We often complain that there is a lot of embodied energy in existing buildings and that they should be preserved and renovated; we have also repeated Donovan Rypkema's comment that architects are overly fond of "green gizmos" instead of simpler technologies. The new Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University has its feet planted in both camps; it is a refab of an old nursing school and it is most definitely decorated with the greenest of gizmos: cute little AeroVironment wind turbines.
Preston at Jetson Green tells us that the building, designed by Lord, Aeck & Sargent and Gould Evans Associates, " is anticipated to save 18.7% on energy and 50.3% on water use compared with its baseline usage." and that other gizmos include:
* Installed an efficient, sensor-controlled lighting system
* Opened up the interior to allow more natural light
* Removed old louvers and replaced single glazed windows
* Installed sunscreens to reduce glare and heat gain
* Cleaned out and modified the mechanical systems
* Specified waterless urinals and low-flow plumbing
* Installed automatically monitored irrigation
* Surrounded the site with pervious paving
* Opted for GREENGUARD certified furniture
* Incorporated recycled content products and healthy materials
The fact that they only get an 18.7% reduction in energy use is surprising; it is probably the air conditioning that they still require in Phoenix, which is probably not the best place in America to put an Institute of Sustainability. But it is a start.
More on Building Renovations in TreeHugger
Donovan Rypkema: LEED stands for "Lunatic Environmentalists Enthusiastically Demolishing"
The Greenest Brick is the One That's Already in the Wall
Big Steps in Building: Ban Demolition
Green Gizmos in TreeHugger:
Urban Modular Architectural Wind Power Microturbines!
Wind Turbines on the Edge: Small Wind Power Could be Moving in Next Door
Case Study for Flushless Urinals