2007-02-12, 08:21

Treehuggers and mixed use

By: Jonathan Groner
The Treehugger Web magazine, www.treehugger.com, whose name accurately reflects its writers' concern with the environment, sustainable living, and green construction, wrote on Saturday, February 10, 2007, about a new "green" mixed-use project that will open in downtown Chapel Hill, N.C., in 2009.

The Greenbridge project, designed by "eco-architect" William McDonough, will incorporate
solar energy, rain water harvesting, living roofs and many other environmentally friendly features, according to the magazine. The developers claim it will be the first LEED Gold certified mixed-use development in North Carolina.

According to an article last fall in the Chapel Hill News, however, not all residents are happy with the prospective nine-story structure. Despite all of its "green" features, they think it may be too large for its surroundings.

"Any building can be a beautiful addition, can be well designed and can be an asset to the community," Catherine Frank, executive director of The Preservation Society of Chapel Hill told the newspaper reporter. "But I also believe an incredibly important part of what creates the atmosphere of our downtown is its human scale, and I'm afraid that as we start to lose that human scale, we will be Anytown, U.S.A."

Again, it is interesting that different people have different perspectives on growth. One person's environmentally friendly building can be another person's eyesore.

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