April 12, 2008

Landscape- Las Gaviotas/ what can I do?

The eco-village known as Las Gaviotas is a research center located in eastern Colombia, South America. It is the only project in the world with a twenty-three year track record of the sustainable regeneration of tropical rain forest. As of this year, las Gaviotas will have successfully reforested 8,000 hectares (20,000 acres) of fully canopied, poly-culture rain forest.

The results of this success are many. They include:
• Pure drinking water.
• 10% increase in annual rainfall.
• Dramatically decreased surface soil temperatures.
• Net cooling effect.
• Sustainable living wage economy for indigenous population.
• Development and use of alternative sources of energy.
• Proliferation of plant species, 253 at last count and rising.
• Sustainable sources of lumber, resin, cashew and bio-fuels.
• Sensible and sustainable management of natural resources.
• A model for sustainable third world rural development.

As a result of this success, Las Gaviotas has 144,000 tons of carbon offsets to offer on an annual basis. This tonnage of annual carbon sequestration is calculated using formulas developed in response to the Kyoto Treaty on Global Warming known as the Kyoto Protocol. The 8,000 hectares of existing maturing tropical rain forest is the source for this annual tonnage of carbon offsets.

90% of all donations received by the Marion Institute in support of this initiative will pass through directly to ZERI Eje Cafetero in Colombia to fund the planting regimen and related research at Las Gaviotas. 10% of the funds will remain with the Marion Institute to cover the costs of administering the program and to fund the ZERI Learning Initiative. The ZERI learning Initiative is devoted to the training of teachers in how to teach systems thinking and sustainability to K-12 age school children throughout the US.


Landscape- Arboreal Infrastructure


Sustainable Technologies for Urban Transformation
Balancing systems for an ecological urban transformation

key words: ecological infrastructure
urban forest
landscape urbanism

In the middle of our life's path I found myself in a dark forest, where the straight line was lost. (Dante, Inferno 1:1-3)
Ecological infrastructures, such as aquatic and arboreal systems, are insidious agents in urban -regional territories. These infrastructures are dynamic fields of biology and metabolism that are inhabited by human and non-human ecosystems alike.

One of these, the urban forest - or what could be called Arboreal Infrastructure - is the matrix of urban forest that is, worldwide, the most rapidly expanding forest of all. As global cities expand, they inherit edge conditions that are more densely forested than the historic city centers so the percentage of forest cover increases. Additionally, municipalities such as Beijing and Chicago have aggressively acted to enlarge the arboreal infrastructure of their metropolitan regions. Beijing has planted over 30 million trees in the past ten years. Chicago has planted fewer, but these are strategically located as part of the transportation infrastructure - the largest and most "everyday" of the more traditional communication and transportation infrastructures.

The mechanism for the expansion of these urban forests are national and municipal policy initiatives that quantify the tree canopy coverage as a percent of the total land area of these municipalities. Twenty five percent tree canopy coverage has been identified by the United States Department of Agriculture as a threshold at which significant ecological benefits are produced from the urban forest. In a small city such as Providence, Rhode Island (population 180,000) the increase in canopy from 18% to 25% will require the planting of a flock of 37,000 trees. Beijing recently announced that it had achieved the 50% tree canopy coverage it promised the International Olympic Committee prior to the 2008 Olympic Games.

A brief history of the transformation of urban tree planting from agricultural plot to microclimate enhancements to delineators of urban space will be reviewed with a conclusion outlining current shifts in urban forest policies from beautification to ecology as the basis for the planting and management of the urban forest. Advances in the technology of arboriculture will augment this review and amplify the artifice of ecology in the urban forest.

Ron Henderson is a landscape architect based in Providence, Rhode Island USA. He is Visiting Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Landscape Architecture Design Studios in the newly established Department of Landscape Architecture at Tsinghua University, Beijing PRC. He is also Visiting Assistant Professor of Architecture at Roger Williams University, Rhode Island USA and founding principal of L+A Landscape Architecture. He directs a policy initiative, Arboreal Infrastructure, that coordinates national, state, municipal, academic, non-government organizations, and professionals that has resulted in the drafting, review, and adoption of one of the most advanced ecological municipal landscape ordinances in the United States.
1500 bc fresco of garden high official's tomb trees, orchards, palms, groves, vineyard, pools, birds, pavilions, .... already the components of all gardens of all times were already represented. (Vercelloni, 1990) repetition - groves and orchards - not individual plants (Far Eastern)

15C Milan Filarete's Sforzinda palace-garden (Vercelloni, 1990, pl. 28) roof garden rather than a garden BESIDE the palace

Jacopo De'Barari's bird's eye view of Venice coincide with those shown on Francesco Colonna's Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, published by Also Manuzion a year earlier in 1499. The walled gardens are tended but the public realm is less tended and wild. (Vercelloni, 1990, pl.31)

June 29, 1545, the Senate of the Serennissima Repubblica di San Marco decreed the establishment of the first botanical garden in Europe, in Padua, on the Venetian mainland. 1,168 species classified in beds using monastic wisdom and recent scientific knowledge. (Vercelloni, 1990, pl. 39)

Jacques Androuet de Cerceau' Les plus excellents bastiments de France (Vercelloni, 1990, pl. 43) extroverted garden

what is the difference between gardens, parks, and forests JDHunt first second and third nature

Gabriel Thouin, 1820, published a tableau in his treatise on gardens. These might also record the various classifications of arboreal use: economy, agriculture, botanical, pleasure. Do we now add ecology ? (Vercelloni, 1990, pl.166)

"This isn't yours," he repeated, "because it's the ground that's yours, and if I put a foot on it I would be trespassing. But up here, I can go wherever I like." Baron in the Trees, p. 19

Trees seem almost to have no right here since my brother left them or since men have been swept by this frenzy for the ax. And the species have changed too; no longer are there ilexes, elms, oaks; nowadays Africa, Australia, the Americas, the Indies, reach out roots and branches as far as here. What old trees exist are tucked away on the heights; olives on the hills, pines and chestnuts in the mountain woods; the coast down below is a red Australia of eucalyptus, of swollen India rubber trees, huge and isolated garden growths, and the whole of the rest is palms, with their scraggy tufts, inhospitable trees from the desert. Baron in the Trees, p.17

Beauty demands peace; peace depends on a new contract. Serres p.25

The only strong or concrete reason that peoples and states have found to join forces and institute a lasting truce among themselves is the formal idea of perpetual peace, an idea that has always been abstract and inconsequential because nations have been able to consider themselves, as a group, alone in the world. Nothing and nobody and no collectivity was above them, and thus no reason. >

Since the death of God, all we have left is war. >

But now that the world itself is entering into a natural contract with the assembled peoples, however conflicted their assembly may be, it gives the reason for peace, as well as the sought after transcendence. >

We must decide on peace among ourselves to protect the world, and peace with the world to protect ourselves. Serres, p. 25

Most of Toronto's ravine parks run north-south and lack the east-west connections that could allow animals to move from watershed to watershed. The land included in the existing parks is also often steeply sloping; there are few good examples of upland areas that include interior spaces protected from obvious human disturbances, such as trampling. Downsview offers a rare opportunity to establish protected interior habitat and to simultaneously connect two north-south ravine systems (the Don and the Humber River systems). With careful spatial strategies in design and management, this infrastructure could be built to support biodiversity while encouraging humans to enjoy social recreation. it is not an "either/or" choice but rather a matter of establishing an informed basis to achieve "both/and." The basic idea is not new, but I believe that explicitly creating an infrastructure that supports regional biodiversity on a site-by-site basis while recognizing cumulative effects would be a new goal for urban design. (Hill, in Downsview, p 98)

