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    ArchitectureWeek Notes No. 536
    Dear ArchitectureWeek Readers,

    ArchitectureWeek No. 536 is now available on the Web, with these new design and building features, and more. This Notes edition is sponsored by Wiley:

    Wiley

    A Visual Dictionary of Architecture, 2nd Edition

    Now in a brand-new Second Edition, Francis D.K. Ching's A Visual Dictionary of Architecture is better than ever. You'll find concise, accurate definitions, and finely detailed hand-rendered drawings that explain every concept, technology, material, and detail that matters to architects and designers.  Learn more.

     
     
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    In the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, an event now typified by very impressive student-built solar houses, the University of Maryland "WaterShed" is the overall winner for 2011. Photo: Kevin Matthews/ Artifice Images

    Solar Decathlon 2011
    by Christine MacDonald

    In the U.S. Department of Energy's recent Solar Decathlon, architecture and engineering students competed to build the most efficient, innovative, economical, and attractive home powered by the sun.

    In the U.S. Department of Energy's recent Solar Decathlon, architecture and engineering students competed to build the most efficient, innovative, economical, and attractive home powered by the sun.

    This year's contest was the fifth since the decathlon was first launched in 2002, at a time when solar power was still a tiny, hothouse business. Since then, solar energy has taken off, growing into a multibillion-dollar industry, with more than 3,000 megawatts of installed solar power in the United States alone.

    While much of the installed capacity is fueling commercial buildings, solar homes have also edged toward the mainstream as builders like Arizona's Meritage Homes roll out entire net-zero-energy subdivisions at prices comparable to standard construction.

    During the 2011 decathlon, 19 teams, including four from non-U.S. universities, spent a week in mid-September erecting their homes in the National Mall's West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C.

    In the days that followed, they competed for points in ten categories: architecture, market appeal, engineering, educational communications, affordability, "comfort zone" (indoor temperate and humidity), hot water systems, appliances, home entertainment, and energy balance.

    Some of the houses in this year's competition echoed market trends in at least a couple of ways: the cost of the homes and a holistic approach to green building.

    Nearly half — nine out of 19 houses — were estimated at less than $300,000 to build. This year's entries were about 33 percent less expensive than the 2009 solar homes, according to decathlon organizers.   >>>

     
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    On its way to LEED-EB Gold certification, Serious Windows handled an amazing performance upgrade of the Empire State Building's 6,514 windows — reusing the existing glass. Photo: Courtesy Empire State Building

    LEED for Existing Buildings
    by Tim Shinabarger

    The Empire State Building made headlines recently for achieving LEED Gold certification following a major green retrofit project that will reduce the skyscraper's energy consumption by more than 38 percent. The building's electric chiller plant was rebuilt, electric meters were installed at the tenant level, and all 6,514 window units were removed, refurbished to improve their energy efficiency, and reinstalled.

    Although its profile may be far lower — both physically and culturally — the Christman Building in Lansing, Michigan, also earned LEED certification at the Platinum level, for measures taken to improve the energy efficiency of the office building's operations. Here, too, the contributing measures included HVAC upgrades, tenant-level metering, and refurbished windows.

    Both of these projects exemplify a fast-growing LEED rating system that underscores the critical importance of "greening" the buildings we already have: "LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance."

    LEED-EB: O&M evaluates the sustainability of building performance and operations for buildings after they have been built and occupied. First launched by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2003 as a pilot program, LEED-EB complements other LEED rating systems that address the design and construction of new buildings and major renovations.

    Although operational improvements might not seem as exciting as shiny new green buildings, LEED-EB is indeed gaining traction as measured by the increasing number of certifications, says Ashley Katz, communications manager for the USGBC.

    In fact, in 2010 LEED-EB accounted for nearly half of the 519 million square feet (48.2 million square meters) of space that earned LEED certification (not including LEED for Homes or LEED for Neighborhood Development).

    According to data from the USGBC, the number of LEED-EB certifications per year increased from 27 to 277 between 2007 and 2009. In 2011, more than 500 buildings have already been LEED-EB-certified by mid-October.*   >>>

     
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    Dell Precision M6600 Mobile Workstation - Cadalyst, 2011.1013

    The Minimalist's Guide to In-House Training - Cadalyst, 2011.1012

    Windows System Restore Is Your Friend - Cadalyst, 2011.1012

    Bricsys Releases Bricscad V12 for Windows - TenLinks, 2011.1012

    Compatibility Notes to ArchiCAD on Mac OS X Lion Updated - Archicad Wiki, 2011.1012

    New iPhone Conceals Sheer Magic - New York Times, 2011.1011


     
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    Contents, RSS, and Surface of the Week

    Modern sheet metal cladding, and brick (WA-297)

     

    Architecture Quiz this week's new question...

    The famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto had only two projects built in the United States. One is the Mount Angel Abbey Library in Oregon. What is the other?

     
    Architecture Answer for last week's quiz...

    A 12 in 12 roof slope is 45 degrees.

    What is the angle of a 24 in 12 slope?

    What are the rise and run of a 90-degree slope?


     
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    Classic Home 018 — Compact Colonial by Alfred Cookman Cass

    "To accommodate the outdoor orientation of the Butlers' lifestyle, Wurster planned a progression from indoors, or enclosed space, to outdoors."This charming Colonial home could be built on a narrow city lot to good advantage. Preferably it should set back from the street, as the sketch indicates. The exterior treatment is stucco on backplastered metal lath; roof of stained wood shingles or slate. The combined living and dining room is large and well lighted. There are also plenty of blank wall spaces for the placing of furniture... "

     

     
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