From green cleaning products to energy-efficient appliances, Green Home 101 has delved into several different aspects of what makes a sustainable, environmentally responsible household. But what about the home itself? Look skyward in any major American city and you’re likely to see a soaring new green high-rise. With scarce land in urban areas, the cost of housing skyrocketing, and increasing demand for better communities, high-density development is experiencing a renaissance in the US. But development is not just growing up, it’s growing green. As consumers look for long-term savings and seek to live in healthier environments, more big developers have grasped onto the fact that the green in the building can lead to green in the bank. Inhabitat’s Green Home 101 takes a closer look at some of the new high-rise projects sustainable residential towers are sprouting up all over the US.
If you think you might be interested in moving into a green home with a view (if and when the market recovers and a new global economy emerges), here are some interesting modern, sustainable high-rise projects that are popping up from coast to coast.The Visionaire – New York City, NYBuilt upon excavated land from the building of the World Trade Centers, the Battery Park City neighborhood in New York City is quickly becoming one of the greenest neighborhoods in the country. Leading the way with progressive green building guidelines, many of its structures have been LEED certified and in 2003, the first sustainable high-rise residential building in the U.S. was developed in Battery Park City: The Solaire by the Albanese Organization. Today from the same developer comes The Visionaire, another high-rise that is targeted for LEED Platinum certification.Photo by Adrianne JeffriesThe 35-story condominium will feature 251 studio-to-three bedroom residences starting from $690,000. The Visionaire, designed by Rafael Pelli of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, will be a striking glass and terracotta tower featuring a unique curved façade showcasing generous river views from all corners of the building. Designed by innovative interior designer Tim Button of Stedila Design, the interiors will include kitchens with river-washed absolute granite countertops, art glass backsplashes and rift-cut oak wood flooring harvested according to Forest Stewardship Council certified standards, which promotes forest re-growth. The custom kitchens will boast renewable bamboo cabinets, custom paneled Sub-Zero refrigerators and stainless steel Wolf dual convection ovens and gas cook tops. Franke under-mounted sinks and single lever faucets with integral spray and built-in pantries with concealed microwaves will also be included, and the paints, adhesives and sealants used will be environmentally friendly.Photo by Adrianne JeffriesWhen it comes to innovative sustainable features, the Visionaire will incorporate a high-efficiency air filtration system that conditions, filters and supplies fresh air into each unit, as well as programmable thermostats and other measures that will yield 35 percent more energy savings than code-compliant buildings. The building will generate electricity through building-integrated solar panels and a microturbine. Waste heat from the microturbine combustion will be in turn utilized to heat the building’s domestic hot water. There is also a geothermal system designed to accommodate the Batter City Parks Conservancy spaces. The system will consist of multiple, closed-loop geothermal wells. Natural gas will power the residential cooling systems and contribute to a substantially lower peak electric demand on New York City’s grid. The Visionaire is virtually complete. Model units are available for viewing and some residents have started moving in.EVO – Los Angeles, CAWhile Los Angeles may not be the greenest city in the US, change is afoot at its core. The South Group recently completed EVO, LA’s first high-rise community featuring modern residences, luxury amenities, green design, and on-site retail. Expected to achieve a LEED Silver rating, EVO joins LEED Gold-rated sister towers Luma and Elleven at the core of the emerging South Park neighborhood in downtown LA.Designed by Portland-based GBD Architects and TVA Architects as a joint venture, the new residences feature luxury amenities and sustainable materials. The development team recycled over 75% of construction waste materials, used only locally manufactured materials, reduced water usage by 30%, reduced energy usage to 15% below national standards, making EVO one of the most sustainable high-rises in LA. Despite the real estate slowdown, EVO just recently held a special eco-luxury launch event with Dwell Magazine and interest in the project continues. Check out “Loft E,” the model residence designed by Daniel Vandenbark of Vernare Design to get an inside peek at EVO’s own brand of ecoluxury living.Arterra – San Francisco, CAJust last month, Inhabitat covered the opening of the much-anticipated Arterra high-rise project in San Francisco. Touting clean design and pure living, Arterra was designed by Kwan Henmi Architecture/Planning and developed by Intracorp San Francisco as part of the 300-acre development known as Mission Bay. As a LEED NC rated project, Arterra is one of the first high-rises in San Francisco to become LEED certified and just one part of an estimated 40 blocks of new construction.From the colorful cladding of the building (a Trespa Rainscreen system) to the finishes within (which include cork and bamboo flooring, recycled glass, FSC-certified wood, and low- or no-VOC paints), Arterra is a sophisticated and sustainable alternative for San Francisco home buyers looking to move into a green home.EnV – Chicago, ILNot to be left out of the mix, the Windy City recently announced a new green high-rise project called the EnV. The 29-story, 249-unit luxury apartment development under construction in Chicago’s River North neighborhood will feature environmentally responsible design and building practices and is expected to be one of the city’s first LEED-certified rental properties. Designed Valerio Dewalt Train and owned by developer Lynd Development Partners, the project is expected to open in Spring 2010.COR – Miami, FLWe reported on the COR project by Chad Oppenheim, a futuristic high-rise tower to be built in Miami, FL a few years ago. In an update, the project is still on-the-boards but facing delays. With its provocative facade, wind turbines, solar panels, and sleek interior design, COR promises to be a landmark high-rise for the US if or when it is built. Check out Chad Oppenheim on YouTube talking about this project. Even if buying a green home may not be on anyone’s mind right now, at least there are some gorgeous, green options out there, both built and in-the-works, for homeowners who want to make a long-term investment in sustainability once the market recovers.About BOSCH“Bosch is committed to preserving the environment through innovative approaches to the products we manufacture, as well as the partnerships we form with key leaders in sustainable construction and design. Sustainability, responsibility and continuous improvement are the tenets of our company and are shared by our partners across the United States.Bosch practices low-impact manufacturing processes while designing the most efficient machines on the market. In fact, we introduced a global integrated management system for environmental issues that makes certain we maintain our high standards for environmental responsibility wherever our operations take us.Bosch regards innovation as something more than exceptional product quality, functionality and design. Not only our technical developments, but also our commitment to society has an effect on the world of tomorrow.”+ Bosch Green Thinking Resource Center……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..HAILY ZAKILacking the skills or the patience to be a designer herself, Haily Zaki is a PR maven, freelance writer and secret agent in Los Angeles who contents herself by promoting, writing about, and surrounding herself with great design. Besides running Secret Agent PR and working with some of the best architecture and design brands in LA, Haily is a contributing writer for The Architect’s Newspaper, the Epoch Times, and any other publication that likes her stories. She’s also an organizer of de LaB (design east of La Brea) – part design lab, part social experiment for creative professionals who work, live or play on the Eastside of Los Angeles. She was first turned onto the idea of sustainable living when she worked with the Mapuche people in Southern Chile and hopes one day to move to the end of the earth to live in a green prefab pod writing torrid romance novels. For now, she focuses her energy on communicating through the media, training herself to be a good, green consumer, and not killing her tomato plants.