Review: Green architecture pays for itself in environmental benefits
By DAVID KREISBERG The design firm that designed the iconic “green” facade of a Detroit skyscraper has been awarded a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to create a green-tech center.
Green Architects, based in Oakland, Calif., has been tapped to create the GreenTech Center, a $30 million program to spur the development of green technology that could ultimately reduce the amount of energy consumed by buildings and create more sustainable environments, according to a press release.
“Green architecture is about transforming our world through technology, and the Green Tech Center is an opportunity for architects to contribute to the transformative vision that is at the core of this mission,” Green Architects co-founder Michael D. Johnson said in a statement.
The $5.3 million grant will be used to help build the Greentech Center’s Green Building Institute, a joint venture with the UAW Local 500 that will offer “the most technologically-driven Green Building program in the nation,” according to the release.
The center, which will open in 2019, will be the largest and most technologically advanced facility of its kind in the U, according the release, and will be housed in the Green Building Academy, a three-year training program that offers apprenticeships and a degree.
It will also offer more than 1,000 green jobs in the city.
“The Green Tech Institute is an exciting step forward for Green Architects as we continue to drive green development across our region and across the country,” said Councilwoman Mary Cheh in a press statement.
“We look forward to working with Green Architects and the UWA Local 500 to make this a success for Detroit.”
Green Architecture, which was founded in 2013 by Johnson, is known for its architecture that has been recognized for its environmental design, sustainability and sustainability education.
Its buildings are built with recycled materials, with an emphasis on local, sustainable materials, said Jill O. Jones, Green Architects’ chief of design, in a 2016 press release.
“It is a very organic approach that combines both design and construction techniques to help bring together people and the environment to create more beautiful places,” she said.
The building will also be a space for students to learn about sustainable design and the science of building.
“Our goal is to make Green Architecture’s architecture accessible to the entire community,” said Darryl K. Kapp, executive director of the UWW Local 500, in the release and an instructor in the academy.
“Students are going to be able to learn more about sustainable practices, and then apply that knowledge to their own buildings.”
The UAW, which represents more than 8,500 workers in Detroit, said in an email that it is excited to be partnering with the Green Architects team.
“We are proud to be a partner with Green Architecture in this exciting program and to be helping them bring their innovative design to Detroit,” said UAW Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Business Development Karen Kohn.