Friday, March 25, 2011

Solar Window Pilot Project Installed in Chicago's Willis Tower

Pythagoras Solar, a provider of unprecedented transparent, energy efficient windows that also generate solar power, today announced that it has been chosen by Willis Tower, formerly Sears Tower, to collaborate on a pilot project to help deliver on the building's renewable energy and energy efficiency improvement goals.  The pilot project, deployed in November last year on the south facing windows of the Willis Tower's 56th floor, uses a building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) solution that has the potential to expand to a surface area allowing over two megawatts of solar power generation.

Willis Tower provides an example of how sustainable modernization endeavors are about more than reducing carbon emissions but also about re-investing in the local economy.  Willis Tower is exploring innovative solutions that are directly re-investing in Chicago's new green economy.  In addition, this project will illustrate one possible best practice for how to decrease the impact of the built environment on climate change, for easy duplication in other similar structures.    

"We are excited to launch this pilot with Pythagoras Solar's leading-edge solar window solutions as a test for not only the energy savings that can be achieved, but the potential they represent to actually generate power through the sun," said John Huston, Executive Vice President of American Landmark Properties, one of the ownership partners of Willis Tower. 

"We are incredibly proud to be considered to contribute our part for the 'greening' of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, the iconic Willis Tower," said Gonen Fink, Co-founder and CEO Pythagoras Solar.  "It is inspiring to see a team not waver in its dedication to making a true and lasting change through smart investments in the right solutions.  With its combined benefits, our technology is set to provide Willis Tower with a valuable tool that will help move it toward its energy efficiency goals."

Leveraging mass-scale solar power window installations has a direct impact on improving the energy efficiency and energy generation potential of a building's exterior envelope and windows.  Pythagoras Solar is the first company to offer a fully integrated photovoltaic glass unit (PVGU) that addresses the need for simultaneous benefits of energy efficiency and high power density, while also offering architectural design benefits to increase real estate value and advance Net Zero Energy Buildings (NZB).

IBM Acquisition Accerates Focus on Green Building

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held TRIRIGA, Inc., a Las Vegas, Nevada-based provider of facility and real estate management software solutions. The move aims to accelerate IBM's smarter buildings initiatives by adding advanced intelligence that improves real estate performance, capital project management and the outcomes of sustainability initiatives. Financial terms were not disclosed.

TRIRIGA software helps clients make strategic decisions regarding space usage, evaluate alternative real estate initiatives, generate higher returns from capital projects, and assess environmental impact investments.
Greater efficiencies around the operations and management of real estate are critical for organizations with multiple facilities.  Property and real estate typically represents the second-largest expense on a company's income statement, after employee compensation.  Facilities investments and operating costs can be more than 30 percent of corporate annual spending.  Fifty percent of the lifetime ownership costs of a facility can be driven from its ongoing operation.

IBM is working with thousands of organizations globally to optimize the energy usage and equipment efficiency in office buildings, campuses, resorts, hospitals and cities using IBM smarter buildings software, which includes analytics, automation and IBM Maximo Asset Management.

Today many facilities managers, real estate managers and C-level executives rely on separate products from multiple vendors to optimize their facility infrastructure, lease administration, utility consumption, space and occupancy, and facility condition assessment. Each product used by different departments holds silos of information, making it difficult, if not impossible, to share across different operating functions. Similarly, business processes that span multiple groups cannot easily be accomplished when those groups are using different products.

"The combination of TRIRIGA and IBM smarter building solutions will deliver the industry's most comprehensive capabilities that span the needs of all industries for managing facilities and real estate portfolios," said Florence Hudson, energy and environment executive, IBM.  "Having one view of building operations worldwide will be a powerful tool to help organizations control and optimize their second-largest corporate expense -- property."

More than 200 clients and thousands of users -- including over one-third of Fortune 100 corporations across every major industry, as well as seven of the 15 federal executive departments of the U.S. government -- use TRIRIGA software to reduce operational costs, increase return on real estate assets and mitigate environmental regulatory risks.

