sustainable architecture
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sustainable architecture
design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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Chicago Horizon: A Negative Carbon Kiosk at the Architecture Biennial

Chicago Horizon: A Negative Carbon Kiosk at the Architecture Biennial | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

How much kiosk can you get for $75,000? Chicago Horizon probes this question through a quest to build the largest flat wood roof possible. Using Cross-Laminated Timber, a new carbon-negative engineered lumber product, in the largest dimensions commercially available, the kiosk aims to provide an excess of public space for the Architecture Biennial and Chicago beach-goers.

Chicago Horizon is constructed almost entirely out of engineered timber products, including CLT for the roof canopy and glulam columns, making its total carbon impact negative due to the ability of wood to sequester atmospheric carbon. The canopy is to be fully protected by a roof membrane and an exterior grade plywood deck, ensuring its longevity.

More details + information at the link.

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Norm Miller's curator insight, October 17, 2015 12:34 PM

Great parks make great cities.

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Community + Contemporary Architecture: Cree Cultural Institute in Canada

Community + Contemporary Architecture: Cree Cultural Institute in Canada | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Rubin&Rotman Architects completed Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute in the Canadian village of Oujé-Bougoumou, paying tribute to local architecture.

The Institute includes an exhibition hall, making it both a museum and meeting place, with community activities such as dance and music shows taking place, along with more intimate gatherings featuring storytellers and elders. On the lower floor are the offices of associations involved in preserving the Cree language, hunting methods and arts and handicrafts, as well as in promoting tourism. Wood is used extensively, evoking the fundamental importance of the forest to the Cree people. Special attention was paid to transposing symbolic elements reflecting traditional Cree habitat to this contemporary building. The open plan and transparency of the ground floor make the Institute the heart of the community.

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ParadigmGallery's curator insight, July 27, 2014 3:45 PM

We admire the way the Cree culture and aesthetic is blended into the modern structure. It pays homage to their origins but offers the community a beautiful facility.

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Paläon, Germany: A Futuristic Design Reflects the Surroundings

Paläon, Germany: A Futuristic Design Reflects the Surroundings | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Paläon is located at the edge of the town of Schöningen and the site of a remarkable, world-famous Stone-Age find: the Schöningen Spears – the oldest ever hunting weapons used by man. It is now also home to the new and emblematic research and experience centre that reflects the location in concept and form.


The building conveys the location’s importance as an archaeological site by rising above the natural topography like layered earth. Its futuristic shape stems from the horizontal landscape and the building’s volume, ground plan and section are defined by references to the landscape and lines of sight. The slightly offset contours create subtly different internal and external spaces. Designed with reflective cladding, the volume mirrors the landscape, with large recessed window openings that underscore the expressive dynamism of the architecture.

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Finland's Wuxi Theater: An Iconic Design that Harvests Rainwater

Finland's Wuxi Theater: An Iconic Design that Harvests Rainwater | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Like the iconic waterfront Sydney Opera House, the Wuxi Grand Theatre, built by Finland’s PES-Architects, benefits from its location.


Located on a manmade peninsula, the theater is highly visible from all directions- a prime spot that provided the opportunity to construct an eye-catching roof that places the building in a direct dialogue with the city’s weather. Eight massive steel wings stretch out from the roof 50 meters high, adding a distinct sculptural element while reflecting direct sunlight, sheltering interior spaces from excessive heat. The slanted roof also works to harvest rainwater, taking advantage of the local climate and reducing the building’s impact on the environment.

Thousands of LED lights illuminate the aluminum wings; inside, the Main Auditorium is covered by over 15,000 bamboo blocks, capturing the local character while infusing a distinctly Finnish element in its forms and materials.


One year after its opening, the theater has seamlessly integrated its green terraces and lakeside landscape into the urban context and local culture...


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Betty Klug's curator insight, April 27, 2013 3:12 PM

We can save the world through education.  Expose your students to innovations around the world as starters for innovative student projects.

ParadigmGallery's curator insight, April 29, 2013 10:35 AM

A breathtaking setting and an award winning design.

