sustainable architecture
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sustainable architecture
design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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Green Building Case Study: Oregon's Center for Health and Healing

Green Building Case Study: Oregon's Center for Health and Healing | sustainable architecture |

The Center for Health and Healing at Oregon Health and Science University, a 400,000- square-foot, 16-story medical office building, was an ambitious project from the start.

Comprising physician practices, outpatient surgery, a wellness center, research labs, and educational space, it incorporates a host of sophisticated energy-efficiency measures, water-conserving technologies, and other green features in an effort to show what’s possible in the often conservative market of medical office buildings. Those ambitious goals made it an especially valuable target for a comprehensive building performance study that took place about two years after occupancy.

The study team deployed an occupant survey, analyzed utility bills, and compared the building’s performance to the goals that had been set for it.

Norm Miller's curator insight, October 17, 2015 12:38 PM

Hospitals are among the worst buildings for energy efficiency, clean air and efficient waste disposal, not to mention clean visitor and health worker hands.   But these newer examples show they can be dramatically improved saving energy and improving health.

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A Sustainable Home in Silicon Valley

A Sustainable Home in Silicon Valley | sustainable architecture |

Spatial efficiency meets energy efficiency in this Bay Area home designed by an architect for his parents.

Designed by San Francisco-based Spiegel Aihara Workshop (SAW), the Cotton Street residence integrates elements of the ranch house and adapts them to our increasing need for a greener architecture. The architects drew from a wide array of design strategies in order to make the building more sustainable, striving for maximum flexibility of living configurations along with high energy savings. Designed with a sense of consideration for the site, the residence takes advantage of natural lighting and passive ventilation, while its owners equipped the spaces with energy efficient appliances, radiant floor heating, and a solar system for energy generation.

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A Low-Cost, High-Efficiency Ecological Home on the Scottish Isle of Skye

A Low-Cost, High-Efficiency Ecological Home on the Scottish Isle of Skye | sustainable architecture |

Built on the Isle of Skye, this remote eco home in Fiscovaig is both low cost and ultra-efficient. It has been affectionately named the Hen House by the owners and has some of the best views over the Scottish island.

This was intended to be a highly sustainable home, but instead of spending excessive amounts of a tight budget on elaborate technologies such as ground-source heat pumps or wind turbines, the spaces are ultra-insulated to achieve fuel efficiency, a cost effective approach sometimes referred to as eco minimalism...

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Sky City, China: World's tallest prefab building breaks ground in June

Sky City, China: World's tallest prefab building breaks ground in June | sustainable architecture |

Sky City in Changsha, China, will be 2750 feet tall, 220 stories, housing 30,000 people in 4450 apartments, with excavation and construction slated to begin in June, 2013.

Aiming to accommodate a growing population, the skyscraper is considered a "pragmatic" building, designed for efficiency, affordability, replicability.

The Sky City concept significantly reduces the per capita use of land, and the associated CO2 emissions generated, thus providing a means of large-scale development with a significantly lower impact on the environment.

As a result, a resident of Sky City will be using 1/100th the average land per person- learn more about this innovative building concept and its sustainable features at Treehugger.

Sofi Lapizco's curator insight, May 19, 2013 12:05 AM

En esto se muestra el diseño de un edificio el cual fue pensado en algunos de los gustos de las demas personas, pensado para que sea atractivo para todos y llamativo.

Sky City en Changsha, China, será 2.750 metros de altura, 220 pisos, viviendas 30.000 personas en 4.450 viviendas, con la excavación y la construcción debieran comenzar en junio de 2013.

Con el objetivo de dar cabida a una población cada vez mayor, el rascacielos se considera un edificio "pragmático", diseñado para la eficiencia, la asequibilidad, la replicabilidad.

El concepto Sky City reduce significativamente el uso per cápita de la tierra, y las emisiones de CO2 asociadas generadas, lo que proporciona un medio para el desarrollo a gran escala con un impacto mucho menor sobre el medio ambiente.

Como resultado, un residente de la ciudad del cielo va a utilizar 1/100o la tierra media por persona de aprender más acerca de este concepto innovador edificio y sus características sostenibles en Treehugger.

