Connecticut’s economy remains somewhat flat but recent reports from various sources have shown positive signs of the beginnings of a recovery. However, real estate investment and development numbers continue to struggle even with ARRA/stimulus money beginning to hit the streets. Still, there have been a few good green building stories out there worth noting.
The Watkinson School in West Hartford was recently featured on CNN and AC360 (Anderson Cooper 360). CNN producers filmed Watkinson’s new Energy Neutral Center for Science & Global Citizenship and interviewed 5 Watkinson students, teachers and Head of School, John Bracker…In addition, the AI Tech Center being built by AI Engineers on Constitution Plaza in downtown Hartford and the deconstruction phase of the Old WFSB Broadcast House was featured on the History Channel’s “Modern Marvels” last month.
Carrier Corp., headquartered in Farmington, Conn. and the world’s largest provider of heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions, with operations in more than 170 countries has unveiled a new Carrier brand identity emphasizing its roots in environmental stewardship and ongoing commitment to the development of sustainable solutions. The new identity combines the elements of a stylized green leaf with the existing “turn to the experts” tag line. Carrier Corp. is a unit of Hartford-based United Technologies Corp.
Visitors to Centerbrook Architects’ website can now take a virtual 3-D tour of the firm’s sustainable offices to explore various green-energy features, such as its hydropower generator and geothermal pump. While surveying the Centerbrook campus from above and then zooming in on a basement turbine or rooftop solar panels, browsers also immerse themselves in the latest technology used in building design. Located in a renovated factory complex along the Falls River in Connecticut, the firm has been practicing sustainable architecture since 1975 and generates 40 percent of its power from on-site renewable systems.
Solar Power Partners, a California-based independent power producer, has partnered with Westover School in Middlebury, Conn., to complete a 158.6 kW photovoltaic system at the school. Westover entered into a 20-year solar power purchase agreement (PPA) with SPP, backed by US Bank. Under the terms of the solar PPA, SPP owns, operates and maintains the system, and sells the electricity generated by the solar panels back to Westover at a fixed rate for the life of the contract. SPP contracted with Wilton, Conn.-based Alteris Renewables to design, engineer, build and maintain the system. The solar installation, which is expected to produce an estimated 180,487 kWh in the first year of operation, was installed on two buildings, including a dormitory that was built in 1909….MP2 Capital, a leading developer, financier and operator of solar projects throughout North America and also based in California, also announced this month the commissioning of a 445 kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) array in Winsted, Connecticut. MP2 Capital has entered into a power purchase agreement to sell all of the electricity generated by the system to the Regional School District No. 7 for a period of 20 years.
Quinnipiac University in Connecticut is putting the finishing touches on a micro wind turbine cluster on its new green campus in York Hill. The “wind garden” is made with 25 vertical-axis turbines from Mariah Power and estimated to generate about 32,626 kWh annually. This is likely the first cluster of its kind to be installed on an American college campus. The turbines vary in height from 35 to 45 feet, and stone benches have been placed nearby to create somewhat of a gathering space for teachers and students….The Phoenix Press in New Haven has raised and turned on Connecticut’s largest wind-turbine.
The sprawling Harbor Point redevelopment project in Stamford has won Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Neighborhood Development (ND) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The recognition came to developer Building and Land Technology, of Norwalk, for the 80-acre project’s environmentally sound design, planning and construction, according to Sophie Lambert, LEED for Neighborhood Development’s director…Kroon Hall, the new home of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, has also been awarded LEED Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, Yale University announced this month….With over 16,797,000 square feet (1,560,500 m2), the recently opened City Center Las Vegas has become one of the largest LEED certified projects in the world. The project included some of the world’s largest firms including New Haven based Pelli Clarke Pelli…Several of Weston LEED® accedited professionals from the Glastonbury, CT office were extensively involved in the planning, design and certification of the company’s first green office building, a contaminated site in Concord New Hampshire. The company first remediated the site, then deconstructed blighted structures, recycling more than 95% of the demolition debris and salvaging prime timber and granite blocks for later use in the new building. Construction began in early 2009 and was completed in time to meet the December 2009 move-in target. The team has a target of “Gold” certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program has been submitted to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
The Stone/Shelley House in Madison, CT which was on the “most endangered” list of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation has been restored by Gulick & Spradlin LLC using the most up-to-date opportunities for building green by reusing building materials, updated energy systems , the use of efficient insulation and heating and cooling systems, and the use of sustainable and innovative products.
FuelCell Energy Inc. announced this month the hiring of a former Ingersoll Rand executive Chip Bottone. Mr Bottone with global energy sales experience, will hawk the Danbury company’s clean-energy power cells in industrialized and Third World countries…Environmental lawyer and Romanian native Christine Eppstein Tang has been tapped to lead New Haven’s new Office of Sustainability. She was selected from a pool of nearly 200 applicants. Eppstein Tang, who lives in New Haven, will be paid $77,102 annually by a federal Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant…Annmarie Del Franco of Prudential Connecticut Realty’s Ridgefield office, has been awarded the National Association of Realtor’s “Green Designation,” the only green real estate professional designation recognized by NAR. Ms. Del Franco completed 18 hours of course work designed specifically for Realtors. The courses were created in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of industry experts from across the country.