As a leader in the workplace management market, TRIRIGA will strengthen IBM smarter buildings solutions by adding these key functions:
  • Real Estate Portfolio Management, including strategic portfolio planning and lease management --TRIRIGA allows companies to optimize building use, reduce occupancy costs and improve lease administration. TRIRIGA software helps companies evaluate future space requirements and make long term planning decisions. For example, using solutions from TRIRIGA, managers can determine future space and growth needs and choose the most financially beneficial options among lease or buy alternatives.

  • Capital Project Management, such as condition assessment, budgeting, construction estimating and project management -- Effectively evaluating building condition and prioritizing investments are important in maximizing a facility's lifetime value at the lowest cost possible.  For example, managers can assess whether to replace a roof on a building versus replacing the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment by helping determine which is a better return-on-investment and assessing trade-offs in identifying investment priorities.

  • Energy and Environmental Sustainability, such as monitoring utility costs and consumption, analyzing environmental investments and setting carbon management strategies -- Tracking and managing utility costs, including electricity, gas and water, is the first step companies must take in driving those costs down. For example, using TRIRIGA software, a company can monitor and track its carbon footprint and reduce greenhouse gases from underperforming facilities. Companies can evaluate the financial and environmental benefit of capital investment decisions focused on energy and environmental efficiency strategies, such as a building retrofit or updating to a more efficient HVAC system.

"Together, IBM and TRIRIGA will offer the most comprehensive facility and real estate management solution for clients around the world," said George Ahn, president and CEO of TRIRIGA.  "By combining our intellectual capital with the global reach of IBM, we can help clients dramatically improve their buildings' operations to become more sustainable and cost efficient."

TRIRIGA will be integrated into IBM Tivoli Software and IBM Global Business Services.  The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2011, subject to regulatory approval and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.  TRIRIGA employs approximately 200 people worldwide.
The acquisition of TRIRIGA will help accelerate IBM's growth in the smarter buildings market, a key initiative in IBM's Smarter Planet work.  Earlier this month, IBM said Smarter Planet projects are estimated to drive $10 billion in revenue for IBM by 2015.
For more information, please visit

About IBM Smarter Buildings
Since launching its Smarter Buildings initiative in February 2010, IBM has created a portfolio of smarter buildings solutions that integrate with building automation software from across the industry.  IBM's real-time monitoring and analysis, facilities and space management capabilities, and advanced dynamic dashboards helps property owners and managers reduce facilities operations and energy expense, and improve asset management and reliability. For more information, visit:

About TRIRIGA, Inc.
Named by foremost industry analyst firms as the leader in sustainability software and in Integrated Workplace Management Systems, TRIRIGA provides enterprise sustainability, real estate and facilities management solutions. TRIRIGA has delivered the industry's most advanced capabilities such as configurable workflow and performance analytics engines to reduce operating costs, increase return on assets and achieve sustainability goals for mid- and large-sized commercial and public enterprises, including more than one-third of the Fortune 100.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Veolia Environmental Services Earns LEED® Certification for Landfill Building in Valdosta, Georgia

Veolia ES Solid Waste today announced that it has been awarded LEED certification (Certified level) by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for a new building at its Veolia Evergreen Landfill, Inc. in Valdosta, Ga. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating SystemTM is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. This is the first LEED certified building constructed in Valdosta, GA.

“As part of our commitment to developing sustainable, environmentally-friendly solutions for the City of Valdosta and Lowndes County, we intentionally pursued LEED certification standards in the development of our new building,” said AJ Rodgers, area manager for Veolia ES Solid Waste Southeast, Inc. “As a result, we expect to see lower operating costs, increased efficiencies and a healthier work environment for our employees.”

The Veolia building was designed to achieve LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use, and also incorporated a variety of other sustainable strategies. Certification was based on a number of green design and construction features, including:
  • Being 28% more energy efficient than a similar non-LEED design building.
  • Operating with 35% more water efficiency than a similar non-LEED design building.
  • Diverting 75% of all waste and construction scrap generated by construction to a recycling facility for re-manufacturing or re-use.
  • Using 10% of building material that contains post and pre-consumer recycled content.
  • Utilizing 44% of all building materials that were extracted and manufactured locally.
“Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems,” said Denise Grabowkski, chair of U.S. Green Building Council’s Georgia Chapter. “The Veolia project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations to come.”