 

"Evoking the character of a butterfly, eight massive steel wings stretch out from the roof 50 meters from the ground. While the wings add a distinct sculptural element to the crown of the theater, they reflect direct sunlight, sheltering interior spaces from excessive heat. The slanting of the roof wings also work to harvest rainwater, taking advantage of the local climate and reducing the building’s impact on the environment"


bravo....beautiful...PES Architects

Natalie Curtis's curator insight, May 1, 2013 11:03 AM

I love the idea of Finnish architecture meeting in this locale to design this magnificent theater. Not only does the purpose of the architecture and the sustainability and environmental friendly aspects of this building speak for itself but the design of the life-like butterfly wings blends in gorgeously to it's surrounding landscape. The design and overall appearance can be appreciated at home and abroad and is a sight to behold, I'm sure. The inside is as equally as impressive as the outside- which has an interesting job of harvesting rainwater and regulating the amount of heat that may need to be reflected off of the building... which cuts down on energy usage. 

Impressive, PES Architects.

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Ellis Residence: A Stunning LEED Platinum Home on Bainbridge Island

Ellis Residence: A Stunning LEED Platinum Home on Bainbridge Island | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Ellis Residence in Bainbridge Island, Washington designed by Coates Design is a LEED Platinum home that shines as an example of modern design made green.


Situated on Yeomalt Bluff overlooking Puget Sound and the Seattle skyline, the Ellis Residence is a renovation that resulted in the reuse of more than 80% of the existing materials. The new home cuts energy consumption by 70% with the innovative use of geothermal heating, photovoltaic energy systems, and smart construction techniques. Other key sustainable features include rainwater collection, FSC and recycled wood products, triple-glazed windows and a green roof...

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70F | Sheep stable Almere

70F | Sheep stable Almere | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The city of Almere has a sheep population of about 80 sheep. The sheep are mobilized to keep the powerful weed “acanthus” or “bears-breech” that grows in the “vroege vogel” – forest and “kromsloot” – park in Almere under control.


To centralize and house this population, a sheep stable was needed. The stable is designed with an a-symmetrical homogeneous cross-section. The part of the building where the sheep reside is relatively low; the high part is situated above the (public) pathway and the hay storage section, making it possible to store a maximum amount of hay.

This shape also creates a natural flow for the air inside the building, which is refreshed by two slits at the foot of each long side of the building.  The detailing of the corner of the building, where the long façade ends and the gable starts, is extremely important for the overall experience of the architecture of this building. It emphasises the cross sectional shape of the building, and finishes the long façade of the building, which starts as a façade and slowly becomes roof...

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Rammed Earth House by Feldman Architecture

Rammed Earth House by Feldman Architecture | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Located in rolling hillsides of Carmel, California, the Caterpillar House is a 2-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom dwelling that implements sustainable features and strategies for minimal development impact.


Feldman Architecture gave the client a home that connects seamlessly with the outdoors, in the form of a modern ranch with strong horizontal lines.

The house is quite literally made from the ground it sits on, with repurposed dirt from the site being used in the building of the walls. The “rammed earth walls” help keep the temperature steady because they act as a thermal mass. The house also utilizes natural ventilation to keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

The roof integrates photovoltaic panels that produce all the required energy, and have been carefully integrated into the design...


View more imagery of the first LEED Platinum Custom Home on the California Central Coast and read the project description at Feldman Architecture.

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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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Contemporary Design Employing Natural Materials: Lake Travis Residence

Contemporary Design Employing Natural Materials: Lake Travis Residence | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Lake Travis Residence was designed by Hsu Office of Architecture and is an imposing modern home located near Austin, Texas. According to the architects, “this two story custom residence utilizes a bisecting plan to offer flexible open space and respond to the grade of the site. Natural materials such as wood siding, stacked ledge stone and stucco are used to tie into the landscape. A large butterfly roof and expansive windows capture views and embrace the surrounding vista“. Some of the materials used for the exterior finishes are also present indoors, contributing to a sophisticated, yet cozy atmosphere. The interior design is contemporary and features plenty of inspiring details. A generous room on the bottom floor is separated (by a modern staircase leading to the upper level) into dining and living area. The bedrooms are located above and have floor to ceiling windows, allowing the inhabitants to fully enjoy the surrounding landscape.

