sustainable architecture
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sustainable architecture
design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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the Convent de Sant Francesc, Spain + Historic Preservation

the Convent de Sant Francesc, Spain + Historic Preservation | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The intervention in the church of the convent of Sant Francesc, located in the Catalan town of Santpedor, converted the building into a cultural facility, allowing the building to be put to use as an auditorium and multipurpose cultural space. In the future, a third stage will allow the upper floors of the chapels to be used as a historical archive.

The renovation of the building has been developed with the goal of differentiating the new elements constructed (using contemporary construction systems and languages) from the original elements of this historical church.

With the aim of preserving all aspects of the building’s past, the intervention has not hidden traces, wounds or scars. Thus, they have remained visible depressions, holes where the altarpieces once were, traces of missing elements.

The construction and the building methods used have sought to strengthen the church without deleting the signs of deterioration the building has suffered. The intervention has sought to preserve the building’s historic legacy by adding new valuesthat enhance it and give this ancient convent a unique, contemporary form...

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Shore Hotel:the first LEED Gold hotel in Santa Monica

Shore Hotel:the first LEED Gold hotel in Santa Monica | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
The Shore Hotel is a modern and green alternative to the usual chain hotels.

Originally, the plot on which the Shore Hotel was built was occupied by the Pacific Sands and the Travelodge hotels, both recently torn down and the materials used to build the new structure.

The Shore Hotel is also the first property in California to implement the 'Savings by Design' program, meaning the hotel earns incentives by reducing the use of energy during peak hours. Moreover, it was also built using water-wise landscaping and water-efficient fixtures, helping to reduce the amount of potable water by 50%. Also, the hotel’s guests enjoy non-toxic environments, naturally lit and ventilated rooms with eco-friendly furniture and finishes...

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Rosalie Residence: A Sustainable Modern Home in Australia

Rosalie Residence: A Sustainable Modern Home in Australia | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Wrapped in zinc cladding and rising up three levels, the modern Rosalie Residence takes advantage of a hillside location in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The environmentally-friendly five-bedroom home was envisioned by Richard Kirk Architects.

The exterior is given an original touch with the help of operable timber screens and venetian blinds, which ensure both sun-shading and privacy. The inner structure and use of materials is briefly characterized by the architects as follows: “The planning of the house is organized to address the views towards the city on the North-East and Mt Coot-tha on the South-West. The resulting building footprint provides private courtyards and landscaped terraces adjacent to the main living spaces.

The interior is an ensemble of Red Mahogany timber flooring and Jarrah timber paneling on backdrop of white plaster walls and white-set ceilings”. Sustainable features of the residence include solar hot water, in-ground rainwater storage for landscape irrigation and low energy lighting...

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Portland International Jetport wins LEED Gold certification

Portland International Jetport wins LEED Gold certification | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Designed by Gensler, the expansion invoved construction of a new 160,000 square foot terminal, expanded security checkpoints and a sky bridge between the terminal and parking.

The design of the new terminal roots its inspiration to the natural beauty and resources of Maine. The terminal has extensively used timber, which is a rare element in airport architecture. The facility was built to embrace several sustainable elements, which consist of natural daylighting, FSC-certified glue laminated structural timbers, and low-maintenance, polished concrete floors.

The project has installed the state's largest geothermal system at the airport, which consist of 120 wells, which are 500 feet deep. The geothermal well assists the building to offset fuel costs by $150,000 a year.

The newest terminal of the airport is the second commercial airport in the US to be accredited with LEED certification.

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Massachusetts’ First Zero-Net-Energy Transportation Hub...

Massachusetts’ First Zero-Net-Energy Transportation Hub... | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Last month, Charles Rose Architects completed a highly innovative zero-net-energy building- a 24,000 square-foot transit center and government office, built with federal stimulus funds, the first of its type in Massachusetts and the region.

Also designated as a future train depot on the Connecticut River corridor, the John W. Olver Transit Center in Greenfield is designed to generate through renewable sources all the energy that it uses—meaning its net-energy consumption over the course of a year will be zero.

The transit center, which had a construction budget of $12.8 million at the time Gov. Patrick broke ground for the project in April 2009, came in at $10.4 million. The building will produce the energy it uses in a sustainable way: through solar and geothermal sources, and a boiler on site fueled by wood pellets, a lumber-industry byproduct...

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Valley Residence In Rural Canada Topping A Narrow Ridge

Valley Residence In Rural Canada Topping A Narrow Ridge | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Located in a valley of rural Canada, this exemplary residence was designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, the same architect that worked on the Port Townsend Residence in Washington. The modern rural house spreads over 6,300 square meters along the crest of a narrow ridge, hence its name – the Ridge House.

