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"Clean Technology Tower" Exploits the Windy City

They don't call it the Windy City for nothing. Chicagoans routinely brave tropical-storm-force winds. So why is all that energy is only used to knock over pedestrians and cialis doses scatter detritus when it could be used to power the cialis generic city!

Well, the "Clean Technology Tower" will finally be exploiting Chicago's wind with dozens of wind turbines tucked into its body. These aren't your average, everyday building integrated turbines either. AS+GG Architecture has actually done the math, and they've determined the best way to harness the wind as it flows around the tower. Depressions in the face of the tower channel wind into the canadian viagra generic turbines. As the tower reaches higher (and wind speeds increase) the turbines are more tightly spaced.

The result is more than perfect for capturing power, it's also a much more organic and pleasing design than we've seen with a lot of wind-capturing buildings.

The tower will have more than two million square feet of hotel, retail and office space. The wind will be used both to disocunt cialis power the building and create negative pressure for natural ventilation. And, as if this wasn't enough clean technology, the domed roof will be covered in photovoltaic panels!

I haven't heard any time-scales for this thing tossed around, but hopefully sooner rather than later. AS+GG is plenty busy with amazing green building projects, like the Masdar Headquarters, but hopefully they'll put this one on the fast track as well.

More pictures below.

Via Jetson Green and AS+GG


Saving the World (and $15 B / yr) with New Windows?!

vacuum insulated glassIn terms of energy efficiency, windows are one of the biggest contributors to heat loss from buildings. But a new window technology called vacuum-insulated glass (VIG) being developed by Guardian Industries could allow for windows that can provide insulation values comparable to, well...walls, with a new double-pane glass with a vacuum between the panes.

{digg}{/digg}The principle behind the thermos, namely that a vacuum is a very effective insulator, is now being applied to windows, which are one of the most energy inefficient parts of a building, responsible for up to 30% of the heating needed. Heat is transferred by one of three methods, conduction, convection, or radiation. A vacuum prevents transfer by convection or conduction, and a low-E coating on windows can block much of the radiation transfer.

The manufacturer, Guardian Industries, is reportedly hoping to have this glass commercially available by the end of cialis lowest price 2009. More importantly, while other researchers have been exploring the idea of vacuum glass for several years, Guardian is expecting to be able to produce this glass at a reasonable cost .

The head of the Building Technologies Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, was quoted as saying, “This performance level would convert most windows in heating climates into net energy suppliers, providing more energy to is a generic pill for levitra the home via passive solar gain (even facing north) than the window loses...If you could convert every window [in the U.S.] to this performance level, you would save homeowners about $15 billion each year.”


A longer version of this article is cross-posted at Green Building Elements


World's Largest Retail Building Goes Green

About a week ago, EcoGeek realized the efficiency improvements in America's buildings could save more energy than is used by all planes, trains, cars, and trucks in America. This vast energy savings won't come easily, but it must come. A commenter pointed out that it's important to focus on cialis free samples cars and trucks because they have shorter life spans, and thus efficiency improvements can be realized faster.

But buildings can also be retrofitted to be greener, and with great effect. In fact, since only 2% of buildings in America were built in the last few years, retrofitting is going to have to be a huge part of this. And it's pretty inspiring to see that we're starting with the largest retail building in the world, the Chicago Merchandise Mart.

The Merch Mart is HUGE, more than 4 million square feet. During the day, 20,000 people inhabit this single structure. It has its own zip code (60654).

When it was built, it was the largest building in the world.

But, due to the leadership of its owners, and the City of Chicago, the Merchandise Mart has a new spot in the Guinness the largest Green Building in the world. It now uses 35% less water and 10% less energy than before the upgrades. And, for a building this size, the upgrades were significant:

  • Most of viagra paypal the 4,000 windows were replaced.
  • Water waste was tracked, to determine which of the 2,000 toilets needed to usefull link canada cialis generic be replaced with more efficient ones
  • Leaks in the air conditioning were tracked down and canada viagra online fixed, saving over $4,000 a year.
  • Many of the buildings spaces were metered individually, to determine high energy use areas, and bill tenants accordingly.
  • A supply shop for tenants was opened in the basement, making everything from low-vapor paints to high-efficiency bulbs available, inexpensively, to all tenants.
  • Lighter carpets make rooms brighter, meaning less electricity is fake viagra prescription needed
  • A Bulb-Eater in the basement eats fluorescent bulbs, contains their toxins, and produces waste bins that are recycled properly.

For more information on this absolutely fantastic retrofit of the World's Largest Retail Building, check out this article in Business Week. And for some high-res pictures of the Chicago Merchandise Market, keep reading.



Abu Dhabi Building World's First Energy Positive Building

It's very likely that we haven't written enough about Masdar, Abu Dhabi's eco-initiative to usher the world into a sustainable future. But now we just can't hold back. They've decided on a design for their headquarters, and it's going to be the first mixed-use, energy-positive building in the world.

That's right, its giant roof is covered in so many solar panels that the building will actually feed electricity into the grid, instead of pulling energy off the grid. And that's no small feat, because the buy kamagra building is gigantic at 1.4 million square feet.

In addition to one of the world's largest solar roofs, the building will also have integrated wind turbines, solar-driven cooling and de-humidification and the building will consume 70% less water than other buildings of comparable size.

The solar roof will actually be the first piece of buying viagra online legal the building constructed so that the panels will be able to power the rest of construction. That's pretty frikkin cool. But it's also going to cost over $300 million.

This building is only the beginning though. Masdar is building an entire green city from scratch, and Masdar headquarters is just part of the first phase (slated to be completed in 2010.) The rest of the city will be completed by 2016, at a total cost of over $22 billion. Good to see a nation who's wealth comes straight from petroleum leading the way into a world that will no longer be able to rely on it. Masdar Headquarters is going to be a beautiful and powerful example of what our sustainable future might look like.

Continue reading for high-quality renders of Masdar Headquarters.

Via Jetson Green


Green Buildings Could Save More Energy than is Consumed by ALL Cars

We spend a lot of time talking about greener power and greener cars here at EcoGeek. It just seems like that's the obvious place to start work. Cars burn billions of tons of gasoline, and greening the grid greens everything that consumes power.

But a report put out by the tri-national (US, Canada and Mexico) Commission for Environmental Cooperation has determined that building greener buildings would do more for the environment than any other single measure.

According to tramadol online to florida with mastercard the report, which has taken the last two years to compile, technology that is already available and being implemented across the world could reduce the cialis professional 20 mg amount of we like it buy cheap viagra CO2 produced by buildings by 1,800 megatons per year. That's roughly the amount of CO2 that was produced by ALL CARS AND PLANES in North America last year. There is no other way to decrease our CO2 emissions faster, more significantly or more inexpensively.

Buildings produce the largest piece of the CO2 pie, at 35%. This energy is consumed both in the building phase (8% of CO2 emissions come from the prodution of concrete) and throughout the lifetime of the building's operation. At the fore of lifetime energy use is heating, ventilation and cheapest price cialis air conditioning, while lighting, water and appliances eat up energy as well.

The crazy thing is, this isn't unproved, still-in-development technology. These technologies, making climate control, lighting, heating and appliances more efficient, are available now. But only 3% of buildings in America currently use these technologies. The report indicates that widespread adoption and retrofitting of older buildings will be necessary but, in the end, not prohibitively expensive.

Looks like we at EcoGeek need to spend some more time talking about buildings...because this is pretty exciting news.

Via TheDailyGreen

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