Robert T. Preston's curator insight, June 2, 2013 1:24 PM

Article about the new megalithic "Sky City" building breaking ground, this month.  A half mile tall, it will be huge, and will cut the human footprint down considerably, from people with standard homes.

Robert T. Preston's comment, June 6, 2013 9:33 PM
My wife works with the Chinese on many projects. They are quite ambitious, but occasionally, their ambition gets ahead of safety, and quality control. Let's hope that with this beast, they get it all right.
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Earth Sciences Building / University of British Columbia

Earth Sciences Building / University of British Columbia | sustainable architecture |

The Earth Sciences Building is located on the Vancouver campus of the University of British Columbia. It is the new home for three of UBC’s Science departments—Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Statistics, and the Pacific Institute of the Mathematical Sciences.

In addition to enhancing the growing links between each department by providing valuable opportunities for shared learning and collaboration, the ESB expands the Faculty of Science’s public face and helps to create a vibrant and animated centre for the Faculty on campus.

The wood structure provides a welcoming environment, and as an added environmental benefit, the 1,317 cubic meters of wood in the structure store 1,094 tonnes of carbon, the equivalent of taking 415 cars off the road for a year. To provide rain cover for pedestrians, a solid wood canopy wraps three sides of the project. It extends from inside the building, where it forms the interior ceiling finish of the museum and cafe, blurring the boundaries between interior and exterior space...

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G house: Passive Design in Normandy, France

G house: Passive Design in Normandy, France | sustainable architecture |

The intermittent use of this structure near the Seine estuary, built as a holiday home, strongly influenced the environmental choices of the project. The challenge was to give priority to passive devices and architecture, offering a gain in terms of energy performance, but also for the comfort of the occupants.

The exposure has been a main priority : East-West orientation, oversized opening to the South, natural shades and solar control strategy, North side blind.

Great attention has been given to thermal insulation. Choosing wood slab, and a wood panelling structure insulated from the outside, has allowed us to obtain good levels of insulation and air tightness. Furthermore, the low-thermal-mass building, offered by the wooden structure is interesting in the context of a weekend home, that needs to heat up quickly, for short periods. A wood stove thus is sufficient to heat the home.Finally, the building is based on the dry process framework, with the benefits of prefabrication : quality building, swift assembly, and site protection...

Michael John Carter's curator insight, March 7, 2013 12:41 AM

Starting point is about the design!!

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Kilmore House: energy-efficient, modular architecture in Australia

Kilmore House: energy-efficient, modular architecture in Australia | sustainable architecture |

Kilmore House is a striking home composed as a series of pavilions. Designed by Intermode, the prefab arm of Carr Design, the home is a prototype of the firm's modular, modern home concept. 

The design makes use of efficient prefab construction, solar passive design and rainwater collection while creating a strong connection with the landscape.

Located on a 500-acre cattle ranch in Kilmore to the north of Melbourne, the home features floor-to-ceiling glazing that opens to the views and sunlight, while deep overhangs protect the interior from overheating. The home was prefabricated offsite and then assembled and completed in a relatively short time. Passive solar design is combined with renewable timber resources, extensive water storage, high performance walls, roof and glazing systems to create an efficient home. While definitely on the higher end of the prefab market, Intermode’s goal is to build modular home solutions that offer clients elegant, top end design principles at a predictable cost and within a predictable time frame...

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Green Building Sparks Battle for the Built Environment

Green Building Sparks Battle for the Built Environment | sustainable architecture |
The explosive growth in green buildings over the past decade is flattening the built environment.


An interesting take on the greening of the built environment...


Until recently, building automation, lighting controls, fire safety and other base building systems were designed and deployed to support a single building service and operated independently on proprietary network and cables. Green building’s emphasis on integrated design and whole-building performance has accelerated the convergence of these silos into a single platform, transforming a fragmented, vertical value chain into an integrated, horizontal value chain.

Simply put, the building management business is becoming flat and doing so fast. This convergence of information and communications technology and physical infrastructure in the built environment is providing building owners and occupants with actionable information about a building or space that allows them manage that building or space more effectively.

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Actively Passive - 1st building in New York region to meet tough Passivhaus energy standards

Actively Passive - 1st building in New York region to meet tough Passivhaus energy standards | sustainable architecture |

This artist studio in the town of Orient, Long Island is the first structure in the New York metropolitan region, and one of about a dozen in the United States, to be meet the stringent environmental standards of the Passivhaus Institute, based in Darmstadt, Germany.