Infrastructure is a prevalent term among the Downsview projects that can be posited as an operation, architecture and landscape are both understood as originary conditions in an urban environment, where a natural or real ground no longer exists. According to this point of view, the notion of infrastructure challenges the idea of a seamless, naturalistic, or naturalized surface that blurs particularities and differences, by making visible the graft that joins landscape to architecture, opening both toward a new definition of urban space. (Pollak, Downsview, p.45)

Tree Ecology. The designer is wise to respect certain ecological relationships among trees. Trees associated in nature have a more comfortable appearance when used together; they are usually complimentary in color and texture, and have similar cultivation requirements. When they are used together maintenance is obviously simpler than when trees with different moisture and soil requirements are grouped. (Zion, p.83)

The potential of trees in shaping and humanizing cities remains an unperceived amelioration for a civilization that has nearly forgotten the relevance of art in civic design. paradoxically, the opportunity to use trees as part of the city has been impeded by confusing the intrinsic characteristics of the forest and the city. Current urban planting design tries to represent the way trees grow in nature. This is our inheritance from the nineteenth century. The proper use of trees in cities should reinforce the structure of the city according to the disciplines of urban design, not plant ecology. Unity, continuity and scale have more consequence than natural history in weaving together the diverse threads of the urban fabric. The civic designer, like the artist and craftsman, expresses his understanding of nature not by copying but by creating an interpretation of our elusive relationship with the organic world. (Arnold, p.41)

The word 'forest' comes from the Latin 'foris,' which means outdoors or away from civilization. Forest shares an etymological root with "forum," an outside place.

-sen, -lin
Early Urban Forests

Difficulties Studying Early Urban Forests
The history of urban forestry is difficult to document by conventional research techniques. The green infrastructure of urban areas does not preserve as well as the gray infrastructure and archeologists are not actively searching to uncover evidence of ancient landscapes. Urban forests are not as well documented in literature and historical documents. Since a significant portion of early urban forests existed in open space, they were probably then, as they are now, sacrificed to make way for urban sprawl.
Reasons for Early Urban Forests
As early as 2,000 - 3,000 BC, Egyptians were lining ceremonial routes with trees. Around the fifth century BC, Athenians installed public gardens and street trees in their city and maintained them with elaborate irrigation and drainage systems (Hyams, 1971). Roman emperors had trees planted along routes in cities to make it easier for troops to navigate through urban areas. Kublai Kahn mandated the planting of trees along major urban routes so his armies could still follow the assigned routes during sand and snow storms.

Hyams, E. 1971. A History Of Gardens And Gardening. New York: Praeger Publishers

Prior to, and during, the Middle Ages, some cities set aside open areas for military exercises and citizen enjoyment. No evidence exists that any attempt was made to landscape these open areas. The city of Antwerp undertook two aggressive tree planting initiatives during the Middle Ages (mid- to late-1500s) making them one of the earliest pioneer cities in urban forestry. Antwerp’s first urban forest consisted of a landscape that was designed and installed along public walks and gardens just within the fortified walls of the city (Girouard, 1985). This new urban forest became very popular and attracted wealthy merchants that purchased adjacent land in order to build their homes around the gardens. During the same time period, Antwerp accommodated their citizens with a second tree planting initiative along a series of elevated earthworks (ramparts) built as fortifications during the Renaissance. The city planted a triple row of trees that shaded the citizens as they strolled along the old fortifications and enjoyed the views and fresh air turning these old fortifications into tree-lined boulevards (Girourard, 1985).
Paris improved upon Antwerp’s boulevard concept with an extensive planting of elm trees along an avenue called Cours La Reine. Instead of landscaping an existing open space associated with the city’s fortifications, the Parisians planted trees along existing avenues, creating some of the earliest tree-lined avenues. The primary purpose of these tree-lined avenues was for socialization. Wealthy citizens dressed up and rode in their ornate carriages while others, on foot, promenaded under the shade of the elm trees. In addition to the social spectacle, citizens enjoyed a view of the Seine river, fresh air, and cooler temperatures.

Girouard, M. 1985. Cities And People: A Social And Architectural History. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press

Evolution of the Tree-lined Boulevards
Raised earthen ramparts were usually built as a defensive structure and served as a boundary between the city and country. Trees may have been planted on the ramparts to help conceal the location of the town and to strengthen the embankment against cannon fire. Influenced by the tree-lined ramparts of Antwerp and the Cours La Reine, Parisians performed an extensive tree planting initiative on ramparts around Paris in the 1670s (Girouard, 1985). At this time, warfare with cannon artillery had evolved making the city’s ramparts no longer effective as defensive barriers. The trees were planted on the ramparts in four rows to create a central drive for carriages and two sidewalks for pedestrians. These tree-lined boulevards eventually became connected and experienced an increasing volume of traffic. Citizens preferred traveling along the shaded boulevards instead of the congested, noisy, treeless streets of the inner-city. By the late eighteenth century, tree-lined boulevards were spreading across France and Europe and the term boulevard was no longer associated with ramparts of fortifications.
During the eighteenth century, the French improved the tree-lined boulevards and avenues and demonstrated how trees could be planted in uniform rows to establish spatial boundaries (Kostoff, 1991). Napoleon also helped to shape the urban landscape around this time by widening all of the major avenues to decrease the opportunity for protestors and invading forces to erect roadblocks. Napoleon propagated these wide tree-lined boulevards in countries that he conquered.
Influential designers in the mid-eighteenth century, like Andre Le Notre, were routinely planting multiple rows of trees along major avenues in Paris to achieve an architectural goal of structural space (Kostoff, 1991). The incorporation of tree-lined avenues soon became an established practice in urban design and continues today.

Girouard, M. 1985. Cities And People: A Social And Architectural History. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
Kostof, S. 1991. The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings Through History. Boston: Little, Brown and Company
History of Urban Forests in American
Due to the haphazard growth of Jamestown there was no attempt by the early settlers to plan for landscaped areas. In fact, the citizens were slow to even plant gardens since they were preoccupied with the more profitable practice of raising cattle and tobacco. The Virginia Company had to pass a law in 1629 requiring the Jamestown settlers to plant gardens (Hyams, 1971). Williamsburg’s layout was probably influenced by European urban design so that in addition to broad, straight streets there were also open spaces (Brinkley and Chappell, 1996). These open spaces, or village greens, were at the center of colonial villages in New England and used by the local militia for mustering and drilling and by the local residents as a common pasture for livestock and horses. By the late eighteenth century trees were planted in village greens and along streets. Early American cities, like British cities, had tree-lined streets in residential areas but not in city centers. Kostoff (1991) recognizes a distinction between avenues, which were primary traffic streets, and boulevards, which were broad, straight roads with landscaped medians. Boulevards were often located around the periphery of cities and used to connect parks. As in Paris, vehicular traffic eventually took over the boulevards for rapid transport across cities to avoid congested city streets.
The French tree-lined avenue influence was evident in Pierre Charles L’Enfant’s design for Washington, D.C. L’Enfant purposefully designed broad avenues to facilitate the planting of trees and open spaces for monuments and for use by the public. In 1869, two influential landscape architects, Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvin Vaux, famed designers of Central Park in New York City, increased the public’s awareness of tree-lined streets in residential areas with their design of Riverside, Illinois. Olmstead and Vaux purposely designed and insisted on the installation of thousands of trees along the curved streets of one of America’s earliest planned suburban residential neighborhoods. It’s important to note that Olmstead and Vaux scaled their design for pedestrians – not vehicles (Kunstler, 1993). Sadly, as long as vehicles rule the residential roads, we will not be able to experience the vistas and other experiences designers such as Olmstead intended around our homes and communities.