Veolia’s new building will be used as a scale house for weighing all waste streams entering the Evergreen Landfill, and as an on-site administrative office.

LEED certification is an important element of Veolia’s own sustainability strategy. The company recently celebrated the LEED certification of its North American headquarters office in downtown Chicago’s Aon Building. That project was awarded Gold Level LEED certification in June 2010.

About the U.S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council is a nonprofit membership organization whose vision is a sustainable built environment within a generation. Its membership includes corporations, builders, universities, government agencies, and other nonprofit organizations. Since UGSBC’s founding in 1993, the Council has grown to more than 17,000 member companies and organizations, a comprehensive family of LEED® green building rating systems, an expansive educational offering, the industry’s popular Greenbuild International Conference and Expo (, and a network of 78 local chapters, affiliates, and organizing groups. For more information, visit

About LEED®
The LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ is a feature-oriented rating system that awards buildings points for satisfying specified green building criteria. The six major environmental categories of review include: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation and Design. Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels of LEED green building certification are awarded based on the total number of points earned within each LEED category. LEED can be applied to all building types including new construction, commercial interiors, core & shell developments, existing buildings, homes, neighborhood developments, schools and retail facilities.

Incentives for LEED are available at the state and local level and LEED has also been adopted nationwide by federal agencies, state and local governments, and interested private companies. For more information, visit

About Veolia ES Solid Waste, Inc.
Veolia ES Solid Waste, Inc., part of Veolia Environmental Services North America Corp., is one of the largest solid waste companies in North America, providing a full range of services to commercial, industrial and residential customers in 12 states, the Bahamas, and Canada. Veolia ES Solid Waste, Inc. operates 72 collection facilities and 29 solid waste sanitary landfill facilities in North America. By working in partnership with communities, the company aims to preserve valuable resources and extend landfill capacity by focusing on waste reduction, curbside collection, sorting and the processing and marketing of recyclables.

Veolia Environmental Services North America Corp.
Based in Chicago, Veolia Environmental Services North America Corp. is the leading provider of fully integrated waste, environmental and industrial cleaning solutions to residential, municipal, commercial and industrial customers across the US, Canada and the Caribbean. The company is part of the Veolia Environnement companies in North America, with 30,000 North American employees providing sustainable environmental solutions in water management, waste services, energy management, and passenger transportation.

The Veolia Environmental Services group is one of the largest waste services companies in the world and the only global manager of liquid, solid, non-hazardous and hazardous waste; on-site waste processing; industrial cleaning and process maintenance; and recycling, recovery and disposal for both the public and private sectors. Its parent company, Veolia Environnement (NYSE: VE and Paris Euronext: VIE), is the worldwide reference in environmental services. With more than 315,000 employees in 74 countries, Veolia Environnement recorded annual revenues of over $46 billion in 2010. Visit the company's Web sites at and

Green Building Consultant’s Water Pyramid Designed to Prevent Future Urban Water Crises

What's the best way to understand how to deal with urban water crises, which are increasing in frequency in the U.S.? Green building and water conservation consultant Jerry Yudelson has produced “The Pyramid of New Water Sources,” a new visual representation of critical new opportunities in water conservation, efficiency and new supply.

Yudelson said, “The 'Pyramid' derives from the research for my 2010 book, "Dry Run: Preventing the Next Urban Water Crisis", and organizes opportunities for extending our urban water supplies, going into a hotter and drier future. It represents a conceptual breakthrough and a great tool to help citizens, public officials and water planners visualize the full range of opportunities.”

This new graphic reference tool shows future water supply sources, in the form of a pyramid diagram with ten steps, each of which increases in cost and complexity. In general, there is a greater potential for cost-effective increases in urban water supply for those measures at the bottom of the pyramid.

