Bullitt Center, Seattle

Net Zero Case Study: Bullitt Center – Energy

The Bullitt Center in Seattle, Washington, is one of the most self-sufficient buildings on the planet.  It is net zero energy and, after the water reuse system is approved by city authorities, net zero water.  Net zero means that the building uses the same amount as it creates or generates – it is self-sufficient.  In a series of posts here on GBE, we will look at what makes this building tick.   Solar Power The Bullitt Center uses photovoltaic (PV)…

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Green Buildings Save Small Businesses Big Money

Mike Schoenecker, vice president at Winkelman Building Corp, says green buildings, defined as those that reduce their impact on the environment by being more energy efficient and using fewer natural resources while reducing waste and pollution, save money for business owners three ways. Increased Efficiency Means Lower Energy Bills Green buildings cost about 2% more initially, but will save building owners about 30% on their energy bills for heating, cooling and water usage every year for the life of the building. That can add…

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Net Zero Skyscraper For Jakarta

Indonesia’s state-owned energy company, Pertamina, began construction on its new headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia in January, 2014. Designed by US architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the 1740′ tall, 99-story net zero skyscraper will generate as much energy as it uses, have zero waste discharge, and feature reduced water demand. The architects say this is “the world’s first supertall tower for which energy is the primary design driver.” The tower’s design is heavily influenced by its location close to the Equator. Exterior sunshades block…

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Dunkin' Donuts green building program DD Green

Dunkin Donuts Goes Green With New Building Initiative

Dunkin Donuts recently announced the launch of “DD Green,” a green building initiative that hopes to build over 100 new certified restaurants by the end of 2016.  Could this eventually lead to healthy donuts?  We sure hope not! “We are delighted to be able to launch the DD Green initiative, a green-building certification program that is customized for our various store formats and designed to enable us to meet our long-term environmental targets,” said Paul Twohig, President, Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. and…

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People Are the Key to Energy Efficiency

Click Green reports that research conducted by Washington State University shows people are key to energy efficiency and that educating them about the features of the buildings they work in is needed to maximize those savings. The research is the result of a meeting WSU graduate Julia Day went to one day in an office designed to be lit by sunlight. But the blinds were closed and the lights turned on. Why? Because furniture in the room was blocking access to…

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New York Building a Floating City in Hudson Yards

Daniel Burnham, the architect of some of the world’s first skyscrapers, once said “Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized.” The developers of Hudson Yards, an entire new neighborhood rising on the West Side of Manhattan, have taken  Burnham’s words to heart. Faced with the task of realizing their dream without first knocking anything down, the Hudson Yards team came up with a novel solution. Said to be…

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Dynamic Glass Controlled by Your Smart Phone

View, a company headquartered in California’s Silicon Valley, has developed glass that can can change its tint in response to changes in an electrical control voltage. The technology promises to do away with the need for curtains and blinds and save up to 23% of the energy spent on lighting, heating and cooling during peak demand. View says its Dynamic Glass starts by treating one pane of window glass with an electrochromic metal oxide coating one fiftieth the thickness of a human hair.…

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Snoozebox is a PopUp, Shipping Container Hotel

Every year in June, the small French village of Le Mans hosts a little-known, seldom brought-up, 24 hour motor race. Thousands of fans from all around the world come to watch, but the rest of the year LeMans is just a sleepy farming community. A hotel in the area would be jammed to capacity for one week a year but empty as Fenway Park in January the rest of the time. Le Mans needs a temporary hotel for a short time…

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PACE Program Promotes Energy Saving Upgrades In Texas

Texas, the largest energy consuming state in the nation, wants to reduce carbon emissions by 195 billion tons over the next 18 years- and it’s looking at an innovative program that will allow local businesses to renovate existing commercial and public buildings to lead the way. It’s called Property Assessed Clean Energy or PACE, and it’s made up of a broad coalition of Texan environmentalists, bankers, city officials and contractors have come up with a program to help property owners perform the…

