Phase One of Babcock Ranch, FL is slated to open next year.
It’s pretty exciting to see that a whole community will be powered by the sun and what better place than Florida. Per EcoBuildingPulse,com, in 2006, developer Syd Kitson released plans for Babcock Ranch, a massive community to consist of 19,500 homes powered exclusively by the sun (but void of any unsightly solar systems on roofs).
Instead of individual PV panels, the community and the broader region will be supplied with solar energy via Florida Power and Light’s 74.5 megawatt Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center. Expected to be operational by the end of the year, the 443-acre solar power plant will be located in the Babcock Ranch and will supply more than enough energy to meet residents’ needs, according to project planners.
“Babcock Ranch will exemplify what it means to be a town of the future, offering residents a highly unique balance of the most technologically advanced infrastructure and amenities, with ready access to a rich natural environment and a true sense of community,” says Kitson, CEO of West Palm Beach, Fla.-based development firm Kitson & Partners.
Phase 1 development encompasses 1,100 single-family and multifamily residences and a downtown area with a wellness center, café, restaurant, and outdoor outfitter shop.
For more information check out Builderonline.com. We’ll be on the look out for the development of the town, they should be welcoming their new residents by 2017.
It is exciting to see that a museum was chosen as one of the 2016 AIA COTE top ten green projects of the year! Check out the specs via AIA below.
From the AIA:
The Exploratorium in San Francisco, CA, is an interactive science museum that also demonstrates innovation and sustainability in its design and construction. The building takes advantage of the historic pier shed’s natural lighting and the 800’ long roof provided room for a 1.3 megawatt photovoltaic array. The water of the Bay is used for cooling and heating. Materials were used that that are both sustainable and durable enough to withstand a harsh maritime climate. The project is certified LEED Platinum and is close to reaching its goal of being the country’s largest Net Zero energy museum and an industry model for what’s possible in contemporary museums.
BY THE NUMBERS:
- Estimated percent of occupants using public transit, cycling or walking: 47%
- Daylighting at levels that allow lights to be off during daylight hours: 50%
- Lighting Power Density: 0.78 watts/sf
- Views to the Outdoors: 75%
- Percent reduction of regulated potable water: 50%
- Total EUI predicted (kBtu/sf/yr): 42
- Net EUI predicted (kBtu/sf/yr): 6
- Percent reduction from National Median EUI for Building Type (predicted): 92%
Photo Credit: Bruce Damonte Photography
This year GreenBuild took place on the hill in DC. If you wanted to learn the latest about sustainable building it was the place to be! It featured three jam-packed days of top speakers, endless networking opportunities, showcases, LEED workshops and in-depth tours of green buildings in Washington, DC.
Here’s a short recap from BuildingGreen of the best 10 products, technologies and cutting edge ideas. They all can be pretty technical, but I am partial to the last one, USAI Lighting Color Select Tunable Lighting. This kind of controllable lighting could be a key option for museum collections requiring a special spectrum of light. Be on the look out for them!
- Johns Manville ENRGY 3.E Halogen-Free Polyiso Insulation
Johns Manville is the first manufacturer to sell a polyisocyanurate roofing insulation not containing TCPP, or Tris (1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate, the halogenated flame retardant used in polyiso and spray foam.
- Organic Furnishings from Ekla Home
These furnishings are made from natural latex and do not require chemical flame retardants.
- KI Chair with AirCarbon Plastic
The materials that go into the KI Chair come from agriculturally-sourced methane rather than petroleum, which makes the chair carbon-negative.
- FocalPoint Bioretention System
This filtration systems provides the performance of natural storm water filtration on a very small footprint.
- Multistack Magnetic Levitation Chillers with Danfoss Compressors
These chillers cool offices, schools, and large commercial buildings; they are energy-efficient and eliminate the need for mechanical seals, gears, pumps, and many other conventional components.
- Fluid-Applied Cat 5 Air Barrier System from Prosoco
The parts that make up these air barriers are based on the high-performance “hybrid” polymer chemistry, which lacks solvents and isocyanates; in addition, the removal of phthalate plasticizers makes them eligible for use in Living Building Challenge Products.