The Pyramid of New Water Sources ranks the following measures:
1.    Changing behavior, with such measures as public education, effective water pricing, water audits and web-based information.
2.    Low-cost/no-cost measures, such as fixing leaks and retrofitting lower water-using fixtures
3.    Irrigation measures, including native plantings and drip irrigation, along with smart irrigation controllers.
4.    Hygiene, such as water-free urinals and high-efficiency toilets
5.    Appliances, such as water-conserving dishwashers, water softeners and clothes washers
6.    “Extreme Makeovers” that include composting (no water) toilets, hardscape (unplanted) landscaping and onsite blackwater treatment and reuse.
7.    Water heating, one of the biggest energy users in the water cycle, including hot water recirculation loops, efficient water heaters, and solar water heaters
8.    Onsite reuse, including rainwater and graywater collection and reuse for irrigation
9.    Offsite reuse, using reclaimed water from “purple pipe” systems and even “sewer mining” (treating sewage already flowing in pipes)
10.    Desalination of seawater and brackish water; new water sources, such as creating potable water with reverse osmosis treatment of reclaimed sewage.

Yudelson says, “It is important to come up with simple, visual tools that help everyone grasp the essentials of what is truly a complex and multi-faceted subject.” Yudelson hopes that The Pyramid will become an essential visualization and teaching tool and expects it to be adapted for specific localities as well as educational environments.

A PDF file of The Pyramid of New Water Resources can be downloaded without cost via this blog post:

About Yudelson Associates
Yudelson Associates is a leading international firm in green building consulting, water resource conservation and sustainability planning. The founder, Jerry Yudelson, is widely acknowledged as one of the nation’s leading green building and sustainability experts and a highly regarded keynote speaker. He is the author of 12 green building books and served for two years as Research Scholar for Real Estate Sustainability for the International Council of Shopping Centers, a 70,000-member international trade organization. He is a frequent green building speaker at industry and professional conferences and chaired the country’s largest annual conference and trade show, Greenbuild, for six years from 2004 through 2009.
For more information please contact Jerry Yudelson, 520-207-9759, info(at)greenbuildconsult(dot)com or visit

Visit for the latest news in sustainability.

Modern Skyscraper Housing L.A. LIVE's Hotels and Residences Earns Silver LEED Designation from the U.S. Green Building Council

The award-winning Hotels and Residences at L.A. LIVE have earned the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the AEG development's strategic, sustainable design and green innovation.

This prominent distinction recognizes the landmark L.A. LIVE 54-story high-rise tower, housing The Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. LIVE, The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles, and the JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE, as an environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy place to live and work. Designed by California-based architecture firm Gensler, the residential tower spans a total two million square feet on 2.5 acres of land and contains more than 1,000 hotel rooms and 224 first-class private residences.
"This innovative building represents what is great about Los Angeles today, and also provides a view of the city's blueprint for tomorrow," said Lance Williams, Executive Director of USGBC-LA, the organization that awarded the residential tower the Silver LEED distinction. "It's the perfect intersection of sophistication and sustainability."

In addition to its convenient proximity to several city transit stations, other strategic features that qualified The Hotels and Residences at L.A. LIVE for the Silver LEED distinction include:
  • Energy-efficient windows, designed to maximize daylight
  • Water-saving plumbing fixtures and filtering of storm water runoff, keeping waterways clean
  • Cool roof installation, covered parking and water-efficient rooftop landscaping, reducing heat island effects
  • Use of low-volatile organic compound materials to minimize in-air toxins
  • Offering a wide range of alternative transportation opportunities, including bicycle support, discounted parking for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles, carpools and vanpools, an employee rideshare program, and extensive public transportation within walking distance
  • Use of recycled materials throughout the building, in addition to the major use of recycled steel in the building's overall construction
  • Recycling areas on every floor of the tower and at the building's main loading dock

"L.A. LIVE is all about providing the best in entertainment, accommodations and services through its first-class hotel, residences and restaurants," said Timothy J. Leiweke, president and CEO of AEG, developer of L.A. LIVE. "As we have demonstrated with the STAPLES Center and L.A. LIVE, AEG is committed to building the most environmentally sustainable venues, an effort further underscored by our newest development earning this prestigious distinction."

