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sustainable architecture
design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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Aroeira House III in Portugal: Designed with the Elements in Mind

Aroeira House III in Portugal: Designed with the Elements in Mind | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

ColectivArquitectura designed the U-shaped Aroeira III House in Herdade da Aroeira – Alamada, Portugal to work with the elements of the land it’s built on, maximizing sun exposure. With a natural slope and nearby homes, they went with a horizontal design that was split into two levels, one being partially buried underground.

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MM house in Sao Paulo, Brazil by studio mk27

MM house in Sao Paulo, Brazil by studio mk27 | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Brazilian practice studio mk27 has completed the 'MM house' in Braganca Paulista, a wooded municipality of Sao Paulo.


The dwelling consists of two perpendicular rectangular footprints, and features a green roof that blends into the landscape.

A folding screen of retractable slender wooden slats wraps the entire envelope along the exterior glass wall, softening any direct sunlight, with all the bedrooms situated along the eastern elevation facing the valley. The indoor/outdoor gathering space is completely open to the elements where the solid building mass intersects with a wooden deck, allowing occupants to fully engage with the environment. The public living room and tv room at either side of this outdoor room contain large glass doors, enabling a strong visual connection among all the shared spaces.

The timber terrace extends out towards the lower area of the site, ending in a swimming pool upon a concrete plinth that reflects the picturesque environment.

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Sustainable house reduction by Make Architecture

Sustainable house reduction by Make Architecture | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Winner of the sustainability category in the 2012 Houses Awards, the footprint of this home in Melbourne was actually reduced in size as part of an ingenious re-design by Make Architecture. Smaller spaces and multi-functional rooms were designed to “move towards smaller, more flexible houses as an essential response to conserve resources and reduce carbon footprints” say the architects. External screening was used to provide flexibility and allow for the expansion and contraction of spaces as required. Built in joinery and daybeds also streamlined the footprint.

The house reduction itself is an environmentally responsible design, achieved by a careful analysis of the family’s needs. As a result, many multi-functional spaces were incorporated: the kitchen can work as study/library/second living room. The house has been orientated for maximum solar gain, and the pergola and screens provide protection in summer and let winter sun in. Cross ventilation has also been carefully considered with high louvres used to vent the house in summer. Other sustainable features include water collection, led lighting, insulation, fans and the use of FSC certified timbers...

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Curved House by Hufft Projects

Curved House by Hufft Projects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The Curved House is a modern residence with distinctive lines. Conceived in plan as a U-shaped form, this residence features a courtyard that allows for a private retreat to an outdoor pool and a custom fire pit. The master wing flanks one side of this central space while the living spaces, a pool cabana, and a view to an adjacent creek form the remainder of the perimeter. A signature masonry wall gently curves in two places signifying both the primary entrance and the western wall of the pool cabana.

An eclectic and vibrant material palette of brick, Spanish roof tile, Ipe, Western Red Cedar, and various interior finish tiles add to the dramatic expanse of the residence. The client’s interest in suitability is manifested in numerous locations, which include a photovoltaic array on the cabana roof, a geothermal system, radiant floor heating, and a design which provides natural daylighting and views in every room.

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UK Water Pumping Station Converted Into Sophisticated Modern Home

UK Water Pumping Station Converted Into Sophisticated Modern Home | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Camouflaged in the north of England, UK, this exceptional two-story building is the result of a notable architecture conversion. The Pump House is the contemporary and sophisticated version of a former water pumping station in Ilkley and shelters three bedrooms, two bathrooms and two receptions. Its exterior stays true to the origins of the building and displays an intriguing brick finish. Once inside, the overall perspective is bent, as a potential visitor is likely to be surprised by the highly modern interiors. A generously sized living and dining space acts as the focal point of the entire house. The attention to detail is obvious in every corner of the project, from the lighting elements in the living area to the specially commissioned bathroom with imported marble from Italy. State-of-the art technology is also a defying factor for this home, equipped with infrared high security cameras and intercom system with electric gates...

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Mosewich House by D’Arcy Jones Design

Mosewich House by D’Arcy Jones Design | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

This functional and inviting family house is perched on the edge of a steep slope in a suburban setting. Existing ponderosa pines, bunch-grass and sagebrush were carefully preserved by siting the house away from the street.

A private, sunny courtyard merges the kitchen and dining areas with the landscape. Intimate views of vegetation and exposed rock are a welcome contrast to long views towards the river valley below.

A robust, dark tinted stucco mass anchors the house to the ground, morphing as one continuous mass to create courtyard walls, terraces, fireplace chimneys and structural shear-walls. Opposite, yet never quite touching, is a muted stucco mass bending and wrapping asymmetrically to frame dramatic views. Interior spaces are defined by modulating the voids between these two contrasting stucco masses. When these stucco masses extend inside the house, the threshold is defined with floor-to-ceiling glass, translucent in some locations for privacy.

