Building tours: they’ve been a vital educational component of green building from day one. But now COVID-19 has made them unsafe. Thanks to the Sustainability Leader Peer Networks we help convene, we’ve compiled a list of online tours and other videos that you can view from the safety of home.
This is by no means comprehensive, so we hope you’ll share your favorites in the comments!
1. Austin Central Library
Designers of the Austin Central Library describe how they developed a “building shaped by light” in this six-minute video. A six-story atrium is at the heart of the project, which also uses reclaimed water for irrigation and toilet flushing. The Mayor of Austin has referred to the building as “the best library in the world.”
Created as a space for researching innovative green building technologies, Co|Lab was the first mass timber project built in Virginia. The virtual tour allows users to see the floor plan or a “dollhouse” view, and to do a 3-D virtual walkthrough. There is even a measurement tool so you can get a sense of the dimensions. For a more immersive experience, the tour includes a virtual-reality option.
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This nine-minute video, in addition to copious glamor shots, has snippets from school officials about the green elements of Discovery Elementary School, including net-zero energy. The school says this feature is saving $100,000 a year.
4. Hitchcock Center for the Environment
It’s not exactly a building tour, but this cool widget from the Hitchcock Center for the Environment illustrates green building features categorized by Living Building Challenge petal.
5. Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design
Georgia Tech’s new Kendeda Building was celebrated during the school’s 2020 Earth Day festival. Starting at the exterior of the building, the video tour includes details about everything from stormwater management to daylighting to the heat-exchange system. (Fair warning: if you are extremely prone to motion sickness, you might want to be careful with this one.)
6. Mahlum Architects’ Portland Studio
A 20-minute video highlights features of the Portland, Oregon studio of Mahlum Architects. This adaptive reuse project began with staff surveys designed to determine must-have features, which included “practicing what we preach.” The video contextualizes the project before a 15-minute tour begins.
7. Santa Monica City Services Building
The Santa Monica City Services Building can be “toured” through a two-hour video. There’s also an eight-minute option. Utilizing natural ventilation, radiant cooling, and phase-change materials to reduce energy use, the project is pursuing full Living Building Challenge certification and could be the first municipal building in the world to achieve it.
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