Hotel Rooftop Garden

PragueCzech Republic

On one of our roofs, we maintain this rooftop garden. Not only does it allow for a more efficient use of space, but it also serves to help cool the roof in the summer, as rooftop gardens can provide better insulation than standard tar or gravel use, and help to remove heat from the air.

Innovative Reclaimed Shipping Container...

MontgomeryUnited States

The lodge actively takes extraordinary measures toward sustainable and low-impact efforts. Much of the site construction, alone, serves as an exhibition of innovative and deeply thoughtful design. These are the lodge’s primary suites, which are not only beautiful, but use creative structure re-use as well.

Each room is made from a single reclaimed shipping container, which can be seen clearly in the last image. Several other buildings at the lodge can be seen using the same feature, as well as utilizing old blue jean pants within the walls as insulation material.

Earthship Highly Sustainable Housing

New MexicoUnited States

We noticed these earthships while driving through the state of New Mexico. Earthships are incredibly well designed, innovative, low-impact homes. They generally offer a multitude of sustainable features, are built with sustainable materials, designed for efficient heating and cooling, harvest both energy and water, and utilize a great variety of other friendly practices.

LEED Home Rooftop Solar...

HomeUnited States

This LEED Platinum home plot exhibits a large variety of sustainable features, including this 30-panel solar installation atop the barn roof. The setup involves a 6.9 kW system, which serves to power roughly 1/3 of the plot’s operations (covering three buildings and a pond).

In addition, with the aid of supportive credits, the cost of the system was able to be reduced a great deal, to half of the overall total.

Urban Cool Roof and...

HoustonUnited States

The Houston Permitting and Green Building Resource Centers are housed within a certified LEED Gold building, which incorporates a large variety of sustainable and low-impact features.

Its roof not only supports this large solar installation, but is designed to follow a ‘cool roof code’, as mandated for commercial buildings by the city. The code serves to reduce buildings’ contributions to the heat island effect (a localized increase in temperature around urban areas, created by their everyday activities).

This roof utilizes solar panels (which also act as additional barriers between the sun’s rays and the roof, helping to keep the building cool), as well as exhibiting a light-colored and more reflective roof material, and vegetated green roof on the building’s side. These features give the roof a very high solar reflective index (SRI) of 89/100.

LEED Building Green Roof

HoustonUnited States

The Houston Permitting and Green Building Resource Centers are housed within a certified LEED Gold building, which incorporates a large variety of sustainable and low-impact features.

This is a vegetated green roof that spans an area of around 1,720 square feet, and can be enjoyed through the windows of a large meeting room and other spaces. The roof system also serves to collect condensate in its troughs, which is practical in a location such as Houston, where a typically hot and humid climate can produce a great deal of moisture.

Overall, green roofs such as this are considered in credits toward LEED certification, due to their added benefit of minimizing possible building contribution to the heat island effect in urban areas. This involves the concept that dense cities tend to show a localized temperature increase, due to the heavy amount of human and industry activity over a small area.

While rooftop cooling efforts such as this are helping to decrease this effect, they may also serve to better insulate buildings, aid with stormwater runoff, and provide help in other aspects that make them a beneficial addition to many buildings.

Restaurant LED Lighting

Ville de QuebecCanada

We recently converted all lighting from the restaurant to LED fixtures, saving us $ 700 per month. However, after finding these other LED filament bulbs- which adapt much better to our style of globes- we could not resist converting them another time.

Despite their retro appearance and high power (they are turned on at a minimum), these bulbs consume only 4 W of electricity, against 7 W from the previous LEDs, and 50 W for the initial halogens.

Urban Building Vertical Greenery...

BaltimoreUnited States

Living art wall / vertical vegetation in Baltimore.

Geothermal System Piping Design

MeridenUSA

Earth Energy USA has a patented pipe that makes geothermal heating, cooling, and hot water affordable. Our pipe is a flexible 4.5″-wide round bundle, utilizing a 2″-wide round plastic HDPE center pipe as the core pipe of the system. This pipe has small 1/2″ holes evenly drilled throughout its length, which allow for a cement grout to seep through and fill any voids in a system borehole wall. This creates a solid, filled borehole. Around the center pipe are eight smaller plastic pipes wrapped in a spiral fashion to allow for maximum surface heat transfer to your water. Four of the pipes carry the closed water loop down the borehole to a U-turn fitting at the bottom, while the remaining four pipes bring the water loop back up, completing the system.
With this design, whereas other geothermal companies use three to four boreholes, Earth Energy USA only requires two. This makes for significant savings and also allows us to install geothermal systems in more urban areas. The boreholes we drill bring up the natural temperature of the earth, which is a constant 55 degrees Fahrenheit regardless of the season, to heat and cool your home or facility.
This type of system can be utilized in new and existing construction, toward both residential and commercial building applications. As described above, the piping provides for a closed-loop system that is leak-free and non-polluting, while additionally allowing the cost of clean geothermal energy to become more comparable to that of gas or oil.

LEED Home Cork Flooring

HomeUnited States

This LEED Platinum home exhibits a large variety of sustainable features, including this notable cork flooring. Cork has excellent properties for such an application, in addition to giving a soft, warm color to the house interior (though other cork flooring can come in many patterns and colors as well).

Due to its highly porous composition, cork is able to better absorb impacts and provides very good acoustic and thermal properties, which are greatly beneficial to a home. It is also a highly renewable material, and exhibits a long list of other excellent aspects, as detailed in the last half of this page (click thumbnail below):

Apartment Recycling and Sorting

SeattleUnited States

My apartment building offers a composting option in addition to the general waste and recycling bins.

Small Urban Renewable Energy...

CypressUnited States

I passed a site of small wind and solar installations on the campus of a branch of our community college. The wind turbines are vertical axis (VAWT).

Lodge Reclaimed Construction Materials

MontgomeryUnited States

This lodge uses an extraordinary amount of reclaimed materials in its construction. Seen here are some of the sample builds, displaying the incorporation of reclaimed barn wood and tin roofs into the base designs. As with many of the other site features, this provides for a wonderfully rustic and raw accent to the grounds.

Shipping Container Reuse for...

MontgomeryUnited States

The lodge exhibits a variety of clever construction and building methods. In addition to the guest suites, much of the site areas and buildings are creatively housed within reused shipping containers- though you would never be able to tell from the beautifully designed interiors.

Again, the use of blue jean pants as insulation material is also characteristic of the unique construction. This lodge has created a truly enchanting, admirable, and serene space for all who come to visit.

Apartment Recycling for Community...

San AntonioUnited States

Our apartment complex has recycling bins in community mail areas, encouraging recycling directly at the source, where there is a high potential for mass paper waste. This has been an easy way to help residents responsibly dispose of unneeded letters and other mail that may otherwise be thrown away with regular trash.

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