Brinkley & Chappell, 1996.....
Hyams, E. 1971. A History Of Gardens And Gardening. New York: Praeger Publishers
Kostof, S. 1991. The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings Through History. Boston: Little, Brown and Company
Kunstler, J.H. 1993. The Geography Of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline Of America’s Man-Made Landscape. New York: Simon & Schuster

Federal and State Involvement
Before the economic and ecological benefits of urban forests were known, tree planting was performed as a part of a beautification effort to block undesirable views. In the early and mid-1950s, landscape architects often used trees to create the perception of open space since available space was being rapidly developed to support increasing urban populations. It should come as no surprise that the origins of the federal urban and community forestry assistance grant program was rooted in the perceived need to beautify urban areas. President Johnson initiated a task force on natural beauty and one member of this task force, Whyte (1965), proposed a landscape-townscape program that was eventually included as a provision in the Housing Act of 1965. The Department of Housing and Urban Development modified Whyte’s original provision and titled it “Urban Beautification.” This program provided 50 percent matching grants for landscaping and beautification efforts for communities. This money went directly to local governments, bypassing state governments. In 1978, Congress recognized that urban forests improve the quality of life for residents and that the health or urban forests were on the decline. The Congress passed the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act to provide financial and technical assistance to improve urban forests across the United States.
Current State of Urban Forests Across the United States
In order to determine if urban forests are increasing or decreasing across the United States an accurate baseline must first be established. Using satellite imagery, high-altitude photography, and computer software (CITYgreen) American Forests has been able to document a change in tree cover over urban areas across the United States. CITYgreen software generates a detailed inventory of vegetation by combining the images and photographs with available field data. In Washington, D.C., American Forests calculated the heavy canopy cover (acreage with 50% or more tree cover) and discovered that between 1973 and 1997 there was a loss of 64 percent (American Forests, undated). Based on a survey of 20 cities, a third of the cities only planted one tree for every eight removed, and about half of the cities faired slightly better by planting one tree for every four removed (Moll, 1987).
Moll, G. 1987. The State of Our Urban Forests. American Forests May/June.
Whyte, W.H. 1968. The Last Landscape. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc.


Arnold, Henry, Trees in Urban Design, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1993
Calvino, The Baron in the Trees. Translated by Archibald Colquhoun, New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1959
Harrison, Robert Pogue, Forests, the Shadow of Civilization, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1992
Hill, Kristina, "Urban Ecologies: Biodiversity and Urban Design," in Julia Czerniak, Case: Downsview Park Toronto, Munich: Prestel, 2001
Pollak, Linda, "Building City Landscape: Interdisciplinary Design Work in the Downsview Park Competition," in Julia Czerniak, Case: Downsview Park Toronto, Munich: Prestel, 2001
Sauer, Leslie Jones, The Once and Future Forest, Washington D.C.: Island Press, 1998
Serres, Michel, The Natural Contract. Translated by Elizabeth MacArthur and William Paulson, Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1995
Vercelloni, Virgilio, European Gardens: An Historical Atlas, New York: Rizzoli, 1990
Vico, Giambattista, The New Science. Translated by T.G. Bergin and M.H. Fisch. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1968
Zion, Robert, Trees for Architecture and the Landscape, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1968
CCTV 12 March 2006 6:30 pm report:

-12 billion trees planted in China in past 5 years
- in 2005, 3.79 million hectares planted
- nationwide, 18.21 canopy coverage

-50% canopy coverage in Beijing achieved - as promised to IOC

How does one walk in a straight line through a forest ? rph p.113

not just enough to imagine the rational consequences of the urban forest - the mystery of Vico's giants of the Grimm Brothers must present itself in the rationality of the street tree.

p.211 rph forests cannot be owned

The only true shelter on earth is the earth itself. rph 234
Arboreal infrastructure and the accomplishments Wangari Maathai. Arboreal Infrastructure has been endorsed as an agent of Peace.
Do trees equal peace ?


How does one walk in a straight line through a forest ? The mind's eye immediately conjures a dense forest, Bavaria or Virginia perhaps. Yet these forests are in decline in quality and quantity globally.

In the United States, the only forest that is growing is the urban forest. Suburbanization and mineral extraction are reducing the area of the forests. Climatic shifts and pollution of many sorts are degrading the forests that remain. Yet, in cities as diverse as Beijing (population 15.0 million) Chicago (population 2.5 million) and Providence (population 180,000) the urban forest is being expanded.

As a significant component of a comprehensive analysis of urban ecological systems, the urban forest

No one has ever won the Nobel Peace Prize for building a structure, but they have won for planting a tree.


