sustainable architecture
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sustainable architecture
design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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A Unique, Compact and Energy Positive Concept Home

A Unique, Compact and Energy Positive Concept Home | sustainable architecture |

Architect Paul Lukez has come up with a concept for a compact home, which would be super insulated and energy positive. While still in the concept stage, it does look quite promising. The design of the home was inspired by New England’s barns and New York’s lofts and that is quite a mixture...

Catherine Devin's curator insight, September 15, 2015 2:40 AM

Double inspiration pour un projet de maison à énergie positive, qui au delà d'assurer le confort thermique, cherche aussi à procurer un habitat au quotidien agréable et stylé.

SustainOurEarth's curator insight, September 15, 2015 3:21 AM

add your insight ...

Vulcan Reviews's curator insight, October 9, 2015 6:51 AM

This is an energy-saving house.

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Energy-positive townhouses power Boston’s grid with renewable energy

Energy-positive townhouses power Boston’s grid with renewable energy | sustainable architecture |
Interface Studio Architects (ISA)’s LEED Platinum Roxbury E+ townhouses are paving the way toward more energy-efficient housing in Boston. Completed in collaboration with local developer Urbanize, the energy-positive townhouses were created as part of the city’s E+ Green Building program, an initiative to pilot net-zero energy housing prototypes. The energy-positive homes include many green technologies, such as solar panels, green roofs, rainwater harvesting, and triple-glazed windows.

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Boston's EpiCenter: Plans for the Largest Energy Positive Commercial Building on the East Coast

Boston's EpiCenter: Plans for the Largest Energy Positive Commercial Building on the East Coast | sustainable architecture |

Behnisch Architekten has big, green aspirations for its latest project, the EpiCenter, fittingly located in Boston’s Innovation District, the burgeoning neighborhood designed for such far-reaching goals. The firm just unveiled plans for a new expanded headquarters for the non-profit, Artists for Humanity (AFH), an organization dedicated to helping underserved youth through paid employment opportunities in the arts.

According to Behnisch, the addition will make the existing LEED Platinum certified building—the city’s first—designed by local firm Arrrowstreet, even greener, with the hope of becoming the largest energy positive commercial building on the East Coast. The building already was an AIA COTE Top Ten winner.

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Snøhetta's Powerhouse at Brattorkaia is the World's Northernmost Energy-Positive Office Building

Snøhetta's Powerhouse at Brattorkaia is the World's Northernmost Energy-Positive Office Building | sustainable architecture |

Powerhouse at Brattorkaia will make use of solar cells, heat pumps, and sea water to become the world's most Northernmost energy-positive building. Located in downtown Trondheim, this office building was designed by Snøhetta, and received the environmental classification "Outstanding" from BREEAM NOR. It's yet another example of why Norway is such a sustainability role model and demonstrates that renewables make sense even in cold northern climes.

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Taiwan Skyscraper's Facade Covered in Thousands of Wind Turbines

Taiwan Skyscraper's Facade Covered in Thousands of Wind Turbines | sustainable architecture |

Beijing-based Decode Urbanism Office has designed a 1,150 foot (350m) skyscraper located in Taichung City, Taiwan, to house the city’s Department of Urban Development, commercial concerns, museums, retail areas and exhibitions spaces. 

The building’s design was inspired by the plum blossom, the national flower of China and Taiwan. The building’s twisting and turning structure is intended to evoke the experience of plum blossoms bursting into bloom.

To do so, the facade has thousands of small diamond shaped wind turbines, which produce enough energy to power the building. These wind generators are set into the facade grid, oscillating as wind skirts the building.

Lola Ripollés's curator insight, October 13, 2013 2:25 PM

Qué os parece una fachada compuesta por miles de pequeñas turbinas que generan  energía para el consumo del edificio?

Un propuesta de belleza orgánica y filosofía sostenible para esta torre de Taichung City, en Taiwan,

JMS1kiddz's curator insight, October 15, 2013 10:42 AM

new and innovative way to produce power for an entire building. The source of energy is embedded in the architecture. - Madi Chaput

JMS1kiddz's curator insight, October 16, 2013 7:17 AM

Yet again another environmentally friendly design. This building has been designed to generate its own energy and power LED lighting throughout the building. This is done through the power of wind turbines which the building is completely surrounded by. It is becoming the newest trend in design to create buildings and structures that are helpful to the environment.

