Nanning-based photographer Tang Yuhong takes us on a lovely photographic journey through an abandoned fishing village in China. We see Mother Nature claiming back what was once rightfully hers.
The village is located in the Shengsi Islands, near the mouth of the Yangtze River. What I wouldn’t give to take a boat trip on the Yangtze to visit these small islands. If these amazing photos are anything to go by, I wonder what other treasures the islands hold?
Brooklyn Grange’s farms include two rooftop vegetable farms, totaling 2.5 acres and producing over 50,000 lbs of organically-grown vegetables each year. We also operate New York City’s largest apiary, with over 30 naturally-managed honey bee hives.
"We were in charge of the first experimental house, and in the process of designing, we got a number of clues from “Chise,” the traditional housing style of the Ainu. What is most characteristic about Chise is that it is a “house of grass” and “house of the earth.” While in Honshu (the main island) a private house is principally a “house in wood” or “house of earthen wall,” Chise is distinctively a “house of grass,” as the roof and the wall are entirely covered with sedge or bamboo grass so that it can secure heat-insulating properties. Also, in Honshu the floor is raised for ventilation to keep away humidity, whereas in Chise they spread cattail mat directly on the ground, make a fireplace in the center, and never let the fire go out throughout the year. The fundamental idea of Chise, “house of the earth,” is to keep warming up the ground this way and retrieve the radiation heat generated from it Here is how section of the house is structured: We wrapped a wooden frame made of Japanese larch with a membrane material of polyester fluorocarbon coating. Inner part is covered with removable glass-fiber-cloth membrane. Between the two membranes, a polyester insulator recycled from PET bottles is inserted that penetrates the light. This composition is based on the idea that by convecting the air in-between, the internal environment could be kept comfortable because of the circulation."
Located in Marina Bay, Gardens by the Bay is a key project in delivering the Singapore Government’s vision of transforming Singapore into a ‘City in a Garden’. At a total of 101 hectares, the Gardens by the Bay project comprises three distinct waterfront gardens – Bay South, Bay East and Bay Central. The commission to design the 54 hectare Bay South garden was won in 2006 by a team led by Grant Associates and including Wilkinson Eyre Architects, Atelier One, Atelier Ten, Land Design and Davis Langdon and Seah.
Sustainability is defined as our ability to meet our present needs without compromising the abilities of future generations to meet their own. The three Es (Economy, Ecology, and Equality) and the three Ps (People, Planet, Profit) are simple guides for sustainability as a consideration in decision-making.
These ideals can combine with 3 current pillars of architecture to come up with a new series of precepts: program, economy, operation, and harmony.
-Program describes the purpose of the building and its ability to carry out that function for the ease and comfort of those who would inhabit it. It is most concerned with people and the human element of the architectural experience.
-Economy speaks to the ability of a building to stand and is concerned primarily with its production and use of materials both physical and nonphysical. It is most concerned with the component parts of that which makes up a building and minimizing waste.
-Operation is all about the performance of a building in all of the non-human aspects, such as light, air, water, and energy. Economy and operation are strongly related and are opposite sides of the same coin; one has profound effects on the other.
-Finally, harmony is an expression of the building as a whole and how well it relates to itself, the world around it, and those who use it. It is the most subjective of the pillars and is mostly aesthetic. Similar to the relationship of economy to operation, harmony is the reciprocal of program; one is the consideration of the building unto itself, the other the consideration of the building unto the world...
In the weeks to come, these four pillars will be covered in more depth looking at the theoretical, practical, and technological ins and outs of Sustainable architecture- the International Style of the 21st century.
The future of solar power is about to get a little brighter with new developments in black silicon, a material that can absorb almost the entire spectrum of light – including infrared. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutein Germany were recently able to double the efficiency of black silicon solar cells, and the team is also hoping to combine a conventional panel (which can only capture three quarters of the spectrum) with black silicon to create a super-efficient cell that can harness the the full power of the sun.
