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design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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Floating solar-powered Waternest eco-home is nearly 100% recyclable

Floating solar-powered Waternest eco-home is nearly 100% recyclable | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Architect Giancarlo Zema and EcoFloLife developed WaterNest 100, an ecological floating habitat.

The 1000-square-foot floating pod-shaped home measures 12 meters in diameter and 4 meters tall. Its curved body is constructed from recycled glued laminated timber and a recycled aluminum hull. The rounded wooden roof is topped by a 60-square-meter photovoltaic array capable of generating 4 kWp. Four skylights flank both sides of the photovoltaic array. Large windows and balconies wrap around the unit to allow users to enjoy views of the water.

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Fertile Market by X-TU: An Innovative French Pavilion for the 2015 Milan Expo

Fertile Market by X-TU: An Innovative French Pavilion for the 2015 Milan Expo | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The French studio “X-TU” Architects perceived the competition-winning French pavilion for the 2015 Milan Expo design proposta that responds implicitly to theexpo thème “Feeding the Planet. Energy for life”. They introduce a unique construction established around a vision of the market hall as a “le centre” for agricultural produzione.

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Norm Miller's curator insight, August 1, 2014 11:44 AM

Interesting design

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Courtyards Connected by Refurbished Shipping Containers: An Innovative Melbourne Workplace

Courtyards Connected by Refurbished Shipping Containers: An Innovative Melbourne Workplace | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Australian practice Room 11 has completed the Melbourne headquarters of Royal Wolf – a specialist in the hire, sale and modification of new and refurbished shipping containers. 

Appropriately, the workplace is built entirely from the steel units, utilizing the fabrication and construction methods employed by the organization.

20ft and 40ft containers are positioned to create four courtyards, forming a complete rectangle. The ends of each unit are replaced with full height glazing, while ceilings are also left exposed, covered with rigid insulation and a membrane roof. Two are set vertically, placed on end to create a narrow void with a skylight naturally illuminating the building’s interior.

The scheme repurposes the enclosed volumes as a series of connected light-filled rooms interspersed with areas of plantation. Offices and reception areas articulated around a central courtyard, while the meeting room, kitchen and principal offices are linked to further external enclosures.

More images at the link.

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Steve Chamley's curator insight, February 23, 8:46 AM

Shipping container offices need not feel cramped. Connecting multiple containers can create spacious offices that are easily transportable if your office needs to move.

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A special kind of tree house

Architect Andreas Wenning specializes in designing structures at lofty heights. He has already realized floating abodes under the open sky for hotels in Germany, Argentina and Florida, either suspended from trees or, where nature hadn’t provided the necessary framework itself, on stilts. In the Belgian municipality of Hechtel-Eksel, he has conceived a meeting room for international paper manufacturer Sappi.
The aim was to create a meeting space whereby sustainability was made a priority from the very first sketch. Accordingly, they chose wood as their main building material: installed in line with an elegant, timeless formal vocabulary. The rounded structure, the sloping supports and the roof, which envelops the entire building, lend the tree house a unique futuristic aesthetic. The conference area is divided across two floors, 5.5 meter and 6.5 meter above the ground, respectively, offering a free view of the surrounding landscape and even including a café and lounge area, and service facilities.
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Materials Of The Future: 7 Amazing Trends For 2014 And Beyond

Materials Of The Future: 7 Amazing Trends For 2014 And Beyond | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

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.

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Architectural Innovation: Amazon's Biomorphic Spherical Headquarters in Seattle

Architectural Innovation: Amazon's Biomorphic Spherical Headquarters in Seattle | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

On Tuesday, the online everything store Amazon.com submitted a new proposal for offices in downtown Seattle, featuring three biomorphic, spherical buildings.

The central element of NBBJ’s proposal for Amazon’s headquarters is a trio of conjoined Catalan-sphere modules, each built with a structural-steel skeleton. According to the proposal, which is the second submission to reach Seattle City Hall, these spheres would range from 80 to 95 feet in height and contain five floors of office space. The rounded, pentagonal facets of the spheres would meet in star-shaped intersections.