-Heather Leigh Arends

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The Village Centre at the National Arboretum, Canberra

The Village Centre at the National Arboretum, Canberra | sustainable architecture |

Tonkin Zulaikha Greer collaborated with Taylor Cullity Lethlean to design The Village Centre for the National Arboretum in Canberra, Australia.

The architecture develops the long-standing tradition of significant garden buildings as transparent enclosures with dramatic internal volumes and sense of indoor-outdoor connection.

The exterior of the building is a sculptural form in the rolling topography of the site, contrasting low stone-clad wings with a high arching roof clad in weathered zinc, the form of which is inspired by the fronds of the adjoining forest of Chilean Wine Palms.

Internally, the innovative timber structure combines low environmental impact with a dramatic forest-like form, designed in a series of geometrical arcs.

The building incorporates a range of energy-saving measures, supporting the environmental value of the Arboretum as a whole, with a very low-energy envelope and structure.

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The World Green Center in Chile Aims To Reshape the Capital’s Cityscape

The World Green Center in Chile Aims To Reshape the Capital’s Cityscape | sustainable architecture |

The World Green Center in Chile aims to maximize the amount of public spaces through sustainable design.

The LEED-pending project in Chile has a sprawling green roof designed by Santiago-based cCe Arquitectos. More than 72% of the ground surface is utilized as green space and the completely landscaped roof is covered with shaded terraces and gardens that reduce the heat island effect. Passive design is incorporated within the façade, which reduces solar radiation and minimizes the energy used for air conditioning.

A VRV climate control system is designed to save up to 40% of the total energy compared to traditional office buildings in Santiago. Focusing specifically on the worker activity, the architects made sure each part of the work day is improved through a connection to nature – from a meeting room to an outdoors lunch break.

Read more and find additional photos at the article link.

Immotopic's curator insight, July 26, 2013 2:50 AM

Future is green ;-)

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A Net-Zero Energy Campus in the Desert Creates Renewable Clean Energy

A Net-Zero Energy Campus in the Desert Creates Renewable Clean Energy | sustainable architecture |

Communities located in harsh climates – such as Palm Springs, one of the driest spots in North America – are often criticized for the enormous resources that are expended to make the climate fit for humans.

A plan for a new college campus in the arid region, however, may change that perception. The firm of GA Architects and Engineers has recently unveiled Phase One of its plans for the new West Valley Campus at the College of the Desert in Palm Springs. According to HGA, despite the harsh climate, the new 119-acre site will become one of the most energy-efficient campuses in the United States and will actually produce more energy than it will consume.

“This project has forward-thinking goals that go beyond net-zero energy to embrace a ‘zero-plus plan’ that creates renewable clean energy rather than simply uses less energy,” said Patrick Thibaudeau, vice president of sustainable design at HGA.

Barlay Industries, Andrew Barlay's curator insight, June 16, 2013 11:58 AM

Something from nothing is allways the most desirable choice in a Sustainable Mode.

Dawn Mullen's comment, June 17, 2013 8:22 AM
This is what I am talking about. A great deal of the technology is already available today to utilize a forward thinking project like this one. I hope for the sake on the earth, and Grandchildren that this type of building becomes the NORMAL thing to do not the EXCEPTION.
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Taiwanese Wind Tower is Covered with Thousands of Wind Turbines and LED Lights

Taiwanese Wind Tower is Covered with Thousands of Wind Turbines and LED Lights | sustainable architecture |
Beijing-based Decode Urbanism Office has designed a tower with a façade composed of multiple wind-driven generators.

Thousands of wind turbines will produce enough energy to power the entire building. At night, the diamond-shaped generators are lit with thousands of LED lights incorporated into the building envelope.

The 350-meter (1,150-foot) structure, in Taichung City, China, will house the city’s Department of Urban Development, as well as commercial activities.

The tower’s façade, inspired by the plum blossom — China and Taiwan's  national flower – reacts to changes in direction and intensity of the wind, creating a truly dynamic visual effect. Similarly, mechanical wind power generators have LEDs, illuminating the façade and producing a pulsating flow of light, whose intensity and color adjust to correspond to changes in temperature and season.

The wind harnessing capability, along with the lighting that responds to local atmospheric conditions, makes this conceptual tower a true “decoder of nature.”

