Worlds Greenest Skyscraper

A year after it opened its doors, New York's One Bryant Park Tower, A.K.A. Bank Of America Tower, has just recently achieved LEED Platinum certification making it the worlds first office tower to reach the USGBC's highest rating.  Designed by Cook+Fox Architects, the building has set a historic president for sustainable tower design by being the largest of any skyscraper to reach LEED Platinum.  The new building employs a system of rain water catchment and reuse, greywater recycling, energy efficient building systems, and high performance glass which maximizes day-lightning and minimizes solar heat gain and loss.  The biggest asset is the 4.6-megawatt cogeneration plant, which provides a clean and efficient power source for the buildings energy, significantly reducing its reliance on the NYC grid.  The building also has an air purification system that filters intake and output air through the building, and a cooling system that produces ice during off peak hours and uses the ice phase transition to help cool the building during peak load.

Read an extended article on inhabit.com

Elevated High-Speed Bus??

A revolutionary concept in mass transit may soon be heading to the streets.  A bold design by Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking equipment Co. consists of an electric powered traffic straddling bus, two lanes wide that can hold anywhere from 1200 to 1400 passengers.  Inspired by China's massive traffic jams, one in August that was 60 miles long and lasted for 9 days, China's engineer Song Yuozhou developed a concept to put an end to Beijing's traffic misery.  The elevated High Speed Bus combines the merits of bus rapid transit and subway.  The bus has zero gas emissions and largely consumes electrical power supplemented by solar energy gathered from roof top panels on the bus and stations.  Using radar technology the bus can signal cars if they are too close to its wheels and signals trucks to detour if they are too large to pass underneath.  China plans to test the bus on a 200 mile long road on the outskirts of Beijing in the near future.  Designers believe the bus will be a successful solution for congested cities all over the world.
There are talks about bringing the technology to the US. Youzhou formed a company (US. Elevated High-Speed Bus) to develop the bus system in America.  However this may take a due to a lack of manufactures.


Save A Tree; Save A Life

Where Should We Re-Plant Our Tree?

G8-Life calls on the neighbors of East Kensington to give their suggestions on where they would like to see the tree at 2400 Amber Street re-located.  Due to future plans for construction on the site the tree will need to be removed.  In consideration for the environment and the Kensington Neighbors G8-Life would like to save the tree, but re-plant it elsewhere where it can still be appreciated.

Tell Us What You Think!

Leave your comments below
We can't wait to read what you have in mind!

Tree Facts:
1. It requires 22 trees to produce the amount of oxygen consumed by one person.
2. An acre of trees produces enough oxygen for 18 people



The G8 brand has just launched its newest addition; G8 Solar.  The company has branched out once again and plans to make a big impact in the Clean Energy World.  This Fishtown native is stead fast on making the Philadelphia 19125 and surrounding neighborhoods the greenest in the city!

The company offers clients comprehensive solar consulting and installation services.  G8 is ISPQ (Institute for Sustainable Power Quality) certified designer/installer as well as a factory-direct dealer of solar components.  Contact them today for a free estimate and analysis.


West Village Development

A new 86 Bi-level condo unit is shaping up in West Philadelphia.  The gated community, located at 48th and Brown Streets is comprised of 3 and 4 bedroom units ranging from 1380-1600 square-feet.  The development is decked out with a sustainable green roof, energy efficient window and appliances, and the city has even stamped on a 10-Year-Tax Abatement!  This is positive news for West Philadelphia Development, given the lack there of in one of the most efficient and accessible districts of Philadelphia.
Check it out at 800N48Street.com

New Setback Zoning for Central Delaware Riverfront

A new open space concept is developing for the Central Delaware Riverfront Master Plan.  Currently a 100-foot buffer is now required between development and the Delaware River.  This zoning law is part of a stop-gap piece of legislation meant to prevent any development from hindering the fruition of Philadelphia's vision for the waterfront until the more permanent Master Plan for the Central Delaware and affiliated zoning are in place.