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oliviersc's comment, August 28, 2013 1:06 PM
Inspiration : Richard Buckminster Fuller ; soyons clair !
Norm Miller's comment, August 28, 2013 1:29 PM
These will be the new icons for Seattle instead of the fish market. Very cool.
Norm Miller's comment, August 28, 2013 1:31 PM
These will be the new icons for Seattle. It is about time we see something besides flying fish.
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Net Zero Energy Building at Solar Decathlon China 2013

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

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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Green Innovation: First Bio-building Powered by Algae Opens in Hamburg

Green Innovation: First Bio-building Powered by Algae Opens in Hamburg | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The world's first algae-powered building is being piloted in Hamburg.

Designed by multinational firm Arup, features panel glass bioreactors on a facade containing microalgae that generate biomass and heat, serving as a renewable energy source.


The systems provide insulation for the building- 129 bioreactors have been fitted to the southwest and southeast faces of the building. They are controlled by an energy management center in which solar thermal heat and algae are harvested and stored to be used to create hot water.


Jan Wurm, Arup’s Europe Research Leader, said: 'Using bio-chemical processes in the facade of a building to create shade and energy is a really innovative concept. 

'It might well become a sustainable solution for energy production in urban areas, so it is great to see it being tested in a real-life scenario.'


The news comes after Arup announced their vision for the future of skyscrapers which suggested that buildings would be 'living' buildings powered by algae that respond automatically to the weather and the changing needs of inhabitants...

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ParadigmGallery's curator insight, April 11, 2013 7:05 PM

I am interested to follow this story and to learn more details about the specific sources for the algae and a bit more of the science behind it.

ParadigmGallery's comment, April 11, 2013 10:59 PM
Thanks so much for your thoughts.....
Noor Fatima's comment, April 12, 2013 11:32 AM
welcome:)
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Connected to the Outdoors: A Modern House with a Modular Folding Wall

Connected to the Outdoors: A Modern House with a Modular Folding Wall | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

This unique residence by Pitsou Kedem Architects gives inhabitants the ability to control light entering the space with a modular facade design that also provides for changing views and varying degrees of privacy.


With great attention paid to the relations between outdoors and indoors, this structure has been designed to convert the interior space into the outdoors with great modularity while retaining its simple and clean detailing. The most fascinating views of this residence take place when the pivot shutters open, allowing one to look straight through the interiors to the rear pool side beyond without any restrictions. Standing in the front garden, one is able to look out to the rear landscape connecting the two outside spaces.

The ability to reverse the balanced composition into a dynamic one is made possible thanks to the design of a system of smart blinds that allows them to be lifted upwards and folded into what resembles a roof. As all the rails and fixtures are hidden when the façade is closed, the changing possibilities also hide in the residence's façade. ..

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Budapest Students Design Sustainable House for Indoor and Outdoor Living

Budapest Students Design Sustainable House for Indoor and Outdoor Living | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

It may look unassuming, but this sleek black box is the culmination of a two-year long collaboration of more than 50 students from 7 different faculties of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics.


Initially envisioned by two architecture students and built for the European Solar Decathlon 2012 in Madrid, the goal of Odooproject was to encourage a new sustainable life by designing a house where as much time as possible can be spent outdoors.

Odoo’s square plan has two primary elements: the north half enclosure and the south half outdoor terrace, bordered by the ‘summer wall’ to the south. The design allows comfortable living inside or outside throughout the year as the seasons allow.

To provide a comfortable environment, as efficiently as possible, the house uses both active and passive systems. The compact form of Odoo reduces heat loss, while its organization means it has two south-facing facades. The glass façade exploits solar gain, to heat the interior during the winter, and the solar panels on the ‘summer wall’ generate power from the summer sun...

