Thursday, September 4, 2008

Clean Technology tower



Building on principles of biomimicry, Clean Technology Tower by Adrian Amith + Gordon Gill utilizes advanced technologies and climate-appropriate building systems to foster a symbiotic relationship with its local environment. The tower is sited and formed to harness the power of natural forces at its site- but it refines the conventional methods of capturing those natural forces to significantly increase efficiency. Wind turbines are located at the building’s corners to capture wind at its highest velocity as it accelerates around the tower. The turbines become increasingly dense as the tower ascends and wind speeds increase. At the apex, where wind speeds are at a maximum, a domed double roof cavity captures air, allowing for a large wind farm and the use of negative pressures to ventilate the interior spaces. The dome itself is shaded by photovoltaic cells that capture the southern sun. These systems provide both comfort and energy to the space.The complex includes over 1.8 million square feet of office space as well as a 300,000 square foot hotel, a spa and street-level retail. Dedicated elevators will provide access for both office and hotel tenants to all of the tower’s amenities.An adjacent grand plaza and park enhances the tower’s relationship with the surrounding neighborhood and provides a public gathering space for tenants. The plaza also complements an existing adjacent winter garden and strengthens the connection between the existing retail and the new tower.The tower is easily accessible via both public and private transportation. Hotel and office lobbies have dedicated street entrances and vehicle pick-up and drop-off locations. Service access to the building and parking are available below grade.The tower affords tenants unparalleled views of the city, the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Office space will be located on high floors to maximize available views and take advantage of the direct natural daylight. The tower’s domed top offers unrestricted skyward views, creating a truly modern, grand atrium space.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Schools Rapidly Turning Green Across America

Smart New Designs Boost Learning, Cut School Energy Bills and Provide Better Indoor Environments for Students and Teachers

Tens of thousands of students across the country will go back to school this fall to find their halls and classrooms turning green – as in environmentally sound and healthy, energy efficient and high performing. Hundreds of thousands of additional students are poised to attend environmentally designed schools within the next few years, according to the U.S. Green Building Council.
As the school year begins, nearly 1,000 school buildings will have met or are seeking LEED certification, with applications growing at a rate of more than one per day. The total number of square feet of LEED certified and registered school space will exceed 100 million square feet as the school year gets underway, according to new figures released today by USGBC.
LEED certification provides parents, teachers and communities with a “report card” for school buildings – verifying that a school was built to meet the highest level of energy and environmental performance. Through July, more than eight million square feet of school space are certified LEED while another 90 million square feet of projects are registered with USGBC.
“Green schools save operating costs for the district, create a better workplace for teachers, provide a healthier learning environment for students, and support a
more sustainable community. Every school in America needs to be green, and increasingly our school boards, teachers, PTAs and students are demanding it.”
Public or private schools in 50 states have turned to the LEED for Schools program for new or renovated buildings, as educators and school leaders increasingly see environmental building as a way to improve air quality for students, teachers and communities while also cutting energy and water costs
Case study analysis of completed LEED certified schools show the facilities use 33 percent less energy, saving 32 percent more water and reducing solid waste by 74 percent, compared to traditional school buildings.
On average, green schools save $100,000 per year, enough to hire two new teachers, buy 200 new computers or purchase 5,000 new textbooks, according to the report “Greening America’s Schools: Costs & Benefits” by Gregory Kats of Capital E, a national clean energy technology and green building firm. Another study in North Carolina by Heschong Mahone found that 2 of 3 students in classrooms with the most daylight had consistently higher test scores by 7-18 percent.
And green schools’ carefully planned acoustics and abundant daylight make it easier and more comfortable for students to learn and for teachers to teach. According to case studies profiled in “Greening America’s Schools,” cleaner indoor air cuts down sick days for students and teachers alike, as green schools commonly report reductions in teacher absenteeism and teacher turnover.
Green schools even provide a wealth of hands-on learning opportunities, where the school itself becomes an interactive teaching tool.
“Twenty percent of America goes to school every day,” said Michelle Moore, USGBC senior vice president. “There is no better or more important place for us to demonstrate as a society that we can have a more sustainable future.”
Green schools are popping up everywhere from urban America to rural areas, in both private and public schools. Among the examples:
• Ohio now requires all new schools and major renovations to earn LEED certification,
with 250 green school projects slated to begin in the next two years.
• All new schools in Chicago will be built green, like the Tarkington School of Excellence, where sixth grader Christian Torres doesn’t need an inhaler any longer - at his old school, he used it several times a day.
• Increasing numbers of school districts and private schools are committing to building
new facilities and retrofitting existing ones following the LEED for Schools rating
system.
• New Orleans is rebuilding public schools green following the disaster of Hurricane
Katrina. As Greensburg, Kansas works to recover from the devastating May 2007
tornado, every new building in the town, including the schools, will be built following
LEED guidelines.

“GREEN IS THE FUTURE “