Here’s What Green Looks Like: A Great Gallery of Energy Efficient Buildings

Here at Just Venting we talk a lot about energy efficiency and greenness, including — sometimes — LEED, as you’ll recall from previous posts such as The Scoop on LEED Credentialing in 2009, New LEED Guidelines for 2009 include Significant Changes, and Addressing Peak Oil and Rising Energy Costs through Green Building Design.

To make this issue more concrete, here’s a list of titles and links to recent stories about LEED projects and other green buildings that are springing up all over the U.S. and the rest of the globe. It’s impressive stuff, especially the first one below, which links to a gallery of buildings that have achieved LEED Platinum status — the highest ranking in the system.

Where appropriate, we have excerpted the parts of the stories that talk about HVAC’s involvement.

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34 Stunning LEED Platinum Projects
Jetson Green, December 26, 2008

[This page collects photos, with links to full stories, about numerous building projects that have already been completed and have achieved LEED platinum certification, and also numerous ones that are in the planning stages for this certification. If you visit the page and then click through to the info about each building, you’ll find lots of stuff about the way HVAC systems contribute to the stellar LEED ratings. ]

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Big and Small, LEED Projects Shine in Florida
CoStar Group, January 5, 2009

A Zero-Net Energy Bank Branch and a LEED Gold High-Rise Are Reshaping Commercial Buildings in the Sunshine State.

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Arapahoe County saves energy, money
YourHub Littleton, Colorado, January 6, 2009

Arapahoe County recently was awarded the ENERGY STAR designation for five of its largest County buildings by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Energy Star designation is the mark of superior energy performance identifying Arapahoe County’s buildings as some of the most efficient buildings in the nation. It demonstrates the County’s commitment to being good stewards of the citizens’ money, as well as reducing the release of greenhouse gases and helping protect the environment.

. . . . [Improvements to buildings] include upgraded lighting, more efficient cooling and heating equipment, improved building controls, revised building equipment operating schedules and measuring and adjusting building equipment operating parameters to assure that equipment is performing as designed. Additional benefits are improved comfort levels and more even lighting levels, which contribute to greater employee productivity.

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Green flex building opens in Sterling [North Virginia]
Washington Business Journal, January 7, 2009

The [85,570-square-foot flex facility] is under architectural review to see which Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification to apply for.

. . . . The Class A building contains green roofing materials that yield projected energy savings of 58 percent; bio-filters to process site water run off; refrigerants with zero-ozone-depleting potential; low wattage lighting and signage systems; and energy-saving air quality monitoring systems with each HVAC unit, among other features.

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Citadel Construction Headquarters for The National Audobon Society Rated Highest Ranked LEED Platinum CI in Nation [New York, NY]
MSNBC, January 6, 2009

To retain the airy, loft-like feel of the site that once housed a printing company, the Citadel team created an HVAC system that eliminated overhead ductwork. A raised floor facilitates hot and cool air distribution through over 200 adjustable floor outlets. Gas-powered heating and cooling systems use no chlorofluorocarbons and operate independently of other floors in the 12-story, 1926 building. The project team installed a new cooling tower which was hoisted to the roof, new supply and return risers for the HVAC, and an upgrade of the existing service to the floor.

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First Hyatt-brand LEED hotel opens in Wyoming [Michigan]
WZZM, January 7, 2009

Some of the LEED-related features include: in-room motion sensors to control heat and lighting and the use of green cleaning compounds.

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Visitor Center for Blue Ridge Parkway Lands a LEED Gold Rating [Asheville, NC]
Greener Buildings, January 13, 2009

The Destination Center for the Blue Ridge Parkway has attained LEED Gold status in a rating that acknowledges the building’s design exceeds the standard for high energy efficiency.

The Blue Ridge Parkway, which celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2010, stretches for 469 miles between the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. The Parkway Destination Center is in Asheville, N.C.

. . . . The center, completed in January 2008, includes a 10,000-square-foot green roof that was seeded with drought-tolerant native plants, hydronic radiant-heated flooring, a high-efficiency HVAC system with an energy recovery unit and daylight harvesting with a lighting system that is expected to reduce lighting loads by 78 percent.

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