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design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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LEAPfactory installs prefabricated ski school beside Mont Blanc

LEAPfactory installs prefabricated ski school beside Mont Blanc | sustainable architecture |
Using a custom-designed structure, LEAPfactory has constructed a new building for a ski and snowboard school beside the highest mountain in the Alps.

Situated in the shadow of Mont Blanc, on the south-east side of the France-Italy border, the small hut provides a new reception and lounge for the Courmayeur Ski and Snowboard School.

"The new structure is made with innovative, highly performing and durable materials: it does not contain concrete nor permanent parts, and it is completely reversible, replaceable and recyclable," said the team.

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Building 347 Parking Garage: Bamboo + Innovation by Vittorio Lampugnani

Building 347 Parking Garage: Bamboo + Innovation by Vittorio Lampugnani | sustainable architecture |

Bamboo poles are not uncommon in construction, though they typically conjure thoughts of tropical huts and tiki torches rather than large-scale utilitarian structures. Architect Vittorio Lampugnani envisioned something quite different, however, seeing incredible promise in the sturdy, inexpensive material to bring warmth to an often overlooked, and more often unattractive, building type. When asked by Novartis to design a parking garage for its East Hanover, New Jersey, campus—his first—he came up with another first: he sheathed the six-story, 633,000-square-foot structure with precisely aligned rows of the woody stalks.

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22 Modern Shipping Container Homes Around the World

22 Modern Shipping Container Homes Around the World | sustainable architecture |

With a little bit of imagination (and a lot work), some talented architects have succeeded in designing dwellings made of shipping containers, ranging from off-the-grid guest homes to full time single family homes.

Shipping Container homes have their pros and cons: they are durable and eco-friendly, usually more cost-effective to build than conventional construction, and pre-fab modules can be easily transported by truck. But they also must be well insulated and sealed, as the steel conducts heat and can easily rust.

Here are 22 of the best modern shipping container houses built around the world to consider...

Michelle Poulter's comment, April 18, 2014 6:10 AM
This is a great idea for technologies curriculum Ellie. I think it definitely demonstrate how technology, architecture and sustainability mixes in todays society. A great scoop. Regards Michelle
François Lanthier's curator insight, April 30, 2014 10:42 AM

Really cool reuse of shipping containers... they are now a permanent part of our landscape!

Chantell Saddler.'s comment, June 5, 2014 8:52 PM
I love your collection Ellie. This one is excellent!
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Sitting Lightly on the Land: House S in Vorderweissenbach

Sitting Lightly on the Land: House S in Vorderweissenbach | sustainable architecture |

HPSA created ‘House S’ on a steep, rather small plot of land with excellent views. The owners required a cost efficient house with a maximum of 130 m², of living space. A basement was not necessary so that the architects placed the whole building on pillars. 

The U-shaped floor plan responds to the neighbouring settlement. Living rooms and bedrooms are oriented to a terrace that offers great views of the surrounding hills. Because of the chosen typology the natural terrain could be untouched over the whole plot. In the garden the building offers a large, weather-protected area.

View more images at the link.

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Baku Crystal Hall stadium in Azerbaijan by GMP Architekten

Baku Crystal Hall stadium in Azerbaijan by GMP Architekten | sustainable architecture |
The Baku Crystal Hall stadium in Azerbaijan was completed in just eight months by GMP Architekten in time to host the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest.

The faceted modular structure, located on a peninsula outside the centre of Baku, was designed and completed in just eight months. Conceived as both a concert hall and a sports stadium, the 25,000-seat stadium comprises a lightweight steel structure with a faceted membrane facade intended to resemble cut crystal. Its facade is covered with 9500 LED lights, which bring the structure to life after dark.

Lola Ripollés's curator insight, October 19, 2013 5:09 AM

Impresionante por fuera pero más atractivo casi en el interior.

