We are fortunate to live in a time when the phrase "the greenest building is the one already built" is starting to catch on and hopefully becoming commonplace in the building industry. The proof is undeniable, but changing the way we do business never happens quickly. As we move toward the goal of building more sustainably, we must alter the way we view the built environment and make it easier to preserve the buildings already standing and discourage sprawling, disposable development.
Finalists in Kaiser Permanente’s "Small Hospital, Big Idea" Competition Share Their Visions
What will be the next big thing in hospital design? Kaiser Permanente, a leading not-for-profit health plan and care provider, aims to find out. Although accustomed to building large medical campuses, a changing health care delivery model has induced the company to explore ways of making care more accessible while improving cost effectiveness.
"Lightness" has several meanings, and the University of Tennessee’s 2011 Solar Decathlon entry, Living Light, exhibits them all. The design celebrates natural light, views, and ventilation, all within a compact footprint. The target audience for the home is young professionals working in the design or technology industries in Nashville. In other words, they appreciate all things high-tech but want a retreat at the end of the day. Living Light provides occupants with visual relief from the techni-cluttered world; energy-saving technologies are seamlessly integrated into the design.
Frederiksberg, a community within Copenhagen, seeks to build an experimental, new type of community center that emphasizes healthy and active lifestyles, along with more traditional or passive social and cultural pursuits. This 4,000 m2 (approximately 43,000 sq. ft.) building is slated for completion in 2015 and cost 130 million Danish krone (DKK) (approximately 25,061,660 USD). The KU.BE or “Kultur -- og Bevægelseshus” or House of Culture and Movement was designed by Adept and MVRDV and realizes an ambition to create a place of high architectural quality that is sustainable. The House of Culture and Movement will no doubt be architecturally captivating and contribute in a real way to the community’s health and well-being.
Looking at INhome, short for "Indiana home," one wouldn’t assume that it is net zero or even necessarily green, if not for the solar panels mounted on its roof. It looks like a quintessential Midwestern home, and that is exactly what Purdue University students intended for their 2011 Solar Decathlon entry. Sarah Miller, the team’s Architecture and Design Manager, describes the look as “transitional style,” falling somewhere between modern and traditional. With an estimated cost of less than $250,000, INhome’s practical design will appeal not only to the Midwestern homebuyer, but also a national market.
Imagine a place that could take you away from the stress of demanding deadlines. Lapa Rios Rainforest Ecolodge can offer that very experience. Located on the Osa Peninsula on the southwestern end of Costa Rica, Lapa Rios sits on a private nature reserve of more than 900 acres and overlooks the Golfo Dulce. This eco-tourism destination has garnered international attention and has won awards from several prominent publications such as National Geographic Traveler and Condé Nast Traveler. Multiple times it has won the Certification for Sustainable Tourism's (CST) Five Leaf Award – Costa Rica’s highest honor. Lapa Rios Rainforest Ecolodge marries the efforts of the resort, guests, and locals to promote sustainability and environmental awareness.
As the world is facing an energy and resource crisis, we are realizing more and more the importance of sustainability. This is especially true within the hospitality industry. Corey Enck of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently stated in a press release that “In the United States alone, hotels represent more than five billion square-feet of space, nearly five million guest rooms, and close to $4 billion in annual energy use.” Due to the unique challenges hospitality projects can present, the Hospitality Adaptations Working Group was formed to create a sustainable design model that the industry could follow.
Imagine that all of New York City’s rooftops are covered with photovoltaic panels. They could provide enough electricity to meet around 14% of the city’s needs, according to calculations by Tria Case, one of the City College of New York's directors. Comprised of students from The City College of New York’s (CCNY) Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture and Grove School of Engineering, Team New York, who are competing for the first time this year in the Solar Decathlon, asserts that NYC’s roofscape is vastly underutilized, not only for its potential in collecting solar energy but also for its potential to provide prime living and outdoor space for its citizens. Their design for the Solar Roof Pod could prove a versatile and sustainable solution.
In 2008, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) launched its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Homes program with the intent of capitalizing on the momentum of other LEED programs and revolutionizing the way homes are built. Since the inception of LEED for Homes, more than 10,000 LEED homes have been certified, providing builders a way to differentiate the products that they offer. It has also given home builders the opportunity to provide homes with higher marketability. Making the transition from traditional home building to green home building can be a daunting task: the following tools will facilitate the building of a LEED-certified home.
Technological innovation always shakes up an industry, and the surveying industry is no exception. All throughout surveying, machine guidance systems are gaining acceptance. The increased adoption of this technology by the industry is renewing the importance of surveyors. Machine guidance systems require skilled workers to calibrate and operate, and surveyors are in the best position to do this job. In order to capitalize on the opportunity, surveyors will need to learn to use machine guidance and promote their new skill.