1. 1. All trees and other vegetation in and around dense human settlements. http://hermes.richmond.edu/urbanforests/glossary.html
2. 2. Created where people congregate and build communities. Since humans are the main inhabitants of the urban forest, they largely determine the tree species in this forest. http://www.lpb.org/programs/forest/glossary.html
3. 3. For the purposes of micro-climate regulation, aesthetic value and water absorption, certain area shall be designated as urban forest. http://www2.bonet.co.id/dephut/41-99-1.htm
4. 4. Forests in, next to or nearby a specific urban area, of which the decision-making processes on desirable functions are dominated by local actors and their objectives, resulting from their perceptions, norms and values. Urban forestry is believed to differ structurally from forestry at large in terms of the geographical location, structure and ownership of the forested area, as well as in terms of the density of (recreation) facilities, actors involved in policy-making, major uses, policy instruments and the occurrence of social conflicts and dynamics of policy processes. http://www.efi.fi/publications/Working_Papers/12.html
5. 5. The approach was to use an urban forest concept with the concept of the 20-20 rule. The 20-20 rule referred to development sites preserving 20% of total lot planting area and 20 trees per acre being required as a measurement of urban forest. http://www.cityofdenton.com/council/minutes/021798.html
6. 6. The term we use for ALL the trees and woods within the Black Country. http://www.nufu.org.uk/htmfiles/bcuf.html
7. 7. The sum total of all vegetation growing in urban areas - www1.br.cc.va.us/.../module/ overview/A101a.htm
8. 8. The trees, forests, and associated organisms that grow near buildings and in gardens, green spaces, parks and golf courses located in village, town, suburban, and urban areas http://www.forestry.utoronto.ca/ac_staff/emeritus/My%20Webs/english.htm
9. 9. The trees, woodlands, woody shrubs, ground vegetation and associated green space within the urban environment http://www.susdev.gov.mb.ca/wildlife/misc/glossary.html
10. 10. The vast supply of recyclable paper produced in our cities, particularly office paper, represents a considerable untapped resource and has been coined the “urban forest”. http://www.foe.co.uk/camps/indpoll/paper.htm
11. 11. Urban Forest - The current EMO defines urban forest as performing several functions. Two of these functions require that an urban forest be located in the front of site along the roadway. Thus, if a site has urban forest in the rear or along the sides, the urban forest does not qualify to meet the 10 percent requirement. However, the EMO grants a credit (in the form of an increase in the percentage of the actual area preserved) if the urban forest is preserved along the front of a site. This is an obvious conflict in the EMO. Staff is proposing to correct this problem by clarifying that an urban forest may perform any one of the functions itemized in the definition, but not necessarily all of the functions. Thus, if a site has urban forest in the rear or the sides, it can qualify to meet the 10 percent requirement. The definition of urban forest also states that an urban forest is measured by using the tree drip line. The drip line of a tree represents the vertical projection (on the ground) of the outer perimeter of the crown of a tree. The problem with utilizing the drip line of a tree to measure urban forest is that measuring the drip line of a tree is not a standard technique that is typically used in the field by site designers. This measurement is also difficult to obtain for deciduous trees which lose their leaves in the fall. To correct this problem, staff is recommending that the term drip line be replace with the term "critical protection zone." The critical protection zone is a standard that is currently defined in the EMO and has been traditionally used and is accepted by site designers to comply with the EMO’s tree removal section. The critical protection zone is a circle surrounding a tree described by a radius of one foot for each inch of the diameter of the trunk of a tree. A public hearing has been scheduled to be held on May 3, 1999, before the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Commission on Ordinance No. 99-O-0020. The Planning Commission will review the ordinance for consistency with the Tallahassee-Leon County Comprehensive Plan. http://fcn.state.fl.us/citytlh/agenda/1999/990512/29.htm
12. 12. Urban or community forestry is the planning for, and management of, a community's forest resources to enhance the quality of life. The process integrates the environmental, economic, political, historical, and social values of the community to develop a comprehensive management plan for the urban forest. A community in this definition is an area of human settlement in a rural or metropolitan region. The urban or community forest includes the vegetation, open space, and related natural resources of the area. http://www.ag.uiuc.edu/~forestry/guide/pref.html
13. 13. We simply mean all trees and shrubs growing in populated areas. http://www.dnr.state.md.us/forests/education/shed.html

Landscape- Herman Miller Parking

The Herman Miller furniture manufacturing and assembly plant is situated on a 70-acre site in rural Georgia. The project’s modest building and site budget included no provision for landscape architecture before the architects invited Michael Van Valkenburgh, Inc. (MVVA) to join the design team. The client required parking for 550 cars and 120 semi-trailers—a total area of 10 acres. Runoff from the parking surfaces, the roadway, and the roof of the 330,000 square-foot facility would have had a devastating impact on the surrounding fragile creek ecosystems. The landscape architects determined that treating and slowly releasing the massive runoff in the landscape must become an essential priority for the project.

MVVA approached the porject with a simple strategy: grade the entire 22-acre building site at 5% to place the factory on a level base, so that water would sheet drain from impervious areas into wetlands constructed for the purpose, thereby eliminating the need for curbs, pipes, and manholes. The parking lot was divided into three bays that drain into wetlands planted with grasses, forbs, and sedges. When dry, these areas become meadows. The edges of these wetland trays transition to 10 to 15-foot-wide thickets of floodplain tress.

Using hydrologic management as an engine of this project’s design, the landscape architects extend Olmsted’s lineage with hydrologic systems to a new project type: the rural factory. We showed the client how to redirect money from the engineer’s budget and use grading, planting, environmental stewardship, and site organization to integrate storm water management into a vast factory system. In our scheme, parking became part of a thriving ecological system that neutralizes the impacts of runoff, provides habitat for wildlife, and offers a compelling arrival and departure experience to the three-shift factory’s employees.

By integrating ecology into acres of hardscape in an honest, elegant manner, this project creates a new model for low-cost, low-maintenance, environmentally sound factory landscapes. This model could be applied with equal success in suburban and urban areas and demonstrates how landscape architects can take a lead in linking effective hydrological management with good design.

April 11, 2008

Buildings- Personal Choices

Green Home Checklist

Whether you’re a homebuyer or a renter looking for a green home, how do you know if a home is truly green? What should you look for? This checklist will help you identify a truly green home and ensure you get a healthier, high-performance green home that costs less to operate and has fewer environmental impacts:

  • Location: New green homes and neighborhoods must not be built on environmentally sensitive sites like prime farmland, wetlands and endangered species habitats. The greenest development sites are “in-fill” properties like former parking lots, rail yards, shopping malls and factories. Look for compact development where the average housing density is at least six units per acre. Your home should also be within easy walking distance of public transportation – like bus lines, light rail, and subway systems – so you can leave your car at home. A green home should also be within walking distance of parks, schools, and stores. See how many errands you can carry out on a bicycle. That’s healthier for you, your wallet, and the environment.
  • Size: No matter how many green building elements go into your home, a 5,000-square-foot green home still consumes many more natural resources than a 2,000-square-foot green home. The larger home will also require more heating, air conditioning and lighting. If you really want a sustainable home, choose a smaller size.
  • Building Design: The home should be oriented on its site to bring abundant natural daylight into the interior to reduce lighting requirements and to take advantage of any prevailing breezes. Windows, clerestories, skylights, light monitors, light shelves and other strategies should be used to bring daylight to the interior of the house. The exterior should have shading devices (sunshades, canopies, green screens and – best of all – trees), particularly on the southern and western facades and over windows and doors, to block hot summer sun. [t4]Dual-glaze windows reduce heat gain in summer and heat loss during cold winter months. The roof should be a light-colored, heat-reflecting Energy Star roof, or a green (landscaped) roof, to reduce heat absorption.
  • Green Building Materials: A green home will have been constructed or renovated with healthy, non-toxic building materials and furnishings, like low- and zero-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and sealants and non-toxic materials like strawboard for the sub-flooring. Wood-based features should come from rapidly renewable sources like bamboo, but if tropical hardwoods are used, they must be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. A green home uses salvaged materials like kitchen tiles and materials with significant recycled content.
  • Insulation: A non-toxic insulation, derived from materials like soybean or cotton, with a high R (heat resistance) factor in a home’s walls and roof will help prevent cool air leakage in the summer and warm air leakage in the winter.
  • Windows and Doors: Windows and exterior doors should have ENERGY STAR® ratings, and they should seal their openings tightly to avoid heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter.
  • Energy Efficiency: A green home has energy-efficient lighting, heating, cooling and water-heating systems. Appliances should have ENERGY STAR® ratings.
  • Renewable Energy: The home should generate some of its own energy with technologies like photovoltaic systems.
  • Water Efficiency: A green home has a water-conserving irrigation system and water-efficient kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Look for a rainwater collection and storage system, particularly in drier regions where water is increasingly scarce and expensive.
  • Indoor Environmental Quality: Natural daylight should reach at least 75% of the home’s interior. Natural ventilation (via building orientation, operable windows, fans, wind chimneys and other strategies) should bring plentiful fresh air inside the house. The HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system should filter all incoming air and vent stale air outside. The garage should not have any air handling equipment or return ducts, and it should have an exhaust fan.
  • Landscaping: Vine-covered green screens, large canopy trees and other landscaping should shade exterior walls, the driveway, patios and other “hardscape” to minimize heat islands. Yards should be landscaped with drought-tolerant plants rather than water-guzzling plants and grass in most regions.