EA Euroasia Buildingtrading HK's curator insight, October 23, 2013 2:38 AM

Amazing how quickly countries can becoming icons with open minded thinking  people at the helm. Fantastic 

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A Modular, Pre-fabricated Hospital in Puyo, Ecuador Surrounded by Gardens

A Modular, Pre-fabricated Hospital in Puyo, Ecuador Surrounded by Gardens | sustainable architecture |

The 'Hospital in Puyo' is composed of eight volumes, lined-up next to one another that are separated by lush green gardens.

The county of Puyo in Ecuador has received a new healthcare facility, composed of three rows of eight staggered volumes that are each shaped with the silhouette of a house. The long pavilions are arranged next to one another, and at certain points are physically connected by pitched roof structures from the exterior, with linking hallways along the interior below. Glazing runs along the inner and outer lengths of the walls, offering visitors, patients and staff of the hospital, views of lush green landscaping planted between openings throughout the site. The challenge posed when building the complex was that it needed to be constructed in record time– less than one year– while still emerging as a first-class leading facility for the area. To finish within the time frame, the architects developed a modular architecture, with a high degree of fabrication as seen by the identical nature of the building components.

António Sousa Correia's curator insight, October 4, 2013 8:17 AM

Great idea for a quality healthcare facility in developing countries.

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Dalian International Conference Center: Technology, Construction & Sustainability

Dalian International Conference Center: Technology, Construction & Sustainability | sustainable architecture |

The Dalian International Conference Center has both to reflect the promising modern future of Dalian and its tradition as an important port, trade, industry and tourism city, which is undergoing a wave of transformation on coastal brownfield and reclaimed land which will entirely change the city’s face within the next decade.

For this building, the focus of the architectural design and project development lies on technology, construction and their interplay. The technical systems fulfil the tasks required for the spatial use of the building automatically, invisibly and silently, working like a hybrid city within a building.
For the technical infrastructure of the building this means, that we have to consider a huge amount of people circulating inside the building at the same time, who expect high standards in circulation and comfort as well as a state of the art building with respect to high flexibility, low energy consumption and low use of natural resources...
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Garoza House: A Modern, Modular Prefab Housing Prototype

Garoza House: A Modern, Modular Prefab Housing Prototype | sustainable architecture |

An industrialized modular housing prototype that allows growth and changes over time, with all systems installed without complex construction procedures.

Manufactured in specialized factories composing single complete units, including all the interior finishes, modules are the maximum size supported by conventional transport.

Interior partitions, storage and fixed furniture are incorporated to the vertical walls, which house highly qualified technical facilities, automation and electronic systems, tailored to the program for each configuration. The resulting collection provides quality, increased control with regard to construction scheduling, maintenance plans and offers flexibility for future growth. 

The principles of sustainable economy and the spirit of recycling guide and support all the project decisions.

Jenny Morris's comment, July 16, 2013 11:23 PM
This reminds me of the Smart Home exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago...very cool!
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Massive Green Building Projects Aim to Create a Sustainable 2014 World Cup

Massive Green Building Projects Aim to Create a Sustainable 2014 World Cup | sustainable architecture |

For the 2014 World Cup, Brazil will roll out impressive facilities that could score LEED certification and add to its rich modern architecture legacy.

Describing any massive construction project as “green” is a stretch, especially when it comes to sports facilities. But in football-mad Brazil, plans for a bevy of new and refurbished football stadia for the 2014 World Cup are well underway.

Brazil's projects could both score international green building certifications such as LEED while adding to the country’s rich modern architecture legacy. Much of the credit for Brazil’s greening of the World Cup goes to Vicente Mello and Ian McKee, two architects who drafted the CopaVerde plan, which advocates for the most responsible construction practices possible for the event’s venues...

Alice Boyd's curator insight, June 3, 2013 11:07 AM

What a building!  Everyone is getting on board with Green Buildings and LEED certifications.  Turner is also on the Green and LEED Certified train. It's the new IN thing. 

Ray Howard's curator insight, June 5, 2013 8:57 AM

Can a Stadium be Sustainable?