Deep cantilevered overhangs provide both shade and upper level rock gardens. Carefully located operable windows provide effective cross-ventilation, eliminating reliance on air-conditioning...

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Contemporary Eco-friendly Villa Design with Transparent Exterior Glass Walls

Contemporary Eco-friendly Villa Design with Transparent Exterior Glass Walls | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Villa BH is a modern and eco-friendly house by WHIM Architecture that is full of inspiration from mid-century modern homes as well as its natural surroundings. The architects created a modern and environmental friendly design that emphasizes the natural qualities of its context. The villa is positioned on a rectangular plot of 34.75 x 50m, that is enclosed at 3 sides with similar plots and free-standing houses. On the back of the plot there’s an old embankment with several tall trees, protected by local regulations. Villa BH is inhabited by a couple 60+ of age, and to optimize the accessibility of the house, all the program is situated on the ground floor around a patio.

The villa is designed as environmental friendly with extra insulated façades, roofs and floors. The roof is covered with sedum, that regulates the distribution of the rainwater gently. A neutral palette of white walls, light wood, and textiles muted keep the interior light and bright, and an open plan living style continues throughout, see the master bedroom equipped with bath, basin and en suite steam room, and an unobstructed view out onto the terrace.

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TBONE House by Coast Office Architecture

TBONE House by Coast Office Architecture | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

TBONE House built by Coast Office Architecture based in Stuttgart, Germany is a house that features Ecological Aspects such as Geothermal Heat Pump, Vertical Earth Connection Loop, Floor and Wall heating system, Cooling system through activation of thermal mass and the use of rainwater as valuable natural resource for water supply in the house and reduce water bills costs. The house has a very minimalist style thanks to large windows connecting the indoor and outdoor and a purity of lines.

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Russian River Studio

Russian River Studio | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Designed for a photographer and a writer as a multi-purpose space for painting, drawing, writing, photography, creative dreaming, holiday meals, small workshops, and overflow guests, this 864 SF building with porch and terraced extensions frames the top of the hill above a small existing dwelling. Metal siding, used to better protect the shaded north side, wraps the east end of the house at the transition to the porch-covered entry and wood board-and-batten used on the rest of the walls. Large, colorful wall panels at the interior serve as accents for the otherwise white walls and open to reveal work spaces. The large, light-filled primary space, with polished concrete floors and a ceiling painted blue between exposed wood framing, adapts easily to the changing uses.

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Point Piper House by POPOVbass Architects

Point Piper House by POPOVbass Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The client brief was for a three bedroom house with the living area at the lowest level to best utilise the outdoor garden space.

As a response to the neighboring context, the street elevation adopts a modest, organic form and utilizes materials such as sandstone and timber in an undulating pattern. The low profile of this street elevation allows for views over the building from the public domain.

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Itu House by Maristela Faccioli Architecture

Itu House by Maristela Faccioli Architecture | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Located in a condominium in the city of Itu, the land of this residence faces a lake and is neighbor to an area of preserved native forest. Given the program and construction constraints, the architects intention was to implement the constructed area respecting the 30 meters setback from the lake, determined by environmental legislation, meanwhile concentrating the majority of the indoors program in just on block. This was determinant in maintaining the lot as much permeable and green as possible.

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Energy Efficiency, Sustainable And Low Maintenance: Thomas Eco-House

Energy Efficiency, Sustainable And Low Maintenance: Thomas Eco-House | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Designs Northwest Architects designed the Thomas Eco-House project- resting on an 11 acre site in the Cascade foothills of Stanwood, the four-story high modern residence overlooks Mt. Rainier and Everett City to the South, while being surrounded by fresh air from wooded hills and native vegetation. The contemporary design is defined by energy efficiency and sustainable low maintenance features. Insulated concrete forms (ICF) – “two layers of rigid form insulation between which concrete is poured” – shaping the residential structure ensure a good thermal and acoustic insulation, while the extensive use of glass captured in between the long lasting and low maintenance stucco-finished walls allow the owners to enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

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Elegant and Energy Efficient: The Malbaie V Residence in Quebec

Elegant and Energy Efficient: The Malbaie V Residence in Quebec | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Located in the picturesque region of Cap-à-l’Aigle in the heart of Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada, the The Malbaie V residence was Montreal-based studio Mu Architecture and displays an inspiring design. The exterior is defined by simple geometrical volumes wrapped in wood and a green roof that insulates the building.