Buildings- Glidehouse, Prefab Housing

Michelle Kaufmann's Glidehouse factory built housing

- Eleonore de Lusignan

Designed for clean, simple living. The Glidehouse is built in a factory, using the most modern and environmentally friendly building methods and materials. It can be built in as little as 10 to 14 months at a cost comparable to or below traditional site-built homes.“Michelle Kaufmann Designs Glidehouse™ is nationally recognized as a contemporary, sustainable residence, setting the standard for pre-fabricated architecture. From design to construction, this home has been designed to harmonize with nature for clean, green, healthy living and to stand the test of time. The Glidehouse home proves that a low maintenance, sustainable residence can be high-quality, well designed, and cost effective. The Glidehouse meets the Energy Star® program standards for energy efficient homes and meets the performance standards of the American Lung Association Health House program.”

Publisized in the series "Big Ideas for a Small Planet" by the Sundance Channel, Michelle Kaufmann Designs, are acclaimed for their holistic approach to architecture design. The average home size in the USA has increased from 980 to 2350 sq. ft. in 50 years. The energy costs and carbon emissions emitted by the construction housing are significant. When constructing a home one should consider the cost no just on day one but for the next five years. Once MK designs saw the great benefits in prefab housing, they decided to do a case study and compared the construction of two houses with the exact same architecture: one site-built the other factory built. The results were impressive; the site-built home took 14 months to construct and cost 20 % more then the factory built home which was built in 4 months.

There are several was of putting modular housing together. Michelle Kaufmann explains their processes begins in the factory, by creating the frame horizontally. Then an overhead grid system assembles the frame in two to three days. Once it is set into place the interior dry wall and insulation is fixed. By progressing from the inside - out, the workers can do the interior finishing during the exterior construction. In addition to this form of construction, MK designs addresses smart design, eco materials, energy efficiency, water conservation and a healthy environment.

Who: Developers Susan Powers and Chuck Perry
What: Two-story, factory-built, energy-efficient, modular town-homes ranging from 1,100 to 1,500 square feet. They will be built in an All American Homes factory in Milliken and put together on the site to reduce construction cost and time.
Where: 21 acres near Regis University, West 52nd Avenue and Federal Boulevard
Architect: Michelle Kaufmann”

Building- Burnside Rocket

Burnside Rocket
The Burnside Rocket Building

The Burnside Rocket is a new mixed-use building located at the corner of East Burnside and NE 11th Avenue in Portland, Oregon. The site is a 3,800sf (350m^2) former vacant lot, adjacent to an indoor rock climbing gym. The building includes 16,500sf (1533m^2) of indoor area on four floors, plus outdoor terraces at each level. Construction was completed in April 2007, and the building is fully leased. The project team is projecting LEED Platinum certification.

An "edible roof" garden supplies fresh produce for top floor restaurant. Climb a ladder behind the kitchen of Leather Storrs' Rocket restaurant, and you step out of the roof hatch onto dirt. The view of downtown is great up here, but keep one eye on the ground to avoid crushing the peppers and tomatoes growing in raised beds & planters. During the past several weeks, master gardener Marc Boucher-Colbert has used several innovative techniques to help plants thrive in this hot, windy environment. Having a garden this close to the kitchen allows staff to pick ingredients at peak ripeness, and brings a whole new meaning to the idea of "Eating Local".

Window Shades as Art: Operable windows with artistic shutters allow sun control and natural ventilation for office tenants, and a head-turning display for passers by. Twenty sliding panels flank each window on the 2nd & 3rd floor office spaces. Four fixed panels are located on the ground floor. These panels provided a blank canvas for 24 emerging artists that live, work, or show art in Portland's Central Eastside Arts District. The installation was curated by Ruth Ann Brown, owner of the New American Art Union located nearby at 922 SE Ankeny St. The panels were installed last week, and will remain in place for five years before being auctioned to raise money for a new round of artwork.

Project team is projecting LEED Platinum Certification. After paperwork is reviewed by the US Green Building Council, the Burnside Rocket should join the ranks of LEED Platinum certified buildings. So far there are just two in Portland (The Armory & OHSU Center for Health & Healing) and just 40 nationwide. The Burnside Rocket is designed to use just 50% of the energy of a typical commercial building. An innovative Geo-Exchange system uses water from an on-site well to heat or cool air that is distributed through voids in the concrete floor slabs. Many of the features that won LEED points also make the building a great place to work: roof gardens, operable windows, excellent air quality, and daylit spaces.

San Francisco's Carbon Fund

San Francisco Launches Carbon Offset Program
Rather than funding replanting tree farms in other hemispheres or investing in alternative power systems on the other side of the planet, San Francisco has created the San Francisco Carbon Fund, a first-ever city-based carbon offset program that will fund local green activities such as energy efficiency projects and solar panel installations for low-income housing, as well as biodiesel conversion programs that support the conversion of waste into fuel.

“Globally, the market for carbon offsets is growing rapidly, estimated to top $10 billion by 2010, and there is absolutely no regulation,” said Jared Blumenfeld, director of San Francisco’s Environment Department. “However, by developing our own program and funding local projects, we have the ability to assure that the offsets actually happen, benefit the local community, and help achieve our aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals.”

The plan is for the carbon fund to begin as a pilot program to offset emissions from municipal air travel. It will be expanded to San Francisco residents, businesses and visitors once the program infrastructure has been established.

When the program is rolled out citywide, the Department of the Environment will issue an RFP for local greenhouse gas reduction projects that can be covered by the fund.

Buildings- Cherokee Property, Benny Hill (Historic Renovation)

Cherokee, a private equity firm that specializes in the sustainable redevelopment of environmentally impaired properties worldwide,
received Platinum certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s
(USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green
building rating system for its new corporate headquarters. The firm’s Platinum-certified headquarters is in a hundred-year-old historic building in downtown Raleigh, N.C. Cherokee worked with local groups, Tise-Kiester Architects, Empire Hardhat Construction, Carter & Burgess, Engineered Designs, Inc. and Thompson Consulting to rehabilitate the former furniture warehouse into an innovative, award-winning, green building that is fit with hundreds of environmentally responsible and high performance features.

Cherokee’s new office is one of only 61 LEED Platinum projects in the world, and the first ever in North Carolina. Only six percent of the LEED-certified projects worldwide are designated with Platinum status. Moreover, Cherokee's headquarters is one of a few known historic renovations worldwide that have earned this distinct honor and the first LEED-certified building in the city of Raleigh.

Cherokee Investment Corporation is a private equity firm that specializes in brownfield redevelopment. Created in 1984, the firm focuses on delivering strong financial returns while creating positive environmental and social results. Headquartered in downtown Raleigh, N.C., Cherokee has invested in nearly 550 properties worldwide and currently has over $2 billion under their management. To support the organization’s mission and illuminate its values, Cherokee sought to inhabit a facility in downtown Raleigh that needed a little TLC. “We were outgrowing our past office space and decided we had to move,” says Chris Wedding, Cherokee’s LEED accredited professional on the project. “We wanted to make sure that the place we moved into fit not just our values, but also our business focus.” In addition to increasing value in the downtown infrastructure by renovating a historic property, Cherokee also sought to provide their employees a work environment that was as healthy and sustainable as possible.