Kenneth Hadden Miller's curator insight, April 26, 3:56 AM

An earlier scoop showed the issues that Rio was going to have with disabled patrons who attend the 2016 Olympic Games.  This is a bit more positive as it shows the green facilities that were created or rebuilt for the 2014 World Cup.  One of these even had its own solar power plant, which is extremely impressive!

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A Few Favorite Green Buildings...

A Few Favorite Green Buildings... | sustainable architecture |

Sustainable architecture is a term that represents a broad range of concepts, processes and ideologies, and can be interpreted and realized in countless ways.

Sustainability represents a design process that accounts for the environment on both the micro and macro scales, serves the needs of the program with as minimal an impact on the planet as possible, and positively contributes to the community, not only aesthetically, but in social, economic and cultural realms, as well.

So, to celebrate Earth Week, here are a few of our favorite green buildings...

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IE Paper Pavilion by Shigeru Ban

IE Paper Pavilion by Shigeru Ban | sustainable architecture |

Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has completed a temporary pavilion made from cardboard tubes at the IE School of Architecture and Design in Madrid. 

The Paper Pavilion, which was recently inaugurated, is constructed in the university's Serrano garden and will serve as a multi-purpose space for events, meetings, talks and exhibitions.

The project had a restricted budget, so Shigeru Ban designed a system of cardboard roof trusses and columns which were cheap to install and can be easily recycled when the building is eventually dismantled. The tubes were manufactured and waterproofed locally in Spain and were assembled by members of the surrounding community.

The IE School commissioned the pavilion, supported by the Japan Foundation. The opening event was a lecture by Ban entitled "Appropriate Architecture"...

Natalie Curtis's curator insight, March 27, 2013 9:33 AM

Who said cardboard isn't sustainable... never met Sigeru Ban. All he wanted was a quick place to set up and give a lecture. This common ground for architects, students and enthusiasts is cheap, sustainable for what it is, easily recycled and already recycled and has a low impact on the environment because of this... and a low impact on budget. It's a really clever way to set up shop really quick and even looks nice for it's temporary span.

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Self-Sufficient Farmhouse by Studio Moffitt

Self-Sufficient Farmhouse by Studio Moffitt | sustainable architecture |

This self-sufficient farmhouse residence in Ontario, Canada by Studio Moffitt is entirely off-grid and generates all its own electricity using solar panels on the roof, as well as from passive strategies. Windows are triple-glazed to prevent heat from escaping, while the concrete floor acts as a thermal mass.

The architectural language of the exterior, a monolithic galvanised steel shed, is informed by the local agricultural vernacular to ensure visual coherence within the landscape and to facilitate construction with locally available and sourced materials. Construction was completed largely by local farmers familiar with agricultural building practices.The rich dialogue with local craftsman ensured that the house is rooted in the building practices and conventions of context while also offering the community exposure to innovative resource and energy-conserving construction practices...

ParadigmGallery's comment, February 23, 2013 8:08 AM
Love this piece...the house is perfectly lovely and sits comfortably in the setting....the story warms my heart...and the fields and farmland exports me to Iowa.....
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Flexible and Highly Original Eco-Resort in Portugal

Flexible and Highly Original Eco-Resort in Portugal | sustainable architecture |

Luis Rebelo de Andrade in collaboration with Diogo Aguiar completed the design for seven cozy accommodation units presently known as the “Eco-Resort” and located in Parque de Pedras Salgadas, Portugal.

The original resort was especially envisioned as a serene place for guests to get away and experience nature in its purest form: “Designed in a modular prefabrication system but flexible to adapt to the specific places within the park, these houses result in several different combinations of the same three modules (entrance/bathing – living – sleeping) creating different morphologies and different dialogs with the surrounding environment“.

The interiors of the resort are highly modern and pay tribute to the minimalist style. In other words, functionality is a key factor in the design, although the architecture also ranks high in aesthetics...

Pedro Barbosa's curator insight, February 19, 2013 5:13 PM

Eco resorts, one subtrend of the major "sustainability on our houses and living" trend.


