Archive for the 'Green Buildings' Category

Old Spanish Village

The planners for the old Spanish Village development along Ponce Circle in the Gables are working to create a new office building (shown above) which would attempt to replicate the Barcelona Cathedral: I’m not sure what the final building will look like, but I’ve always been curious to see a modern day Gothic building rise. The 215,000 square foot office building is slated to become the centerpiece of the development and the new home of the Cisneros Group.
Given the Gothic design, I’m kind of curious to see how the rest of the development will be designed. Hopefully, the final product will be as nice of an addition to the Gables skyline as the Alhambra Tower recently was…

Here was the original design when the tower was slated for condominiums:

The Ecology of Concrete Conference

THE ECOLOGY OF CONCRETE: Environmental Best Practices for Design and Construction in Concrete

October 13, 2007
Jorge M. Perez Architecture Center
University of Miami School of Architecture
1215 Dickinson Drive, Coral Gables
Starting at 10am
Keynote Address by Susan Szenasy, Metropolis Magazine, 6:30, reception to follow

This all-day event will introduce designers, contractors, building officials and the general public to the role of concrete in the environment and provide practical knowledge about how concrete’s impact can be mitigated using the most up-to-date techniques. Lectures will provide overviews of the problems that can be solved with Green Design as well as the specification and construction information needed to follow up in real world applications. 6.5 CEC for Landscape Architects. 7.5 CEU for Architects. General Public $175, USGBC SF and ASLA Members $125 ($175 after October 1), Emerging Green Builders $75. Sponsored by Hanson Slag Cement.

Go to www.southfloridagreenevents.com for more information and to register on-line.

A New Era for Miami’s Urban Development?

Miami could soon become a national leader in green building. Mayor Diaz is pushing an initiative that would require all new buildings of 50,000 sq ft or more to be LEED certified. According to the US Green Building Council,
“LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health:
  1. Sustainable site development
  2. Water savings
  3. Energy efficiency
  4. Materials selection
  5. Indoor environmental quality”

If approved by the city commission in May, it would be a progressive policy move that would serve as big step forward in sustainable growth in Miami. The new “green building” requirements would include some of the strictest policies of the sort to be implemented in any major American city thus far.

Now if only the city and county would overhaul its ridiculous, suburban-oriented parking codes, our new green buildings such as “Green Miami” (under construction adjacent to Douglas Metrorail Station) would truly be sustainable, pedestrian-oriented, and transit oriented, thereby not inducing travel demand by cars and exacerbating the main contributor to global warming.

It’s Not Easy Being Green


Tomorrow, one of the most advanced and ecologically friendly buildings will break ground in Miami; marking the beginning of construction on our first official LEED designated building. The 13 story, green glassed office building will rise alongside Douglas road, adjacent to the metrorail station. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.

The rating level a project achieves is based on a points system which looks at six categories: sustainable sites; water efficiency; energy and atmosphere; materials and resources; indoor environmental quality; and innovation and design process.

I do have some reservations about this LEED designation. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do think that it is beneficial to the whole community to construct buildings which are extremely efficient and good for the environment considering that buildings account for 40% of our energy usage, but, shouldn’t the LEED certification take the way people will interact with the building into account? What I’m getting at is that a building that is adjacent to a mass transit station should not have a huge parking component built into the structure, period.

The green glass building will feature a unique L-shaped design allowing each office to have window space, while providing ample parking on the interior of each floor.

I mean, seeing that the average vehicle in the United States pumps out 19.4 Pounds of Carbon Dioxide per gallon of gas burned, shouldn’t the LEED certification take this into account when the building will include sufficient parking for every tenant despite the easy public transit access? I think LEED certification should be contingent on the fact that the building will also “green” the daily lives and habits of a building’s occupants…