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Sustainable Design: The Holcim Foundation Names 13 Winners in North America

Sustainable Design: The Holcim Foundation Names 13 Winners in North America | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it
The triennial competition awarded $330,000 to projects that the design jury determined as pushing the envelope of sustainability.

Because the cutting edge in sustainable design is constantly edging forward, building technologies that were deemed innovative a decade ago have become standard in architecture. To celebrate the latest thinking in design performance and efficiency, the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, based in Zurich, Switzerland, announced the recipients of its 2014 Holcim Awards for North America on Sept. 18. About 250 people attended the awards ceremony, which was held in the Evergreen Brick Works event space—itself a 2008 Holcim Acknowledgement prize winner—in Toronto.


Via Lauren Moss
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The “greenest” building in the world... for now.

The “greenest” building in the world... for now. | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Seattle’s Bullitt Center, opened on Earth Day, is being hailed the world’s “greenest” commercial building. Not only does it have a rooftop array of photovoltaic panels that will produce an estimated 230,000 kilowatt-hours per year and composting toilets, it also has strict energy-usage limits for its tenants - and no onsite parking.


Via Hans De Keulenaer
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How a Small Net-Zero Energy Library Got the World’s Attention

How a Small Net-Zero Energy Library Got the World’s Attention | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

The Valatie Free Library is a small library with plans to make a big difference. The threshold for defining a “small library” in the United States, according to LJ’s Best Small Library in America Award, is a library serving fewer than 25,000 people. The Valatie Free Library serves just over 4300 people and currently does so in a 750 square foot library building. Now that’s small!


Via 361 Architecture + Design Collaborative, Jean-Yves Mesnil, Frédéric Liégeois, Hans De Keulenaer
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Hungary's Odooproject prefab home produces twice the amount of energy it consumes

Hungary's Odooproject prefab home produces twice the amount of energy it consumes | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

The prominent south-facing wall features a considerably large surface area that is entirely fitted with photovoltaic panels. During the summer months when the sun is high, solar energy is produced by the roof panels, while during the cooler months when the sun is lower, energy is produced by the south-facing wall. “Ultimately, owing to this system, the house generates twice as much energy in Hungarian conditions and three times as much in Madrid as the house itself spends,” the Odooproject team states. “This amount is able to serve two other house’s needs, or provide a 70-kilometer (43.5-mile) long travel distance – daily – for an electric car.”


Via Kalani Kirk Hausman, Hans De Keulenaer
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A Transparent Work Environment in the Netherlands: Mirai House

A Transparent Work Environment in the Netherlands: Mirai House | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Designed by amsterdam-based architecture firm, UNStudio, the ‘mirai house’ employs a high performance skin dynamically framed in white to unify the three functions of Astellas’ headquarters in Leiden, the Netherlands.

Consisting of six storeys of offices and laboratories, and a large entrance lobby, each programmatic element has its own segment of the building encircling the central courtyard. Speaking to the company’s heritage, the garden is informed by traditional enclosed japanese landscaping. The importance of visual connection among the functions, open communication, a transparent work environment, and sufficient daylighting is emphasized by the extensive use of glass in the facade and skylights at the lower levels. 


Via Lauren Moss
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First Phase of New Laboratory for Energy-Efficient Buildings Introduced

First Phase of New Laboratory for Energy-Efficient Buildings Introduced | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Today marks the opening of the first two testbeds of FLEXLAB, the Facility for Low Energy eXperiments in Buildings at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)...


Via Priya Nayak, Hans De Keulenaer
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Builders aim for super-energy-efficient homes

Builders aim for super-energy-efficient homes | Sustain Our Earth | Scoop.it

Crowned with three gables and painted in hues of gray and white, the suburban home in Lake Forest doesn't look much like the domicile of the future.

But as summer heat radiates off the fresh asphalt outside, the home runs comfortably at full tilt indoors. Recessed lights shine, radios blare and air-conditioned splendor greets hot skin. Despite all systems going, the property is producing more electricity than it can consume on a warm summer day — and that's the goal.


Via Hans De Keulenaer, Wa Gon, landscape architecture &sustainability
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CBO | Addressing Market Barriers to Energy Efficiency in Buildings

A large share of total U.S. energy consumption—40 percent—occurs in homes and buildings. Homes and buildings are less energy efficient than they would be if people could assess the value of energy savings more easily and correctly, and if energy prices provided them with stronger incentives to do so. This paper identifies three reasons why people undervalue energy savings: misperceived energy prices, imperfect information about energy efficiency, and biased reasoning about energy savings. The paper then examines four types of policy options for addressing those underlying market imperfections: prices that reflect the social costs of energy use, financial incentives, energy-efficiency standards, and better information about energy efficiency.


Via Hans De Keulenaer
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