Pedro Barbosa |

António Rocha Graça's curator insight, May 6, 2013 7:58 PM

In the lovely wooden landscapes of Northern Portugal, an Eco-Resort will get you to a lush, cool and upscale holiday

Concierge Etc.'s curator insight, July 25, 2013 11:34 AM

really lovely!

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Construction starts on Smith and Gill's ice-inspired China skyscraper

Construction starts on Smith and Gill's ice-inspired China skyscraper | sustainable architecture |

Construction has started in Chengdu, China, on a 468-metre-high crystalline skyscraper by the architects behind the current and future tallest buildings in the world.

The Greenland Tower Chengdu was designed by Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill – the former SOM architects responsible for both the Burj Khalifa and the forthcoming Kingdom Tower – and is set to become the tallest building in south-western China. According to the architects, the faceted-glass form of the office and hotel tower was "inspired by the unique ice mountain topography around Chengdu".

"Like the mountain ridges reflecting the light of the sky and the valleys reflecting light from the earth, the iconic tower will perform as a light sculpture to diffuse light from 360 degrees, creating a connection between sky and earth," said the studio in a statement.

Catherine Devin's curator insight, November 21, 2014 1:59 AM

De nombreux projets "pharaoniques" en Chine, certains plus verts que d'autres ?  Voir peut-être aussi  :


Philippe Blot Lefevre's curator insight, November 22, 2014 11:07 AM

Le seul moyen de s'approcher de la perfection de la Nature, est de l'imiter. Les formes et polyèdres platoniciens sont incontournables. L'effet n'est pas que visuel puisque notre corps est lui-même constitué de cellules apparentées à ces formes. Ainsi s'opère l'harmonie entre l'objet qui nous habite et ceux que nous côtoyons.

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Penda designs flexible bamboo hotel to connect guests with nature

Penda designs flexible bamboo hotel to connect guests with nature | sustainable architecture |

Design collective Penda has developed a concept for a flexible, portable hotel made from rods of bamboo, designed to bring guests closer to nature.

One With the Birds was developed by Penda – based in Vienna and Beijing – for the AIM Legend of the Tent competition in China, which challenged architects to develop low-impact tent-themed hotels offering a closer connection with the outdoors.

Penda came up with a concept for a flexible bamboo structure that can be easily expanded horizontally and vertically. Find more details at the article.

A. Perry Homes's curator insight, July 15, 2014 2:38 PM

FInally, our Swiss Family Robinson dream has come true, and we can vacation in the trees! 

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Pop-Up House by Multipod Studio

Pop-Up House by Multipod Studio | sustainable architecture |

Multipod Studio have designed the Pop-Up House, a housing concept that is low cost, uses recyclable materials and can be built in four days.

The structure, compiled of insulating blocks and wooden panels, delivers affordable thermal insulation. Heating represents close to 28% of global energy consumption and is also one of the main household costs. Determined to develop solutions, Multipod Studio have patented a unique approach to passive construction that delivers outstanding thermal insulation at an affordable cost.

No special tools required, the house is assembled using lightweight and recyclable materials for quick installation.

The materials used are inexpensive and the thermal envelope means no additional heating is necessary. 
The Pop-Up House is an innovative concept that aims to challenge passive house construction.

Catherine Devin's curator insight, March 28, 2014 7:02 AM

This ise also an interesting option for seasonal, holiday use, optimizing the building lifecycle for this particular type of use.... while giving also some flexibility in this type of business.

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Sustainability From Top To Bottom: Locally Sourced Timber Clad Homes

Sustainability From Top To Bottom: Locally Sourced Timber Clad Homes | sustainable architecture |

When designing a home according to high standards of sustainability, an architect must consider all details of construction, from the way the structure absorbs and releases solar energy, to rainwater collection, to incorporating double-paned windows to reduce heat transfer.

They must also consider the environmental impact of the materials used to construct the home itself. Transporting resource-intensive materials across long distances significantly increases the home's overall carbon footprint.