The recent completion of The Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. LIVE achieved developer AEG's original vision for the project and downtown Los Angeles. The Residences have experienced tremendous sales success, with its first residents moved in, and more than 60 percent of its 224 residences in escrow.
The Silver LEED certification represents AEG's ongoing commitment to sustainability as part of the AEG 1EARTH program and adds to L.A. LIVE's myriad awards and accolades received within the past six months by industry leaders. The project's distinctions include the Urban Land Institute's "Global Award for Excellence," Luxury Real Estate's "Best New Community," Americas Lodging Investment Summit's "2010 Development of the Year" award, and most recently, "Building of the Year," by Downtown News.

About The Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. LIVE

The Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. LIVE is one of the first luxury-branded residences in Los Angeles, offering exclusive "All-Access Living" in the heart of the exciting new sports and entertainment district L.A. LIVE. Residents enjoy privileged access to five-star lifestyle experiences, including services of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, such as a dedicated residential concierge/doorman, valet parking and VIP status with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel guest relations.

For residents, just an elevator ride away are unparalleled amenities, including a world-class restaurant, residential sky lobby with landscaped terrace, private heated rooftop pool, state-of-the-art spa and fitness center, and exclusive residential lounge, with private board room and media room.
To make a reservation or find out more on living the "all-access life" at L.A. LIVE, please call 213-622-4242, or visit

L.A. LIVE is a one-of-a-kind sports, entertainment and residential district in downtown immediately adjacent to STAPLES Center and the Convention Center.  The campus features NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE, The GRAMMY Museum, Conga Room and Club NOKIA, giving L.A. LIVE more music per square foot than anywhere else in the world.  The district offers a rich mix of local, regional and national restaurants including Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill, Rosa Mexicano, The Farm of Beverly Hills, Yard House, Katsuya, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Rock 'N Fish, Trader Vic's, ESPN Zone, Lawry's Carvery, New Zealand Natural Ice Cream and Starbucks.  L.A. LIVE also serves as ESPN's West Coast broadcast headquarters.  The campus is recognized worldwide for offering an incomparable and unforgettable entertainment experience.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Webcast March 24, 2011 - The Role of Green Chemistry in a Sustainable Future

MEDIA ADVISORY: U.S.EPA Assistant Administrator of the Office of Research and Development, Paul Anastas presents: "The Role of Green Chemistry in a Sustainable Future”

Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan,, 415/947.4149

San Francisco CA - On March 24, 2011, Dr. Paul Anastas, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Research and Development at the U.S. Environmental protection Agency, will give a presentation on the role of green chemistry in sustainable design.  Dr. Anastas is known widely as the "Father of Green Chemistry" for his groundbreaking research on the design, manufacture, and use of minimally-toxic, environmentally-friendly chemicals.

What: “The Role of Green Chemistry in a Sustainable Future”, at the Philomathia Foundation Conference 2011: Green Chemistry: Collaborative Approaches & New Solutions at UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA.

Where: University of California Berkeley, CITRIS Sutardja Dai Hall  at the corner of Hearst and Leroy Avenues, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94709. The event is also being webcast, to sign up visit:

When: March 24, 2011, 9:00 am - 10:15 am

Who: Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development, Paul Anastas

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

LED Lighting Awards

EvoLucia's Aimed LED Lighting Honored with Next Generation Luminaires Lighting Design Award for Street/Area Lighting

[SARASOTA, FL: March 21, 2011] The U.S. Department of Energy, along with its partners the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) and the Illuminating Engineering Society(IES), has announced the winners of the 2010 Next Generation Luminaires™ Solid State Lighting Design Competition including EvoLucia's Aimed LED Lighting among the 37 profiled winners. EvoLucia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sunovia Energy Technologies, Inc.

The competition drew 368 total entries, though only 138 entries from 61 companies qualified for adjudication. All four of those chosen as "Best in Class" were selected from the indoor lighting market.

