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design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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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 |

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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FIS-SST Office building by Zalewski Architecture Group

FIS-SST Office building by Zalewski Architecture Group | sustainable architecture |

FIS-SST company's rapid growth forced the need to build a new headquarters. A small building intended for about 60 employees and realized with a very limited budget was designed as a company headquarters taking into consideration fulfillment of its present and future needs.

In the building the ‘low–tech’ building materials tendency was contrasted with specialist solutions aimed at improving work efficiency. Despite the low budget of the investment really good solutions were achieved regarding the functionality and arrangement of space in the building. Limited costs were treated as an inspiration for searching methods and means that can provide at the same time comfort of work and use, high aesthetics and original and good quality design.

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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 |

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 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...

Norm Miller's curator insight, January 9, 2013 12:07 PM

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 9:25 AM

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