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Mercor's curator insight, February 8, 2013 6:26 AM

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bancoideas's curator insight, February 8, 2013 10:22 AM
Ideas para mejorar la vida
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Richard Meier & Partners | Italcementi i.lab

Richard Meier & Partners | Italcementi i.lab | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Richard Meier & Partners celebrates the opening of the Italcementi i.lab in Bergamo, Italy. The new building is a benchmark of sustainable design in Europe and it has attained one of the first LEED Platinum accreditations in Italy.


Italcementi i.lab, the new research and development center for Italcementi is intended to reflect the company’s position of leadership, technological advancement and commitment to research and innovation in the use of concrete.

One of the top five cement manufacturers in the world, Italcementi is internationally recognized for its dedication to Sustainable Development. Dukho Yeon, Design Partner-in-charge, comments: “This is our fourth completed project in Italy, after the Jesolo Lido Village, the Ara Pacis Museum, and the Jubilee Church. i.lab is our firm’s most sustainable building to date embodied in sculptural and dramatic, but simple forms showcasing the possibilities of concrete in perfect balance with the technical purpose of the building.”


Each element of the building’s organization reflects an ambitious effort, both in Richard Meier & Partners focus on sustainable architecture and in the innovative use of efficient materials and construction solutions...

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Climate Responsive Pavilion Uses Laminated Metal to “Bloom” in the Sun

Climate Responsive Pavilion Uses Laminated Metal to “Bloom” in the Sun | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Architecture has long been valued for its static nature and sense of permanence. Increasingly, however, architects are working to make buildings more responsive to users and to the climate.


Often this is accomplished through mechanical means, but architect Doris Kim Sung, of LA-based DOSU studio architecture, looks building materials themselves can be responsive, integrating changeability into the structure itself.

The dramatic shell-like form of her recent pavilion, Bloom, suggests, an interest in cutting-edge digital design. While this is also the case, Bloom’s true innovation happens more slowly, through the bending of 14,000 metal tiles according to heat levels generated by the sun. With an aluminum frame supporting the panels, the design is a monocoque structure with a load-bearing skin.


For Sung, Bloom is just the beginning of what responsive architecture could be. Harnessing digital technology, advanced fabrication, and new materials point to dynamic new possibilities for the discipline.

Lauren Moss's insight:

A very interesting exploration of material and technology, in the architectural context of a unique and innovative pavilion installation.

The implications of new, climate-responsive building materials are vast, and it should be fascinating to see what the future holds for their applications in the built environment...

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Intelligent Shading System at Abu Dhabi's Al Bahar Towers

Intelligent Shading System at Abu Dhabi's Al Bahar Towers | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Abu Dhabi’s new inspiring architectural design might lead to even further research into the world of transforming interior and exterior environments with ingenious creativity. Al Bahar Towers housing the Abu Dhabi Investment Council Headquarters are now part of Aedas Architects' portfolio, rising tall to shape a new era in modern office building design. Inspired by a traditional Islamic lattice shading device named “mashrabiya”, the interesting geometric shapes enveloping the towers offer a powerful visual impact while intelligently protecting the interiors from excessive heat gain. Each of the 25-story high twin office towers in the United Arab Emirates will accommodate approximately 1,000 employees, who will be working in an inspiring, environmentally appropriate atmosphere...

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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, December 24, 2012 11:46 PM

What a sight to behold and this article tells us more details of these amazing structures.

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A 10,000-Square-Foot Smart-Glass Canopy for the US Pavilion at the Milan Expo

A 10,000-Square-Foot Smart-Glass Canopy for the US Pavilion at the Milan Expo | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

International expositions have long pushed boundaries in design and engineering, and will be the case with the 2015 Expo Milano in May and 147 countries worldwide will share culture through construction in the form of innovative pavilions and installations. Representatives from the U.S. Pavilion—titled American Food 2.0 and aims to discuss the global food supply chain—recently shared a behind-the-scenes look at one of the architectural features: a smart-glass roof canopy.

