7 top green residential buildings in the U.S.

Forgotten about green building during the economic swoon of the last two years? Rising energy costs and static incomes make it more important than ever as consumers look for added value and long-term energy savings.

Check out these top green residential projects from across the U.S., which demonstrate that green living is no longer just for the wealthy few.

1 – Postgreen’s 100K House in South Philly sets the mark for in-city affordability

Postgreen, a sustainable building and design company, wanted to address a demographic that was not being served in Philadelphia: Urban dwellers who want to live in a green property, but do not want to move to the suburbs or spend the money, typically $500,000 and up, for most builder’s green creations.

So the team set out to build its inaugural projects, the $100K and $120K infill homes in the sleekest, greenest, low-waste designs they could muster, while resisting the “bells and whistles” that drive prices up. They wanted the 100K home to come in at a building cost under $100 per square foot, so they had to work extra hard at efficiencies in all aspects of construction. The result: Two two-story loft homes with two bedrooms each priced at between $200,000 and $250,000, both on commute-free city lots, walking distance to subway and bus stops.

US Green Building Council heralds new green schools center

Ring the bell and clear the board. It’s officially time for green schools to get on the advanced building track.
The U.S. Green Building Council has announced a new project, The Center for Green Schools at USGBC, which aims to “give everyone an opportunity to attend a green school within this generation.” By that, the USGBC means it hopes that all kids will get a shot at attending a green school.

U.S. Green Building Council adds certification for neighborhoods

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced a new “LEED for Neighborhood Development” rating system today that aims to reward communities that try to reduce urban sprawl, increase walkability and transportation options, and decrease automobile dependence.

The new certification, developed with the Congress for the New Urbanism and the Natural Resources Defense Council, hopes to encourage development within or near existing communities and public infrastructure to reduce the impact of sprawl. It is the seventh rating system for the USGBC, which certifies residential, commercial and other properties based on their environmental footprint.

An affordable green home, Philadelphia style

By Carol Sonenklar
Green Right Now

They said it couldn’t be done: A LEED platinum house for $100 per square foot in hard construction costs.

Builders, architects, real estate developers, among others, have expressed skepticism that green building could be done inexpensively. One persistent notion is that sustainable home building is expensive because of higher upfront costs for cutting edge technology and design. Its become conventional wisdom, in some corners, that green building carries a 10 percent upcharge, at least.

U.S. green schools: A lesson in engaging kids and saving money

By Harriet Blake
Green Right Now

The first daughters’ new school, Sidwell Friends in Washington, has been awarded the top LEED rating of platinum. But learning institutions across the nation are joining the ranks of LEED-qualified schools, as educators recognize both the health benefits for children and the long term energy savings of building greener.

Sidwell earned 57 out of a possible 69 points on the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rankings. At the recent Green Build conference in Boston, the USGBC recognized several schools, including Sidwell, for their green advances.

Houston On Ambitious Path To Build Green Schools

By Julie Bonnin

Houston’s air quality and recycling rates may be nothing to brag about, but the city’s school district is among the country’s leaders in its commitment to building energy-efficient schools.

Walnut Bend Elementary, on the city’s southwest side, is one of the first of dozens of Houston Independent School District schools that will be built or retrofitted to meet LEED standards, the nationally accepted benchmark for design, operation and construction of high performance “green” buildings.

“We’re the largest employer in Houston, and we feel we have a responsibility to the environment,” says HISD Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra. “We are teaching children, and that means we need to set an example of environmental stewardship that the children can follow.”