sustainable architecture
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sustainable architecture
design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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Empire State Building goes green in more ways than one

Empire State Building goes green in more ways than one | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
The Empire State Building is going green in more ways than one.


The Empire State Building was never intended to be low-impact. It was built as a symbol of the power of New York--and today, it's a surprising case study in the power of efficiency. A series of cost-effective, energy-efficient retrofits have dramatically reduced energy waste in the Empire State Building, saving $2.4 million in operating costs in the first year alone. In the next few years, when the project is complete, the building is expected to reduce its energy use by nearly 40 percent--and save about $4.4 million each year...

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Huge Growth for LEED Retrofits

Huge Growth for LEED Retrofits | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

LEED for Existing Buildings outpaces LEED for new construction. LEED energy retrofits allow owners to cut energy consumption by 30%-40%. Recapturing investment in 3-4 years. As of this month, square footage of LEED-certified existing buildings surpassed LEED-certified new construction by 15 million square feet on a cumulative basis.

"The U.S. is home to more than 60 billion square feet of existing commercial buildings, and we know that most of those buildings are energy guzzlers and water sieves," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, USGBC. "Greening these buildings takes hands-on work, creating precious jobs especially for construction workers. Making these existing buildings energy and water efficient has an enormous positive impact on the building's cost of operations. And the indoor air quality improvements that go with less toxic cleaning solutions and better filtration create healthier places to live, work and learn."

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Sherry Bonelli's curator insight, January 8, 2015 10:13 AM

More people are incorporating LEED principles to existing buildings vs. new construction. Hard to believe?


Retrofitting an existing building poses unique issues and challenges. If you want to learn more on how to manage LEED projects, check out www.SucceedAtLEED.com

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Melbourne: making green buildings the norm

Melbourne: making green buildings the norm | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Melbourne has inherited from a “new world city” grid: much of the middle and outer suburbs are characterized by low density sprawl and high dependency on the automobile. But in 1985, the Strategic Plan - meant to revitalize the Central Business District - started to reverse the pattern. This masterplan has subsequently benefited from Jan Gehl’s expertise, who recommended good sense and efficient measures such as tree plantings, restrictions on cars and improvement of the public spaces...

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New green design methods to revolutionize the building industry...

New green design methods to revolutionize the building industry... | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

If you want a preview of the downtown Vancouver streetscape in 2035, start with a walk down Granville or Georgia Street today.

Most of the buildings will still be standing. There will be additions and replacements, but most of the changes that will transform downtown's living, work and retail space will be undetectable from the sidewalk. That includes upgrades to water and energy systems in buildings that in 2012 are models of inefficiency by contemporary standards, let alone future ones.

"If you are thinking 2035, realistically 80% of the buildings that will be in existence at that time have already been constructed," said Innes Hood, a professional engineer and senior associate with Stantec Consulting, a consulting firm with 12,000 planners, architects, engineers, project managers and experts, working in teams to break down the boundaries between designers, contractors and investors, while using advanced computer modelling programs.


Retrofits are crucial.

One of Hood's main assignments is overseeing the redevelopment of existing buildings. More often than not, that means uncovering, through energy audits, glaring examples of waste - air leaks, inadequate insulation, inefficient heating and ventilation systems.

"We are involved in residential projects where we can achieve 80-per-cent reduction in energy use and become essentially greenhouse gas neutral through the implementation of cost-effective technologies," Hood said. "We're not having to strive to the leading edge. These are tried and true technologies around good building enclosures and high-performance mechanical systems such as heat pump technology...

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2011 Zerofootprint Award Winners at Greenbuild

2011 Zerofootprint Award Winners at Greenbuild | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The 2011 Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Award Winners were highlighted last week during the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo held in Toronto. The annual competition aims to ‘jump-start the discussion on how we might retrofit entire cities to fight climate change’.

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