Greenbuild 2014 kicks off today in New Orleans, showcasing the latest technology and developments in sustainable building. Here’s a roundup of green building news from the Big Easy.
The 2014 Greenbuild LivingHome, designed and developed by LivingHomes in partnership with Make It Right, is a LEED Platinum net-zero home that serves as a showcase of how cutting-edge sustainable building techniques can contribute to affordable housing. The home features a host of sustainable wallboard and insulation products from CertainTeed, which makes exterior and interior building products. After being showcased for informational tours at this year’s expo, the home will be permanently placed in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward by Brad Pitt’s Make It Right, which builds LEED Platinum-certified and Cradle to Cradle-inspired homes for people in need.
Architecture firm William McDonough + Partners announced the opening of a global factory and parts facility for Hero MotorCorp, the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer in Rajasthan, India. Dubbed a “Garden Factory” by William McDonough, the project’s sustainable design features include solar PV panels, clean filtered indoor air, irrigated water for local vegetation, cool ambient temperatures, carbon dioxide for feeding vegetation and locally produced food. A green roof, vegetated with native, drought-tolerant plants that will assist in capturing rainwater and shading the roof from the sun, resulting in a 20 percent reduction in air conditioning. The factory also makes use of a “bio-wall,” an interior wall of vegetation that filters out contaminants. In tandem with the ductless, positively pressurized air handler in the facility, these purification measures will ensure that employees breathe in clean air throughout the workday.
The Harmonization Task Group, funded by Google and the US Green Building Council, announced the development of common language, new technology and tools to increase designer, manufacturer and non-government organization collaboration to increase human health associated with built environment interaction. The group says the creation of the Application Programming Interface is the first deliverable under the supporting grant. The API will increase uniformity of data shared by manufacturers and simplify distribution of it to a range of certifiers and other NGOs in this space. Pharos and Google’s Healthy Materials Tool will formally beta test the API during Greenbuild, with rollout to other partners beginning in early 2015.
The API directly addresses manufacturers’ long-standing complaint that ingredient data sharing is complicated by the existence of too many programs with varying requirements. The API will save manufacturers time and money in sharing their material ingredient information with users and specifiers, the group says.