Begun as a shell renovation, the project combined 8 properties with 10 addresses in downtown Raleigh. The shell building occupies a corner of downtown and encompasses 48,000 square feet. Cherokee, the primary tenant occupies 22,000 square feet. The new facility incorporates energy-saving concepts such as a highly insulated, reflective roof to reduce heat gain, ENERGY STAR-certified office equipment and efficient lighting systems. Craig A. Carbrey, AIA, the project architect, explains that daylighting was the toughest issue for the design team. “The fact that it was an existing building made that much more challenging, since only the south and west walls of the existing buildings had windows,” he says. They hurdled the obstacle by “cutting a few strategic windows here and there” so that 90 percent of the office occupants have views to the exterior. Other sustainable measures include high use of FSC-certified woods, efficient faucets and waterless urinals, high efficiency HVAC, and zero- or low-VOC paints, adhesives, sealants, furniture, and carpeting. The facility provides occupants with easy access to public transportation, along with showers and bike storage to encourage zero-emission transportation. Through the carefully executed renovation, approximately 86 percent of the construction and demolition waste was diverted from the landfill. Greater than 60 percent of the office interior was reused, yet energy consumption is reduced by over one-quarter and water consumption is down by nearly half. Finally, the office workstations selected by Cherokee contain 82 percent recycled content.


Cherokee is the leading private equity firm investing capital and expertise in brownfield redevelopment. For more than two decades, Cherokee’s executive team has produced strong financial returns while delivering positive environmental and social results. Cherokee has invested in more than 525 properties worldwide. The firm has more than $2 billion under management and is currently investing its fourth fund. The company has evolved its leadership role in the reclamation of brownfields by applying expertise, creativity and resolve to sustainable redevelopment of properties after remediation.

U.S Green Building Council:

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non-profit organization committed to expanding sustainable building practices. USGBC is composed of more than 13,500 organizations from across the building industry that are working to advance structures that are environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places to live and work. Members includes building owners and end-users, real estate developers, facility managers, architects, designers, engineers, general contractors, subcontractors, product and building system manufacturers, government agencies, and nonprofits.

USGBC's mission is to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Rating System:

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria.

LEED is a third party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Architects, real estate professionals, facility managers, engineers, interior designers, landscape architects, construction managers, lenders and government officials all use LEED to help transform the built environment to sustainability. State and local governments across the country are adopting LEED for public-owned and public-funded buildings; there are LEED initiatives in federal agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Agriculture, Energy, and State; and LEED projects are in progress in 41 different countries, including Canada, Brazil, Mexico and India.

LEED Rating Systems are developed through an open, consensus-based process led by LEED committees. Each volunteer committee is composed of a diverse group of practitioners and experts representing a cross-section of the building and construction industry. The key elements of USGBC's consensus process include a balanced and transparent committee structure, technical advisory groups that ensure scientific consistency and rigor, opportunities for stakeholder comment and review, member ballot of new rating systems, and a fair and open appeals process.

Buildings- What You Can Do

There are a number of options for a home owner to improve their house to be more sustainable, each with differing degrees of commitment. Energy and water usage, material selection, insulation, indoor environmental quality, maintenance and efficient appliances are the main considerations.


Energy Efficiency
44 percent of average home’s energy use is used for heating and cooling. If it is reduced by ten percent, hundreds of dollars can be saved while cutting household energy use by 4.4 percent.

Energy efficiency can be improved by in a number of ways: check to confirm that walls and attic are well insulated, replace windows, plant shade trees and shrubs around your house, replace old furnace with a high-efficiency system, improve efficiency of hot water system, replace incandescent lights with compact florescent lamps, if replaced, do not keep using old refrigerator, take advantage of new tax incentives for home improvements, use Energy star appliances, consider alternative energy resources, use of daylight, improve roof quality and schedule an energy audit for more expert advice concerning your home.

Use non-toxic furnishings and cleaners, make effective use of equipment, update old and inefficient appliances, and participate in a recycling program.


Exterior Walls
Effectively insulated use R-25 if possible for this and air seal, also use flashing details to keep wall interiors dry, but make sure they can air out if needed.

Exterior Surfaces
Use a surface material that reduces rain penetration, avoids moisture damage, requires minimal maintenance, is recycled and/or recyclable or biodegradable, is produced well, lasts a long time and is installed effectively.

Interior Surfaces
Use recycled or fully recyclable building materials, coatings that are non-toxic, and wood from certified forests.

Use sun, control water on-site, protect existing planting and soils, use native plants, reduce or eliminate the use of chemicals on landscape, reduce waste and recycle during construction and use permeable surface material.

Avoid moisture, provide effective water away from the foundation, use flyash in concrete foundations, use a least a R-10 insulation system, consider frost-protected shallow foundation, no asphalt base dampproofing and non-toxic form release agents.


Theses are the rooms with the most opportunity for improvement that are also good example of how improvements can be implemented. Some of these methods can be used in other areas around the house.

Reduce Water Use:Replace old toilet water, replace old shower head, 1.5 to 2 is recommended, replace faucets with 0.5 or 1 gpm models or install aerator heads on old faucets and consider new technologies including dual flush toilets, touchless faucets, greywater systems and composting toilets.

Reduce Energy Use: Insulate water heater and hot water pipes, install a hot water recirculation pump on water fixtures, consider a drain-water heat recovery system and replace water heaters 15 years or older.

Indoor Environment: Check to make sure ventilation system is effective, use materials that are from a clean manufacturing process, check windows to make sure they can be opened and caulk unnecessary gaps and replace windows with Energy Star windows if needed.

Improve Building Materials: Make sure cleanly manufactured, impervious to water, preference to reusable materials; tile, stone and concrete recommended for multiple elements of a bathroom; and use caulk when necessary.

Construction: Seal pipes or wiring where they enter into the bathroom, insulate hot water pipes, replace or cover vinyl tiles and work with your constructor with improvements.

Use and Maintenance: Turn water heater down to 120 degrees F, lower thermostat, install showerhead shutoff valve, run fan after showers, use water sealants when needed and properly dispose of toxic cleaning materials.

Install operatable windows and skylights, use a high-efficiency ceiling fan, use high-efficient compact florescent lights, look for Energy Star lighting and appliances, consider an on-demand hot water pumping system, replace plumbing fixtures installed before 1992, replace refrigerator 10 years or older and use appropriately sized appliances.





Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy:


U.S. Green Building Council: www.usgbc.org

Cleveland Green Building Coalition: www.clevlandgbc.org

Buildings- RISD Solar Decathlon

The Rhode Island School of design was one of 18 institutions to be selected to compete in the 2005, solar decathlon, an intercollegiate design competition sponsored by the Department of Energy. The teams, made up of students goal was to design, build and operate an 800-square foot, solar house.


RISD’s entry takes the emerging practice of sustainable architecture to another level as the house will not only power itself, but will actually produce an excess of energy. The goal was to build a house that convinces visitors of the viability of solar and sustainable design and demonstrates that the aesthetics and utility of the solar house are as important as the operational technology.

The house's mechanical core differs from traditional houses in two ways: it is both more compact and expansive. The stacked organization of high performance equipment minimizes duct and pipe runs and therefore provides increased efficiency. In addition, components that extend to the envelope of the house are made up of new energy exchanging and phase change materials that react to the movement of the sun. The floor and roof do the work of old mechanical machinery to mitigate the temperature differentials.

