sustainable architecture
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sustainable architecture
design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
Curated by Lauren Moss
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Baubotanik: The Botanically Inspired Design System that Creates Living Buildings

Baubotanik: The Botanically Inspired Design System that Creates Living Buildings | sustainable architecture |

Timber buildings are regularly praised for their sustainability, as carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere by the trees remains locked in the structure of the building. But what if you could go one better, to design buildings that not only lock in carbon, but actively absorb carbon dioxide to strengthen their structure? In this article, Ansel Oommen explores the theory and techniques of Baubotanik, a system of building with live trees that attempts to do just that...

ParadigmGallery's curator insight, October 30, 2015 3:54 PM

Fascinating and inspiring a different view of the fusion of architecture. nature and science...

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Self-Sufficient Sub-Biosphere Designed to House 100 People Under the Sea

Self-Sufficient Sub-Biosphere Designed to House 100 People Under the Sea | sustainable architecture |
Phil Pauley's Sub-Biosphere 2 is a self sustaining underwater city for 100 inhabitants.

London designer Phil Pauley is a modern day Jules Verne who has spent the past 20 years designing an underwater city . For Pauley, Sub-Biosphere 2 is a viable structure he hopes to see built in his lifetime. The self-sustaining, futuristic biosphere is designed to house 100 inhabitants underwater, and it’s the latest in a slew of projects that aim to ease housing shortages for a growing global population...

Catherine Devin's curator insight, February 6, 2014 7:11 AM

Une utopie ?

Un lieu de curiosité et de villégiature temporaire ?

A quel prix environnemental ?

Il nous reste aussi des réserves de créativité pour construire des logements pour tous à terre.

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Interaction and Collaboration: Saunalahti School by VERSTAS Architects

Interaction and Collaboration: Saunalahti School by VERSTAS Architects | sustainable architecture |

In the “Future School” educational activities will increasingly take place outside the traditional classroom and introduce new ways of learning.

Saunalahti school is a building tailored to support the pedagogical ideas of a forward-looking school. In its operation, the school puts special emphasis on new ways of learning, art and physical education and collaboration. The building supports these ideas by creating places for interaction of various scales and atmospheres.

ESTAR's curator insight, July 29, 2013 11:41 AM

#arquitectura es deleitar la vista del futuro usuario

Annie Clarke's curator insight, October 14, 2013 8:21 PM

living in response to your environment

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The Systems That Power the Year's Most Sustainable Buildings

The Systems That Power the Year's Most Sustainable Buildings | sustainable architecture |

Only a decade ago, sustainable building techniques were fairly rare, a fringe culture on the periphery of mainstream architecture. But with Stephen Colbert interviewing radically green architects like Mitchell Joachim and Passive House buildings popping up in New York City, that's all changing very quickly.

For concrete evidence of the shift, look no further than this year's Top Ten Green Buildings, an annual list chosen by the American Institute of Architects. A few years ago, this list was full of single-family homes commissioned by clients with a special interest in sustainability. Lately, it's full of schools, government buildings, and commercial developments.

And while it's tough to sum up complex buildings in just a sentence or two, there are a few fascinating details from this year's crop that stand out.

From snails that filter water to nails harvested from a WWII-era warehouse, here what's helping the future go green...

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Beautiful, Innovative, and Sustainable: The Future of Green Architecture

Beautiful, Innovative, and Sustainable: The Future of Green Architecture | sustainable architecture |

Today, architecture finds itself at a crossroads.

Building materials and new construction, along with the operation and maintenance of buildings, account for a significant sum of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Faced with this fact, how are architects to responsibly pursue the act (and art) of architecture without further deteriorating the planet’s environmental make-up or depleting its resources?

What forms of high and low technology can be developed to curtail the injurious side of building?

Can good—or even great—architecture be sustainable?

The answer, of course, is yes. The best buildings have always shown a concern for their immediate environs and how they fit in them, whether they were conscious of “sustainability” or not. Now, all architects and buildings are expected to be engaged with sustainable standards, such as LEED titles, photovoltaic cells, or green roofs—all things that these 10 projects have in common. Check out our favorite projects in architecture + sustainability...