- Clean Energy Collective
The collective develops locally-sited photovoltaic facilities across the U.S. and engages with local utilities so that local people can purchase and own PV panels within a shared array.
- Cascadia Clip Thermal Spacers
The Cascadia Clip offers support for cladding over insulation, and it decreases thermal bridging more effectively than conventional methods.
- Marvin Windows with U.S. Passive House Certification
Marvin Windows is the first major American window manufacturer to issue a Passive House Institute U.S.-certified window. These windows are available with FSC-certified wood.
- USAI Lighting Color Select Tunable Lighting
This product blends the efficacy of LEDs with the ability to provide users complete control over the color and intensity of their interior lighting.
For for information check out the full article at BuildingGreen.
In preparation for BE NYC 2015, NESEA, The German American Chamber of Commerce, collaborated with the German Consulate General in New York and the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce to host a panel discussion and networking reception focusing on energy efficiency solutions and green building technologies made in Germany.
The panel discussion focused on passive house and how German energy efficient technologies are finally coming to the US.
Yetsuh Frank from BE Exchange spoke on passive house technologies and the benefits plus challenges of NYC adopting those standards to meet the 2050 challenge Mayor De Blasio has put forward. In the long run passive house is about “investing in long life components, ” and NYC will need to slowly start rolling passive house technology into present green building codes to come anywhere close to the new projected goals. Next up was Douglas Romines from Romines Architecture, he highlighted how his experience working in Germany helped pave the way for earlier energy efficiency adoption in NYC buildings like the new Staten Island Ferry Terminal.
The last 3 speakers were German based companies who will be exhibiting their products at the NESEA Expo. There was Eco2heat, who make ingenious infrared heating panels for residential and commercial use. The panels are safe, emission free, super efficient and effective plus provide instant heat in an elegant way. They beat all US radiator or baseboard heater any day! Second was Alumthermic, who are specialists for insulation of thermally decoupled aluminum window profiles and facades. And third was Menck Windows, originally a German company but they now have a new presence in Chicopee, MA. They manufacture top notch, finely crafted, energy efficient windows to the US market.
All in all, an interesting panel, (the infrared panels were definitely my favorite) and a great kick off to BE NYC 2015.
This is super exciting news to me, I know a bit nerdy! I’ve been a Green Mountain Energy customer for about 8 years and thoroughly support everything they do, so finding out that they were able to partner up with the Philadelphia Zoo on solar golf carts…very cool.
The Green Mountain Energy Sun Club donates to many projects that “enhance the quality of life through long-term, sustainable solutions that focus on people and the planet.” Recently, the Philadelphia Zoo was the proud recipient of $100,000 to be dedicated to increasing it’s already existing sustainability initiatives. The money was chosen to fund solar golf carts, which will immensely help zoo employees to get around the 42-acre park in much less time and more efficiently. Each solar-powered golf cart can generate enough clean energy to drive more than 1,600 miles annually. That’s a lot of miles around the park!
As the nation’s first zoo, Philadelphia is doing a tremendous job creating and implementing onsite operational sustainability measures. “With more than 1.35 million visitors annually, they aim to educate their community, model sustainable practices and provide their visitors with tools for taking action to live greener in their own lives, empowered to make a difference.” Presently the Zoo is working toward strategies to lessen their environmental footprint in five key areas:
1) improve energy efficiency
2) reduce, and manage greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
3) consistently conserve, and increasingly collect and reuse water
4) Use current best practices to manage stormwater on site and
5) conserve resources and avoid the use of hazardous materials through waste diversion and green purchasing.
This is very commendable, as we all know thoughtful zoos require an enormous amount of people’s energy and mechanical energy to run. It’s more than important to keep the animals healthy, it’s an utmost necessity!
Also if you’re in Philadelphia any time soon, right now they also have a unique exhibit called Second Nature, Junk Rethunk, which is “an array of artist installations, some larger than life, each one telling stories of endangered animals through the use of recycled, reduced, reused, repurposed and renewed materials.”