sustainable architecture
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sustainable architecture
design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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A Dream Beach House for the Eco-Minded...

A Dream Beach House for the Eco-Minded... | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
It’s a testament to the ebbing tide of starchitecture that some of the most admired new buildings of recent memory are the ones you hardly notice at all.

The design brief called for a very low-impact, easy to maintain summer home that provides necessary programmatic functions with minimum distractions from the land and the view. The design response situates the structure among mature fir trees located directly between the beach and an upland meadow, with walls of glass opening out to both. Steel columns minimize visible structure from the interior, while metal-clad wall elements provide a bold form when seen from the exterior. The roof is vegetated, which filters rainwater that in turn is collected and stored for use in irrigation. Potable hot water and hydronic heating are aided by solar collectors on the roof, and PV panel s above the vegetable garden provide supplemental electricity. The home is intended for occupancy from May through October, and systems have been designed to zero out electricity use over the course of a full year.

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The Phipps Conservatory & Center for Sustainable Landscapes

The Phipps Conservatory & Center for Sustainable Landscapes | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
A Pittsburgh plant conservatory aims to be a pioneer in green building -- both inside and out.

The conservatory built a LEED silver-certified visitors center and a new tropical forest conservatory tricked out with "earth tubes" and "energy blankets" that help maintain equatorial temperatures through the depths of Steel City winters. Phipps, remembered fondly for its jungle-like interior by generations of school kids, also hosts all manner of conservation-oriented classes and conferences.

Phipps' latest project - the Center for Sustainable Landscapes, an educational center that should be finished in spring of 2012 - goes even further...

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Creative Concrete

Creative Concrete | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
When we think of sustainability, images of solar panels, thick insulation, and rainwater cisterns might come to mind. But Canadian architect and researcher Mark West is rethinking the bones of concrete structures to find ways to make them as efficient as possible.

West is director of the University of Manitoba's Centre for Architectural Structures and Technology (CAST), where the research revolves around fabric-formed concrete. The process uses pliable fabric to make innovative, efficient structural shapes.

Researchers from around the world join architecture students in a 5,500-square-foot (510-square-meter) hands-on laboratory that looks more like a precast plant than an educational space. Out of this marriage of art, architecture, engineering, and construction comes a unique vocabulary of organic, sensual, efficient structural form...

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