Archive for December, 2011

US Treasury Puts Some “Green” Towards LEED Certification

Nelson: Yeah, I just couldn’t resist the “green” analogy.  Sorry. 


The U.S. Treasury Building dates back to the 19th century and is located right next door to the White House — not exactly what you think of when you think of the latest in green building. But the times they are a changin’, as per the Obama administration’s focus on greening government operations, and the U.S. Treasury Building has now taken LEED Gold in the Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance category, making it the oldest building in the world to achieve this distinction, according to the U.S. Green Building Council.

Continue reading


Stunning Examples of LEED Platinum from 2011

Nelson: As undeniable gorgeous and encouraging as these are, I’d still like to see more entry-level examples for the average person.  What we need for the environment, industry and society is a “Model-T” of housing.

I’ve pulled together projects, mostly homes, of all kinds — new, old, modern, traditional, etc — that we discussed in the last year.  These projects either obtained or sought LEED Platinum certification from the USGBC, and they’re some of the greener homes you’ll find most anywhere.  Click the links below for hours and hours of reading.

Continue reading

Program pairs homeless vets with green jobs

Nelson: It makes me proud to see two great causes come together like this.


It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when Eddie Williams Jr.’s life got off track.

It didn’t take the nose dive he says it easily could have as a kid hanging out on East St. Louis streets. But it never took off in the way he’d hoped after serving a stint in the Army and working for decades in various blue-collar jobs.

Today, at 55, he can be found most workdays preparing the grounds at the Missouri Botanical Garden for winter. He helped plant 55,000 tulip bulbs and is fastidious in removing leaves that have fallen into beds of the north gardens, where he works under the supervision of Jason Delaney.

"He’s a phenomenal worker," said Delaney, "and very jovial in nature. That really adds to his performance."

Williams got the temporary, full-time position through a program that pairs homeless, or near homeless, veterans with green jobs. The jobs are in landscaping or recycling.

Continue reading

Element Las Vegas certified for eco-friendliness

Nelson: See, its stuff like this that makes me dubious about some applications of LEED. YOU ARE BUILDING STUFF IN A DESERT WITH LIMITED RESOURCES!

Developer Jeff LaPour achieved his "green building" mission when his Element Las Vegas hotel was awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in December.

It’s the sixth Element hotel by Westin to achieve LEED certification. In 2008, parent company Starwood Hotels and Resorts mandated that all Element hotels pursue LEED certification.

The 123-room Element Las Vegas, near Town Center Drive and the Las Vegas Beltway in the Summerlin community, was built with ecofriendly materials such as recycled carpet and low-emission paints that improve indoor air quality.

Oversized windows and open space allow for more natural lighting, supplemented by fluorescent bulbs that use 75 percent less electricity than conventional bulbs.

Guest rooms are equipped with EnergyStar appliances, water-saving bathroom fixtures and recycling bins for paper, plastic and glass. Shower dispensers for shampoo and conditioner eliminate the need for wasteful minibottles. Even the ubiquitous plastic "Do Not Disturb" sign has been replaced with a magnet.

The Ultimate in Green Graffiti

Nelson:  Not my usual take on what is green and what is not, but I have to admit it’s a clever idea.

Stories from Space, Moss Graffiti, moss, garden moss, gardening, green design, sustainable design, green graffiti, eco-design, vertical garden, outdoors, plants, botanical

We lurve green graffiti, so when we spotted this DIY moss graffiti recipe over on Green Prophet we just had to share it with you. Stories from Space is experimenting with the perfect formula that allows you to green your walls with moss and choose the shape in which it finally matures. All you need to get started is a can of beer, a tiny bit of sugar, …
Read more