From the architects: “On the ground floor, the sequence from the entrance to the main room allows for discovery through large continuous open plan absent of any apparent structure. An abundance of openings from east to west, the result of a perfect combination of solar motion, orientation and views sought, provides permanent natural light as well as optimal energy efficiency. The lower level accommodates four bedrooms and two full bathrooms arranged in a linear way following a clear axis perpendicular to the main volume above allowing for each room to get a view. The simplicity of the materials used, types of natural wood for the floor and ceiling accentuates the dramatic perspective of the main corridor”.

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Twisting towers in Miami, Florida by Bjarke Ingels (BIG)

Twisting towers in Miami, Florida by Bjarke Ingels (BIG) | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

BIG, Raymond Jungles, Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates, Esrawe, Desimone + HNGS, transform the Coconut Grove Waterfront with twisting towers in Miami Florida, USA.


Developed by Terra Group, the Grove at Grand Bay residences, at the former site of the Grand Bay Hotel and minutes from downtown Miami, seeks to breath new life into Coconut Grove. With construction scheduled to begin the fourth quarter of 2012 and completion at the end of 2014, the project seeks LEED Silver Certification, the first of its kind in Coconut Grove.

Rising 20 stories, the towers will showcase 96 residences with panoramic views from every angle as they readjust their orientation to capture the full breadth of panoramic views from sailboat bays and the marina to the Miami skyline. The interactive movement of the two towers creates a new dancing silhouette on the Grove’s skyline.


Whether in the shade of the buildings’ twisting facades or inside, residents will fully experience and relish living amid the open air. The gardens and architecture will fuse seamlessly at the amenity levels, maximizing indoor outdoor living experiences unique to the South Florida climate. Views down into the gardens, towards the surrounding canopied neighborhoods, and beyond Sailboat Bay will offer peaceful, verdant backdrops to elegant residential interiors and vast balconies...

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A Sustainable Home Blends into the Landscape...

A Sustainable Home Blends into the Landscape... | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

The Caruth Boulevard Residence, located in Dallas, Texas designed by the Dallas-based architect, Tom Reisenbichler combines luxury with green design.


Sustainability played a very important role in developing this project. Solar panels, the use of recycled materials, the care towards the landscape with the trees and the lush untouched vegetation are a few of the green strategies employed in this residential design.

The house was designed to fit into the landscape:, as described by the architect “Integrated tightly into the large iconic trees on the site, this house uses traditional home proportions to blend with the neighborhood. The horizontal lines of the design tie the home to the land, while the roof and balcony reach into the trees making them integral to the home.”

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Bogbain Mill residence: A former mill in Scottland transformed into a contemporary home

Bogbain Mill residence: A former mill in Scottland transformed into a contemporary home | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Incorporating the ruins of a former mill, the Bogbain Mill residence designed by Scottish studio Rural Design, does not lack originality. In developing the new building plans, the architects started gathering ideas from the site, where old walls were inhabited by green plants, as nature was taking over: “Our clients brief was for a large family house. We were keen to re-imagine the building in a progressive form, layering a series of forms over the ruins to create a clear juxtaposition of old and new.

All the forms create new and intriguing courtyard spaces, allowing our client to engage in his passion for gardening.” Even though the interior use of wood and stone pays tribute to the character of the building, once inside, it is difficult to believe this impressive residence was once a former mill. Space and elegance are the main characteristics of this home in Scotland, which we invite you to discover in detail.

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Beautiful Houses: Harrison Street Residence

Beautiful Houses: Harrison Street Residence | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Harrison Street Residence is a project by Scott Allen Architecture. The house is located in Issaquah, Washington and features sophisticated contemporary design that naturally accommodates a casual Pacific Northwest lifestyle. On both levels of the home the views are maximized. The inside and outside spaces flow freely from one to the other through the use of oversized windows and wall-to-wall bi-parting doors – design features that together with the energy efficient heating and cooling system and previously noted architectural design features create a timeless sustainable design.

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Dublin’s Beautiful 3 Mews Houses Weave Natural Daylight and Lush Gardens Into Their Industrial Aesthetic

Dublin’s Beautiful 3 Mews Houses Weave Natural Daylight and Lush Gardens Into Their Industrial Aesthetic | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
3 Mews project in Dublin, Ireland by ODOS Architects is woven with natural daylighting and ventilation and features rainwater harvesting and grey water recycling.

Before these homes were built, the area located on an industrial laneway in Dublin 8 was not known for its residential buildings and was basically devoid of life. Rather than building a traditional residential structure, ODOS Architects opted to help ease the transition from an industrial aesthetic to a cozy place to call home. From the outside, the homes feature a cantilevered upper section built from powder coated metal industrial flooring planks arranged in a structural steel frame. The slatted exterior creates a sense of privacy without blocking views or light. Foliage and treetops are visible from the street and bring a piece of nature to the area.

