Page D1 . 05 May 2010       
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    The twelve-story Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, located at the University of Toronto's St. George campus, is a high-performance building that achieves impressive levels of energy efficiency and — with airy, light-filled spaces throughout — attention to occupant comfort. The building responds intelligently to its climate and orientation with an enclosure system that presents an open face to the campus and adapts to changing environmental conditions. At the same time, it strikes a balance between automated and individually controlled devices.


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    In 2007, several records fell as the Burj Dubai skyscraper climbed above that city-state's skyline. In May 2007, the Burj surpassed the height of the tallest building in the United States, the Sears Tower (recently renamed the Willis Tower), designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in the 1970s. SOM's Adrian Smith designed the Burj in the early years of the new millennium, but by the time the new skyscraper zoomed past Sears (at 1,450 feet, or 442 meters), Smith had left SOM to start his own firm.


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    The irony of a LEED-certified gas station includes the fact that U.S. gas stations each currently deliver, on average, about 850,000 gallons of fossil fuel per year, representing about 8,200 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per gas station annually — not to mention the wide range of environmental impacts along the overall petroleum production chain. This station is a beautiful structure — but how green can it be? Does a greenwashing project like this — however elegantly designed as a structure — deserve coverage in a professional architecture magazine? What about the designers of such a project? Author Philip Jodidio discusses the broader context below. Comment online. — Editor


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