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Mexico’s first LEED Platinum office building cuts energy use with solar-control glass

Mexico’s first LEED Platinum office building cuts energy use with solar-control glass | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
Glass, paint, and coatings from PPG Industries were used in the headquarters building of Bioconstrucción y Energìa Alternativa in Monterrey, Mexico, the first building in Latin America to earn LEED-NC Platinum certification.
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Artist Covers 10-Storey Building With 1,000 Recycled Doors

Artist Covers 10-Storey Building With 1,000 Recycled Doors | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
One salvaged door wasn't enough for this installation artist, who transformed this multi-storey structure into an eccentric landmark with 1,000 doors.

Using salvaged building materials like doors in your next building project is a good idea, but South Korean installation artist Choi Jeong-Hwa takes it to a whole new level. Using 1,000 recycled doors, Choi Jeong-Hwa transformed an otherwise nondescript, 10-storey facade into a eye-dazzling delight of colours and textures.

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Using wood to reach new heights...

Using wood to reach new heights... | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
Using wood to reach new heights - The Building with timber exhibition in Munich documents the potentialities afforded by this ancient material, making adventurous constructions a real possibility for the future.
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Sustainable buildings created from bamboo

Sustainable buildings created from bamboo | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
What’s happening right now?Much of the urban world is looking for sustainable housing solutions for the ever congesting urban spaces.

The use of conventional concrete material has proved to be a burden on environment and a costly option for underdeveloped areas.

Interestingly, it has also been acknowledged that bamboo can be a solution to many of these urban woes. This material is cheap, long lasting, earthquake resistant, and easily available.

Bamboo houses provide a natural ambiance to the occupants and leads to less consumption of electricity. They also have a long life of about 30-years, if maintained regularly...

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Fabián Salazar Bazúa's curator insight, March 11, 2013 7:12 PM

Construcciones con Bambú. Sustentabilidad en todo su esplendor.

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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 | Scoop.it

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.

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

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

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Unique Solar Protection + A Dynamic Facade in Australia

Unique Solar Protection + A Dynamic Facade in Australia | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

 In Bunbury, down the coast from Perth in Australia, the architects at Gresley Abas seized the mission of modernizing a homeless shelter as an opportunity to clad the original building in a colourful and dynamic facade – using metal screens. On completion of the building work, Yanget House now houses 37 apartments as well as stores and offices on the first and second floors which generate rental income that goes toward financing the project.
Colt perforated panels provide solar protection on the east side.


Artist Rick Verney specially designed a 3D relief of projecting, angular elements that seem both transparent and sculptural thanks to the characteristic perforation pattern. The “shadow metal” consists of powder-coated anodized aluminum – the perforation pattern on the screens is not just a key design element, but also ensures light transmission and the passage of energy. The customized design thus spawned both sun shading and an unusually textured dynamic façade that is as good as unmistakable.

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UIWGroup's curator insight, July 11, 2014 8:47 AM

See we know how

Emanuele Naboni's curator insight, July 19, 2014 2:22 PM

3D Solar shading 

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5 Stunning Examples of Sustainable Wooden Architecture

5 Stunning Examples of Sustainable Wooden Architecture | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Wood is one of architecture’s more magnanimous materials which allows architects to develop structures which are complex and yet retain the features of minimal designs.


It is a versatile enough material that it can be used to demonstrate traditional craftsmanship while presenting a modern, corporate image and a whole host of sustainable benefits, which are covered in the article link.

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Joram Walukamba's comment, July 3, 2013 7:42 AM
Keep it natural!!!!
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IE Paper Pavilion by Shigeru Ban

IE Paper Pavilion by Shigeru Ban | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has completed a temporary pavilion made from cardboard tubes at the IE School of Architecture and Design in Madrid. 

