Architectural firm aims for LEED certification
A Southwest architectural firm is aiming to achieve one of the highest certifications in green building for its work on a new Kenwood home.
The East Isles-based Domain Architecture & Design began work last year on the home, located on the 2500 block of Upton Avenue South. When it finishes, it plans to receive a LEED gold designation for the house.
As a quick aside, LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a program run by the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council; it’s a point-based system that certifies buildings based on green-building standards. Gold is the second-highest certification, under platinum.
One of the biggest features of the home is the use of what are called structural insulated panels — each one is a thick layer of foam sandwiched between plywood-like boards. The panels cut down on construction waste and provide better soundproofing and insulation than standard materials.
The home will also feature a full range of energy-efficient appliances and low-flow water fixtures. The landscaping will incorporate native species and rain gardens. The home will share a driveway with the neighboring property, and the driveway will be built with permeable pavers, which allow water to seep into the ground, rather than running into the storm sewer.
Construction is expected to be completed in April.
If you’re curious to learn more about LEED, check out the Green Building Council’s website at www.usgbc.org. Domain Architecture’s website, which contains more information on their work on LEED-certified homes, is at www.domainarch.com.
National award for local company
The French Meadow Bakery & Café recently received national recognition for its trio of airport restaurants.
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) honored French Meadow last month with a 2008 Proggy Award for "Best Airport Concessions." The nonprofit gives the awards (yep, the name is short for "progressive") each year to companies and people aligned with its animal-rights mission, in a variety of categories ranging from food and entertainment to clothing and companies.
"Thanks to the French Meadow Bakery and Café, flying the friendly skies just got a little animal-friendlier," PETA said in a release announcing the awards.
"… French Meadow’s bakery items are designed to ‘keep your engine running and your body healthy’— and a healthy body always comes in handy when you’re battling long lines and even longer layovers at the airport!"
French Meadow has a location at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, as well as one at JFK in New York City and at Logan International in Boston.
A networking opportunity for green business owners
If you own a business that promotes sustainability and you’re looking for fresh ideas and networking opportunities, then EcoTuesday is for you.
The Minneapolis chapter of the national organization has been around for over a year. Meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday evening of every month, and generally rotate between the downtown Pizza Lucé and Southwest locations including Twin Cities Green and Galactic Pizza. Meetings typically feature time for socializing and then a speaker from the local sustainable business community.
There isn’t an EcoTuesday scheduled for this month, but there’s already one in the works for February, said organizer Nora Pittenger.
For more information, go to www.ecotuesday.com.
France 44, the wine, liquor and cheese shop at France Avenue & 44th Street, has converted 95 percent of its lighting to LED to save energy costs.