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sustainable architecture
design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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Light Matters: 7 Ways Daylight Can Make Design More Sustainable

Light Matters: 7 Ways Daylight Can Make Design More Sustainable | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Daylight is a highly cost-effective means of reducing the energy for electrical lighting and cooling. Education often reduces the aspect of daylight to eye-catching effects on facades and scarcely discusses its potential effects – not just on cost, but on health, well-being and energy.

This Light Matters will explore the often unexplored aspects of daylight and introduce key strategies to better incorporate daylight into design: from optimizing building orientations to choosing interior surface qualities that achieve the right reflectance. These steps can significantly reduce investment as well as operating costs and so much more...

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Mary H Goudie's comment, February 28, 1:38 AM
My husband CANNOT live without his sunshine. Here in Lisbon they used ceramic tiles to move more light into the rooms. We angle a mirror to reflect the sunshine into our kitchen on cold days - toasty!
Lola Ripollés's curator insight, March 1, 9:52 AM

La luz es importantísima par ala eficiencia y para el confort.

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New York Library / TEN Arquitectos

New York Library / TEN Arquitectos | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

In a neighborhood of high-end retail and luxury residences, this new branch library will fulfill a much needed role as a public space and touchstone for the local community and visiting tourists across from the Museum of Modern Art. 

Despite the library’s site being predominantly below grade and set at the base of a new 40-story hotel, this design proposal transforms the dark, subterranean space into an inviting, open and light-filled civic landscape in the heart of Manhattan...

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Becky Poisson's curator insight, May 20, 2013 9:10 AM

Don't know if it is practical to retrofit but it is a clever use of space and creates accessibility at a somewhat non-technical level.

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Daylighting + Innovative Facade Technology at the Nantong Museum by Henn Architekten

Daylighting + Innovative Facade Technology at the Nantong Museum by Henn Architekten | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

As part of the master plan designed by HENN, the new Nantong Urban Planning Museum is located prominently along the central river.

The museum is characterized as a floating volume, resting on a glass pedestal, with space for special exhibitions, a café and bookstore. The overall dominant form which cantilevers above the glass entry contains the primary exhibition space, offices, and conference rooms.
Its distinctive façade is composed of two layers: the inner thermally seals the building envelope, and the outer is a reticulated metal structure with varied panels. The façade’s diamond-shaped grid is comprised of seven different panels that allow for varying degrees of opening from 9%-60%. This provides for the controlled regulation of sunlight in fine increments, to accommodate the needs of the interior program. The exhibition spaces are therefore, characterized by a predominantly closed façade with minimal openings, and the offices with maximum levels of natural daylight...

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Stripe House: A beautiful, efficient live/work townhouse in the Netherlands

Stripe House: A beautiful, efficient live/work townhouse in the Netherlands | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The Stripe House is an energy efficient and naturally daylit home in Leiden, The Netherlands and was designed by local firm, GAAGA. Encased in a handmade plaster facade and brightly daylit from a host of windows, the compact home doubles as an office and is very energy efficient by design.


Sited on a corner lot near a park, the home does its best to make the best of the compact plot. Three stories tall, the home creates space with vertical floor area, but still retains a small garden space from which to enjoy the exterior and the neighborhood, also providing a soft transition from public to private space as well as distance from the neighboring houses.

The ground floor is used as an office, while the first and second floors are for the family. The first floor living space has an open living/kitchen floor plan, and two bedrooms and a bath are located on the top floor. A void between the living space and the bedrooms creates a connection via operable shutters.

Large windows on the the three open sides of the home are oriented towards interesting views and fill the bright white interior with natural daylight. The exterior is very tactile with a beautiful handcrafted plaster facade created with linear molds.

Beyond daylighting, the Stripe house is also a very sustainable house that scores well in several energy performance and environmental index calculations and labels- making it an efficient and beautiful example of innovative green design.


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Green Architecture of Casa Solare by Studio Albori

Green Architecture of Casa Solare by Studio Albori | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Casa Solare was designed by Studio Albori. This example of sustainable architecture is designed to gain maximum solar energy, to provide for the entire house.

