New LEED Platinum student housing supports net-zero goals

August 27, 2021 by  
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California State University Long Beach (CSULB) is setting the bar for campus buildings that serve the health of students and staff as well as the environment. The most recent student housing, completed by McCarthy Building Company in collaboration with architectural firm Gensler, earned LEED certification and contributes to the university’s goal to have the entire campus reach net-zero status by 2030. Students will move into Parkside North Housing, CSULB’s first new dormitory in 34 years, for the 2021-2022 school year. The four-story, 472-bed dormitory is only the third project in California to receive this level of sustainability (Living Building Challenge certified) and 23rd in the world. We can expect to see more in the future with the goals set by the California State University, which requires all new buildings and renovations to be at least LEED Silver certified. Related: ZHA unveils solar-powered student residences for HKUST McCarthy’s, named a top-20 green builder in the country, is well-versed in developments centered around  green design . The CSULB project incorporates the newest technologies to optimize energy efficiency, earning the building LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge certifications.  The sustainable systems in the building have led to the CSU system’s first net-zero energy residential building. This means the building produces as much energy as it uses, achieved through  solar panels  on the roof. In addition, it reclaims rainwater for reuse. For materials selection, each item was vetted using the Red List, which identifies chemicals of concern. All materials were sourced within 500 miles of campus, in an area of the country with stringent building and manufacturing regulations.  The team also made changes to the Housing Administration Office, another building on campus . With the completion of these projects, CSULB has achieved a total of eight LEED certifications.   “We’re honored to provide the students at CSULB with a state-of-the-art residential facility, delivering a renewed sense of comfort on campus. As they embark on the upcoming school year, they should feel proud their campus is home to the third most sustainable building in the state of California and 23rd in the world!” said Nate Ray, McCarthy Southern California project director. “The Parkside North Housing residence hall will be a north star for campuses across the nation, and specifically within the Cal State System.” + McCarthy Builders Images via McCarthy Builders

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New LEED Platinum student housing supports net-zero goals

Loom House is a first of its kind green home renovation

August 18, 2021 by  
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The 1960s-era Loom House has been extensively renovated. This sustainable, highly modern design pays homage to the home’s decades-old roots. The project was designed by the Miller Hull Partnership, a Seattle -based firm that has made a reputation for itself through green building achievement and sustainable design. Showing off the firm’s sustainability skills, this is the first renovated home in the world to achieve Living Building Challenge Certification. Related: This backyard cottage in Seattle is only 800 square feet The house sits on a bluff overlooking the Puget Sound. It’s 3,200 square feet in size with a detached carport. The property features Japanese maples, rhododendrons, flowering trees , edible berries and many other plants. An entry bridge into the house is flanked by tall evergreens that lead right into the open great room. A staircase leads to the primary suite. The windows are triple-glazed, and there are skylights throughout the house. Net positive energy and water were integrated into the design. The city of Bainbridge even changed the city code to allow gray and black water to be treated on-site. The property now has a cistern and a restored garden with on-site water treatment. All gray and black water is treated and reused for non-potable demands. Rainwater is collected from the roof and stored in the enormous 10,000-gallon cistern. This water is treated in the mechanical room and distributed to the main house. A photovoltaic array provides power, generating 105% of the power usage for the site. There’s also a backup battery system in the event of power failure. The building was renovated to improve the entire building envelope while maintaining the original architecture of the structure. The interiors were all updated while staying true to the original design. Loom House can serve as a prototype to other designers and homeowners, providing a model for how renovation and retrofitting can be used to convert buildings into new, sustainable residences. + Miller Hull Photography by Rafael Soldi

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Loom House is a first of its kind green home renovation

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens LEEDs the way in green design

July 8, 2021 by  
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“Imagine the beauty of humanity living in harmony with nature .” This is the goal behind the ongoing work to raise the bar of sustainability in architecture at The Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) and other projects at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The conservatory offers a closed-circle campus that, over the course of a year, produces more energy than it consumes through a combination of geothermal and wind systems along with solar panels . In fact, it ranks as the most energy-efficient conservatory in the world. It achieves this title through effective use of natural lighting , venting, earth tubes and fogging systems to cool and light the space without reliance on energy. Related: An off-grid home in South Africa features a conservatory for fully enjoying nature In addition to generating excessive energy, the project treats all water onsite for both human and landscaping needs. It collects rainwater as well as filtering water captured through natural landscaping, a lagoon system and permeable paving.  Throughout the process of updating the campus, the goal has been to set an example of what is possible in innovative, passive design . As a result, the project meets qualifications for six of the most desired certifications in green design. These include the Living Building Challenge, LEED Platinum, First SITES™ Platinum and First WELL Building Platinum as well as the achievement of the first certified BREEAM Outstanding In-Use Building in the United States award. The conservatory has also earned a Fitwel three-star rating. The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens invites visitors to wander through the campus, taking in the rain gardens, lagoon and atrium with lush greenery and native plants throughout. In fact, the conservatory has an obligation to promote green building practices with a central focus on merging human activities and nature in a sustainable way. According to a conservatory officials, “As Phipps’ education, research and administration facility, the CSL is an integral part of the Phipps visitor experience as a ‘living museum,’ focusing attention on the important intersection between the built and natural environments, and demonstrating that human and environmental health are inextricably connected.” + Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens Images via Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