The application seeks to align with the expo’s broader theme—“Feed the Planet, Energy for Life”—by functioning as a digital interface that encourages visitor interaction. The canopy comprises 312 glass panels, each measuring 3.3 feet by 9.8 feet, and totals roughly 10,000 square feet in area. The nonprofit representing the pavilion, Friends of the U.S. Pavilion Milano 2015, says that this application will be the largest smart-glass roof structure to date, with the panels planned to transition in seconds from opaque to transparent states in response to environmental conditions as well as prompts from visitors via a touchscreen.

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Pollution-guzzling, Air-cleaning Buildings

Pollution-guzzling, Air-cleaning Buildings | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Seven million premature deaths in a single year were the result of air pollution exposure, the World Health Organization reported recently. That’s one in eight of total global deaths in 2012. This new finding doubles previous estimates, confirming that air pollution is now the world’s single largest environmental health risk. Cities around the world are increasingly turning to technology for solutions, and here are some of the most innovative designs...

More images at the link.

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Norm Miller's curator insight, May 31, 2014 11:46 AM

More integration with nature and more technology that caotures pollution.

Stephen Kavanagh's curator insight, June 1, 2014 8:29 AM

We have a right to clean air!!! Support our environment!!!

TavistockCollegeGeog's curator insight, June 30, 2014 9:25 AM

Great synoptic links to the Technological fix unit in A2 Geography. Good case study for health risk management. Where does this fit on the Kuznet Curve?

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Rainforest Guardian: A Lotus-Shaped Concept Skyscraper

Rainforest Guardian: A Lotus-Shaped Concept Skyscraper | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

When you add one part skyscraper, one part forest-saving reservoir, and one part eco-laboratory, you get the all-parts-awesome behemoth known as the Rainforest Guardian, a conceptual design that looks like a giant metal lotus flower sticking out of the expansive Amazon rainforest.

Designed by Jie Huang, Jin Wei, Qiaowan Tang, Yiwei Yu, and Zhe Hao from China, the architectural beast is not like your average skyscraper. In contrast to the normally spearhead-like structure of your typical cloud-kissing building, the top of the Guardian has the most surface area. This allows it to catch and store hundreds of gallons of rainwater to save for the dry season. It also gives the building an organic, futuristic aesthetic that seems more at home in a galaxy far, far away than on our own world. Not to mention, the building is driping with dozens of long, wet vines—making it some fusion of nature and artificial design. No wonder it was an honorable mention at this year's eVolvo Skyscraper Competition...

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Mark Warren's curator insight, April 3, 2014 2:50 AM

Rainforest Guardian: A Lotus-Shaped Concept Skyscraper

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Industry + Ingenuity: 7 Silo Transformations that Fill Empty Voids with New Life

Industry + Ingenuity: 7 Silo Transformations that Fill Empty Voids with New Life | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
How can one transform a collection of concrete tubes into a site for experiencing contemporary culture?

That was the question posed by British architect and artist Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studio, whose imaginative designs can be found everywhere from Manchester to Shanghai. Heatherwick is used to creating striking sculptures on a grand scale, but his latest proposal is larger than any before—he plans to carve an art museum from the depths of an old silo in South Africa’s capital city, Cape Town. The building is a monumental sculpture in itself, and Heatherwick’s challenge was twofold: protect and celebrate the heritage of the city’s industrial past while simultaneously creating something wholly new within the inherited structure.

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Lola Ripollés's curator insight, March 22, 2014 8:47 PM

Dar nueva vida a los silos; soluciones de todo tipo para todo tipo de usos. Algunos de los proyectos, muy interesantes.

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Villa Girasole, Italy: the Oldest Rotating House Follows the Path of the Sun

Villa Girasole, Italy: the Oldest Rotating House Follows the Path of the Sun | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Villa Girasole is the oldest rotating house in the world designed by a local navy engineer, Angelo Invernizzi. Situated near Verona, Italy, the house follows the path of the sun in a circular motion. Translated from Italian, the word girasole means sunflower. an appropriate name for the house which follows the sun.