Federico Morabito's comment, May 18, 2013 5:41 AM
This is an example of "Smart Progress" is in an effort to channel the interests of research towards evolutionary solutions, through systematic monitoring of the quality process of mental and physical state of the individual with the 'environment.
Edmund Chan's comment, May 19, 2013 12:45 AM
What about routine maintenance ?
Clem Stanyon's comment, May 30, 2013 11:17 PM
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Green Innovation: First Bio-building Powered by Algae Opens in Hamburg

Green Innovation: First Bio-building Powered by Algae Opens in Hamburg | sustainable architecture |

The world's first algae-powered building is being piloted in Hamburg.

Designed by multinational firm Arup, features panel glass bioreactors on a facade containing microalgae that generate biomass and heat, serving as a renewable energy source.

The systems provide insulation for the building- 129 bioreactors have been fitted to the southwest and southeast faces of the building. They are controlled by an energy management center in which solar thermal heat and algae are harvested and stored to be used to create hot water.

Jan Wurm, Arup’s Europe Research Leader, said: 'Using bio-chemical processes in the facade of a building to create shade and energy is a really innovative concept. 

'It might well become a sustainable solution for energy production in urban areas, so it is great to see it being tested in a real-life scenario.'

The news comes after Arup announced their vision for the future of skyscrapers which suggested that buildings would be 'living' buildings powered by algae that respond automatically to the weather and the changing needs of inhabitants...

ParadigmGallery's curator insight, April 11, 2013 7:05 PM

I am interested to follow this story and to learn more details about the specific sources for the algae and a bit more of the science behind it.

ParadigmGallery's comment, April 11, 2013 10:59 PM
Thanks so much for your thoughts.....
Noor Fatima's comment, April 12, 2013 11:32 AM
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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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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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The UK’s Most ‘Outstanding’ Green Building

The UK’s Most ‘Outstanding’ Green Building | sustainable architecture |

BREEAM is the world’s foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings, with 200,000 buildings certified and around a million registered for assessment since it was first launched in 1990.

The largest commercial office in Manchester has now become the highest scoring BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ building in the UK with a score of 95.32%.

Designed by 3DReid, The Co-operative Group’s new £115 million low-energy, highly sustainable headquarters brings their 3,500 staff under one roof in a spectacular 500,000 square foot building.  

The building, known as 1 Angel Square, has been designed to deliver a 50 per cent reduction in energy consumption compared to The Co-operative’s current Manchester complex and an 80 per cent reduction in carbon. This will lead to operating costs being lowered by up to 30 per cent...

GlazingRefurbishment's curator insight, December 21, 2012 4:42 AM

A hugely ambitious design concept. With so much glass however the control of the intenl environment will be a major challenge

association concert urbain's curator insight, December 21, 2012 6:20 AM



via Territori ‏


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Get Off the Grid With This Eco-Powered Micro-Home

Get Off the Grid With This Eco-Powered Micro-Home | sustainable architecture |
A green-energy pod that gives you total independance, anywhere you go.

Next week, at Vienna’s Pioneers Festival, attendees will be the first to lay their eyes on the new, stylish “smart home” that allows you to live completely off the grid. It’s called the “Ecocapsule,” and it’s a wind and solar-powered 14 x 7 x 7-foot pod that gives you total independence. The Ecocapsule hitches to the back of your car and, if it’s electric, will keep it charged with its 9700 Watt-hour battery...

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Off the Grid: Snøhetta's Norwegian Eco-home

Off the Grid: Snøhetta's Norwegian Eco-home | sustainable architecture |
A Norwegian eco home incorporates a heated pool and a sauna, but still produces three times more electricity than it uses.

Researchers designed the house with a solar-powered roof in collaboration with architects firm Snøhetta. Heat exchangers use excess energy to heat the outside swimming pool and the house even has its own sauna.
Insulation is so good that each floor has just one radiator, and each room has sensors to ensure that light and heat is directed efficiently. It produces 23,200kWh of energy a year but requires just 7,272kW to run.
It may look like a Portacabin that has been involved in a nasty accident, but this slanting roofed building is actually the ultimate ecohome...

Catherine Devin's curator insight, January 21, 2015 4:46 AM

Projet probablement coûteux, tout comme les chalets avec piscine chauffée en plein air dans les Alpes finalement, conçus sans approche de performance énergétique.