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Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens LEEDs the way in green design

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens LEEDs the way in green design

July 8, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

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“Imagine the beauty of humanity living in harmony with nature .” This is the goal behind the ongoing work to raise the bar of sustainability in architecture at The Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) and other projects at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The conservatory offers a closed-circle campus that, over the course of a year, produces more energy than it consumes through a combination of geothermal and wind systems along with solar panels . In fact, it ranks as the most energy-efficient conservatory in the world. It achieves this title through effective use of natural lighting , venting, earth tubes and fogging systems to cool and light the space without reliance on energy. Related: An off-grid home in South Africa features a conservatory for fully enjoying nature In addition to generating excessive energy, the project treats all water onsite for both human and landscaping needs. It collects rainwater as well as filtering water captured through natural landscaping, a lagoon system and permeable paving.  Throughout the process of updating the campus, the goal has been to set an example of what is possible in innovative, passive design . As a result, the project meets qualifications for six of the most desired certifications in green design. These include the Living Building Challenge, LEED Platinum, First SITES™ Platinum and First WELL Building Platinum as well as the achievement of the first certified BREEAM Outstanding In-Use Building in the United States award. The conservatory has also earned a Fitwel three-star rating. The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens invites visitors to wander through the campus, taking in the rain gardens, lagoon and atrium with lush greenery and native plants throughout. In fact, the conservatory has an obligation to promote green building practices with a central focus on merging human activities and nature in a sustainable way. According to a conservatory officials, “As Phipps’ education, research and administration facility, the CSL is an integral part of the Phipps visitor experience as a ‘living museum,’ focusing attention on the important intersection between the built and natural environments, and demonstrating that human and environmental health are inextricably connected.” + Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens Images via Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

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Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens LEEDs the way in green design

KAJ Hotel is a one-room boathouse rental that exudes hygge

July 7, 2021 by  
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The Danish idea of hygge brings “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Why wouldn’t you want to have more of that in your life? At KAJ Hotel, you can. Kaj is a traditional Danish name that also means ‘quay’ or ‘wharf’. The name and the association with hygge are appropriate in the rental that is not a hotel or a houseboat but a memorable lodging on the harbor in central Copenhagen, Denmark. It provides a unique visitor experience as a one-room boathouse and tiny home . It even comes with an extra boat. Related: These floating, 3D-printed private offices have no land impact The project came to light when business and life partners Barbara von Haffner and Toke Larsen commissioned architect Karl Smith Meyer to help develop the plan. The couple have their own houseboat, which they used as a prefabrication point for part of the KAJ lodging. With copious inquiries about what it was like living on a houseboat , they decided to give others the experience firsthand. KAJ Hotel technically has no footprint, perched over the edge of the harbor, but it also avoids a heavy carbon footprint with the use of reclaimed materials. The majority of the mini-rental is built using wood, and there was minimal site impact by craning the prefabricated pieces into place.  Window frames were upcycled from the previous Danish Defense Command building. Old railroad poles were used in the foundation, and recycled materials from a ship were used to build the stairs and gangway.  The tiny abode delivers big on interior design with a traditional Danish feel. Known for a modern minimalism vibe, the Scandinavian-style lightly-colored wood ceilings, walls, floors and furniture are complemented by white walls and window frames for a neutral color palette that doesn’t distract from the natural surroundings just steps away. The micro-hotel provides a countertop/desk area, bathroom with portal window, a primary bedroom and additional sleeping spaces all within a 16-square-meter room.  Along the water’s edge, visitors can take in the opportunity for leisurely or quick swimming, sunbathing or enjoying views of the nearby tourist attractions. Unlike a hotel, you’ll have no one sharing the space, yet amenities like the provided porridge, coffee and tea deliver the comforts of home.  + KAJ Hotel Via Wallpaper Images via KAJ Hotel

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KAJ Hotel is a one-room boathouse rental that exudes hygge

