Pre-Construction Reservations Start for What Could be the World’s Greenest Building

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorIndependence, Ore.–Touted as the world’s greenest building, and seeking the highest LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating ever awarded, Independence Station will feature green concepts such as radiant floor heating and cooling, solar water heating and daylighting design. “This is a Thomas Edison meets Bill Gates project,” says Steven Ribeiro, principal and developer at Aldeia LLC, the developer of Independence Station.The mixed-use development, which opens in 2010, is now accepting priority pre-reservations for its 15 condominiums. It features one- and two-bedroom units ranging in size from 600 to 1,660 square feet. They are priced from the $300,000s into the $600,000s. Other green features include displacement ventilation, an ice-based cooling storage system, water-based ground source heat pump, extensive use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and electric cars. During sunny months, the units will rely primarily on solar energy collected in a unique 120-kilowatt installation of photovoltaic panels. In cooler, cloudier months, energy will additionally be generated, stored and managed through a biofuel cogeneration and thermal storage system. A retired tugboat engine named Mabel, which runs on waste vegetable oil from local restaurants and a massive battery bank, will be the backup system.“The people who will be living in Independence Station are pioneers, who will be embarking on a quest to demonstrate to the world how responsible energy consumption can look,” adds Ribeiro.“Our goal is to provide a platform for a very comfortable and elevated lifestyle while consuming just 17 percent of the energy and a fraction of the water that the average American consumes today. We want to document and demonstrate that National Energy Security is possible today with off-the-shelf components and common sense application of simple, junior high school level physics,” says Ribeiro. The 15 residents within Independence Station will also become the subjects of published open source data on energy and water usage and Ribeiro expects the units to easily shatter current energy and water consumption records. Ribeiro claims that Independence Station will be the most comprehensive Smart Grid project ever built, anywhere in the world. “Where else can you find a hybrid biodiesel condo”? asks Ribeiro.The project will also include 18,000 sq. ft. of retail space, 11,900 sq. ft. of office space and a 4,600-sq.-ft. biofuels research facility for Oregon State University’s chemical engineering department. Click here to read our previous coverage of this project.