2

Stunning Vertical Forest Skyscraper By Stefano Boeri’s

Urban living requires efficient use of space, but it can be a very environmentally-friendly lifestyle:  city residents generally live in small homes with access to walkable neighborhoods and public transportation.  One common downside is a lack of green space, but architect Stefano Boeri aims to change all that with his “Bosco Verticale” concept.  Italian for “vertical forest”, his project was …

3

Scandanavia’s Largest Hotel: Stunning Architecture, Eco-Friendly Design

Denmark’s newly opened Bella Sky Comwell Hotel is the largest hotel in Scandanavia, but its size is outshined by its unique, environmentally friendly design and architecture.  Located in Copenhagen’s leafy Ørestaden district, the hotel creates a striking impression both inside and out.

5

Chicago Center For Green Technology: Sustainable Development Leader

Great ideas for sustainable development sometimes just remain abstract concepts – that is, until they’re put into practice where they can serve as a showcase for their real potential.  Such was the case with Chicago’s Center for Green Technology, the country’s first LEED Platinum municipal building – and an inspiration for subsequent development both in Chicago and nationwide.

5

The Most Efficient Public Swimming Pool In The U.S.

A community swimming pool called the Richmond Plunge has just opened in Richmond, California, and it may be the most efficient swimming pool in the country. The Richmond Plunge has many efficient features: it’s heated by solar collectors, it’s entirely chlorine-free, and the building is powered by solar panels on the roof. The Plunge is a historic pool — it …

2

Green Roofs – Efficient Design Starts At The Top

Green roofs have seen a surge in popularity recently as sustainable building designs become more mainstream. Soil and plantings on a building’s rooftop can help manage water runoff, improve air quality, and reduce energy use by moderating indoor temperatures. They can also prolong the life of a building’s roof by protecting it from the wear and tear of wind, water, …

3

Southface Energy Institute: A Resource For Sustainable Design

Energy efficient building designs and technologies are everywhere these days. In fact, the sheer number of options can seem a little overwhelming for those interested in sustainable construction techniques. But Southface Energy Institute, headquartered in Atlanta, can be a valuable resource for homeowners, commercial or residential builders, or individuals who simply want to learn more about environmentally friendly design.

4

Efficient Home Improvement: Re-Using Materials Gets Easier

For “D.I.Y.”ers, using recycled construction products is a great way to reduce raw material consumption and lessen stress on landfills.  But for retailers, the “Re I. Y.” trend (Re-use It Yourself) is taking the idea a step further, giving unused building products a new lease on life.

11

World’s First 100% Solar-Powered Stadium

A couple of years ago, we wrote about a 1.3 megawatt solar-powered stadium in Switzerland. A new solar powered stadium has been built in Taiwan for the 2009 World Games in July. Designed by Japanese architect Toyo Ito, the stadium incorporates 8,844 solar panels on the roof. The roof will generate enough energy to power the building’s 3,300 lights and …

6

Update: Bank Of America Tower, Greenest Skyscraper In The U.S.

A while back, MetaEfficient profiled what could be the greenest skyscraper in America, the Bank of America Tower in New York City. Located in midtown Manhattan at One Bryant Park, the 945-foot tall, 55-story structure is scheduled to open later this year. Here’s a closer look at some of the groundbreaking features that should help the building earn a coveted …

6

Vancouver: All New Developments Must Be Green

In June, the Vancouver City Council unanimously approved the adoption the the highest green standards for private sector development in North America. Effective immediately, all new re-zonings for development in Vancouver will be required to achieve or exceed the level of LEED Silver, and they will have to achieve LEED Gold on January 1st, 2010.

7

Office Building Lit With 100% LED Light

Last year, we featured a nightclub lit entirely by LEDs, but here’s an office building that is said to be the first to be lit by 100% LED light. The lighting was provided by the Netherlands-headquartered Royal Philips Electronics. To showcase the potential of LED light, Philips designed the lighting system to be warm and visually comforting. A total 422 …

75% More Efficient: Blue Ridge Parkway Destintation Center

The new Blue Ridge Parkway Destination Center has just been completed in North Carolina. It’s a beautifully designed building that is also highly efficient — it will use 75% less energy than a comparable conventional building. The building has Trombe walls: a very clever feature that will reduce the building’s heating load by 35% alone!

3

High School Captures 280,000 Gallons Of Water Per Year

Our buildings and homes could capture all water we need on a daily basis. A great example of rainwater harvesting can be found at the Langston Brown Community Center and High School in Arlington, Virginia. The community center has two 24-foot-tall 11,000-gallon cisterns that store rainwater.

22

Solar Water Heaters Now Mandatory In Hawaii

Hawaii has become the first state to require solar water heaters in new homes. The bill was signed into law by Governor Linda Lingle, a Republican. It requires the energy-saving systems in homes starting in 2010. It prohibits issuing building permits for single-family homes that do not have solar water heaters. Hawaii relies on imported fossil fuels more than any …

10

China’s Huge Self-Sustaining Solar LED Wall

It’s called the GreenPix Zero Energy Media Wall, and with 2,292 individual color LEDs, comparable to a 24,000 sq. ft. monitor screen, it’s said to be the largest color LED display in the world. The wall is solar-powered too — photovoltaics are integrated into the wall’s glass curtain, and it harvests power during the day, to illuminate the display at …

4

Proximity: A Very Green Hotel In North Carolina

The Proximity Hotel is proof that a hotel can be very green without sacrificing the comfort of its guests. The hotel is located in Greensboro, North Carolina, and it achieved a Gold LEED certification this year from the U.S. Green Building Council. The Proximity uses 36.5% less energy and 30% less water than a conventional hotel. It gets 60% of …

5

Efficient Building In Seattle Requires No AC

This new building in Seattle by Weber + Thompson requires no air conditioning. To achieve this feat, the architects made use of numerous passive cooling elements throughout the building. Passive cooling means no electricity or other fuel is needed — instead strategic shading and orientation is used, rather than high-tech gadgetry.

2

German Parliment To Use 100% Renewable Power

The German Reichstag is expected to become the greenest parliament building in the world, thanks to a decision to rely solely on renewable energy. From late summer the building is due to swap to green power sources such as water, wind and solar energy, replacing the conventional power that it has largely relied upon until now.

27

Stunning Solar Building Will Generate More Power Than It Needs

The Masdar Headquarters building will produce more power than it needs (an energy positive building). In fact, the solar roof (one of the largest in the world) will be constructed first, and it will power the construction of the rest of the building. The video link on this page has a great view of the sun-infused interior.

13

Bloxes: Modular Cardboard Furniture

Cardboard can be incorporated in modern design pieces — check out this impressive gallery of cardboard furniture. Bloxes (shown above) are the latest option in cardboard furniture. The corrugated cardboard puzzle pieces lock together to form sturdy shapes such as chairs, walls, and play forts.