Dans la recherche de durabilité, il s'agit moins de renoncer au confort et aux plaisirs de la vie que de réévaluer ceux-ci  et aborder ses projets avec une posture ouverte,  un zeste d'ambition et une envie de mobiliser de nouveaux savoir-faire.

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Studio Gang to regenerate former power plant as a student centre

Studio Gang to regenerate former power plant as a student centre | sustainable architecture |
Chicago studio Studio Gang Architects has revealed plans to convert a decommissioned power plant in Wisconsin, USA, into new facilities for an arts college.

Beloit College has asked Studio Gang to develop the site between the institution's existing campus and the riverfront of Beloit, located close to the state border with Illinois. 

The decommissioned coal-burning power plant will be overhauled to include both educational and recreational spaces for students, including a coffee shop, lounges, a conference centre, a lecture hall and a theatre.

"We're excited to work with Beloit College to transform an outmoded source of electricity into a wellspring of human energy," said studio founder Jeanne Gang. "Our hope is that by reclaiming the Beloit waterfront for people, our project will inspire other communities around the globe to see human well-being as vitally interconnected with a healthy and clean environment."

Winai Kajompetch's curator insight, November 7, 2014 3:14 AM

add your insight...

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An Energy-Saving, Ecological Glass Box Above the Landscape

An Energy-Saving, Ecological Glass Box Above the Landscape | sustainable architecture |

Amsterdam firm Paul de Ruiter Architects designed a home to provide a comfortable environment all year round while minimising its energy use and impact on a site in a protected ecological area.

In order to build on the site, which is a habitat for many plants and animals, the owners were required to return what had previously been farmland to its original pre-agricultural state. They planted 71,000 young trees that will eventually obscure the house from view and added a rectangular pond above the underground storey.

Energy-saving techniques employed in the building include a fabric screen built into the insulated glazed facade that can be rolled down to reflect the sun, and create a void between the glass and the screen through which ventilation flows. Wood from the private forest will be burned to heat water for the house once the trees have matured, while photovoltaic cells on the roof and a planned windmill will generate electricity.

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The +Energy House in Germany

The +Energy House in Germany | sustainable architecture |

From the architect:

The +Energy House lies down as a flat structure on the sloping site and forms at the upper floor a platform that connects inside and outside together and offers a magnificent view of the countryside. The two-storey structure incorporates mixed construction systems: concrete on the ground floor, with wood upstairs.

Additionally, dowelled laminated timber elements enable the structure to be entirely built without glues, with a clients request for pollution-free construction and ecological building materials.

notliebags's comment, September 27, 2013 12:18 PM
cool design
António Sousa Correia's curator insight, September 27, 2013 7:56 PM


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Dalian International Conference Center: Technology, Construction & Sustainability

Dalian International Conference Center: Technology, Construction & Sustainability | sustainable architecture |

The Dalian International Conference Center has both to reflect the promising modern future of Dalian and its tradition as an important port, trade, industry and tourism city, which is undergoing a wave of transformation on coastal brownfield and reclaimed land which will entirely change the city’s face within the next decade.

For this building, the focus of the architectural design and project development lies on technology, construction and their interplay. The technical systems fulfil the tasks required for the spatial use of the building automatically, invisibly and silently, working like a hybrid city within a building.
For the technical infrastructure of the building this means, that we have to consider a huge amount of people circulating inside the building at the same time, who expect high standards in circulation and comfort as well as a state of the art building with respect to high flexibility, low energy consumption and low use of natural resources...
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D.H.C. Energy Production Center by Alday Jover Arquitectura y Paisaje

D.H.C. Energy Production Center by Alday Jover Arquitectura y Paisaje | sustainable architecture |

In Zaragoza, the DHC (District Heating and Cooling) building is a Trigeneration plant that provides heating and cooling to all new buildings in the Meander in addition to co-generating electricity for the urban network.

This is a facility that would normally be located on the outskirts of the city or in industrial areas, and which would typically adopt concealment strategies. In this case, concealment is not an option and the building cannot be buried due to the flooding of the area. Instead, the project is designed for visibility and urban quality.

Exposed concrete walls with a supporting structure 25 centimeters thick enclose the boiler room with a corrugated polycarbonate roof where, under each wave, a line of RGB LED lights is controlled individually by a lighting control system. At night, light and images on the polycarbonate panels indicate the type of energy being generated and its intensity.