The idea behind the creation of the first-of-its-kind rotating house is simple – to harness solar energy. Modern buildings use solar panels to transform it into energy.

The ambitious project took six years from 1929 to 1935, and its unique design, innovative for the era, required the use of advanced technologies.

Find more information, photos, and drawings at the link.

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Architecture That Drives Ecological Innovation

Architecture That Drives Ecological Innovation | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

A gallery of the buildings that house the industries working to preserve the planet's natural ecology.


We constantly hear about the "green revolution" in building, whether it's performative facades that reduce cooling needs or grey water recycling that cuts down on water usage. However, the drive to reduce our environmental impact isn't just about designing the next LEED Gold skyscraper.

Integral to our collective efforts are a unique set of green institutions and industries, all of which require special architecture to function. These organizations not only leave a light ecological footprint, they also find ways for us to do the same: whether reducing carbon emissions or engineering better seeds that can sustain our growing population. 


It's not just green design; it's design that promotes new ways of being green.

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Lili Dávila's curator insight, August 20, 2013 2:41 PM

LEED is old news, there are new ways of being green. 

Michaela Jansen's curator insight, August 29, 2013 2:48 AM

this is great, i think we all need to step it up and move forward from recycling and substituting materials. "Go big or go home," right? 

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Aspire Mixed-Use Tower Proposal by Grimshaw Architects

Aspire Mixed-Use Tower Proposal by Grimshaw Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Emerging from a design excellence competition held by the Parramatta City Council, the Aspire Tower, designed by Grimshaw Architects, is a landmark mixed-use tower set to establish a new benchmark for innovative, passive-environmental design in Australian high-rise developments.

Designed to act as a catalyst project for Parramatta Square, the tower provides high density, urban residential living which is not only affordable but also sustainable.

As one of the tallest structures in Australia, the engineering of Aspire Tower consciously orientates itself to the wind and to sunlight. The highly adaptable facades accommodate all of the various planning arrangements of apartment type into a modular system. The tower’s striking sculptural form twists upwards from its Church Street alignment to maximise the capture of the sun, the breeze and northern views for its residents.

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Natalie Curtis's curator insight, April 19, 2013 9:20 AM

"As one of the tallest structures in Australia, the engineering of Aspire Tower consciously orientates itself to the wind and to sunlight. The highly adaptable facades accommodate all of the various planning arrangements of apartment type into a modular system. The tower’s striking sculptural form twists upwards from its Church Street alignment to maximise the capture of the sun, the breeze and northern views for its residents."

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Floating Light Park Skyscraper Uses Solar Power & Helium to Hover Above Beijing

Floating Light Park Skyscraper Uses Solar Power & Helium to Hover Above Beijing | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Light Park is a skyscraper that hovers over the streets of Beijing like a giant airship. Architects Ting Xu and Yiming Chen have conceived the future of high-rises to be a conglomerate of mega-structures that make up for the shortage of urban open spaces on the ground by lifting them up in the air.


The Light Park skyscraper is lifted off the ground with a helium-filled balloon, and it uses solar energy for propulsion, enabling it to function as a non-polluting transportation deck as well as a floating urban park. The technology is based on existing helium balloon designs, using solar-powered propellers, airbags and atmospheric pressure for takeoff and cruise flight. Solar power is utilized to power the uses below, with translucent solar panels located on the top of the aircraft. In order to avoid additional weight and decrease wind resistance, the skyscraper uses a cable-suspended structure to attach the slabs to the mushroom-like cap. The planting slabs are irrigated with rainwater collected on the large cap surface and are distributed in a way which allows maximum exposure to sunlight on each level...