Lauren Moss's insight:

A curated collection of (relatively) recent sustainable building projects that highlight innovative approaches to environmental design and green building, with links provided for additional information and details.

Paige's curator insight, August 6, 2014 2:47 PM

Green architecture! I've dreamt and have considered going into a field of real estate specializing in the building and selling of eco-friendly homes!

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Sustainable Architecture: The International Style of the 21st Century

Sustainable Architecture: The International Style of the 21st Century | sustainable architecture |

Sustainability is defined as our ability to meet our present needs without compromising the abilities of future generations to meet their own. The three Es (Economy, Ecology, and Equality) and the three Ps (People, Planet, Profit) are simple guides for sustainability as a consideration in decision-making.

These ideals can combine with 3 current pillars of architecture to come up with a new series of precepts: program, economy, operation, and harmony.

-Program describes the purpose of the building and its ability to carry out that function for the ease and comfort of those who would inhabit it. It is most concerned with people and the human element of the architectural experience.

-Economy speaks to the ability of a building to stand and is concerned primarily with its production and use of materials both physical and nonphysical. It is most concerned with the component parts of that which makes up a building and minimizing waste.

-Operation is all about the performance of a building in all of the non-human aspects, such as light, air, water, and energy. Economy and operation are strongly related and are opposite sides of the same coin; one has profound effects on the other.

-Finally, harmony is an expression of the building as a whole and how well it relates to itself, the world around it, and those who use it. It is the most subjective of the pillars and is mostly aesthetic. Similar to the relationship of economy to operation, harmony is the reciprocal of program; one is the consideration of the building unto itself, the other the consideration of the building unto the world...


In the weeks to come, these four pillars will be covered in more depth looking at the theoretical, practical, and technological ins and outs of Sustainable architecture- the International Style of the 21st century.

Mark Warren's curator insight, December 16, 2012 10:28 AM
Sustainable Architecture: The International Style of the 21st Century
Jemma Tanner's curator insight, October 28, 2013 11:32 PM

This article gave me an idea for a design task activity consisting of making your own sustainable building. If I were to ever create this activity I'd probably find an old building in the city that was going to be knocked down and create a story that the students had to design the replacement. I'd give criteria based around sustainable practices as well as what functions the building must have. The main focus I'd give them would be that the building needs to meet the needs of the residents without compromising future generations. From this resource I would take the three Ps mention - Purpose (does it fulfill the purpose for which it was designed), Physical (does it achieve the physical requirements given) and Pleasing (does it look good). If I really wanted to extend this task I could create a budget for the building in which the students would have to manage during its creation. I'd definitely do this as a group task because collaboration between students always generates more ideas.

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Re-Thinking the Future 2014 Competition Awards: BIG, UN Studio, HOK & more

Re-Thinking the Future 2014 Competition Awards:  BIG, UN Studio, HOK & more | sustainable architecture |

The winners of Re-Thinking the Future’s 2014 design competition – a competition that asked architects, designers, planners, and students from all over the world to submit “radical solutions for the present day problems” of climate change – have been announced.

Requesting both built and conceptual works, the jury of 20 architects from firms such as SOMAEDAS, and Perkins+Will evaluated the projects across a range of categories, from mixed-use and residential buildings to urban and landscape design.

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Materials Of The Future: 7 Amazing Trends For 2014 And Beyond

Materials Of The Future: 7 Amazing Trends For 2014 And Beyond | sustainable architecture |

The history of architecture is deeply engrained in technological developments of the time. Skyscrapers would have never reached such heights without developments in steel, for example, and facades would have never slimmed down without thin-shell concrete.

In a time that is so buzzing with technological development, we cannot help but salivate a little at the material prospects for architecture that are just on the horizon. With 2014 just beginning, we want to take a moment to see what drastic innovations may be leaking into the world of architecture in the near future.