The system, connected to the energy central control, translates the operation of the plant into color and moving image, which measures and expresses the energy being produced, turning the building into an indicator that depends on the weather and its users.

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Net Zero Energy Building at Solar Decathlon China 2013

Net Zero Energy Building at Solar Decathlon China 2013 | sustainable architecture |

The Solar Decathlon China 2013 is a competition that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are Net Zero, affordable, energy-efficient and attractive.

Summer 2013 will be the first year that a team from Israel will participate in the competition, and their design incorporates passive design features, creating an improved thermal envelope to maintain a comfortable interior environment. Windows, walls, and floors collect, store, and distribute solar energy as heat in the winter and reject heat in the summer...

Since 2002, the Solar Decathlon has involved over 90 teams and influenced thousands of collegiate participants in interdisciplinary research, design and construction of energy-efficient, solar-powered houses.

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New NASA Base Shapes the Future of Green Building Technology

New NASA Base Shapes the Future of Green Building Technology | sustainable architecture |

NASA's new Sustainability Base was designed by William McDonough + Partners to embody the spirit of NASA while fostering collaboration, supporting health and well-being, and exceeding the requirements of LEED® Platinum.

An exoskeleton approach provides for structural stability during seismic events, facilitates glare-free daylighting and shading, natural ventilation and connection to the outdoors, and flexibility of the workspace with its column-free interior.

Atop the two-story 50,000-square-foot building is a solid-oxide fuel cell and rooftop solar arrays, supplying the building with more energy than it requires and sending surplus back to the grid at Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. Currently running on natural gas, the fuel cell is ready to be converted to landfill gas when a source is available...

Norm Miller's curator insight, May 14, 2013 10:48 AM

Very cool integration of technologies and here we see an emphasis on work environments as well wit a lot of collaborative space, no pun intended.'s curator insight, May 23, 2013 2:42 AM

Un nouvel exemple de batiment "green".

Sumaiya Banu's curator insight, August 23, 2013 1:34 AM

Software as a Service (SaaS) is the next generation technology that is being embraced widely by businesses today as it is cost efficient, maintenance free, flexible, and adaptable. PeopleWorks’ SaaS based application and software solutions with its cloud based platform offers mobility and ease of use, and can be accessed by employees anywhere and at any time. This helps businesses reduce turnaround time and save costs.

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Off-Grid, Design/Build: The House on Limekiln Line

Off-Grid, Design/Build: The House on Limekiln Line | sustainable architecture |

An extraordinary off grid home built with local materials, that fits right into the rural Ontario landscape, the House on Limekiln Line is an extraordinary artifact, addressing a 220 year old heritage, with a modern aesthetic.

From the architects:

The House on Limekiln Line, a design-build off-grid house, is sited in a rich agricultural landscape.The house is understood as both a mediator to and a microcosm of its immediate cultural and climatic context. An “observation shed”, the house is composed of a series of scales of spaces, each with distinct vantage points, visual alignments, and framed vistas to the larger context beyond, facilitating stewardship of and respect for the productive landscape in which it sits...

Natalie Curtis's curator insight, April 19, 2013 9:22 AM

Off grid living at its finest- definitely needs to be explored more in some cases. The local materials are a great way of resourcing too!

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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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Bridge House: Self-Sufficient Residence in the Netherlands

Bridge House: Self-Sufficient Residence in the Netherlands | sustainable architecture |

Designed by 123DV, the Bridge House in the Netherlands is set in a newly developed estate in the unique, tree-lined landscape of the Dutch Achterhoek, where unexpected scenes of rural beauty are always just around the bend.

Its setting is a wide-open space that frames the park, which blends into the landscape around it, and the property has been carefully restored to its original state. To make the soil less fertile, the top layer was removed and in the interest of sustainability, this soil was reused to form a raised area beneath the house. The result is a traditional Dutch terp dwelling, a house on top of a hill that contains the cellar.

Sustainability inspired the design, and the villa is self-sufficient. At any time, the occupants can go off the grid without losing their energy supply. Water is drawn from a private well, and the practical and sustainable built-in features include solar panels, roof and floor heating through thermal energy storage, reuse of rainwater, a septic tank, shielded power cables, and Heat Mirror glass. This unique glass acts as an efficient and environmentally friendly awning, cooling the house and keeping out excess heat...

More photos and information at the article link...

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