The three story green building was built utilizing locally sourced timber with the exterior left unfinished to provide a natural feeling and create a good relationship to the surroundings. Passive solar design provides maximum solar gain and controls the temperature of the house, and overhangs provide protection when the light is too harsh, while allowing light to provide heat in winter. Phase change panels absorb heat during the day and release the heat at night.

Solar energy is generated by the solar photovoltaic panels installed on the roof, while the South facade incorporates extensive windows to maximize natural daylighting...

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Inspired by Nature: Loft 24-7 by Fernanda Marques- São Paulo, Brazil

Inspired by Nature: Loft 24-7 by Fernanda Marques- São Paulo, Brazil | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Wood, stone and books… 3 elements that don’t seem to have very much in common create the main characteristics of the living roomof this loft of 250m, where Fernanda Marques succeeded to make a dream escape from urban frenzy.

The nature plays much more than a mere supporting role: one just has to note the intense use of daylight. The use of materials in their rough state was a fundamental idea for its decoration. Daylight, highlighted textures, fully open to the outside… the key to furnish a house somewhere in between a country villa and a modernist home design.

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U.S. Institute of Peace, Washington D.C. by Moshe Safdie

U.S. Institute of Peace, Washington D.C. by Moshe Safdie | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Designed by Moshe Safdie, this new landmark provides the first permanent home for the peace institute, created by the U.S. Congress in 1984 as an independent, nonpartisan center for nonviolent conflict management.

The atria and extensive glazing of this LEED Gold-certified building help transmit daylight throughout the workspace, as well as providing views of the city and its monuments.

Other sustainable features at the USIP building include high-efficiency condensing boilers, water-conserving plumbing fixtures, and paints and other finishes low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

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Lopez Island Cabin by Stuart Silk Architects

Lopez Island Cabin by Stuart Silk Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Located on a wooded bluff above Puget Sound, the Lopez Island Cabin re-imagines a traditional retreat in contemporary materials and form. As with most true cabins, there are few rooms: a living area/kitchen, two modest bedrooms and two small bathrooms. The project utilizes simple materials and an efficient plan to create a striking, sculptural form.

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Dublin Airport Terminal 2 by Pascall + Watson Architects

Dublin Airport Terminal 2 by Pascall + Watson Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Dublin Airport’s 75.000 m² Terminal's 2 is a visually striking building that makes maximum use of natural daylight, creating bright and airy spaces that are formed through consideration of passenger movement to enable clear and logical sequential journeys. The fluid forms of the building have been achieved via the use of ALUCOBOND® aluminium composite panels.


Respect for the local environment was a key criteria in the selection of materials for the project, not only to respond to its location and context, but also to ensure the best possible quality and value. The building sets new standards in sustainable terminal design, achieving a 17 percent reduction in CO2 emissions when compared to statutory compliant design.

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Mercor's curator insight, May 27, 2013 1:32 AM

Scooped by Lauren Moss onto sustainable architecture

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Pittsburgh's "breathing" building by Gensler aims to be the world's greenest skyscraper

Pittsburgh's "breathing" building by Gensler aims to be the world's greenest skyscraper | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The PNC Financial Services Group hopes to exceed LEED Platinum requirements while promoting a healthy workplace with a recent development – the Tower at PNC Plaza. Located in downtown Pittsburgh, the building will be 800,00 sq.ft (74,322 sq.mt) with a construction budget of approximately US $240 million.


The "breathing" design created by architecture firm Gensler moves away from the traditional closed air-conditioned environment and has the lofty aim of becoming the greenest skyscraper in the world.


Employees in the 33 floor glass tower will access daylight and fresh air. The PNC Tower design recognizes that the Pittsburgh climate can provide increased levels of natural light onto the floorspace along with improved regulation of temperatures for much of the year without using traditional, energy-intensive HVAC systems. The Tower hopes to achieve this with a double-skin facade of two panes of glass separated by an enclosed cavity, allowing external air inside. The facade features operable doors and windows that admit fresh air into the building during optimal conditions, while a solar chimney is another passive system- it pulls air in through the open windows, the air then travels across the floors, is heated and exhaled through the roof shaft.