Following advanced research, the team working on the Master Plan for the Central Delaware has decided against a 100-foot-buffer in favor of a smaller setback that tied together a string of parks.  CDAG members, Penn Praxis, and Development Workshop Executive Director Craig Schelter were quite pleased with the changes.  Designers feel that the objectives of public access, open space, ecological restoration, and storm water management could be better achieved by a different configuration of space.  The bulk of the open space would be consolidated into a series of parks, occurring about every half-mile along the six mile stretch between Oregon and Allegheny avenues and linked by a narrow setback of a minimum of 35 feet.  The open space would vary in size from just an acre or so to upwards of 17 acres.  The spacing would mean that residents of riverfront communities would have no more than a 10 minute walk to a park.

The new open space concept was developed from new research findings from OLIN Partnership, the landscape architecture firm that is part of the master planning team.  Among their findings, the team discovered that 100 feet is not enough space to get a large benefit for habitat restoration.  Research shows that 300 to 600 feet is more conducive to nurturing habitat.  With a combination of this research and the cost of maintaining a continuous 100 foot right-of-way, the new approach began to emerge.  Land will have to be acquired for the implementation of these parks which would be on target with Philadelphia's Green 2015 plan, which calls for the creation of 500 acres of new public open space.

Planners of the waterfront believe this configuration would also help convince developers to start creating the new waterfront, because the parks and trail would boost the development value of the land between the parks.
A public hearing will be held tomorrow September 18 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the Festival Pier at Penn's Landing to discuss changes and collect public Input.

Check out Planphilly for more on this.


Calatrava's "Museum of Tomorrow" For Rio de Janeiro

The Museu do Amanha, or Museum of Tomorrow, designed by Santiago Calatrava breaks ground this month in Rio as the city prepares to host several high-profile events including the United Nation's 2012 Earth Summit, the 2014 World Cup, and the 2016 Summer Olympics.  Located on Pier Maua, adjacent to Rio's main cruise ship terminal, the museum will anchor a $2.8 billion waterfront redevelopment plan called "Marvelous Port".  The 134,549 square-foot building and surrounding 5.4 acres of gardens and pools will showcase science and sustainability, suggesting a path for future, greener development.  "It will be a living museum and pedagogical tool", Calatrava explained.  "We want it to exemplify ecology for young people who've never heard about it.  They'll be able to see how things work with their own eyes".

The building has many sustainable features, but the most prominent feature is a series of photovoltaic panels protruding from its steel roof.  During daylight hours, they will tilt to follow the sun's course across the sky.  Other pedagogic green features include pools to capture rain water for use in the plumbing system, as well as pools that naturally filter water from the bay.  Pumps will harvest sea water, moreover, to cool interior rooms and galleries- all features that could earn LEED certification from the Green Building Council Brazil. The interactive exhibits will contextualize sustainability within Brazil's landscape.

Another interesting proposal by RAFAA, is the Solar City Tower.  The tower will consist of an artificial water fall in Rio's harbor, powered by photovoltaic panel that would power pumps to carry sea water 344 feet above the bay.  It will then send water tumbling down past electricity- generating turbines that would help power athlete housing during the 2016 Olympics.  The energy generated by the sun can be used to power the city during the day, and excess energy from the turbines can be used for evening power.

Read an extended article at Architectural Record.


Domino House

The Domino house reaches far beyond traditional concepts and levels of comprehension when one thinks of town home design.  The design really makes you think about the endless possibilities when designing in tight spaces.  The Domino house is an inspiring concept for town home design pushing the limits of spacial perception and structural capabilities.  The designers write how the stability depends on the solidity of its neighbors;  I'm all for leaning on our neighbors when in need, but I not sure about literally?

Designed by Ramdam, proposed for London, UK

Mountain House

Known as the house on the Castle Mountainside in Ayora, Valencia, Spain this elegant structure appears to have been carved right out of the mountainside it sits on.  The building's strong angled lines set up opportunities for playful surface transitions.  The designers at Fran Silvestre Arquitectos were sure to pay close attention to context and form, capturing the jagged surfaces and flaws in natural rock formations. The way in which the home receives light is very reminiscent of a cave, appropriate given the topographical context.