LEED Platinum Sitka captures the Pacific Northwest spirit with a lush, fog-enabled courtyard

October 2, 2019 by  
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Local architectural practice Runberg Architecture Group has raised the bar for sustainable design in Seattle with the completion of Sitka, a LEED Platinum-certified multifamily development on target to achieve Seattle’s 2030 Challenge for Planning goals of reducing water and energy use. Built to use nearly a third less energy than the typical baseline design, the 384-unit development features numerous energy-saving systems — Sitka is the nation’s first multifamily project to use a Wastewater Heat Recovery system — as well as a stunning courtyard that mimics the Pacific Northwest landscape with a running stream, tree-covered hilltops and a lounge that resembles a treehouse. Located in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, Sitka is a seven-story building centered on an outdoor courtyard. Runberg Architecture Group drew inspiration from Northwest Modernism and the landscapes of the nearby San Juan Islands to create the project. A sloping green roof and rooftop community garden help capture stormwater runoff as well. The tree-filled courtyard also features a fog system and a treehouse, designed by Seattle’s Lead Pencil Studio, that includes a working fireplace with views of the courtyard. Related: Energy-efficient house embraces panoramic views of Puget Sound “Our mission is to design places where people want to be,” said Brian Runberg of the project’s human-centered design. “When creating Sitka, we asked ourselves what was missing from most of South Lake Union — what would make people feel good about spending time here — and it was green space . We wanted to create an oasis for residents and neighbors in the midst of the hard cityscape.” To minimize energy usage, the architects strategically broke up the building mass to allow natural light and ventilation into the courtyard and interiors. The development also includes LED lighting, EnergyStar appliances, recycled and locally sourced materials, low-flow toilets and fixtures and a high-efficiency 14-foot-diameter fan in the fitness center, all of which contribute to the development’s energy goals. + Runberg Architecture Group Images by Christophe Servieres and Michael Walmsley via Runberg Architecture Group

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LEED Platinum Sitka captures the Pacific Northwest spirit with a lush, fog-enabled courtyard

2019 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard reveals leading states in clean energy adoption

October 2, 2019 by  
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Just in time for the annual celebration of Energy Efficiency Day, the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has released its 2019 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard. For this year’s report, the states leading on clean energy adoption are Massachusetts and California, while North Dakota and Wyoming still have more than a few strides to go before fully catching up. In step with Energy Efficiency Day’s message of “Save Money, Cut Carbon, Breathe Easier,” ACEEE’s goal is to share tips and tools that promote a clean energy future. No surprise then that ACEEE firmly advocates for effective energy usage to reduce consumer bills and limit pollution . The full report shows Maryland has improved immensely, more than any other state, since last year’s scorecard thanks to a focus on public transit, electric vehicles, utility efficiency programs and more. New York and New Jersey were also listed as “states to watch,” as they have made impressive goals for clean energy and reduced emissions. Related: Minnesota to implement low- and zero-emission clean vehicle standards Meanwhile, Kentucky dropped the furthest in rankings compared to last year, as state utilities have continued to have program funds cut. Ohio also dropped in ranking compared to its position last year, primarily due to a policy that promotes power plants and moves away from renewable energy goals. The Energy Efficiency Scorecard also found that states all over the map are creating policies for greener appliances, improved building energy codes, vehicle emissions standards and general energy reduction goals. ACEEE’s annual scorecard can be accessed here . The scorecard is a resource intended by ACEEE to assist in benchmarking an individual state’s energy policy and progress. On an as-needed basis, the scorecard can be akin to a road map for state-level policymakers to follow, if they choose, as they strive to improve and invest in clean energy goals and initiatives. Utilizing a 50-point scale across six policy categories, the ACEEE scorecard reveals where a particular state may benefit from energy efficiency improvements. The six criteria are appliance and equipment standards, buildings and their efficiency, combined heat and power, state government-led initiatives around energy efficiency, transportation policies and utilities and public benefit programs. ACEEE executive director Steve Nadel said, “If states embrace robust energy-saving measures nationwide, Americans can slash greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent and deliver more than $700 billion in energy savings by 2050,” said Steve Nadel, executive director of ACEEE. “We commend the top states for their clean energy leadership and urge states that are lagging to implement the strategies laid out in this report, so they can deliver energy and cost savings for their residents.” + ACEEE Image via Jpitha

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2019 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard reveals leading states in clean energy adoption

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