The Tower will consume less than 50 percent of the energy a typical office building uses and will save PNC at least 30 percent on its energy costs...

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Norm Miller's curator insight, January 9, 2013 9:07 AM

Tall buildings have been historically less efficient than smaller squarer buildings to operate, but now with new technologies we are seeing rapid improvements in the taller buildings and FINALLY we are seeing things like operable ventilation once again.

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s curator insight, February 1, 2013 6:25 AM

SCUP–49, the Society for College and University Planning's 49th annual conference, will be held in Pittsburgh in July 2014.

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Modernism + Nature: the Tower Studio in Shoal Bay, Newfoundland

Modernism + Nature: the Tower Studio in Shoal Bay, Newfoundland | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The ‘Tower Studio’ is dramatically situated on a stretch of rocky coastline in Shoal Bay, Newfoundland, where no roads guide your way and which is only reached by hiking.

Part of an architectural series by Saunders Architecture the Fogo Island Arts Corporation, the studio’s sculptural silhouette leans both forward and backward as it twists upward.

The studio is comprised of three levels with an overall height of thirty-two feet. Its entry area is equipped with a kitchenette, a compost toilet and wood- burning fireplace. Its second level is a studio, day lit by generous skylight.

At times, the stark abstract forms of the studios all painted black seem to disappear into the foggy weather, typical on Fogo Island. Inside everything is painted in a shiny white and as one passes up the white ladder through the horizontal opening one will stand on the roof- top deck with the view of the ocean and the rocky wind-swept terrain around you...

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Casa V by Serrano Monjaraz Arquitectos

Casa V by Serrano Monjaraz Arquitectos | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Serrano Monjaraz Arquitectos have designed the Casa V in Mexico City. The location in the lot and design of this house were defined by the importance of natural light in the project. The facades were located according to the movement of light and shadows to help enhance the interior design.

The interior are exterior spaces of the house are integrated by the nature elements. All the construction was done in exposed concrete and wood to assure the low maintenance requirements as well as the adequate aging of the space with the natural patina that will acquire with time.

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'Breeze': Innovative towers by Riken Yamamoto and Field Shop

'Breeze': Innovative towers by Riken Yamamoto and Field Shop | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
three towers emerge from an undulating topography of artificial hills which encases a 7-storey podium of retail and outdoor promenades.

Japanese practice Riken Yamamoto & Field shop has designed 'breeze', a cluster of three towers for the R2 block of the emerging yongsan international business district in Seoul, Korea. Three 47-storey tall buildings grow from a hilly landscape. The curving facades respond to the geography of the adjacent Han river and create unrestricted vistas of the waterfront. The positions in relation to each other, support cross ventilation and natural daylight.

Inset within the artificial topography, footprints emerge from the sloping rooftop park, starting wider and becoming more slender at the 20th floor. Offices and shopping at the base are linked with the elevated green public plaza, forming a secondary ground level for activity. Within the interior forum, 25 meter high spaces link the city side of the plan facing the river...

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An Architect Applies Simple Solutions to a Green House

An Architect Applies Simple Solutions to a Green House | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
Low-tech sustainable solutions help a St. Peters, Minn., home achieve LEED Gold.

Architect Sarah Nettleton, AIA, LEED AP, believes in the simple approach to life and to solving problems. In her view, whiz-bang technology is no substitute for common-sense techniques that promote energy efficiency. This is why the principal of Sarah Nettleton Architects first explores tried-and-true sustainable solutions that often are free but always effective. “Simple can be sustainable,” she says.

Nettleton applied this line of thinking as her firm designed this LEED Gold custom home overlooking the Minnesota River Valley in St. Peter.

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Mason Lane Farm Operations Facility

Mason Lane Farm Operations Facility | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
A local firm reimagines the traditional barn aesthetic for a new farm facility in Kentucky. A local firm reimagines the traditional barn aesthetic for a new farm facility in Kentucky.
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