After thoroughly evaluating five of EvoLucia's Cobrahead (SCHX5 LED)units, looking for those products with the lowest glare, highest efficiency, best thermal management, highest uniformity and most efficient optics, the judges applauded the glare control, uniformity and efficacy of the SCHX5 LED. EvoLucia's SCHX5 LED was one of the remaining 33 entries that were selected to be a product that the judging panel would recommend to lighting specifiers. There was only one other honoree in the roadway light category selected from all the entries. EvoLucia's SCHX5 LED was the only outdoor roadway/parking luminaire in this category that was recognized with an award.

The EvoLucia product profiled by the judges was the Cobrahead or SCHX5 LED street/area light which employs EvoLucia's patent pending Aimed Optics™ technology to efficiently direct light to a targeted area. The SCHX5 performs with an industry-high Fitted Target Efficacy score of 57 to put the most foot-candles on the ground, in the pattern required, with the best uniformity, using the fewest LEDs and the least power consumed.

Bob Fugerer, Chief Technology Officer of Sunovia, stated "The entire team at EvoLucia applauds the DOE, IALD and IES for advancing the awareness and market-acceptance of innovative LED lighting technologies that are worthy of specification by lighting designers. There is no question that LEDs are setting new standards for general illumination lighting. We are delighted that the distinguished judging panel has recognized the pace-setting efficiencies in energy and light utilization that our Aimed Optics™ technology has made possible in nextgeneration LED roadway and parking area luminaire design."

EvoLucia Aimed LED Lighting is not only more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly than many other light sources, it is also much more effective. Through EvoLucia's patent pending Aimed Optics™ technology, less overall light is needed if the light is correctly focused on the target area, which allows for more efficient lighting solutions.


Sunovia Energy Technologieswas founded in 2007 to provide energy-efficient and sustainable energy solutions by commercializing advances in clean technology. The subsidiary EvoLucia Lighting, Inc. markets LED Lighting for roadways, public spaces and other outdoor site applications, using patent-pending Aimed Optics™ technology providing more energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, and effective aimed lighting than other light sources.
Simply put, "aimed LED lighting" is the method of providing exactly the light that's needed, where it's needed. EvoLucia optimizes utilization of LEDs to put the most foot-candles on the ground, in the pattern required, with the best uniformity, using the fewest LEDs and the least power consumed.
It is this capability of "Aimed Optics" that ideally enables EvoLucia's luminaires to meet and exceed the Dept. of Energy's Fitted Target Efficacy (FTE) Energy Star criteria for solid-state lighting (SSL) luminaires.
EvoLucia: Aimed Light. Better Light. Energy Lite.

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LEED Gold at University of Texas



Designed by Overland Partners Architects, the student-centric facility is anticipated to be the first LEED Gold building on campus


AUSTIN, TEXAS, March 22, 2011 – The new Student Activity Center (SAC) at the University of Texas campus in Austin is of the students, by the students, and for the students. The SAC is the result of almost 60 years of student lobbying for another dedicated social and cultural center on campus. Located in the heart of the campus, this 149,000 square foot facility is designed to serve as the “campus living room” – it is a place for students “to see and be seen”. The facility should earn a LEED Gold certification, a first for the campus.

            Extensive student input and design workshops generated the main project goals, which were easy accessibility, more activity spaces and overall sustainability. Overland Partners Architects of San Antonio, TX and associate architect WTW Architects of Pittsburgh, PA responded with a contemporary building on the East Mall of campus, the primary pedestrian point of entry to the campus. The new SAC is geographically and functionally complementary to the existing student union on the West Mall, and important in serving the growing student body.  

To meet the student goal of dedicated activity spaces, the SAC includes a 5,000 square foot ballroom, a 500-seat auditorium, a black box theatre, 12 student conference/meeting rooms, student organization offices, and a student government chamber. The ballroom is already booked for months with events like comedian Zach Braff, a 3-D Gaming tournament, and a concert by Chuck D. and Common. There are also ample group study lounges and informal individual study areas scattered throughout the facility. An indoor food court featuring regional fast food favorites and a coffee bar sits adjacent to more than 46,000 square feet of landscaped outdoor gathering space, substantially increasing the seating and providing an enjoyable dining experience in the moderate Austin climate.

