How Can A New Sports Arena Be ‘Eco-Friendly’ When There’s An Existing Arena Right Down The Street?

Eco Friendly SODO Arena designSeattle sports fans are in a frenzy about professional basketball possibly returning to the Emerald City. Chris Hansen is leading the effort and contingent to bringing an NBA basketball team back is building a new $490 million arena for the franchise in Seattle’s SODO (South Downtown) district. The proposed arena has gone through many changes and the latest design from 360 Architecture is being billed as “eco-friendly.” Here are some of the SODO Arena’s eco-specs (from Seattle Times):

“The architects for investor Chris Hansen on Tuesday also outlined ideas to make the facility environmentally sustainable, from capturing and reusing rainwater to solar heating and generating energy for the surrounding neighborhood.”

All great and definitely better than not having eco-features but it’s still tough for me to buy into this arena because Seattle already has the Key Arena that was renovated in 1995.Key Arena Seattle The 17,000 seat Key Arena has been hosting all levels of basketball, hockey and concerts since the NBA Sonics left in 2008. A little scrub and polish and the Key would be more than adequate to host a NBA team again.

Eco-friendly’ing up the proposed SODO Arena is wonderful. So what would bringing professional basketball back to Seattle and using the existing Key Arena? That would be Jubbling. [Seattle Times]


To Keep Future Energy Costs Predictable, IKEA Decides To Double-Down On Renewable Energy.

IKEA solar panelsIkea has always tried to simplify the furniture assembly process. Following that same path, Ikea is now working to simplify how they’ll get their future electricity by doubling their investment in renewable energy to $4 billion. From Ikea CEO and President Mikael Ohlsson (Bloomberg):

“I foresee we’ll continue to increase our investments in renewable energy… looking at how quickly we’re expanding and our value chain, we will most likely have to double the investments once more after 2015.”

Ikea’s goal is to get 100% of the power for their stores from renewable sources by 2020. Ikea’s stores currently get 34% of their electricity from 250,000 solar panels they own and from 126 wind turbines they’ve invested in. [Bloomberg]


Volkswagen Chattanooga Will Get 12.5% Of Their Power From Solar Panels.

Volkswagen Chattanooga plant solar park.From Volkswagen of America (via CSRwire):

“Volkswagen today ‘powered up’ the largest single solar installation at an automotive manufacturing facility in the United States and the biggest solar installation in the state of Tennessee.

The Volkswagen Chattanooga Solar Park occupies 33 acres, or half of the 66-acre land parcel adjacent to VW’s state-of-the-art manufacturing plant. The solar park contains 33,600 solar modules from JA Solar designed to produce 13.1 gigawatt hours of electricity per year – equivalent to the energy consumed annually by around 1,200 homes in the area.

The electricity produced from the solar park is expected to meet 12.5% of the energy needs of Volkswagen’s Chattanooga manufacturing plant during full production and 100% during non-production periods.”

So who’d you rather – electric vehicle built with nonrenewable energy or gas powered car built with renewable solar power? [Volkswagen]


Explosion-Free Building Demolition.

The time-lapse video is of the 456′ Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka slowly being demolished in Japan.

Taisei Corporation's Tecorep high-rise dismantling systemDeveloped by Taisei Corporation of Japan, the Taisei Ecological Reproduction System (Tecorep) dismantles skyscrapers instead of using explosives to bring them down. From Taisei:

“This revolutionary new system enables systematic disassembly of high-rise buildings and allows reuse of the disassembled construction materials. In addition, the energy generated by lowering materials to ground level is used to offset overall CO2 emissions.”

And from the Huffington Post, here’s how the Tecorep works:

“Inside the building, jacks support the roof as floors are demolished from the top down, while an internal crane lowers materials and debris to the ground floor.”

If you’ve ever watched a building demolition live, you have a good idea of how much dust, fiberglass and who knows what else is spewed out.

Back in 2000 and during a moment of genius, I convinced my pregnant wife that we should take our one year-old son to go watch the Kingdome implosion. Compare the video above with the Kingdome implosion below:

Despite being a half-mile away, we had to run to get away from the fiberglass (asbestos?) infused dust cloud. It wasn’t a proud parenting moment.

I don’t think the Tecorep dismantling technique would’ve worked on the Kingdome but for a standard high-rise, it could be the most efficient and least wasteful method for bringing down a building. Of course “least wasteful” would only apply if there is sufficient reason to dismantle the building in the first place. [HuffPo]


The Bone House In Texas Is More Jubbling Than We’ll Ever Be.

I’m not sure I’d want to live in The Bone House but the Jubbling is undeniable. Built by Dan Phillips and his team from Phoenix Commotion, The Bone House is constructed out of normally discarded CD’s, lumber, mirror pieces, bottle caps, grocery bags and of course bones. It’s part of Mr. Phillips’ effort to build low income housing out of trash. Throughout the video, you’ll hear a cat interrupting the interview by meowing. Obviously the cat has no idea how close it is to being incorporated into the house. [Fair Companies]


Wireless Companies Want To Build More Cell Transmitters Into Existing Church Steeples, Bell Towers And Crosses.

Cell transmitters and towers built into existing church bell towers, steeples and crosses.Moving forward, how will wireless companies reduce the cost and number of newly-built cell transmitters in restrictive communities? By embedding cell transmitters into the steeples, crosses and bell towers of neighborhood churches.

Moving forward, how will churches attract more members to their congregation? By providing the best cell signal in the neighborhood. [LA Times]