A performative, louvered skin tracks the circuit of the sun and, according to the season, reflects or absorbs heat and provides ventilation. As the earth spins the exterior skin produces a changing visual effect through a graphic use of hidden color.

Roof Garden
The garden utilizes a series of planter boxes in which vegetables and herbs, as well as shade plants grow. This again reduces the solar load on the building and insulates the roof. The relationship between the deck and the roof is central the townhouse concept and it was a goal to allow the garden to spill down the southern fa├žade into a deck mounted planter, shielding the house from solar gain in the summer and providing it with solar gain in the winter when the plants are dormant.

The overriding concept for the interior is the architectural promenade – a clearly choreographed path through the house for the occupant and the visitor. The path winds through the living room, around the central core, through the home office and out onto an expansive deck, where visitors circle back where they started.

The most energy and assembly efficient component of the house is the central mechanical core. The hot water heater, the bathroom fixtures and the washer/dryer unit sit on a platform, which becomes the bathroom of the house. The bathroom shares a wall with the kitchen, minimizing plumbing runs. A fresh air supply and return fan resides above to maintain the correct humidity levels. Since the bathroom shares walls with both the bedroom and the living/dining area, ducting is virtually eliminated. The compact nature of these mechanical/ plumbing systems allows the 'core' of the building to be shipped as a unit, slid into position and hooked up in relatively short time.

Solar Energy Design
Substantial planning went into the choice of solar panels, as the house must be powered only by solar energy over the course of 10 days. After exhaustive research, the risd solar team chose Sanyo Panels. These panels produce 190 watts for each panel – a high number based on the relatively small size of the panel. The house uses 24 photovoltaic panels, which translates to the production of 4,560 watts of power at any (sunny) time of the day. The house and its solar panels have been designed to accommodate all of the appliances used during the normal course of the day.


By designing an attachment system for the panels, which can be utilized for all the major joints in the building, the assembly becomes straightforward.
This system of attachment relies not so much on the design of new pieces, but upon the implementation of existing off–the–shelf products in non-traditional use. Because the systems are modular, the number of differing pieces can be reduced to a minimum and parts can be fabricated in a simple assembly line process.

The RISD Solar house was built in Providence in modules, then disassembled and transported by Paul Arpin Van Lines to Washington, DC. Once in Washington, the house was reassembled on the Mall (the grounds of the decathelon).
The house is divided into seven modules; two at north, two at the core, and three at the south. The south and core modules are fabricated with the roof attached because of the height of the north end of the house, the roof and triangular wall sections will be shipped separately.


Building- Renovation Construction

Cherokee Investment Corporation new LEED certified headquarters.

Renovation of existing structures is an inherently green building process. By reutilizing an existing structure you are taking advantage of the energy already embodied in the creation of the materials already in existence as well as the energy used in it’s construction. LEED –the certification system for green architecture- doesn’t recognize this type of construction to the extent it should. Cherokee’s new office headquarters defies the system, renovating an existing building while at the same time achieving LEED platinum status.
Cherokee is a company that focuses on the remediation of brown fields, as well as their redevelopment. The new office building is a century old furniture store located in downtown Raleigh NC. By utilizing an in-house LEED accredited team, as well as outside architects Cherokee was able to create platinum certified building.

Building features:

Insulated reflective roof to reflect heat gain
Energy Star office equipment
Utilizing daylight
FSC-certified wood
Efficient faucets/waterless urinals
Zero/low VOC items
Easy access to public transportation
Showers and Bike storage facilities
86% of construction waste diverted from landfill
Over 60% recycled materials
¼ reduction in energy use
½ reduction in water consumption

The Benefits

Aside from this just being a really great efficient building, it has other benefits.

2 main ones:

As Cherokee is a company that has dealt with issues of sustainability and the remediation of brown fields it’s workers are familiar with these issues. However by creating an environment where the workers can interact with and see this mentality on an everyday basis has given them a greater connection with the issues. The renovation of this building has coincided with Cherokee’s conversion from cleaning and than selling off the brown fields for development to cleaning up and having a hand in the development themselves as a way of making sure the land is used in a sustainable way.

While in the process of searching for LEED certification for the building, Cherokee’s lead LEED Chris Wedding- was surprised at how LEED doesn’t recognize renovation. Since the platinum certification of their headquarters Wedding is pushing for a change in LEED’s certification process to recognize this sort of building. He is hosting a conference on how to push this shift forward

April 10, 2008

Buildings- Zero Energy Developments

The Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZED) is the UK's largest carbon-neutral eco-community - the first of its kind in this country. BedZED was developed by the Peabody Trust in partnership with Bill Dunster Architects and BioRegional Development Group, environmental consultants.

The BedZED design concept was driven by the desire to create a net 'zero fossil energy development', one that will produce at least as much energy from renewable sources as it consumes. Only energy from renewable sources is used to meet the energy needs of the development. BedZED is therefore a carbon neutral development - resulting in no net addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

What are the features of BedZED?
The design is to a very high standard and is used to enhance the environmental dimensions, with strong emphasis on roof gardens, sunlight, solar energy, reduction of energy consumption and waste water recycling.

BedZED provides 82 residential homes with a mixture of tenures, 34 for outright sale, 23 for shared ownership, 10 for key workers and 15 at affordable rent for social housing - with a further 14 galleried apartments for outright sale.

The homes are a mixture of sizes and the project also includes buildings for commercial use, an exhibition centre, a children's nursery and a show flat so that visitors may see what it is like to live at BedZED.

The buildings
Buildings are constructed from thermally massive materials that store heat during warm conditions and release heat at cooler times. In addition, all buildings are enclosed in a 300mm insulation jacket.

BedZED houses are arranged in south facing terraces to maximize heat gain from the sun, known as passive solar gain. Each terrace is backed by north facing offices, where minimal solar gain reduces the tendency to overheat and the need for energy hungry air conditioning.

BedZED's architecture
BedZED has been designed to address environmental, social and economic needs. It brings together a number of proven methods - none of them particularly high tech - of reducing energy, water and car use. Crucially, it produces affordable, attractive and environmentally responsible housing and workspace.

Key features include:

Using renewable materials
Where possible, BedZED is built from natural, recycled or reclaimed materials. All the wood used has been approved by the Forest Stewardship Council or comparable internationally recognised environmental organisations, to ensure that it comes from a sustainable source.

Space heating
Through the innovative design and construction, heat from the sun and heat generated by occupants and every day activities such as cooking is sufficient to heat BedZED homes to a comfortable temperature. The need for space heating, which accounts for a significant part of the energy demand in conventional buildings, is therefore reduced or completely eliminated.

BedZED homes and offices are fitted with low energy lighting and energy efficient appliances to reduce electricity requirements.

To enable residents and workers to keep track of their heat and electricity use, meters are mounted in each home and office kitchen.

Combined heat and power plant
BedZED receives power from a small-scale combined heat and power plant (CHP). In conventional energy generation, the heat that is produced as a by-product of generating electricity is lost. With CHP technology, this heat can be harnessed and put to use.

At BedZED, the heat from the CHP provides hot water, which is distributed around the site via a district heating system of super-insulated pipes. Should residents or workers require a heating boost, each home or office has a domestic hot water tank that doubles as a radiator.

The CHP plant at BedZED is powered by off-cuts from tree surgery waste that would otherwise go to landfill. Wood is a carbon neutral fuel because the CO2 released when the wood is burned is equal to that absorbed by the tree as it grew.