 With its rough-hewn dark brown wood cladding, it uses 90 percent less heating energy than a typical house. Compare that with the average house built to the LEED rating system: Studies show that LEED-certified homes generally save less than 25 percent in heating energy over typical U.S. construction.


 Lower energy bills are only one of the selling points of Passivhaus, or Passive House, construction, which is becoming widespread in German speaking countries and Scandinavia. “The principal reason that people get these houses in Europe is that they are so incredibly comfortable,” says William Ryall, of Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects. “You have fresh air and humidity control all of the time and because of all the insulation, they are extraordinarily quiet in urban settings,” says Ryall...

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Singapore National Stadium: the World's Largest Single-Span Dome

Singapore National Stadium: the World's Largest Single-Span Dome | sustainable architecture |

Singapore’s new National Stadium has the world’s largest single-span dome. And by leaving it open at one end, its designers have given the multi-purpose pitch one of the most beautiful backdrops in sport, with one of the most efficient structures possible.

BogDan Wrzesinski's curator insight, December 3, 2014 2:37 AM

:) — ♛♥♪♥  Well done. Come Invite URL @GodSent247 #tsu

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Quilted greenhouse by C. F. Møller inflates to alter light and heat

Quilted greenhouse by C. F. Møller inflates to alter light and heat | sustainable architecture |

A facade of translucent plastic pillows can be pumped up to alter lighting and temperature inside this domed greenhouse, located at the Aarhus botanical gardens, by C. F. Møller.

The architects worked with membrane facade specialist formTL to create the ETFE plastic facade of the new Tropical House to provide an energy-efficient envelope with a quilted texture around the 18-metre-high structure.

The light and heat conditions within the building can be adapted by increasing or decreasing the air pressure inside the pillows, which then changes the translucence of the facade.

The domed shape and the building's orientation in relation to the points of the compass have been chosen because this precise format gives the smallest surface area coupled with the largest volume, as well as the best possible sunlight incidence in winter, and the least possible in summer," said the architects.

Norm Miller's curator insight, January 8, 2014 1:45 PM

very innovative  

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Gensler Tops Out World's Second Tallest Tower in Shanghai

Gensler Tops Out World's Second Tallest Tower in Shanghai | sustainable architecture |

Gensler announced that the world’s second tallest skyscraper has been topped out in Shanghai. The twisting, mixed-use Shanghai Tower soars up to 632 meters – a height only eclipsed by the the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The tower’s cleverly designed facade reduces wind load by 24 percent during typhoons, and sky gardens at the apex mimic traditional open courtyards.

The twisting form reduces the load by 24% during typhoons and also slashed construction costs by a whopping $58 million. The building is organized in nine vertical zones that distribute heating, cooling and water more efficiently, reducing these loads, as well as the costs of maintaining interior comfort. Sky gardens crown the mammoth building alongside observation decks and cultural facilities, while retail facilities are located at the base, with offices spread out between. The tower will open in 2014.

Norm Miller's curator insight, August 4, 2013 12:57 PM

My friend, Jim Young, recently returned from a personal visit to the top of this enormous building. The view was astounding.  Certainly anything this tall is very much an ego driven edifice.  Still there are lessons to be learned like how to better reduce sway and deal with wind or capture wind energy or capture elevator energy and so forth.  Tall buildings will need to be made more efficient in the future as we densify our world.   

Céline's curator insight, August 5, 2013 3:09 PM

Retrouver des photos sur le scoopit : ;

FRANK FEATHER ~ Business Futurist's curator insight, February 1, 2014 11:11 AM

Was topped out in August 2013 and opens this year.

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Off-grid itHouse: efficiency, passive systems & environmental design

Off-grid itHouse: efficiency, passive systems & environmental design | sustainable architecture |

The itHouse is a design system developed by Taalman Koch that utilizes a series of components prefabricated off-site to better control the construction waste, labor, and quality of the finished product.

Conceived as a small house with glass walls and open floor plan, the itHouse maximizes the relationship of the occupant to the surrounding landscape while minimizing the building’s impact on delicate site conditions.