Prepared to be both a social and a solitary space, the modern house invites sunlight in, but protects the interiors from too much sun with the help of large overhangs across its single sloped roof. Defined by the surrounding presence of an evergreen and hardwood forest, this quiet retreat is described by the architects: “After entering the site through a thick grove of evergreens, the drive turns to reveal the first glimpse of the home— a long, linear core of cut stone sliding under a single slope roof and through a delicate glass volume...

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The Shed: a Simple + Elegant Prefab Shelter

The Shed: a Simple + Elegant Prefab Shelter | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
Designed by collective Huff Projects, The Shed is a simple and elegant shelter completely prefab off-site.

It celebrates waste-free building through the use of prefabricated components. Made from a standard steel frame, modular walls, roof trusses and battens, this clever building in Springfield, Missouri, was built from a minimal kit of parts. Design collective Huff Projects erected the structure that can be used for anything from storing gardening tools to having a meal with the family or hosting a friend.

The Shed is protected from the elements by a continuous cladding all through its roof and outside walls. Almost like a second skin, the protection is made from white oak taken from the property’s own surroundings. Featuring one translucent end, the Shed also lets in plenty of sunlight to lessen the need for artificial lighting... 

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Brick Factory Transformed Into the Sustainable Evergreen Headquarters in Toronto

Brick Factory Transformed Into the Sustainable Evergreen Headquarters in Toronto | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

What was once a brick factory in Toronto is now the headquarters for the Evergreen Foundation and a thriving hub for nature, education, and culture. The green renovation project called Evergreen Brick Works was led by Diamond Schmitt Architects and resulted in new facilities for the organization and a rehabilitated brownfield in Toronto's Don Valley. They also constructed a new LEED Platinum-designed building called the Centre For Green Cities to house the admin, education and welcome center for the non-profit organization...

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Three Homes Take Advantage of Environment, Site + Terrain in Sweden

Three Homes Take Advantage of Environment, Site + Terrain in Sweden | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Waldemarson Berglund Arkitekter designed three identical houses situated on a steep slope in the mountainous north of Sweden.

Defined by wood and having a minimum impact on the environment, the residences were especially developed for recreational purposes. The layout of the houses is a consequense of the building regulations and a response to the topography of the site. The great scenery and the mountains across the Ĺre lake can be enjoyed trough the piercing windows.

Here is more from the official architects’ description: “A connection axis extents along the building’s long side, divided in four generously-sized sets of stairs. This space allows a view of the whole house from the entrance to the opposite end. Height difference between the highest and lowest point is 31 stairs, as in any other 1 ½ story house with two staircases. The difference, though, is that these buildings have 5 individual levels. The upper floors shelter the hall, two bedrooms, bathroom and sauna, and the two bottom levels accommodate the kitchen and the living room, with a terrace facing south“.

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Villa Extension Merges Old and New

Villa Extension Merges Old and New | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

This Montmorency Residence was re-designed by Francesca De Marchi of Paris-based NIM Architecture to include a contemporary addition providing the owners with a merger of old and new. With a southeast orientation and placed on a slightly sloped land, the residence spotted lackedncomfortable light-flooded social spaces, so this white volumetric attachment was designed to shelter the kitchen, dining room and lounge.

 

Built within the limits marked by urban regulations, this extension showcases a green roof underneath which extensive use of glazing allows sunlight to penetrate deep into the interiors. Privacy was obtained by focusing transparency away from neighboring houses and creating a family-friendly environment complete with terrace and a green lawn.

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Biomorphic House by Pavie Architects & Design

Biomorphic House by Pavie Architects & Design | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Biomorphic House with organic skin designed by Pavie Architects & Design has aerodynamic shapes, and is situated 1000 meters over the Mediterranean Sea. It's formed to withstand winter storms perfectly and provides enough windows with transparent photovoltaic-cells to secure power sufficient for the heating, and electricity needs. The interior design is the natural extension of the inside of the skin. Free shaped floors, walls and ceilings give the feeling of a super luxurious space ship.

This pilot project, through a self-powered water electrolyze process, converts the obtained energy to hydrogen and saves it for a future use. Later, a hydrogen powered PEM-Fuel-Cell generator can supply electricity to the house, releasing pure water and reusable heat as side-products...

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East Coast Passivhaus with a Green Roof

East Coast Passivhaus with a Green Roof | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

As of today, the first house designed and built to the Passivhaus standard in Arlington is now on the market.  

Arlington Passivhaus was built with Neopor EPS SIPs, Intus triple-pane windows, and an exterior of fiber cement, precast concrete, and synthetic stucco (EIFS). The home has an emphasis on airtightness and energy efficiency, with a 700-square-foot green roof, contemporary interior finishes, and landscape that reduces stormwater runoff.