Green transport plan
Transport energy accounts for a large proportion of the energy consumption of any development.

A green transport plan promotes walking, cycling and use of public transport. A car pool for residents has been established, and all these initiatives have helped to provide a strategic and integrated approach to transport issues.

The BedZED project shows that it is possible to reduce reliance on cars and introduced the first legally binding Green Transport Plan as a condition of planning permission.

BedZED's target is a 50% reduction in fossil-fuel consumption by private car use over the next ten years compared with a conventional development.

BedZED has been designed to encourage alternatives to car use.

Reducing 'embodied' energy
Embodied energy is a measure of the energy required to manufacture a product. A product that requires large amounts of energy to obtain and process the necessary raw materials, or a product that is transported long distances during processing or to market, will have a high-embodied energy level.

To reduce the embodied energy of BedZED, construction materials were selected for their low embodied energy and sourced within a 35-mile radius of the site where possible. The energy expended in transporting materials to the site was therefore minimised.

Education and employment
BedZED has become an excellent learning centre for sustainable development, attracting considerable local, national and international media coverage and interest.

The project also demonstrates imaginative ways of creating employment and funding the provision of affordable homes, with grants from the Housing Corporation supporting the development of the homes for shared ownership. Peabody also worked hard with Sutton Council to ensure that the properties available for shared ownership were as affordable as possible.




Buildings- LiveRoof

LiveRoof is a company which sells a modular removable green roof system that is delivered fully grown. "instant green roof gratification." Liveroofs are made from 100% recycled polyproylene: then local growers deliver and install.

LEED Certified:
The LiveRoof System can achieve LEED certification in several categories–above and beyond that of just any green roof system. LiveRoof can actually enhance LEED ratings in categories that might not usually apply to a typical green roof. Below are the major categories of the USGBC rating system and potential points that can be influenced by the LiveRoof® system.

Sustainable Sites
If you think about it, wherever there is a building, there once was some type of vegetation. Green roofs help to reclaim green space, and in the process they provide habitat (for songbirds, butterflies and a host of other invertebrates) and help to promote biodiversity.
Potential Rating: 1 point.

Storm water Management
LiveRoof® systems help to prevent excess storm water discharge. They also help to filter and detoxify storm water by removing suspended solids and other pollutants. Potential Rating: 1 to 2 points.

Urban Heat Island Effect
LiveRoof® significantly reduces roof temperatures during the summer months, and the USGBC specifies green roofs as a means of mitigating the urban heat island effect. Potential Rating: 1 point.

Water Efficiency/ Water-Efficient Landscaping
When vegetated with drought resistant LiveRoof® plants, LiveRoof® installations require little or no irrigation. Additionally, LiveRoof® growing media acts as a sponge to collect excess rainwater. Any runoff can be channelled into a cistern for reuse on the LiveRoof® or other parts of the landscape.
Potential Rating: 1 to 2 points.

Energy and Atmosphere
Green roofs of the same depth as the LiveRoof® system have been documented to reduce energy demand by up to 50% annually in certain types of structures. More typically, green roofs have proven to substantially reduce the need for air conditioning, and therefore require smaller cooling systems, lower capital costs, and lower operating costs.
Potential Rating: 1 to 8 points, depending on total energy reduction as a percent versus conventional buildings of the same size.

Materials and Resources
The LiveRoof® system acts as a protective umbrella over the roof membranes and therefore can substantially extend the useful life of the roof and contribute to the LEED reuse objective. Potential Rating: 1 to 3 points.

Local Sources
LiveRoof® modules are manufactured within a 15-mile radius of distribution. Also, since plants are obtained at local nurseries, LiveRoof® may contribute to the 50% extracted regionally credit. Potential Rating: 1 to 2 points.

Recycled Content
LiveRoof® modules are constructed of 100% recycled polypropylene which exceeds the LEED target of 5% or 10% of project components. Potential Rating: 1 to 2 points.
Rapidly Renewable Materials
LiveRoof® plants are harvested within a 10-year cycle (actually much shorter), and therefore contribute to this objective.
Potential Rating: 1 point.

Innovation and Design Process
LiveRoof® systems may qualify for innovation and design credits by helping to create a better work environment. LiveRoof® installations can be used for meetings and relaxation, and perhaps more importantly, they create beautiful vistas, beneficial to people’s health and state of mind. Additionally, green roofs can reduce exterior sound by up to 40 decibels and therefore create a more peaceful and less stressful interior environment. Potential Rating: 1 or 2 points.

Here is it being used on top of the Grand Rapids Ballet Company

Buildings- One Bryant Park

The Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park in New York City is a $1 billion skyscraper project currently undergoing construction, on the west side of Sixth Avenue, between 42nd and 43rd Street, opposite Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan. It has been designed by Cook+Fox Architects to be one of the most highly efficient and ecologically friendly buildings in the world. Midtown Manhattan

The tower has an architectural spire that is 1200 ft (366 m) tall. The building will be 54 stories high and will have approximately 2.1 million square feet (195,000 m²) of office space. Upon the placement of its spire in December 2007, the tower has become the second tallest building in NYC, after the Empire State Building. The building will have three escalators and a total of 53 elevators – 52 to serve the offices and one leading to the transit mezzanine below ground.

Environmental Features

The design of the building will make it environmentally friendly, using technologies such as floor-to-ceiling insulating glass to contain heat and maximize natural light, and an automatic daylight dimming system. The tower also features a greywater system, which captures rainwater and reuses it. Bank of America also states that the building will be made largely of recycled and recyclable materials. Air entering the building will be filtered, as is common, but the air exhausted will be cleaned as well, making the tower a giant air filter for Midtown Manhattan. Bank of America Tower is the first skyscraper designed to attain a Platinum LEED Certification.
The Bank of America
tower is constructed using a concrete manufactured with slag, a byproduct of blast furnaces. The mixture used in the tower concrete is 55% cement and 45% slag. The use of slag cement reduces damage to the environment by decreasing the amount of cement needed for the building, which in turn lowers the amount of carbon dioxide greenhouse gas produced through normal cement manufacturing. (One ton of cement produced emits about one ton of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.)

One Bryant Park will use translucent high-performance glass in floor-to-ceiling glazing to permit maximum sunlight in interior spaces, in addition to featuring "floating" floors to facilitate more even, healthful, and efficient heating and cooling. It will capture and reuse all rainwater and wastewater, saving millions of gallons of precious water each year. A very high percentage of the buildings materials will come from recycled and renewable source within 500 miles of New York city.

Control of the temperature of Bank of America's tower, and the production of some of its energy, will be done in an environmentally-friendly manner. Insulating glass will reduce thermal loss somewhat, which will lower energy consumption and increase transparency. Carbon dioxide sensors will signal increased fresh air ventilation, when elevated levels of carbon dioxide are detected in the building.
The cooling system will produce and store ice during off-peak hours, and then use ice phase transition to help cool the building during peak load, similar to the ice batteries in the 1995 Hotel New Otani in Tokyo Japan. Ice batteries have been used since absorption chillers first made ice commercially 150 years ago, before the electric light bulb was invented.
The tower has a 4.6-megawatt cogeneration plant, which will provide part of the base-load energy requirements. Onsite power generation reduces the significant electrical transmission losses that are typical of central power production plants.