KAJ Hotel is a one-room boathouse rental that exudes hygge

July 7, 2021 by  
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The Danish idea of hygge brings “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Why wouldn’t you want to have more of that in your life? At KAJ Hotel, you can. Kaj is a traditional Danish name that also means ‘quay’ or ‘wharf’. The name and the association with hygge are appropriate in the rental that is not a hotel or a houseboat but a memorable lodging on the harbor in central Copenhagen, Denmark. It provides a unique visitor experience as a one-room boathouse and tiny home . It even comes with an extra boat. Related: These floating, 3D-printed private offices have no land impact The project came to light when business and life partners Barbara von Haffner and Toke Larsen commissioned architect Karl Smith Meyer to help develop the plan. The couple have their own houseboat, which they used as a prefabrication point for part of the KAJ lodging. With copious inquiries about what it was like living on a houseboat , they decided to give others the experience firsthand. KAJ Hotel technically has no footprint, perched over the edge of the harbor, but it also avoids a heavy carbon footprint with the use of reclaimed materials. The majority of the mini-rental is built using wood, and there was minimal site impact by craning the prefabricated pieces into place.  Window frames were upcycled from the previous Danish Defense Command building. Old railroad poles were used in the foundation, and recycled materials from a ship were used to build the stairs and gangway.  The tiny abode delivers big on interior design with a traditional Danish feel. Known for a modern minimalism vibe, the Scandinavian-style lightly-colored wood ceilings, walls, floors and furniture are complemented by white walls and window frames for a neutral color palette that doesn’t distract from the natural surroundings just steps away. The micro-hotel provides a countertop/desk area, bathroom with portal window, a primary bedroom and additional sleeping spaces all within a 16-square-meter room.  Along the water’s edge, visitors can take in the opportunity for leisurely or quick swimming, sunbathing or enjoying views of the nearby tourist attractions. Unlike a hotel, you’ll have no one sharing the space, yet amenities like the provided porridge, coffee and tea deliver the comforts of home.  + KAJ Hotel Via Wallpaper Images via KAJ Hotel

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KAJ Hotel is a one-room boathouse rental that exudes hygge

Building the Future, Jason McLennan, CEO, McLennan Design

October 3, 2017 by  
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The co-author of the Living Building Challenge and one of the world’s most admired thinkers in green building shows how the future of the built environment is manifesting today. 

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Building the Future, Jason McLennan, CEO, McLennan Design

Etsy hacked an app to track waste — one you can use, too

April 13, 2017 by  
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The only publicly tech company to be certified under the Living Building Challenge is open-sourcing the system it uses to measure what’s leaving its offices.

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Etsy hacked an app to track waste — one you can use, too

3 ways to embed sustainability in public-private partnerships

April 13, 2017 by  
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Sustainability considerations should be prominent in the design, development and operational phases of the PPP process.

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3 ways to embed sustainability in public-private partnerships

Desert Rain House in Oregon is one of the greenest homes in the world

February 10, 2017 by  
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There’s a new contender for the world’s greenest home: Desert Rain House in Bend, Oregon . Designed by Tozer Design , the LEED Platinum home recycles all its water, produces more power than it can use, and it is the first residential compound to be certified by the Living Building Challenge . Solar panels and a rainwater collection cistern help this super green home pioneer a new paradigm for sustainable family living. The five-building Desert Rain House boasts seriously environmentally friendly features. Human waste is composted thanks to a central composting system, and greywater is reused for irrigation via a constructed wetland. Natural and local materials comprise the elegant dwellings; reclaimed lumber and plaster made with local clay, sand, and straw are among the sustainable building materials utilized. Related: Kansas University students build net-zero home with LEED Platinum and Passive House certification Materials from old buildings that once occupied the site were repurposed for Desert Rain House, such as old stone salvaged from old foundations and used in concrete for patios. The team that built the home looked for ways to reduce their carbon footprint as much as possible. For example, instead of having a manufacturer ship them roofing panels, the team assembled roofing onsite from a large roll of steel. Red List-compliant sealants and finishes also make for a non-toxic environment. Indoors the air is clear: not only can the owners open large windows for air circulation, but a waste heat-capturing energy recovery ventilator also means fresh air continually wafts through the main residence. Three homes and two out-buildings add up to 4,810 square feet situated on 0.7 acres. Elliott Scott, who owns the home with his wife Barbara, said in a statement, “We can’t continue thinking we are building a better world by making a ‘less bad’ version of the world we have created. The Living Building Challenge forces us to think in terms of a new paradigm.” + Tozer Design + Desert Rain House Via International Living Future Institute and Curbed Images via Desert Rain House Facebook and Desert Rain House

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Desert Rain House in Oregon is one of the greenest homes in the world

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