To mitigate these adverse effects, the solution is much closer than one might think: opting for locally sourced and responsibly harvested timbers and woods. Instead of cutting down pines and oaks in sensitive forests to use for hardwood floors and cabinets, architects can make use of already fallen trees near the construction site to source their design needs. The following homes, façades, floors, and products come from wood found nearby, and are either left untreated for a rustic appearance or milled and cured on-site for a richer finish. Sustainability from start to finish.

mickelin burnes-browne's curator insight, November 8, 2013 4:02 PM

Think Green and save the environment.

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Modular, Green Tree House Design in Portugal

Modular, Green Tree House Design in Portugal | sustainable architecture |

Portuguese architects Luís Rebelo de Andrade and Tiago Rebelo de Andrade have realized a modular tree house for the Pedras Salgadas Park.

The innovative project challenges pre-established concepts associated with modular construction, making use of new technology and lightweight, flexible construction.

The materials gives a sense of connection with nature and establishes the symbiosis between house and Park. Native slate and wood promote integration within the site, as sustainability and ecology were significant concerns during the project development. Reinforced insulation, heating systems, water reuse, water solar panels, low consumption lighting (using LED technology) were among the strategies used...

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House at the Pyrenees: Vernacular Construction at a Contemporary Addition

House at the Pyrenees: Vernacular Construction at a Contemporary Addition | sustainable architecture |

With their project ‘House at the Pyrenees’, Cadaval & Solà-Morales aimed at preserving the original structure of the house and doing a minimal yet contrasted intervention, the idea is to generate new and contemporary spaces for living, respecting the historic envelope.

The project seeks to recuperate the construction values of an old existing vernacular house which was made out of dry stone, a traditional technique of the area of great tectonic value. It elaborates on a series of interior horizontal partitions that are supported by two vertical containers that behave both as structural elements and as divisions of the continuous spaces...

Alekos Tsimpounis's comment, September 15, 2013 11:11 AM
Lola Ripollés's curator insight, September 15, 2013 5:55 PM

Preciosa ubicación con vistas al valle y preciosa casa!

JMS1kiddz's curator insight, September 16, 2013 4:33 PM

Amazing architecture that fuses modern style with the exsisting style and preserves the original architecture of the house.

- Madi Chaput

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Caterpillar House: Contemporay Prefab Construction in Santiago, Chile

Caterpillar  House: Contemporay Prefab Construction in Santiago, Chile | sustainable architecture |

This prefabricated house for an art collector and his family was built in the outskirts of Santiago in a new suburban residential area. In order to reduce construction time and costs, second hand shipping containers were used as follow: Five 40 “standard containers, Six 20“ standard containers and one 40“ open top container for the swimming pool.

The main purposes of the house were two: the first one was to integrate it to the territory of this part of the city where the presence of the Andes Mountain is extremely strong both visually and tectonically. The second one was to allow the external air to run smoothly and easily through the all house and its different parts In order to avoid mechanical cooling.

Mpi Guy's comment, September 6, 2013 9:43 AM
Cudos for inventive design!
Joy Das's curator insight, August 6, 3:34 PM
Cement Masonry Program at Tri-C :

Joy Das's curator insight, August 7, 1:29 PM
CALL 6 Identified Constructional problems at Closed I-65 Extension :

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Net Zero Energy Building at Solar Decathlon China 2013

Net Zero Energy Building at Solar Decathlon China 2013 | sustainable architecture |

The Solar Decathlon China 2013 is a competition that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are Net Zero, affordable, energy-efficient and attractive.

Summer 2013 will be the first year that a team from Israel will participate in the competition, and their design incorporates passive design features, creating an improved thermal envelope to maintain a comfortable interior environment. Windows, walls, and floors collect, store, and distribute solar energy as heat in the winter and reject heat in the summer...

Since 2002, the Solar Decathlon has involved over 90 teams and influenced thousands of collegiate participants in interdisciplinary research, design and construction of energy-efficient, solar-powered houses.

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Net Zero Prefab Prototype in Emeryville by Simpatico Homes

Net Zero Prefab Prototype in Emeryville by Simpatico Homes | sustainable architecture |

California builder Simpatico Homes specializes in modern modular homes, and recently completed a prototype located in Emeryville, in Alameda County, California.