The new SAC has struck a powerful chord at the university in response to project goals.

“I have to say that a mark of any successful building is how it makes one wonder how we managed without it,” Juan Gonz├ílez, Vice-President for Student Affairs, said. “It is truly a major enhancement to not only the area, but the whole campus environment. It is especially rewarding to see so many students embrace the facility from the moment we opened the doors.”

The SAC is a modern take on the traditional campus architecture. The simple forms and clean lines of the SAC distinguish it, yet the limestone walls and red tile roofs unify it with the existing campus buildings. Tucked behind a mature oak grove, abundant windows throughout the building bring in ample daylighting and take advantage of the surrounding landscape. There is an accessible rooftop courtyard with an adjacent green roof, and a cistern that collects and recycles rainwater for landscape irrigation.

Renowned international artist James Turrell is designing a skyspace installation for the SAC opening in fall 2012. The enclosed rooftop space will have an opening in the roof surrounded by LED lights that will affect the viewer’s perception of the sky.

The project has only been open since January, yet students are already using every available inch of space. Early student reviews of the SAC are glowing.

 “I went to peak at the new structure, and OH MAN. It’s awesome. Though we have the Union, academic center, and library, UT always lacked a central place where students could take a break between places, grab a bite to eat, nap, cram for a test, or hold student org meetings. The SAC provides all of the above and with style,” according to one UT student blog.



Overland Partners Architects, founded in 1987 in San Antonio, Texas, is the realization of a vision to bring together a wide range of talents in architecture and planning in order to provide comprehensive design services. Sensitive to the environmental and aesthetic contexts of its projects, the firm strives for a thoughtful integration of technology, art, and craft through highly sustainable solutions. Overland Partners offers its clients the ultimate goal of creating beautiful, functional and enduring designs through a collaborative process that inspires long-term relationships. In addition to the Student Activity Center at the University of Texas the firm is currently working on the university’s new College of Liberal Arts. The firm completed the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas in Austin, winner of more than 10 regional and national design awards. Other higher education projects within the firm’s design portfolio include the new Business School Building at Baylor University in Waco, Texas; the new Academic Building at the University of North Texas at Dallas; the new Continuing Education Center at Rice University in Houston; and the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania.  For more information, visit


Interviews upon request.

high-resolution images available at

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Monday, March 21, 2011

U.S. Green Building Council, Orange County Opens Sponsorship and Membership Opportunities to Orange County Organizations and Individuals

The USGBC Orange County Chapter is accepting new sponsors to join their existing slate of high-profile sponsors who support the organization as well as sustainable practices and green building in Orange County.Existing sponsors include a wide range of organizations including the Montage Hotel, Chapman University, the City of Irvine, RBF Consulting, Glumac, ASLA, Dunn Edwards, Fireman’s Fund Insurance, Gensler, LPA, The Campsite, Pella, MWDOC, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas Company, Pro Repro, CTG, Fuscoe and over one hundred additional companies and organizations.Sponsorships begin at $250 and provide sponsors with a host of benefits.

In addition, membership is now open for individuals to join the organization for a cost of $50.00 per year if your employer is a member of USGBC National or $75.00 per year if you are not affiliated with the national organization.
Upcoming events for USGBC-OC include Live: Energy Monitoring and Management on March 24 at 11:45 at Audio Visions in Lake Forest (also a webcast); the Municipal Green Building Conference at the Gas Company in Downey on April 14, 2011; and an Existing Building Operation and Maintenance Technical Symposium at the former Taco Bell Headquarters Gold Certified green building on May 25 at 5:30 p.m. The Orange County group will also be sponsoring the greening of the Newport Beach Film Festival, beginning on April 28th and running through May 7th.
The USGBC-OC’s mission is to engage all green building stakeholders and be the conduit of change for a more sustainable Orange County.The chapter provides communication, education, resources and advocacy.The group also provides networking opportunities, continuing education for LEED credential programs, leadership opportunities, and a rich knowledge base of sustainable and green practices and programs. Speakers from the within the USGBC organization are available to visit businesses, organizations and agencies to present a number of educational programs and green building/sustainable design information.

