With green building becoming mainstream, the next big thing for the industry is in the realm of net-zero: buildings that produce all the energy they need.
Pike Research released a report this week indicating that net-zero construction will become a $1.3 trillion global business by 2035, driven largely by demand from Europe where zero-energy requirements are increasingly becoming required by building codes.
In November, the Northwest-based Living Future Institute launched a new certification for net-zero buildings in an effort to share best practices among designers and builders.
Eric Bloom, Pike Research's building industry research analyst, said he sees a strong role for such certifications as net-zero energy construction catches on in the U.S., similar to the role that the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED certification played in green building.
"The purpose of the certification program was to cut through the greenwashing that was going on with green building," Bloom said. "As (the net-zero certification program) gains more implementation, it will become important."
This luxury spa is the third pavilion style structure on the same parcel of land designed by Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple architects in Nova Scotia, Canada.
In the words of the architects, "This new, third pavilion is sited and experienced very differently, below the others and tucked into the edge of the forest, facing a field, before the sea. The spa is conceived as a monolithic block of wood, carved to form interior spaces. All surfaces, inside and outside, are clad in clear cedar boards (re-sawn channel-joint shiplap). In order to maintain this concept, the glass tiles in the bathroom as well as the concrete floor, match the color of the cedar. The entrance to the spa is via an elevated wooden bridge which meanders through the woods, and floats over the existing granite boulders and mosses. The minimalist approach requires a high level of craftsmanship in order to achieve a calm, serene effect.
Green walls: Function or fad? As cities and buildings all around the world are being covered in green, we take a look at the phenomenon of green walls.
The first example of green walls may be found in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, even if they may have been more roof gardens than green walls. Later, from Scandinavia to Japan, numerous civilizations used climbing plants to cover buildings, making what is now called ‘green façades’.
The U.S. Department of Energy has selected 20 collegiate teams to participate in the 2015 Solar Decathlon at Irvine, California’s Orange County Great Park. The eight returning teams will compete against 12 new teams, with partners from four international schools, to build “solar-powered, highly energy-efficient houses that combine affordability, innovation, and design excellence” within the allotted two-year period.
The history of architecture is deeply engrained in technological developments of the time. Skyscrapers would have never reached such heights without developments in steel, for example, and facades would have never slimmed down without thin-shell concrete.
In a time that is so buzzing with technological development, we cannot help but salivate a little at the material prospects for architecture that are just on the horizon. With 2014 just beginning, we want to take a moment to see what drastic innovations may be leaking into the world of architecture in the near future.
A net-zero prefab home design is set to reinvigorate a down-at-the-heels Los Angeles neighborhood.
In 2011, Restore Neighborhoods Los Angeles (RNLA), a nonprofit that invests in housing, sent out a request for affordable, sustainable designs for lots in the city’s South Central area. “We very much want to introduce new design ideas and new technologies to low- and moderate-income districts,” explains John Perfitt, executive director. “Good design and new construction methods can, over time, have a very positive influence in restoring neighborhoods.”
After whittling down the field from nine proposals, they selected a net-zero prefab design submitted by Habitat for Humanity and Minarc, a Santa Monica–based architecture firm known for its innovative, energy-efficient kit houses. Thanks to a streamlined, waste-free construction method and affordable materials, like cement board cladding and Cradle to Cradle–certified panels, the firm’s three 1,200-square-foot homes came in at the requisite $150 per square foot—including foundation, trans- portation of the modular components, and rooftop solar panels that offset 95 percent of the structures’ energy demands...
Opening reception: 9/12, 5:00 PM On view: 9/12 - 10/15 Refreshments and light fare will be served. What would the Incas create today with their advanced knowledge of precision stone carving and our contemporary technology? Round Room is a translation of the Inca wedge method into a digital process that manifests in the Baroque tradition of the interior model. This mash-up of cultures and times productively reconsiders how we define space—volumetrically.
contThe Kicking Horse Residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson is arranged as two elements: a dense bar along the northern edge containing the sleeping and bath spaces, and an open shell with living and dining spaces oriented toward the extraordinary mountain views.
A glass volume links these forms, with the main entrance at the lower level and an upper landing for ski access on the west side. Careful positioning of program enables a sense of openness and transparency while screening the neighboring homes from view. The linear form of the sleeping spaces cantilevers over a board-formed concrete base containing the garage, mudroom, and playroom.
Mother Nature Network (blog) Honda Smart Home produces more energy than it uses Mother Nature Network (blog) Indeed it does, because solar panels can return power to the grid and make your meter spin backwards.
Wallaby Lane House and Studio is located at Tinbeerwah on the Sunshine Coast. The dwellings were designed by Jolyon Robinson of Robinson Architects for a family relocating from Sydney. The site, a long sliver in shape, is just over two hectares. Established bushland in the center of the property separates the two buildings. The property is not serviced by town water or sewerage, so an onsite waste water treatment system looks after both buildings and rainwater is harvested. The house sits high on the site and is linear in plan to follow the natural contour. The house plan is spacious yet compact. No space is wasted. Orientated to the north, large eaves and a fly-over roof shade the building. Cross ventilation, natural daylighting and beautiful views to Cooroy Mountain are maximized.
Vitra’s carefully curated campus in Weil am Rhein, Germany, contains works by Herzog & de Meuron, Frank Gehry, FAIA, and Jean Prouvé, among other top-tier designers. Now the venerable Swiss furniture company has added a tiny prefab house by Renzo Piano Building Workshop to the mix. In 2013, Vitra unveiled Diogene, a 43-square-foot prototype.
In keeping with the no-frills lifestyle of its ancient Greek namesake, the philosopher Diogenes, the house consists of only one room. A slim, ultra-efficient layer of insulation is sandwiched between the cabin’s wood frame and aluminum skin. “The house is really minimal,” says Vitra project manager Aja Huber. “It’s a life where you have to think, do you want the sofa or the bed?”
Appleton is an elegant eco-friendly residence located in California. It features an uncluttered interior, connecting the inhabitants with the courtyard.
The orientation of the house was thought out to maximize passive solar design and natural ventilation. Every room is connected to the courtyard, allowing inhabitants to move freely from inside to outside. The use of natural materials softens the contemporary lines of the overall design, highlighting the connection to the exterior.
Phil Pauley's Sub-Biosphere 2 is a self sustaining underwater city for 100 inhabitants.
London designer Phil Pauley is a modern day Jules Verne who has spent the past 20 years designing an underwater city . For Pauley, Sub-Biosphere 2 is a viable structure he hopes to see built in his lifetime. The self-sustaining, futuristic biosphere is designed to house 100 inhabitants underwater, and it’s the latest in a slew of projects that aim to ease housing shortages for a growing global population...
This beautiful prefab house called the Mini Mod by MAPA utilizes prefab construction, allowing for the home to be built in a controlled environment, creating less of an impact on the construction site. What you see here is just a version of what can be built, expanded and created using the modular system that MAPA has designed.
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