The interior is outfitted with Energy Star appliances, WaterSense fixtures, LED and CFL lighting, an energy recovery ventilator, a heat-pump water heater, mini-split HVAC system, zero-VOC paints and adhesives, bamboo floors, and no-added formaldehyde cabinets...

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Shipping Containers and the Downtown Project

Shipping Containers and the Downtown Project | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

When you think about urban revitalization, you may envision a city center filled with derelict, abandoned buildings just waiting to be repurposed. Our vision of downtown is different. Rather than being filled with empty buildings, we have a lot of empty land. Until new buildings are completed, which can be a long process, we need spaces to house new business.
To do address these needs, flexible urbanism is being employed to temporarily transform underused, high value urban areas by installing repurposed shipping containers to house small businesses such as cafes, boutiques, bars & galleries. These plans will incorporate community space, outdoor seating, and retractable shade structures while activating vacant lots in the heart of downtown...

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Parkview Green: China's LEED Platinum Mixed-use Development

Parkview Green: China's LEED Platinum Mixed-use Development | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
Green features are adopted in creating a sustainable mixed-use development
Parkview Green is a LEED®-CS Platinum certified mixed-use development with grade-A office space, a six-star hotel and retail facilities. It is four buildings encased in a glass and ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) envelop that creates an easily controlled microclimate which keeps energy bills at a minimum over the projects lifecycle.

The project is designed by Hong Kong-based architects Integrated Design Associates, while Arup provided structural, MEP, façade, fire, building physics, geotechnical and traffic engineering.

Key passive and active green features adopted in this development include an environmental envelop, earth pre-cooling system introducing air underground before entering the interior, chilled ceiling radiant cooling, and under-floor air conditioning. These well-orchestrated passive and active systems significantly reduce cooling and heating energy...

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Sustainable Contemporary Residence in San Diego, California

Sustainable Contemporary Residence in San Diego, California | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

This contemporary home is located in Point Loma, and was designed by the San Francisco based team at Macy Architecture.

The owners of the residence had one goal in mind, and that was to build a home that would make the most of its site by being both low maintenance while incorporating a variety of sustainable features into the house right down to the kitchen garden located on the property...

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Absolute Comfort Shaping Nevada Desert Vacation Home

Absolute Comfort Shaping Nevada Desert Vacation Home | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Designed to occupy 1,200 square feet of building space and 900 square feet of exterior deck, this vacation home is actually the prototype of the T-modulome, a prefabricated building system first developed in 2002 by Nottoscale.

 

This stretch of desert near Scotty’s Junction, Nevada, had to be transformed in order to accommodate a modern lifestyle – a well was dug and a leach field created, electricity was brought to the site and a dirt path was built to lead up to the wood, concrete and glass house.

The powerful connection between the inside and outside was created by placing floor-to-ceiling windows in all spaces and slightly raised the building on a concrete plinth to take advantage of the views...

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Passive House And Net Zero: The Zero E House

Passive House And Net Zero: The Zero E House | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The Zero E House was designed by Neil Burford and Alex Pearson of Joseph Thurrott Architects of Dundee, Scotland.

The architects envisioned a home constructed of timber, zinc, and polycarbonate cladding, with cross-laminated timber (CLT) structural walls. CLT –which has been used in Europe for a decade or so, but has yet to see widespread use in North America — is an engineered mass timber product that bears little resemblance to traditional wood. It is composed of dense, solid panels of wood engineered for strength through layers of laminations that meet (and in some cases exceed) the performance of reinforced concrete, but with less ecological impact.

These walls, combined with hemp fiber insulation, form the tight, highly insulated building envelope necessary to keep heating and cooling costs to an absolute minimum, as per Passive House strategy, while putting less demand on the home’s renewable energy systems in order to achieve net zero status...

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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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Coates Design Architects’ Eco-Pak Container homes

Coates Design Architects’ Eco-Pak Container homes | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Seattle Architect Matthew Coates, President of Coates Design Architects, has teamed up with Aircraft Structural Engineer James Green of Building Container LLC, to create a container home like no other.

Imagine a container that can be delivered to nearly any site on the globe and enclosed within are the structural components to build a house. Better yet….there’s no need to return the container; it becomes an integral part of the structure.

The Coates-Green team turns the idea of container homes inside out, literally.

The traditional container home uses the box as shelter; the team’s improved concept integrates the container into the structure of the home. For example, it may be reborn as the kitchen, living room or bedroom. The original idea came about when Green designed and built a home in remote Turkey on a site stipulating no concrete foundation. Using a shipping container, the conventional concrete foundation was replaced with removable frames to support the container and extended framework, forming the structure for the house...

