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sustainable architecture
design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
Curated by Lauren Moss
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Urban Farming: an Architect’s Answer to 'Green'?

Urban Farming: an Architect’s Answer to 'Green'? | sustainable architecture |

Sustainable. Local. Natural. Green. Architects talk about these words all the time but what do they really mean?

'To present the concept of Urban Farming, I’ve collected images of existing urban farms that are already “digging into” (on/over/through) the built environment – doing amazing things for food, people, cities, communities, and sustainability –  as well as conceptual urban farming architecture – projects which begin to rethink the word “farm,” especially in the urban environment, and offer a very bold response to the question, “What is Green Architecture?” Some of these ideas may seem pretty far-fetched, but I’ll bet not many people thought we’d be farming all over rooftops in NYC either! And they’re not only doing it, they’re doing it sustainably + successfully. Architecture could stand to learn a thing or 2 from these urban farms…'

Lenni Morkel-Kingsbury's curator insight, November 9, 2013 4:35 PM

RE comment that some of these ideas seem pretty far fetched...sad that we feel we need to temper ideas with statements  like this.Once upon a time landing on the moon and having personal computers also seemed far fetched. Thinking beyond current boundaries is what is needed to tackle issues of food production and sustainable living for the future , now!


"Naively ambitious, maybe. But as a twitter-mate noted, “creating food AND jobs and making productive use of vacant land and changing the urban landscape in a huge way!” is in my opinion extremely exciting and worth every effort of that ambition!"


.....I couldn't agree more!

Let' s get inspired and figure out how to make  far fetched  ideas work and work sustainably and effectively. 

Lili Dávila's curator insight, December 6, 2013 4:35 PM

Another green design to go local...

Urbane Group's curator insight, September 26, 2014 9:20 PM

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New green design methods to revolutionize the building industry...

New green design methods to revolutionize the building industry... | sustainable architecture |

If you want a preview of the downtown Vancouver streetscape in 2035, start with a walk down Granville or Georgia Street today.

Most of the buildings will still be standing. There will be additions and replacements, but most of the changes that will transform downtown's living, work and retail space will be undetectable from the sidewalk. That includes upgrades to water and energy systems in buildings that in 2012 are models of inefficiency by contemporary standards, let alone future ones.

"If you are thinking 2035, realistically 80% of the buildings that will be in existence at that time have already been constructed," said Innes Hood, a professional engineer and senior associate with Stantec Consulting, a consulting firm with 12,000 planners, architects, engineers, project managers and experts, working in teams to break down the boundaries between designers, contractors and investors, while using advanced computer modelling programs.

Retrofits are crucial.

One of Hood's main assignments is overseeing the redevelopment of existing buildings. More often than not, that means uncovering, through energy audits, glaring examples of waste - air leaks, inadequate insulation, inefficient heating and ventilation systems.

"We are involved in residential projects where we can achieve 80-per-cent reduction in energy use and become essentially greenhouse gas neutral through the implementation of cost-effective technologies," Hood said. "We're not having to strive to the leading edge. These are tried and true technologies around good building enclosures and high-performance mechanical systems such as heat pump technology...

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Melbourne: making green buildings the norm

Melbourne: making green buildings the norm | sustainable architecture |

Melbourne has inherited from a “new world city” grid: much of the middle and outer suburbs are characterized by low density sprawl and high dependency on the automobile. But in 1985, the Strategic Plan - meant to revitalize the Central Business District - started to reverse the pattern. This masterplan has subsequently benefited from Jan Gehl’s expertise, who recommended good sense and efficient measures such as tree plantings, restrictions on cars and improvement of the public spaces...

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Urban Art: Vancouver’s Mixed-Use Tower by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)

Urban Art: Vancouver’s Mixed-Use Tower by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) | sustainable architecture |

A BIG step forward for Vancouver’s latest mixed-use tower making international headlines, as the 497-foot tall proposal has received an “enthusiastic endorsement” from the city’s design panel.

The Bjarke Ingels Group-designed tower promises to add a twist to Vancouver’s skyline and create a new identity for an undefined section of town at the fringe of the city’s residential area. The 700,000 square foot complex – which contains shopping, housing and rental apartments – was praised by the panel for anchoring itself on a nine-story podium that occupies the disused, interstitial spaces found between the Granville Street Bridge’s entry and exit ramps.

BIG proposes to transform these spaces, which are dominated by cars and lack human activity, into a cultural and pedestrian destination. Glass “prisms” will provide retail and public space, while existing building facades and bridge surfaces will be converted into a dramatic outdoor gallery. In addition, Bjarke envisions the road which crosses below the bridge to become a host for outdoor markets, festivals and concerts. Impressed, panel member Peter Wreglesworth described the project as “whole composition that is urban art.”

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MOPTT Building in La Serena

MOPTT Building in La Serena | sustainable architecture |

The new regional headquarters of the Ministry of Public Works in La Serena city arises as a proposal that places institutional architecture at the service of the city and the region, creating public spaces that help to give urban shape to one of the city edges, connecting it to its geographical environment.

The new MOP building shares the spirit of the “Plan Serena”, which gave form to a new city image constructing its specific urban design in relation to its geography of terraces through parks and significant buildings, both strategically located...

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Designing a Built Environment Resilient to Climate Change

Designing a Built Environment Resilient to Climate Change | sustainable architecture |
Buildings, landscapes, infrastructure, and even entire cities can be designed to be more resilient to climate, environmental, and population changes, argued a high-profile panel at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) D.C.’s Design D.C. conference....
Venus Huang's curator insight, April 22, 2013 9:01 AM

This article relates to the use of green innovations in infrastructure to increase resilience and enable houses to better adapt to climate change, creating an eco-friendly community. This is a useful resource for teachers to utilize and implement in the classroom, which will assist stage one students to understand the impacts of climate change and learn to become environmentally friendly. It demonstrates how “green innovations” could be embedded in buildings such as solar panels, portable hot water systems and window louvers. These sustainable energy sources are important knowledge for students, especially to acknowledge the positive impacts it could bring to our environment.


Delivering explicit teaching strategies is necessary to assist students’ learning of the concepts mentioned above. We as teachers can engage Stage 1 students in interactive activities such as designing an environmental friendly home in groups, delineate their ideas on paper and allow them to present their proposed ideas. This activity promotes a cooperative learning approach in which students work together to achieve or complete shared or common tasks. Cooperative learning is a ‘constructivist method for fostering cognitive process.” (McInerney, 2010, p.271) The use of language during student-student interaction is a critical factor in enhancing children’s thinking. When children argue their point of view with other children, verify it and criticize the opinions of others, they are engaging a variety of ideas from which to learn.


McInerney, D., & McInerney, V. (2010). Educational Psychology: Constructing Learning. Sydney: Pearson Education Australia. Gilbert.