The Paper Pavilion, which was recently inaugurated, is constructed in the university's Serrano garden and will serve as a multi-purpose space for events, meetings, talks and exhibitions.

The project had a restricted budget, so Shigeru Ban designed a system of cardboard roof trusses and columns which were cheap to install and can be easily recycled when the building is eventually dismantled. The tubes were manufactured and waterproofed locally in Spain and were assembled by members of the surrounding community.

The IE School commissioned the pavilion, supported by the Japan Foundation. The opening event was a lecture by Ban entitled "Appropriate Architecture"...

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Natalie Curtis's curator insight, March 27, 2013 9:33 AM

Who said cardboard isn't sustainable... never met Sigeru Ban. All he wanted was a quick place to set up and give a lecture. This common ground for architects, students and enthusiasts is cheap, sustainable for what it is, easily recycled and already recycled and has a low impact on the environment because of this... and a low impact on budget. It's a really clever way to set up shop really quick and even looks nice for it's temporary span.

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Cargotecture – the Rise of Recycling Shipping Containers

Cargotecture – the Rise of Recycling Shipping Containers | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

One man’s trash is said to be another man’s treasure, and now old cargo shipping containers are rapidly becoming sought-after treasure in the architecture industry.


The term cargotecture, coined in 2005 by HyBrid Architecture, is used to describe any building partially or entirely built from recycled ISO shipping containers. It may seem strange that such a simple, aesthetically-unappealing box could be so loved by modern architects, but the increased use of reclaimed materials in architecture is starting to show no bounds.

In a world dominated by mass production, architects are being forced to find alternative ways of designing buildings that will make the smallest impact on the earth. Extending the life of discarded materials and saving salvageable items from landfill is a completely viable approach.

Shipping containers are resistant to fire, termites, hurricanes and earthquakes, proving themselves to be extremely resilient.


Somewhat like stacking blocks of Lego, steel or aluminum shipping containers are a perfectly strong building block...

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Pierre R Chantelois's comment, January 12, 2013 9:56 PM
Quelle excellente idée. Si les gouvernements pouvaient en réquisitionner quelques milliers, ils pourraient en faire don à Haïti pour accéler la mise à niveau de la qualité de vie de la population. Un 12 décembre, il y a trois ans...
oliviersc's comment, January 13, 2013 10:35 AM
Hélas, les bonnes idées ne sont pas rentables...
Natalie Curtis's curator insight, March 8, 2013 9:27 AM

I love that I've finally found the neologism for this type of architecture finally! Cargotecture is an upcoming trend in the architect's world and this article is actually one of the most brief and yet informative blogs I may have found in my short search, so far of these shipping container homes and buildings. The containers prove to be a very useful and easily moveable. They are in great abundance, which is fantastic since they are so often used for their resilience to fire, termites, hurricanes and earthquakes. So there's my answer finally to why these containers are becoming so popular amongst architects.

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Materiality, Light + Thermal Control: House in Yamasaki by Tato Architects

Materiality, Light + Thermal Control: House in Yamasaki by Tato Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Located in a residential area in Hyogo Prefecture, the house was designed for a family with two children. “The residents requested that, as the area has short hours of sunlight in winter, they’d like to bring in as much light as possible,” said Yo Shimada of Tato Architects.


More from the architects:

I wanted to create light, stable indoor climate and came up with a plan of three sheds of house type arranged on a 1.8 m high foundation platform. The first floor was lowered by 760 mm below ground to optimize the heating system and regulate temperature, while preserving views to the surrounding mountains and sky for the entire residential neighborhood.

The bathroom shed and the sunroom shed provide lighting and ventilation for the lower floor and form an overhead courtyard. The sunroom collects heat in winter, and exhausts heat in summer through the five motor-operated windows.

Corrugated polycarbonate panels are used for outer walls of the three sheds to take in solar radiation, with moisture and water-absorbing sheets between the panels and structure.The inside of the walls are formed with a heat insulating layer, and the ceiling and walls of bathroom are further filled up with light transmitting thermal insulation material of reproduced PET bottles.


