Spectacular Apple Campus Opening in April

Futuristic Apple campus in Cupertino, CA to open in April.

Futuristic Apple campus in Cupertino, CA to open in April.

Apple has announced that its new “space ship” headquarters in Cupertino, California – Apple Park — will be ready for occupancy in mid-April. Designed by London’s Foster + Partners, the jaw-dropping corporate headquarters will one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world with breakthrough, hi-tech interior design elements.

The campus’ ring-shaped, 2.8 million-square-foot main building is clad in the world’s largest panels of curved glass. It will run entirely on renewable energy, and boasts one of the largest on-site solar energy installations in the world.

The campus, which is set on 175 acres of manicured greenspace, will include a theater named for co-founder Steve Jobs and a visitor center with an Apple Store and cafe that will be open to the public. Envisioned by Steve Jobs as a center for creativity and collaboration, the project has transformed miles of asphalt sprawl into a haven of green space in the heart of the Santa Clara Valley.


New World Trade Center A Giant Symbol of Sustainability

New York's new World Trade Center is a symbol of sustainability in more ways than one.

New York's new World Trade Center is a symbol of sustainability in more ways than one.

One World Trade Center in Manhattan, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, was recently awarded LEED gold certification for its sustainable design. Given the building’s height and its completely glazed façade, some experts consider the certification an impressive feat.

The structure, which was completed earlier this year, was built on the site where the WTC North Tower once stood and measures 1,776 feet in height – an intentionally symbolic number representing the year 1776 when the U.S. declared its independence from Britain.

Energy efficient features include the building’s glass curtain wall, which is coated so that glare, ultraviolet and infrared light is reduced while still allowing natural light through, thus offsetting the need for artificial lighting. The tower also has a special energy management system, which monitors and adjusts power consumption and indoor air quality via thousands of sensors placed throughout the skyscraper. Another system captures rainwater, which is stored and then used for cooling and irrigation.

More than 40 percent of the material used to build the One World Trade Center tower was recycled and roughly 87 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfill. Overall it’s a very green story behind a very large, iconic building.


Passive Design Projects Worldwide Drive Global Energy Savings

Heidelberg Village in Germany will be the largest residential Passive Design project in the world.

Heidelberg Village in Germany will be the largest residential Passive Design project in the world.

Touted as “the world’s largest passive housing” project, a 162 unit residential complex is currently under construction in Heidelberg, Germany. The solar-powered Heidelberg Village designed by the Frey Architekten firm will feature a wide range of sustainable features, as well as rooftop and vertical gardens. The complex is expected to use 75% less energy than a similar project using conventional building design.

The Passive design concept originated in Germany in the 1990’s, and has now been embraced worldwide as an effective and economic way to cut carbon emissions and reduce energy demand in buildings while still providing high-caliber living comfort, superior indoor air quality and structural resilience. While the movement began with a residential focus, passive “house” building principles have been adopted in major commercial building projects as well, setting new standards for heating and cooling efficiency, total energy consumption and air leakage.

The Herman Teirlinch building is the largest Passive Design commercial project in Belgium. Photo: inhabitat

The Herman Teirlinch building is the largest Passive Design commercial project in Belgium.
Photo: inhabitat

One of the most ambitious “passive design” commercial projects currently underway is in Belgium where Europe’s largest passive office complex is under construction. The Herman Teirlinch government office will be a 66,500 square meter mixed use, low-rise, sustainable building designed by Neutelings Riedijk.

While entire passive home neighborhoods have yet to be created in the United States, passive design residential and commercial buildings are cropping up nationwide. The key components are 1) high-quality insulation and thermal-bridge-free construction 2) airtight construction 3) energy efficient windows and doors 4) mechanical ventilation for air quality.

Sto Corp has been a leader in providing passive design projects with energy efficient exterior insulation and finish systems. StoTherm ® ci continuous insulation, air moisture barriers, and advanced wall cavity systems have been used to meet and even exceed passive design energy efficiency standards in various climate zones across the country.

For more information on the Herman Teirlinch office building: http://inhabitat.com/belgiums-largest-passive-office-building-breaks-ground-in-brussels/

For more information on passive design: http://www.phius.org/home-page

For more passive design case studies: http://nypassivehouse.org/new-york-passive-house-2015-the-nyph-flip-book/)


PACE Spurs Building Upgrades for Energy Savings

Now there's financing available to cut energy waste in buildings of all types and sizes.

Now there's financing available to cut energy waste in buildings of all types and sizes.

PACE, which stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy, is a simple and effective mechanism for financing energy-efficiency retrofits and renewable energy upgrades that might not otherwise be affordable for commercial, residential, industrial, and agricultural buildings. PACE financing overcomes the upfront cost barrier these upgrades can pose by providing 100% of the financing for such projects.

The financing is paid back via property tax assessments that can stretch as long as 20 years. In most instances, the related energy savings more than pay for the assessment. Through the use of innovative PACE funding, new energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, insulation, solar and lighting improvements can be immediately rendered cash flow positive.

PACE funding has soared, as owners recognize the opportunity to increase their bottom line by reducing energy costs, to enhance the value of their property and do their part to offset greenhouse gas emissions. Since three quarters of the electricity generated in America is used to heat, cool, illuminate, and otherwise operate buildings, it’s not surprising that Scientific American magazine named PACE one of 20 “world changing” ideas.


Can Green Buildings Make Us Smarter?

Green is good -- outside or inside an occupied building.

Green is good -- outside or inside an occupied building.

A recent study published by Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) suggests that Green Buildings create optimized conditions for health and productivity. In a series of experiments, indoor environmental quality (IEQ) factors for both “green” and “conventional” buildings were simulated in a controlled environment that included office workers, and the researchers measured variables such as carbon dioxide variation, ventilation and exposure to volatile organic compounds in the building atmosphere.

The results? On average, cognitive scores for the two groups of workers were 61% higher for those working in a building with green features than with conventional construction.  In other words, green building can potentially deliver a smarter workforce.


AIA Names 2016’s Top Project for Sustainability

AIA COPE Winner 2016

This renovated federal office building in Portland Oregon earned an A+ for sustainability from the AIA.

The AIA’s Committee on the Environment (COTE) works to promote design practices that enhance both the design quality and environmental performance of the built environment. As the Institute’s champion of sustainable design, COPE identifies the most outstanding “green” projects around the U.S. and awards its annual Top Ten Winners.

This year’s overall winner is the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt (EGWW) Federal Building, an 18-story, 512,474 sf office tower in downtown Portland, Oregon. Originally built in 1974, the building received funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to undergo a major renovation to replace outdated equipment and systems. Already, EGWW has exceeded its projected energy and water saving goals.The building’s gas and electrical utility bills racked up a 45% energy savings in the first two years of use, compared to a building built to code.