Being used to imposing, concrete buildings often defy their landscape in order to transform its energy, this ‘Hydroelectric power plant Punibach’ came as a pleasant surprise. Envisioned and implemented by Italian practice Monovolume Architecture, the project has a noninvasive visual appearance, keeping a low profile in its beautiful alpine enthronement in he South Tyrol province of Italy. A concrete slab rammed into the ground acts as a separator between the landscape and the various practical machines inside. Made up of natural, earth colored materials, the new structure is of interest not just due to its functionality, but its aesthetics as well. The wooden lamellar facade is an eye-catcher for passers by, making the building easily recognizable during the day and night, when light glows through the numerous small fissures. Curvy lines are elements that contribute to the inconsequential impact of the site, while transforming the building into a modern local landmark.
Can’t decide on a green roof or a vertical garden? No problem, just do both! R&Sie Architects designed the aptly-named ‘Lost in Paris‘ house for an ‘urban witch’ who feeds the house through 300 glass-blown pods. A potion of rainwater and plant nutrients nourishes 1200 ferns drop-by-drop throughout the year. The houseplants are entirely hydroponic, and completely engulfing the 1400 square foot concrete home. The blanket of ferns protects the house from outside elements and regulates its inside temperature, all the while adding life and freshness to the neighborhood.
Taking nearly five years to build, this home for 4 is always getting attention. Architect Francois Roche explains it as “a game of attraction and repulsion” where passersby may be inspired or frightened, and of course wary of the looming ‘urban witch.’ R&Sie Architects are no newcomers to breaking architectural norms. They’ve built and conceptualized a gigantic spider’s nest, an alchemist’s greenhouse for experiementing with toxic plants, and even an exhibit at MIT based on urinotherapy.
Acclaimed British artists Heather Ackroyd & Dan Harvey recently transformed a landmark church in South East London by completely covering its interior in a layer of living grass! Known as Dilston Grove, the church-cum-art-gallery in Southwark Park, now features a lush green interior that will continue to grow as time goes on.
Since they get the brunt of the sun, snow and rain, roofs will need to be changed after a number of years. While there are plenty of materials out there for a new roof, most of them are not sustainable. However, since the green and sustainable movement has increased in popularity, there have been a number of sustainable options popping up. Some use normal materials, like shingles, while others use unconventional materials like vines and roots.
New Guinness World Record with the world’s largest vertical garden. The building’s green wall measures 24,638.59 square feet and is expected to save more than $500,000 in energy and water costs annually.
Two years ago we first covered Tokyo's underground farm; It is called Pasona O2 and was set up as a means of providing agricultural training to young people who are having trouble finding employment and middle-aged people in search of a second career.
Adela Ciurea's insight:
In the absence of sunlight, the plants are sustained by artificial light from light-emitting diodes, metal halide lamps, and high-pressure sodium vapor lamps. The temperature of the room is controlled by computer, and the vegetables are grown by a pesticide-free method in which fertilizer and carbon dioxide are delivered by spraying. Hydroponics, in which plants are grown in water and hardly any soil is used, is one of the methods of cultivation used in the facility.
Dans un "photoréacteur", sorte d'aquarium en plastique rempli d'un liquide de couleur verte, circule hermétiquement un mélange de déchets (eaux souillées de toilettes ou "jus de poubelle" venu des décharges) que dévorent d'infimes algues en se reproduisant à grande vitesse par photosynthèse sous l'effet de la lumière.
En recouvrant de grands bâtiments de ces "photoréacteurs", Ennesys assure pouvoir réduire d'au moins 80% leur consommation d'énergie dite primaire (hors occupants) et de 80% leur consommation en eau.
Dix mille mètres carrés de panneaux d'Ennesys permettent de produire environ 150 tonnes d'algues par an. Celles-ci peuvent rendre à leur tour 70 tonnes d'huile. Et ce biocarburant peut être utilisé par exemple dans un générateur, les résidus secs étant eux brûlés pour faire du chauffage ou de l'électricité.
Quant à l'eau propre à 99,9% obtenue au terme du processus, elle peut parfaitement alimenter les chasses d'eaux du bâtiment, qui représentent l'essentiel de la consommation des immeubles de bureaux.
Whoever wanders around Saigon, a chaotic city with the highest density of population in the world, can easily find flower-pots crampped and displayed here and there all around the streets. This interesting custom has formed the amused character of Saigon over a long period of time and Saigonese love their life with a large variety of tropical plants and flowers in their balconies, courtyards and streets.
