Friday, August 22, 2008

Olympic Village in Beijing Earns LEED Gold Certification

Engaging the people of China in USGBC’s vision of healthy buildings and communities
Washington, DC (August 18, 2008) - Athletes in Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games are
staying at a first-of-its-kind, environmentally friendly Olympic Village. The plan for the village,
the temporary home to 17,000 athletes from around the world, has been awarded LEED®-Gold
certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) under its pilot LEED for
Neighborhood Development certification program.

The Beijing Olympic Village is the first Olympic Village to receive LEED certification, and as
part of the pilot program, it is one of only eight developments – and the first international project
– to thus far achieve certification under LEED for Neighborhood Development. The pilot
program began with a call for pilot projects in early 2007. Nearly 240 projects from 39 states
and six countries are now registered to participate in the pilot program. The information learned
during the pilot program will be used to make further revisions to the rating system and
certification process, and the resulting draft rating system will be posted for public comment
before it is submitted for final approvals and balloting. For more information on LEED for
Neighborhood Development, visit

“The world’s most pressing issues – including climate change, habitat destruction, water and
energy shortages, human health, and social inequities – require global cooperation to solve,”
said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO, and Founding Chair of USGBC. “The Olympic Games
represent the exciting possibilities that emerge when the world comes together. The
commitment of the Olympic Village, demonstrated through its success in the LEED for
Neighborhood Development pilot program, is an important part of that effort. It sets an inspiring
example while the world is watching, and the real, measurable environmental and health effects
will be a real benefit to the people of Beijing for years to come.”
LEED for Neighborhood Development integrates the principles of smart growth, New Urbanism
and green building into a comprehensive system for neighborhood design. The result of a
collaboration among USGBC, the Congress for the New Urbanism and the Natural Resources
Defense Council, LEED for Neighborhood Development certifies neighborhoods for their design
and performance in four categories: Smart Location & Linkage, Neighborhood Pattern &
Design, Green Construction & Technology, and Innovation & Design Process. The Green
Construction & Technology category awards developments for their integration of green
infrastructure elements and the green building principles promoted by the other LEED
certification programs. Depending on the number of points a development receives in each
category, LEED for Neighborhood Development certification is awarded at four levels: Certified,
Silver, Gold and Platinum.

In 2004, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and China’s Ministry of Science and
Technology developed a “Protocol for Cooperation in Clean Energy Technologies for the 2008

Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.” The Protocol resulted in plans to seek LEED certification
for the Olympic Village.
The LEED-Gold certification of the Olympic Village is the latest example of USGBC’s
commitment to engaging the people of China in USGBC’s vision of buildings and communities
that regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of all life within a generation. Most recently,
USGBC has supported the formation of the new China Green Building Council and anticipates
working with the China GBC as it grows and continues to promote sustainable, healthy building
practices in a country that builds nearly half the world’s new buildings every year.
“China’s growing population, its emerging economy and the opportunities and challenges it
represents ensure that China will play a key role in the future of our planet,” Fedrizzi said. “The
fact that one of the world’s first LEED for Neighborhood Development-certified plans is a cause
for great optimism that China’s growth in the coming years can be a model of sustainable

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

AC Towers, Dubai, UAE

Architect: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

The AC Towers- three of the world’s tallest buildings- rise up out of a central canal. The development’s unique form is also highly functional: soaring clusters of cables and occupied sky-bridges connect the towers together as they ascend. The towers are designed to the highest environmental and performance standards and will serve as a strong symbol of Dubai’s commitment to sustainability.A true "city center," the complex is accessible directly by both land and sea. At the base of the buildings, grand arched entrances allow boats to travel underneath the building and into a central atrium space, an oasis in the center of the development. The atria oasis, open from water to sky, is framed by the three towers and the sky-bridges above. The space has the potential to transform into a premier entertainment venue.The mixed-use development includes a hotel, residential, commercial retail and entertainment space totaling 800,000-900,000 square meters