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Beautiful, Futuristic Hotel Designed To Cope With Rising Sea Levels

Beautiful, Futuristic Hotel Designed To Cope With Rising Sea Levels | sustainable architecture |

The Maldives may be swallowed up by rising sea levels in the future, but the architects at Deep Ocean Technology will build an underwater hotel to house its inhabitants. 

Called ‘The Water Discus’, this futuristic hotel has two circular discs which will house its 22 rooms, along with a restaurant, spas and lounges. 
The structure above ground will be connected to the structure below via a staircase and an elevator, where a bar and a diving center will also be located. 

Jourdan Sumithio's curator insight, August 13, 2014 1:58 AM

What an awesome idea of giving tourists/travellers an unforgettable experience as they never experienced before. Great concept, design, and ideas for this hotel, however they may need to add up the capacity in the following future to add up more than 22 rooms. Overall the facilities they offered to tourists/customers are simply great, which allow people to enjoy the view around hotel as it's located at beautiful Maldives area. Maldives is well known as a dream destination place and a must visit at least once in life. By showing this brilliant and promising idea is a greater way to attracts more people to support and visit this hotel. However a reasonable price and good service are needed to keep the hotel's reputation rising in a further future.

Phuong Nguyen's curator insight, September 16, 2014 2:19 AM

This hotel is designed to cope with rising sea levels in Maldives. The concept of the hotel is very original compares to other underwater hotels. Based on the beautiful images, I believe in the future, this hotel will attract a lot of leisure guests who want to come for new experiments. This hotel is very suitable for adventurous people who want to organise a party or conference under water. However the owner of the hotel should carefully consider the impact of this hotel on the sustainability of the ocean and the safety of the construction.

Nguyen Quang Thai's comment, October 6, 2014 9:18 AM
It is great for building undersea hotels. It is a really creative idea for giving the visitors the pretty new experiences and beautiful views. In addition, there are many activities for people such as having a wedding under the beach, swimming at the early morning or watching the sea creatures. People could also have a great sleep because of its peaceful and quiet. For the facilities, the number of rooms should be improved due to the over demand. In addition, the undersea hotels could cause the pollution for the sea environment and threating the habitant of sea creatures. Therefore, they have to have a plan to protect the environment and sea creatures. On the other hand, there are many risks for staying under sea. As some nature disasters like tsunami, storm or some hit of big creatures like shark, people could get disturb and afraid. So, they should have an alarm, for example, to ring if there is a tsunami coming or having some nets to stop the big creatures far away. Lastly, glass cleaning is really important. As people staying, they do not want to see some moss stick in the glasses. Therefore, the hoteliers should be awareness in order to use some special glasses or have a way protect the wall.
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Floating Light Park Skyscraper Uses Solar Power & Helium to Hover Above Beijing

Floating Light Park Skyscraper Uses Solar Power & Helium to Hover Above Beijing | sustainable architecture |

Light Park is a skyscraper that hovers over the streets of Beijing like a giant airship. Architects Ting Xu and Yiming Chen have conceived the future of high-rises to be a conglomerate of mega-structures that make up for the shortage of urban open spaces on the ground by lifting them up in the air.

The Light Park skyscraper is lifted off the ground with a helium-filled balloon, and it uses solar energy for propulsion, enabling it to function as a non-polluting transportation deck as well as a floating urban park. The technology is based on existing helium balloon designs, using solar-powered propellers, airbags and atmospheric pressure for takeoff and cruise flight. Solar power is utilized to power the uses below, with translucent solar panels located on the top of the aircraft. In order to avoid additional weight and decrease wind resistance, the skyscraper uses a cable-suspended structure to attach the slabs to the mushroom-like cap. The planting slabs are irrigated with rainwater collected on the large cap surface and are distributed in a way which allows maximum exposure to sunlight on each level...

Amber Qureshi's curator insight, April 8, 2013 1:19 PM

Daaamnnn :O 

Noor Fatima's comment, April 9, 2013 10:01 AM
Amber Qureshi's comment, April 12, 2013 3:12 AM
Ikr :D
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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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