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Japan Net Zero Building

Japan Pushes for Net Zero Standard on New Buildings

With the rapid pace of advancement from energy efficient smart homes, to passive homes, to energy plus homes, the architecture and construction industries are leading the way in terms of building a sustainable future. Japan, however, is hoping to ensure that sustainable design doesn’t become a passing fad by pushing for all public buildings to be “net zero” (that is, “passive plus“) by the year 2020. Sandy Dechert, over at our sister site, Cleantechnica, has the story on the changing…

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Mercedes-Benz Net Zero Office Concept

Net Zero Buildings = the Future of the Commercial Market

The future of the green building market rests on net zero buildings.  These projects promise innovative new design – like that seen in this net zero building proposal for a Mercedes-Benz office building in Armenia – integrate a number of advanced “green” materials to maximize efficiency with renewable energy sources that generate as much energy as the project uses on an annual basis. In other words, it uses zero energy, “net”. Senior Vice President of Turner Group and President/CEO of…

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Amazon Heats Building With Data Center Waste Heat

Old tech- in the form of hydronic heating– meets new in nearby data centers, creating ‘green heating’ in Amazon’s latest new buildings in Seattle, WA. The offices and work areas of the new Amazon buildings will be heated by utilizing the waste heat of a nearby data center, and Amazon’s not stopping there. Heat from the data center in the basement of the Westin Building across the street from Amazon’s proposed bio domes will be used to heat water, that will…

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white roof savings

White Roof Saves $2.40/Sq. Ft. Over “Dark” Roof

In a first-of-its kind study published in the Energy and Buildings Journal earlier this year, a group of researchers compared the energy costs of buildings with white roofs against both trendy “green” roofs and conventional “black” roofs. The most shocking part of the study? White roofs saved- on average!- $2.40 per square foot over conventional roofs, and even out-performed green roofs, handily. “Owners concerned with global warming should choose white roofs,” says the study, “which are three times more effective…

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Passive House Hospital Design

Next Trend in Passive House Design: Passive Hospitals

Passive house design has gone from an emerging architectural trend to a firmly established movement that’s entrenched itself in the professional and public mind. Even so, most people – both industry experts and laypeople – take the term literally, and equate “passive house” with, you know, houses. The truth, meanwhile, is that the same principles that guide the design and construction of a passive house can also guide the design and construction of condominiums or, for example, hospitals. Over in…

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Fitting In, Architecturally Speaking

One of the fundamental qualities of good architecturally designed buildings is that they fit into their own unique site. Two examples that couldn’t be more different but that are both beautifully designed buildings for their spaces are the Transustainable House and the Sempachersee Golf Course Club House. The Transustainable House is a residential home designed by Sugawaradaisuke Architects that was built this year. It is in Tokyo, Japan and it embraces the four major components of urban living. Those components…

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Green building standard is coming soon

Agencies Announce Partnership to Develop Green Construction Code

The International Code Council (ICC), ASHRAE, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced last week the signing of a memorandum to collaborate on the development of Standard 189.1, the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) and the LEED green building program. The unprecedented cooperation to develop a green construction code aims to create a comprehensive framework for jurisdictions looking to implement and adopt green building regulations and codes…

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Guest Post: New Tools for Improving Energy Efficiency at Universities

Any time we hear about improving energy efficiency we get excited. Read this guest post from Danielle Kershner, with contributing help from Keri Masterson.  Intelligent buildings can now match the demands of multi-faceted institutions By Danielle Kershner of Eco Brandit Reducing energy consumption to save money is a concept becoming increasingly important. But how are we identifying these savings, and is there a way to maximize the potential for savings opportunities? Intelligent efficiency defines the next generation of efficiency methods…

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Treehouse in Memorial City, Both are More than a Name Suggests

As cities re-develop and re-define themselves in new urban and sustainable ways, mixed-used mini-cities are becoming popular oasises in the midst of traditional metropolitan areas. In Houston, Texas, one of such, ‘city-with-in-a-city’ exists and is called Memorial City. It is 7.6 million SF of a place that intertwines the living, shopping, working and play parts of its population’s lives. Memorial City is, “A privately-held real estate investment, development and management company headquarters.” Part of that headquarters is a 14,700 SF,…

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