A house appearing as small as a peasant’s work shed of an innovative material as corrugated panels creates a new vernacular in this agricultural area. Read the article and view more photos of this very unique house that connects new and old within the rural landscape.

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Casey Key Guest House by TOTeMS Architecture

Casey Key Guest House by TOTeMS Architecture | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The guest residence, located on a barrier island, is set within a mature oak hammock along Sarasota Bay. The structure is inspired by the character of the live oaks, which have been shaped by the prevailing coastal winds from the west.

The Owner requested a design that was a “house in the trees”. A small program, including one bedroom, bath, living area with kitchenette, and a loft is organized to provide privacy between a neighboring property to the north, while offering broad views of the oak hammock to the south and west, and the intercoastal waterway to the east.

Curved glulam pine beams, which are anchored to the elevated concrete slab at their base, curve up and over the entire space, reflect the arching quality of the live oak limbs. Ship lap cypress siding is used to clad the exterior walls and the interior walls between the glulam beams.

The design is intended to evoke an organic architecture that is influenced by, and reflective of its site...

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Tall Wood: Technology To Build Wood Buildings Thirty Stories High

Tall Wood: Technology To Build Wood Buildings Thirty Stories High | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Wood is the greenest building ..material, but its use has been limited to buildings a couple of floors high. Not any more.

Wood is perhaps the greenest building material; it is a renewable resource that absorbs carbon dioxide as it grows, which is sequestered in the wood when it is cut into building materials. But until recently its use was limited to low rise structures due to concern about the fire hazard.

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Real Life Flintstones House Lures Tourists in Portugal

Real Life Flintstones House Lures Tourists in Portugal | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

It's a bit of a shame that the easiest way to describe this magnificent structure requires reference to a cartoon from the 1960s, but the way in which it incorporates its natural setting defies most conventional description. Located in the Fafe mountains of northern Portugal, A Casa do Penedo, or "the House of Stone," was built between four large boulders found on the site. Although the house may seem rustic, it is not lacking in amenities, which include a fireplace and a swimming pool--carved out of one of the large rocks. But, as word has spread, the sleepy little house has had visitors venturing to see it in droves.

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Jared Medeiros's curator insight, April 29, 2015 6:25 PM

A very rare and cool looking home here in Portugal.  Im very surprised to see this home here though.  I would think of many European countries that would have a home like this, especially somewhere in the United Kingdom.  But the portuguese people are usually very skilled in carpentry and take great pride in building certain styles of home.  Not that this is not an amazing feat to accomplish, it just seems out of charachter for the country.

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Sustainable Design of Four-cornered Villa by Avanto Architects

Sustainable Design of Four-cornered Villa by Avanto Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The sustainable design of Four-cornered Villa was made by Avanto Architecs. This building is located in the wilderness of Finland, sits on a horseshoe-shaped island. By its cross shape, the view of four different sides can be maximize. Some sustainable features are provided to achieve low carbon footprint...

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Sustainable Green Prefab Casa Cedeira in Spain by MYCC

Sustainable Green Prefab Casa Cedeira in Spain by MYCC | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

MYCC, an architectural firm based on Madrid, Spain, designed a sustainable green prefab house called Casa Cedeira. This beautiful sustainable architecture building offers modular design, with high energy efficiency and zero waste. The unique exterior design also provide good blending to surroundings...

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Residence and Artist's Studio Connected by Glass Bridge

Residence and Artist's Studio Connected by Glass Bridge | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Designed by Mexican studio M + N Arquitectos, this modern 262 square meter structure is part residential, part studio. Connected by a glass bridge, the two volumes of the house were created for two artists. Located in Puebla, Mexico, the brick and concrete house has a rectangular prism shape, created using carefully chosen materials: “The idea evolved into highlighting an architectural plan while visually differentiating various modules made with like materials where each one has its own distinct goal or intention depending on options in relation to temperature, acoustics, or the distinctive qualities of any given living space.”

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