Energy efficiency is achieved in the itHouse through passive heating and cooling, utilizing site orientation and cross ventilation, radiant floor heating, hi-efficacy appliances & equipment and the use of solar photovoltaic & thermal panels...

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Case Study in Efficiency: SOM's Diagonal Tower in South Korea

Case Study in Efficiency:  SOM's Diagonal Tower in South Korea | sustainable architecture |

SOM’s Diagonal Tower in Yongsan International Business District of Seoul, South Korea, is a case study in efficiency – the 343 meter tall tower successfully minimizes wind loads, reduces construction costs, provides dramatic views and meets strict energy codes by integrating massing, structure and performance.

The design of this landmark skyscraper, with glazed triangular facets, employs passive environmental control strategies within and on the façade – sunshades are positioned at varying angles on each building exposure, mitigating heat gain in the summer and permitting direct sunlight to warm the building’s interiors during the cold winter months. Triple pane glazed exterior curtain wall decreases energy loss, while active chilled beam system surpasses traditional air driven systems, using water as a medium for transferring heating and cooling energy, which results in less energy consumption along with great environmental comfort for building users...

Natalie Curtis's curator insight, March 22, 2013 9:10 AM

A really interesting and amazing building. Very self sufficient and really quite fascinating. It's enery-efficient and great to look at simultaneously.

Kang ji yun 's curator insight, May 25, 2013 11:59 PM

It is very wonderful building!! when it comes to the diagonal tower, it serves more than visual stimuli. Even though the Diagonal Tower is similar to Norman Foster's Hearst Tower in New York, it's megaframe reduces the amount of steel required by over 25% when compared to conventionally framed buildings.

Amelia's comment, May 26, 2013 9:59 AM
I hope we have one also in Daejeon.. hehe..
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Empire State Building goes green in more ways than one

Empire State Building goes green in more ways than one | sustainable architecture |
The Empire State Building is going green in more ways than one.

The Empire State Building was never intended to be low-impact. It was built as a symbol of the power of New York--and today, it's a surprising case study in the power of efficiency. A series of cost-effective, energy-efficient retrofits have dramatically reduced energy waste in the Empire State Building, saving $2.4 million in operating costs in the first year alone. In the next few years, when the project is complete, the building is expected to reduce its energy use by nearly 40 percent--and save about $4.4 million each year...

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Housing+ by C. F. Møller Architects: Zero-energy design

Housing+ by C. F. Møller Architects: Zero-energy design | sustainable architecture |

C. F. Møller Architects have designed a proposal for the pilot-project Housing+, for 60 zero-energy housing units on the Aalborg Waterfront. The design adhered to stringent energy goals through a combination of architectural design and user-focused technical innovation.

The Housing+ concept sets the ambitious target of a zero-energy housing scheme, which also includes the tenant’s primary household energy consumption. The complex will thus be 100% relying on renewables.

Central to the concept is the use of integrated energy-design to generate the concept of tomorrow’s housing, producing more energy than it consumes. This is achieved by optimizing the inherent passive gains of the main volume, and shaping it to take advantage of the orientation and potential for active solar energy-collection.

Visit the link for more images and details on this contemporary, green design that incorporates solar, passive strategies, and on-site renewable energy.

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Design for Ethiopia's New Stadium Blends Tradition With Modern Materials, Engineering

Design for Ethiopia's New Stadium Blends Tradition With Modern Materials, Engineering | sustainable architecture |

A consortium led by Australia’s LAVA has won an international competition to design a national stadium and sports village in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Its concept blends traditional Ethiopian architectural and construction practices with new technology to create a modern piece of infrastructure.

The team was selected by Ethiopia's Federal Sport Commission (FSC), which wants to replace the current 25,000-seat national stadium with a 60,000-seat stadium and related sports facilities. FSC wants to begin construction in 2014.

Traditional Ethiopian architecture includes examples of excavated historical structures, including ancient rock churches as well as dwellings and cisterns. The team's concept, which includes a sunken arena surrounded by grandstands formed from excavated material, captures elements of those traditional treatments in the stadium’s design...

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East Coast Passivhaus with a Green Roof

East Coast Passivhaus with a Green Roof | sustainable architecture |

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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