For some builders, minimizing environmental impact isn’t enough.
Some developers are pushing the envelope further, designing buildings that can actually help the environment, according to the New York Times.
Nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and mission-driven developers pioneered the concept of “deep green” buildings and its spread to some commercial developers.
Developers Stephen C. Grey & Associates and Hess Callahan Partners have opened two “deep green” projects in Seattle designed by architecture firm Weber Thompson.
The seven-story office property known as Watershed has a slanted room to collect rainwater for use in toilets. The lobby also emphasizes the staircase instead of an elevator like traditional office towers.
Outside Watershed and beneath the Aurora Bridge, the developers built bioswales that collect dirty water coming off the bridge and filter it before feeding it into a nearby lake.
Improvements in solar energy and other green technologies make “deep green” more realistic and accessible for other buildings.
San Antonio-based credit union Credit Human is building a headquarters and office building. They’re solar powered, have tanks to capture rainwater from above, and wells to capture geothermal energy from below.
The International Living Future Institute has a green certification program considered to be far more rigorous than the industry standard LEED program. It’s certified 118 projects nationwide. [NYT] — Dennis Lynch