Yingli Green Energy and GRID Alternatives Partner to Provide Solar Energy to 400 Low-Income Families Across California

Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited (NYSE: YGE) ("Yingli Green Energy" or the "Company"), a leading solar energy company and one of the world's largest vertically integrated photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers, which markets its products under the brand "Yingli Solar," announced today that its U.S. subsidiary, Yingli Green Energy Americas, Inc. ("Yingli Americas"), has formed a strategic partnership with GRID Alternatives, a nonprofit solar installer whose mission is to empower communities in need by providing renewable energy and energy efficiency services, equipment and training. Under the terms of the agreement, Yingli Americas will provide the largest donation in GRID Alternatives' history, and will become the organization's official solar module provider
Combined with a network of community volunteers and green job trainees, Yingli Americas and GRID Alternatives will work together to install 1 MW of solar energy systems for 400 low-income families during 2011 using a combination of donated modules and modules purchased from Yingli at fair market value. These solar energy systems will generate $10 million worth of renewable energy over their lifespan, while eliminating 40,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the projects will provide hands-on job training opportunities in solar PV installation to thousands of individuals looking to enter the solar workforce, through direct participation in the installations.

"GRID Alternatives is grateful to Yingli for helping us make solar power available to the working families that need the savings the most, while helping build the clean energy workforce of the future. We are also proving that if solar is a viable technology for low-income families, it can work for anyone anywhere," said Erica Mackie, Executive Director and Co-Founder of GRID Alternatives. "We are thrilled to announce this partnership – which is the first of its kind in our organization's history – and commend Yingli Americas for their vision and dedication to helping disadvantaged communities in the US."

"Social responsibility is a key pillar in our mission, and we're very proud to announce this partnership with GRID Alternatives," said Robert Petrina, Managing Director of Yingli Americas. "At Yingli, we believe in making solar power an affordable option for everyone, and addressing our local underserved communities is an important step in achieving this -- we're delivering clean energy and job training where it's required most."
Mr. Liansheng Miao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Yingli Green Energy, commented, "We have a long-standing commitment to global social responsibility and to improving the lives of our future generations. That's why we seek out collaborations such as this one with GRID Alternatives in order to make a tangible difference."


Sustainable Cypress Building Products - Architect Case Studies

PITTSBURGH, March 21, 2011 –The Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association (SCMA) has published two new case studies that highlight the natural beauty, durability, and versatility of cypress.    

Cypress Endures the Elements at Wyoming’s Jackson Hole Airport

Flying into the recently expanded Jackson Hole Airport, Jackson, Wyo., is a breathtaking experience. It’s the only commercial airport located within a U.S. national park, Grand Teton National Park, and its panoramic views of the Teton mountain range to the east and the Gros Ventre range to the west are awe-inspiring. That beauty, combined with the innovative use of cypress in its recent renovations, makes the airport a traveler’s delight. But the successful make-over was not without significant challenges.

Cypress Complements Outdoor Living on Shelter Island

When Manhattan architect Cary Tamarkin, of Tamarkin Co. Architecture and Development, set out to build his dream beach house on Shelter Island, N.Y., he considered every detail, including the views of the Shelter Island Sound and the melodic swish of the waves. “My goal was to make a simple, yet intricately designed house that took full advantage of the wonderful site.” Tamarkin said. “And of course, I wanted to design the coolest house on Shelter Island.” His effort, enhanced by the site’s cooling breezes and breathtaking sunsets, resulted in a cypress showcase.

The case studies are the newest in a series of stories that examine how and why architects use cypress for their residential and commercial building projects.

The Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of sustainable cypress building products to trade professionals and consumers. For more information, visit

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