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Amber Qureshi's curator insight, April 8, 2013 1:19 PM

Daaamnnn :O 

Noor Fatima's comment, April 9, 2013 10:01 AM
incredibleeeee
Amber Qureshi's comment, April 12, 2013 3:12 AM
Ikr :D
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Green Architecture: Student Designs for Low-Income, Sustainable Housing

Green Architecture: Student Designs for Low-Income, Sustainable Housing | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

It’s hard for homes to be green. Despite long-term energy savings, it’s even harder for low-income homes to afford upfront costs of some sustainable materials. But ecological design doesn’t have to mean more “green” from your wallet. In fact, using recycled and sustainable material, as one local project has shown, can be both economically viable and environmentally friendly.

The San Antonio Alternative Housing Corporation (SAAHC) is a nonprofit organization that provides housing and support services for low and moderate income communities in the central Texas area.  When they construct new housing units, they want to minimize up-front construction costs as well as long-term operational expenses.  They were open to exploring alternate construction techniques, but wanted an opportunity to test the viability of these options.

As it happened, Taeg Nishimoto, Associate Dean of the UTSA College of Architecture, had been working for several years to develop a program that would give architecture students experience throughout the entire process of realizing a project from conception through construction...

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Immotopic's curator insight, March 4, 2013 4:22 AM

Futur is green architecture.

Fabián Salazar Bazúa's curator insight, March 11, 2013 7:04 PM

Una forma diferente de construir, pero sin quitarle la efectividad y creatividad.

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Adaptive Reuse + Green Innovation: Lahas Zone Showrooms, China

Adaptive Reuse + Green Innovation: Lahas Zone Showrooms, China | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Recognized by united nations and world banks, the City of Yiwu houses the world’s biggest small goods market, having seemingly arisen over night, is now the center of trading for small goods in the world. The people of Yiwu, once workers on the farming fields dared to change their fates and stepped into the world of business and landed on success. “Breakthrough Innovations” is this city’s most valued essence.


The city strongly encourages young entrepreneurs, and with that in mind, the Lahas Zone was idealistically concieved and designed, centering a green enviroment that can incorporate services, offices, R&D and exhibitions all into living comfortably...

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Prefab House is Living Lab for Energy and Water Conservation

Prefab House is Living Lab for Energy and Water Conservation | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The New Norris House continues a tradition of simple, affordable design but with less impact on local resources.

While it serves as a test case for innovative building systems and techniques, instead of promoting the use of resources, the 1,006-square-foot prefab cottage is focused on conservation and self-reliance.
Certified to and exceeding LEED-Platinum standards by 30 percent, the project works with natural resources such as sunlight and rainwater to reduce its environmental footprint. It uses no fossil fuels, thanks to the TVA’s hydropower dams, and uses 50% less energy than similar-sized homes in the area...
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Crystal clear: the case for green building

Crystal clear: the case for green building | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Part office, part exhibition space, a new London landmark aims to challenge our assumptions about green design.


A new building in east London’s Royal Victoria Docks aims to change public perceptions of green architecture – while trialling some new sustainable technologies and approaches at scale. There’s not a green roof or thick insulated wall in sight. In fact, the structure, which is called the Crystal, is everything we’ve come to believe a sustainable building shouldn’t be: lightweight, angular, glazed from top to bottom and with a roof made out of steel.

Part office space, part interactive exhibition about the future of cities, the building is intended as a living experiment in sustainability that business leaders, politicians and the general public alike can learn from. “The building is a great demonstration of the ‘art of the possible’”, says Martin Hunt, Head of Networks and Partnerships at Forum for the Future. “It’s refreshing to see an interactive exhibition that visualises what our cities could be like – based on high quality research and thoughtful benchmarking. It brings the big issues of urban living – such as water and energy consumption, public health and safety – to life in a way that engages people and inspires them.”

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Duane Craig's curator insight, January 7, 2013 10:13 AM

It's quite enlightening, as pointed out here, that a lot of glass used correctly can actually yield a zero energy building. But I agree that assessing the true sustainability of the building would have to factor in all the embodied fossil fuel and other energy used to make its components. And when you're talking about glass, that could be huge.