With the portfolio of commercial and urban green building projects happening across the globe right now, how is it possible to see them all? For those of us who are construction fanatics we like to see them in person but flying to location is definitely not the most or even a sustainable way to do things. Well, as with so most everything these days, there is a solution. To increase our remote access to ongoing and completed green building projects nationwide, Building Green Inc. has teamed up with Google and the Department of Energy to bring us an interactive way to view these projects.
The information is presented in Google Earth (must be downloaded) through a layer called the High Performance Building Layer, which is something that you have to download as well. Once you have both of them, you can choose from the 96 different projects they have highlighted thus far through the collaboration. Most of the projects selected reside in the United States, but there are a couple others around the globe. The models are created in Sketch-up and are completed with a full project description. Each building in the High Performance Building Layer also provides links to detailed case studies on the buildings performance. These studies are located on the web through different databases- AIA, USGBC, Building Green…
As this layer develops maybe it will be possible to take a virtual tour of the building with clickable narration. In this, green-building elements will be highlighted and further described as you virtually pass by spots throughout the building.
Currently the models aren’t as visually descriptive as one might ask for. But, at least there now exists a place for one to update or educate him or herself on current green building and LEED certified commercial projects around the globe. By sacrificing the desire to physically travel to and fro to visit these green feats, one can interactively see the building from all four corners. Relatively free from environmental impact (provided power consumed by your computer is something) and free to the user, this is a high tech way to get educated and gain exposure.