From Swatt | Miers Architects:

“The partnership with Simpatico Homes represents an opportunity for our firm to bring custom-quality architecture to a broader audience through the cost advantages of prefabrication.

The Krubiner Residence, the Simpatico Prototype, is located in Emeryville just a few blocks from our office.

The Simpatico Homes represent a unique opportunity to transform housing, by combining modern design with off-site prefabrication and LEED-certified sustainability.”

Scott Stroud's curator insight, July 25, 2014 8:29 AM

This is not your father's modular home...

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Truro Residence: Contemporary Green Architecture by ZeroEnergy Design

Truro Residence: Contemporary Green Architecture by ZeroEnergy Design | sustainable architecture |

Designed by ZeroEnergy Design, this modern green home featuring a spectacular water and sunset view is located in Truro, Massachusetts.

The west-facing orientation for glazing isn’t ideal for energy performance, so the rest of the building envelope was designed to offset the expansive view windows. Double stud framing allows a continuous layer of foam insulation and a geothermal system, coupled with a radiant heating system, will supply all of the heating and cooling for the year. In addition to energy efficient appliances and water heaters, all of the spaces are well illuminated using energy efficient fixtures.

The roof sports a large solar electric array to offset energy usage through the use of net metering. A battery back-up and energy management system will store electricity from the solar array; the combination the energy efficient building envelope and systems will allow the home to produce nearly as much energy as it uses over the course of a year...

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Minimalism & Playfulness Define a Contemporary Shipping Container Residence

Minimalism & Playfulness Define a Contemporary Shipping Container Residence | sustainable architecture |

The WFH House in China, designed by Copenhagen-based studio, Arcgency is a contemporary design, constructed of three stacked shipping containers.

The house surrounded by lush vegetation  ”was designed to produce more energy than it consumes through the use of upcycled shipping containers as a steel frame, a sustainable bamboo facade, a rainwater collection system, solar cell-clad green roof and permeable paving.”

The interior is neat, dressed up in impeccable white, yet with splashes of color here and there. The main floor is envisioned as one singular space that accommodates the kitchen, dining area and the living room. The main advantage is that, this type of space delimitation allows a seamless transition between the indoor environments...

Immotopic's curator insight, March 4, 2013 4:06 AM

Le moins c'est le mieux*

Immotopic's comment, March 4, 2013 4:07 AM
Less is better*
Natalie Curtis's curator insight, March 6, 2013 9:18 AM

The WFH House is a perfect example of my inspiration for my Architecture Repurposing topic... it's sustainable, energy-efficient and innovative. It is a elegant representation of repurposing materials to be used in creative and intelligent alternate spacial use and design. The interior design is just as seamless and minimalistic as the outside and creates an open feel, as well. If you're at all curious about how the masterminds behind shipping container homes, do what they do, you'll find this blog interesting. The small array of pictures goes from the finished product all the way down the skeleton of the home and it's really quite fascinating to see the actual raw, industrial looking shipping containers being transformed into a modern, minimalistic and elegant home. 

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Singapore's Archifest Zero Waste Pavilion

Singapore's Archifest Zero Waste Pavilion | sustainable architecture |

WOW Architects was selected to design and build the first-ever Pavilion for Singapore’s Archifest last year.

The aesthetic design of the pavilion was a response to the duality of the site, while the zero waste and buildability strategy was developed around two highly rapid deployable and re-useable systems. The first is the main structure, composed of box-truss systems, and the second is a polymer mesh developed for slope control that has unique attributes that enhance the usability and interaction of the space.

To achieve zero-waste, the design team considered time, materials, cost and the afterlife of the elements, with a . The box-truss system, including the roof takes a maximum of approximately 7 days to deploy, while the membrane takes a maximum of approximately 3 days to install. Overall time frame to complete construction is 10-15 days.

The cellular membrane can be re-used in Fort Canning Hill’s other areas requiring slope protection and stabilization or it will be donated to a nearby country whose village/farmland has been affected by soil erosion from slopes.

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