The house, designed for a thirty-years-old couple and their mother, is a typical tube house constructed on the plot 4m wide and 20m deep. The front and back façades are entirely composed of layers of concrete planters cantilevered from two side walls. The distance between the planters and the height of the planters are adjusted according to the height of the plants, which varies from 25 cm to 40 cm. To water plants and for easy maintenance, we use the automatic irrigation pipes inside the planters. We named this tropical, unique and green house “Stacking Green” because its façades filled with vigorous and vital greenery.
La Tour Vivante mené par l’agence SOA Architectes, est un concept de ferme urbaine verticale associée à un programme mixte d’activités et de logements. Cette étude s’adresse aux centres urbains nationaux et internationaux. La séparation entre ville et campagne, urbanisme et espaces naturels, lieux de vie, de consommation, et espaces de production alimentaire est de plus en plus problématique pour un aménagement durable du territoire. L’idée séduisante d’une ville extra dense opposée à un paysage naturel ne va pas aujourd’hui sans la création de gigantesques surfaces cultivées ou d’élevage industriel indispensables à l’homme. Les territoires de pro- duction alimentaire en constant développement depuis les débuts de la civilisation sont de plus en plus néfastes pour la biodiversité, les écosystèmes, la pollution chimique des sols, tout en détruisant le poumon végétal des forêts. Ces territoires hors des centres urbains donnent lieu à des paysages de plus en plus inqualifiables stimulant l’étalement urbain et polluant l’atmosphère par des réseaux de trans- ports et d’approvisionnement alimentaire proportionnels à la croissance urbaine. La cité, si on l’appelle encore ainsi, se répand fatalement sur le territoire avec ses zones de production et de consommation horizontales extraites du cœur de la ville (commerces, usines, stockages, serres...), fortement consommateurs d’espace. Pourtant, toujours plus maîtrisés et plus performants, les productions agricoles et l’élevage sont techniquement de moins en moins contraints au système horizontal. Pourquoi dès lors, des fermes urbaines ne trouveraient pas leur place au cœur de l’urbanité? La Tour Vivante vise à associer production agricole, habitat et activités dans un système unique et vertical. Ce système permettrait de redensifier la ville tout en lui apportant une plus grande autonomie vis-à-vis des plaines agricoles, réduisant du même coup les trans- ports entre territoires urbains et extra-urbains. La superposition encore inhabituelle de ces programmes permet enfin d’envisager de nouvelles relations fonctionnelles et énergétiques entre culture agricole, espaces tertiaires, logement et commerce induisant de très fortes économies d’énergies.
After seeing the huge success of NYC's wildly anticipated High Line park, the Mayor of London decided that his city's open spaces could use a little sprucing up as well - so he teamed up with The Landscape Institute and the Garden Museum to launch the Green Infrastructure Ideas Competition. The contest asked designers to re-imagine underused or derelict areas as green public spaces - and the grand prize winner is an underground mushroom farm designed by Fletcher Priest! Called "Pop Down", the farm would be planted in 'mail rail' tunnels which were previously used to allow post office workers to deliver their parcels without having to navigate the crowded street above.
While photovoltaic panels are typically used on roofs – an otherwise unused surface – the Endesa Pavilion proposes going a step further towards the implementation of green tech in commercial housing.
Thanks to its modular panels and inclined surfaces (which maximize sunlight impact), the pavilion is able to make the most of the energetic resources available. It can work as a testbed for informational grid technologies.
Dubbed the Solar House 2.0, the project was designed by IaaC with the support of Endesa. It will be on show at the Marina Pier in Barcelona for the Smart City Expo Congress, and for a year it will act as a meeting point for knowledge exchange.
A low-budget sustainable pavilion in north-eastern France stands amongst protected corn fields, literally taking on its surroundings. The 20-sq-m circular housing prototype provides panoramic views of the surrounding Alsatian Plains.
The leafy green Kleven train tunnel in Ukraine is a beautiful example of what happens when nature is allowed to grow freely around manmade infrastructure. The tunnel was made over many years as the passing train molded the trees’ lines. The train turned a luscious piece of woodland into a uniquepassageway as it traveled back and forth 3 times a day over several years.
Shamengo pioneer Pierre Calleja has invented something truly remarkable--a light powered by algae that absorbs CO2 in the air--at the rate of 1 ton PER YEAR, or what a tree absorbs over its entire lifetime! The microalgae streetlamp has the potential to provide significantly cleaner air in urban areas and revolutionize the cityscape.
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