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Us Green Building Council: The Latest Architecture and News

Is It Time For the Anti-LEED?

Steve Mouzon, a principal of Studio Sky and Mouzon Design, is an architect, urbanist, author, and photographer from Miami. He founded the New Urban Guild, which hosts Project:SmartDwelling. The Guild’s non-profit affiliate is the Guild Foundation, which hosts the Original Green initiative.

The LEED rating systems were a great idea in the beginning, but they have become a symbol of all that is wrong with green building today. Getting a LEED rating is slow, difficult, and expensive, and the rating is skewed heavily to Gizmo Green solutions that are completely ignorant of where the building is being built, and for whom. We need the opposite sort of system today: one that is intelligent about where a building is built and who it’s being built for, and that is fast, friendly, and free so that anyone can use it.

Southern States Outlaw LEED Building Standards

The US Green Building Council’s federally adopted LEED certification system has come under legislative siege with lobbyists from the timber, plastics and chemical industries crying out, “monopoly!” Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama have lead efforts to ban LEED, claiming the USGBC’s closed-door approach and narrow-minded material interests have shut out stakeholders in various industries that could otherwise aid in the sustainable construction of environmentally-sensitive buildings.

Most recently, Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, slipped in a last minute amendment to both the Housing and Urban Development and Department of Transportation appropriation bills stating no tax money may be used to require implementation of any green building certification system other than a system that:

2011 Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Award Winners Revealed at Greenbuild

© Jason Schmidt
© Jason Schmidt

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’. Recognized as the Best Overall Project 2011, the Palms residence in Venice, California designed by Daly Genik Architects, “is an outstanding example of an architecture project that can transform our cities to fight climate change,” says Ron Dembo founder and CEO of Zerofootprint. “The design is energy and water efficient, replicable, and beautiful. This project demonstrates that retrofitting existing buildings to reduce their environmental impact does not have to mean limiting the quality of materials, the use of smart technologies, or the aesthetics of the final product.”

A complete list of the 2011 Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Awards winners and finalists following the break, including the King and King Headquarters in Syracuse, New York by King and King Architects and the Orange Cube in Lyon, France by Jakob + MacFarlane.

Bastyr University Student Village / CollinsWoerman

© Lara Swimmer
© Lara Swimmer

Located in Kenmore, Washington the new Bastyr University Student Village accommodates 132 students amongst 11 three-story free-standing cottages. The design-rich and eco-friendly village, by CollinsWoerman, was originally designed to meet LEED Gold, however the project exceeded expectations and earned LEED Platinum certification while being completed under budget and ahead of schedule. The student village achieved 34 percent energy savings over more traditional multifamily projects and diverted 97 percent of construction waste from landfills through careful teamwork and planning. The award is the top honor the USGBC makes for multifamily projects.

Bastyr University student village was awarded the Outstanding Multifamily Project in the 2010 LEED for Homes Awards from the US Green Building Council.

More photographs and drawings of this project following the break.

© Lara Swimmer © Karen Steichen/CollinsWoerman Bastyr University Student Village / CollinsWoerman © Karen Steichen/CollinsWoerman + 13

Architects: CollinsWoerman Location: Kenmore, Washington, USA Design Team: Pat Logan, John Aldredge, Sarah Reisenauer and Brian Walters Project Year: 2010 Photographs: Lara Swimmer and Karen Steichen/CollinsWoerman