New green McDonough project breaks ground in Chapel Hill

by , 10/10/07

William McDonough, McDonough Braungart, Greenbridge, green developments, green living, sustainable living, North Carolina green building, green building, sustainable developments

Greenbridge, the latest super-green mixed-use residential project by William McDonough of Cradle to Cradle fame broke ground on Monday in all its sustainable glory. Located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the development will offer 98 condos and retail establishments, green roofs, solar panels, rainwater runoff systems, and even a a community learning center to teach sustainable living practices.

Inspired by McDonough and Braungart’s Cradle to Cradle book, the development will exemplify priorities like waste-to-resource transformation, materiality, and a holistic lifecycle approach to design.

The Greenbridge development consists of 98 residences, a retail area and an underground parking complex, and it’ll wear its sustainability credentials right on its sleeve. Planted roofs, photovoltaic and solar-thermal panels, optimal natural light exposure, fresh air to all units, rainwater runoff catchments, sustainable building materials, bicycle friendly access and construction recycling. It’s all part of a mission statement which puts a focus on environmental sensitivity, social equity and economic vitality.

+ Greenbridge Development
+ McDonough and Partners
+ Cradle to Cradle @ Amazon

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  1. lazyreader May 20, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    This just in, This building came in $1.6 million over budget in a market weakened by the national real estate bust. The project faces foreclosure mainly because it went up during a recession and developers made costly design and construction decisions. If such a building can’t succeed in progressive Chapel Hill, home to the University of North Carolina and part of a regional economy driven by high-tech research, can large-scale green designs succeed anywhere? So far only 37 out of 97 of the units have been sold. The federal government gives developers tax credits for doing their part for “green” commitments; economists call them subsidies. What you see is tax money being wasted on otherwise luxury apartments that wealthy clients could afford without subsidies. If there was no market for this, it shouldn’t have been built. Now the bank has moved to foreclose, with a sale set for June 27. In addition to the $28.7 million mortgage it holds on the property. “Green”, a word that clearly does not reflect what goes on in construction, can be viable and help in the long term operating costs of a building. But one must realize that it does add costs (depending of what you add as sustainable design can add up to 25%) to the construction of a building. Some “green” design features never pay off. There is usually a higher cost in leasing or buying “green” buildings as well, which makes the property less competitve in a down market. In an up market, some will justify the increased cost of leasing or buying because the feel as if they are making a difference.

  2. Willofgod October 18, 2007 at 9:31 am

    Ugly, maybe, but it *IS* actaully being built. All of the pretty designs I see on the net that are only on paper are not half as good as this project.

  3. citicritter October 14, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    Very nice?! Very sad is more like it.

    Why sustainability must produce banal design, if not downright ugliness, should no longer be acceptable at this point…

  4. Richie October 11, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    Very nice ! My only disappointment is that it might have been nice if everyone got a balcony or terrace. Now, only ‘select’ condos appear to have these. A nice step in the right direction though.

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