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Casa G Responds to the Landscape

Casa G Responds to the Landscape | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
Gudmundur Jonsson Arkitektkontor designed this vacational house respecting the landscape that surrounds the house. The concept of Casa G is based on reading and feedback to the landscape it exists on. The characteristic landscape situation and view differences distinctively in each direction. Towards south the view to the sea and islands, towards north the characteristic triangular mountain, towards east the glacier and towards west the river and canyon.

Those elements are the creator of the project, the transitions between the landscape views giving the entrance from the north and the curved plan giving a vitalized focus towards the seaside in south. When turning back the north view towards the mountain is as well enhanced with the widening view due to the fan-shape of the tilting wooden wall, being a mediator between the northern and southern landscape characteristic...

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Fig Tree Pocket House 2: a modern family home with an internal bamboo garden

Fig Tree Pocket House 2: a modern family home with an internal bamboo garden | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The brief for the Fig Tree Pocket house requested a modern 2 storey family home, to be built on a sloping north facing bushland site. The house is organized into 2 zones: carport, arrival & sleeping upstairs, and living, pool & courtyard downstairs. An internal 2 story linear bamboo garden along the length of the house is a shared reference point. The garden also allows for planning on both levels to enhance cross ventilation and access to daylight.

The house is anchored into the slope of the land, using the earth against walls for external thermal mass, which helps reduce heat loss in winter and maintain a cool indoor air temperature during summer, reducing the need for extra mechanical cooling or heating.

The overhang of the upper level bedroom “box” is positioned to allow for the black slate tiles on the living room slab to heat up during winter and release embodied heat during the evening. In summer the slab is shaded, while the internal 2 storey garden facilitates cross ventilation via northerly breezes through the living room...

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Haus W in Germany by Kraus Schonberg Architects

Haus W in Germany by Kraus Schonberg Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
A pre-fabricated, low energy house by Kraus Schonberg Architects. One big connected space, separated by an upper and a lower part.

 

The volume of the space is created by rooms of various heights, corresponding to their individual function. The lower part rest below ground level creating a direct view into the garden while standing up and a privacy feel while sitting down.

 

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Hillside Residence Taking Advantage Of The Surroundings

Hillside Residence Taking Advantage Of The Surroundings | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Part of a hillside housing project named Les Terrasses Cap-à-l’Aigle and located in Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada, this stunning modern residence benefits from panoramic views over the St. Lawrence River and surrounding mountainscape. Known as Malbaie VI Marée Basse, the two story residential development was designed by Montreal-based studio Mu Architecture and completed last September.

Occupying 3,200 square foot, two cedar shingle volumes are perfectly positioned for massive sunlight intake and provide the owners with beautiful panoramas from multiple vantage points.

A terrace the inhabitants stay strongly connected to the surroundings.

Under the house’s green roof, bedrooms occupy the higher level and social spaces, the lower one. On the ground floor, a red metal spiral staircase visually connecting the open floor plan. Cedar ceilings pierced by lights float over radiant concrete floors, bounding the interior design together...

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The House That Wind Built

The House That Wind Built | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
Renewable energy reigns at House of Vestas, a new LEED Platinum office building for a global wind-turbine manufacturer in Aarhus, Denmark.

It seems appropriate that renewable energy abounds at the House of Vestas, a 30,500-square-meter office building that is the anchor of the wind-turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind System’s campus in Aarhus, Denmark. A geothermal system snakes a total of 36 kilometers under a 10,000-square-meter triangular park—which links the new building to an existing building next door. The system is producing nearly 1,000 megawatts of power annually. A total of 850 square meters of photovoltaics is spread out between 350 square meters of solar hot-water heaters on the ground level, a separate installation on the roof of a southern office wing, and thin-film PVs in the skylight glass that tops the building’s central atrium. Missing from the renewable mix, however, is the backbone of Vestas’s business: wind...

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Beyond the Greenwash | Bioclimatic Architecture

Beyond the Greenwash | Bioclimatic Architecture | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
In the building industry, greenwashing is a constant challenge.

 

World-renowned architect Ken Yeang explains that bioclimatic architecture is a way to practice green building in a way that cuts through the greenwash, representing truly environmentally responsible, sustainable design.

In an interview with CNN, Yeang cites nature as his ‘biggest source of inspiration’ and notes that he has taken well-developed design principles from the natural world for more than 30 years. The concept of bioclimatic architecture encourages the intermingling of natural and built spaces, with the latter taking the former into the highest consideration.

Yeang states decisions made at the design stage can drastically cut carbon and eliminate future environmental issues.
“If 80% of the impact is caused by design, you can anticipate the impact at that stage and you can reduce the impact from 80% to the minimum.”
The architect cites finding a balance between the built and the natural as a key to mastering bioclimatic design. By balancing natural components with the artificial in a built development, a large-scale building can be offset by the number of plants and natural vegetation included throughout...

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