by Katharine Logan
The integration of sustainable materials and technologies into mainstream building practice is a central challenge of our time. To be fully successful, a building must be "green" in ways that are both attractive and cost-effective.
The Northeast Green Building Awards celebrate design projects that advance the aesthetics and feasibility of environmentally sound buildings.
This year's winners include a main-street library that recycles a historic industrial building, sustainable housing that costs 25 percent less than conventional housing to build and 46 percent less to operate, a 645,000 square-foot (60,000-square-meter) office building with daylight throughout and no need for staff parking, and a cutting-edge proposal for generating and distributing energy at a local scale.
The Awards Program
Sponsored by the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust (MRET) as part of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) Building Energy Conference, the Green Building competition evaluates entries on a variety of criteria.
Criteria include creative integration of renewable energy and energy-saving features into design; environmental and health impacts of materials, construction, and operation; costs of construction and operation; and the extent to which the building's design and energy features may be replicated by others.
Recycling Buildings in New York
The Burnham Building, an old wood frame and masonry structure built in Irvington, New York in 1881, sits on the corner of Main Street, directly across from the railroad station. Vacant for 10 years, the building was threatened with destruction.
Rescuing the historic industrial Burnham Building combined transit-oriented development and main street revitalization.
Photo: Frederick Charles
The Burnham Building has a new library on the ground floor, affordable housing above, sustainability throughout.
Photo: Mary Morrisett
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