest bang for their buck in building the Genzyme Center, Rick responded...
Yahoo Finance posted a very informative interview this morning with Acciona CEO Peter Duprey [CEO of North American operations]. He discusses the wind and solar energy markets and touches on the job growth and investment opportunities that are beginning to surface here in the US. A few points that surfaced in the interview: by 2009, the U.S. is expected to overtake Germany as the #1 wind energy market in the world; U.S. wind power generating capacity jumped 45% last year; wind energy poised to generate over 1% of U.S. electricity in 2008. Click picture to watch.
Whether we are talking urban sprawl or the Ghostburb phenomenon, our nation and global economies and enviornments are definitely in flux. Our reliance on big oil has us feeling the pinch every time we fill up. The energy and economy crisis of '08 provides a great opportunity for advancement...advancement in new technology and business ventures. Odds are, something huge is going to hit...but who knows when. In the meantime, there are a lot of ideas of what life may be like in the future. Popular Science has a cool site describing what they call the "Green Mega City." The Green Mega City integrates a pod car, driverless bus, energy highway, Maglev Skytrain, Algae Park, power sidewalks, etc. into the whole city's infrastructure. Just click the navigation arrows for descriptions of each.
In an effort to green things up a bit, New York based RexCorp Realty LLC is reserving parking spaces in front of some of its buildings for drivers of hybrid vehicles. The first of the hybrid spots opened up this past week outside their office building in Hauppaugue, NY. Scott Rechler, Chairman and CEO, announced the green initiative as a way to reduce RexCorp's overall green footprint. RexCorp will be rolling out the preferred hybrid parking initiative at other locations as well. RexCorp owns over 70 properties in the greater New York Area.
On May 4, 2007, a tornado struck the town of Greensburg, Kansas. Yesterday, I posted about Studio 804, a design-build program at the University of Kansas School of Architecture and Urban Planning, and how they are helping the residents of Greensburg rebuild after the tornado. Add KSU to the list of schools helping out. During this past spring, the graduate architectural design studio at Kansas State University will help to rebuild the city through a design-build project called G3: Greensburg Cubed. Greensburg Cubed will design and construct modules, 10'x10'x10' cubes, that highlight sustainable materials and demonstrate green construction methods to meet a community need. Check out the video...I think the Book Nook and the Ice Cube are awesome designs and can picture them in parks and cities across the country. If I could, I would put a Book Nook in my backyard!
This seems to be a hot topic these days. Wind turbines that are built in rural areas or out in the ocean don't seem to have the same impact on people as much as wind turbines built in your own neighborhood. For some residents, aesthetics and safety are the main concerns. For some, they don't want anything built higher than the roof-line, which, if you are building a wind turbine, wind accessibility is more difficult at lower heights. I have seen architectural drawings that integrate wind turbines into the design of a house but many times those homes are usually located and positioned just right so as to take full advantage of a windy conditions. Check out the article below about a county in Idaho that is considering an amendment to the zoning laws so that landowners would be able to erect residential wind turbines. Let me know your thoughts!
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.