The traditional housing market bubble may be bursting, but green buildings clearly have plenty of life.
In the past few weeks, we have run a handful of photo galleries and features on green buildings--one old and some not even built yet. Here's a rundown of recent coverage:
Last week, I got a tour of Genzyme Center, an award-winning green building in Cambridge, Mass., from the building's facilities manager. Here is a photo gallery, with views you won't see from most tours of the building, and a separate video.
The builders used a lot of technology to make the building green. Heliostats on the roof follow the sun during the day to beam light through the skylight, which is then dispersed with a chandelier of reflecting tiles.
Fresh air is circulated through an automated system that uses sensors and controls. While we were standing in the atrium, I was surprised to see and hear the motor-controlled blinds shift position by themselves. That's why they call it a "smart" building!
Also in Cambridge (and also walking distance from CNET's office), I visited a solar-powered home under construction. Students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are putting the off-grid house together for the Solar Decathlon, a Department of Energy competition.
Finally, I checked out a commercial modular green home being constructed in, once again, Cambridge.
The idea is to make this type of energy-efficient home--which uses solar heating and sustainable materials--more commonplace by making it competitively priced. As it's still under construction, it's not yet on the market.
Far afield in the land of Texas, here is a photo gallery of two other green buildings: Austin City Hall and the Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas, which expects to be the highest-rated green building hospital.