Inside, the layout affords each space with easy access to the adjacent room as well as plentiful light and fresh air.

In addition to the use of air and light, the homes makes use of an air-to-water heat pump and a boiler for energy-efficient heating and cooling. Rainwater is collected from the courtyards and recycled into a grey water system that is used to irrigate all the courtyards and to supply water for the bathrooms and washing machines.

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Eco-Sustainable House With an Eye-catching Attic by Djuric Tardio Architectes

Eco-Sustainable House With an Eye-catching Attic by Djuric Tardio Architectes | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

This is possibly the most eco-friendly house on the market! The roof for example… its shaped like a pergola and has a specific function: on the one hand, it takes the archetype of the context, inserting the project in its environment without disrupting the urban rhythm, on the other hand, it won’t accommodate a closed roof that would become a catch-all attic or a wasted space. Another element I found interesting to mention is the structure of the walls… they illuminate the ground floor and they can be optionally removed, tomorrow perhaps working as railings and returning visual link between the two floors...

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Jess Carmona's curator insight, March 8, 2013 3:29 PM

casa sustentable

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Istinye Residence by Tabanlioglu Architects

Istinye Residence by Tabanlioglu Architects | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

As the crucial element of the architecture are the terraces and balconies; integrated with the existing green environment, the open areas divided from interiors only by transparent glass walls which are also flexible to operate wide open, so the living rooms may become an elongation of the exterior at times. Maintaining the height and the angles, the regular roof form is re-interpreted in the shape of wings; benefiting the daylight at optimum, in addition, extra volumes derived from this unusual manipulation of form and granted spacious rooms with high-ceilings. Less lighted section in the middle, where the two residential units join at each floor of the blocks, are reserved for the wet areas. The apartment blocks rise on a single console housing the shared areas reaching the landscape.

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Natural Australian Home by Bureau^proberts

Natural Australian Home by Bureau^proberts | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Bureau^proberts have designed this stunning, vast family home, placed within the beautiful surroundings of Newmarket, Queensland, Australia.

The home was designed for a close knit, young family and occupies the crest of a hill facing south towards views of the Brisbane city skyline and Mount Coot-tha. A series of connected pavilions perched on solid concrete platforms encourage exploration and interaction whilst portraying a sense of permanency and refuge. The concrete construction enhances a sensation of intransience the client desired, while timber elements re-interpret the craftsmanship of Queensland home construction, responding to the suburban context of Newmarket’s 19th and 20th century dwellings.

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Casa Cardenas, Mexico, Incorporates the natural environment

Casa Cardenas, Mexico, Incorporates the natural environment | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Casa Cardenas was designed by Parque Humano and is located in Valle de Bravo, Mexico. The residence consists of two levels: the upper floor accommodates the living area and the kitchen, while the ground level hosts the bedrooms. Here is more from the architects: “For the concept of this project we have taken advantage of the triangular character of the plot, the slope of the land and the views towards the Cerro Gordo´s Natural Reserve. The building has been conceived as a homogeneous mass, hollowing out a huge opening with an inviting forced perspective effect caused by the asymmetric walls that frames the natural panorama. With the objective of building an interior/exterior relation, the volumetric setting of sloping walls and slabs allow the visual journey from the interior space, deeply linking the project to the existing landscape, it is the exterior landscape which organizes our interior spaces“.

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Weekend Retreat in Brazil

Weekend Retreat in Brazil | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

Itu Residence, located in São Paulo, Brazil, was designed by Maristela Faccioli Architecture. The home was developed to serve as a weekend retreat for the owners.

According to the architects, “the land of this residence faces a lake and is neighbor to an area of preserved native forest. Given the program and construction constraints, the architects intention was to implement the constructed area respecting the 30 meters setback from the lake, determined by environmental legislation, meanwhile concentrating the majority of the indoors program in just on block. This was determinant in maintaining the lot as much permeable and green as possible“.

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Montrose Duplex: Sustainable Architecture by WTARCH

Montrose Duplex: Sustainable Architecture by WTARCH | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it

To realize the need of having sustainable green house, the architect added a new 484 sq ft loft unit above the garage building. This was built around and above the existing tree on the lot, providing a twisting structure that may maximize the sun light capture for natural lighting. A giant window at the top level support the natural lighting and view access.

Some strategies were implemented to achieve high sustainability. Alternative energy used is solar, with a series of roof panels, and rainwater collection is provided.

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168 Ellis Park: earth-sheltered home

168 Ellis Park: earth-sheltered home | sustainable architecture | Scoop.it
This contemporary piece of architecture was conceived as an ecological family home.

Constructed on an overgrown infill site in Toronto’s vibrant Bloor West Village neighborhood, the Ellis Park House is earth sheltered into a sloped hillside with exceptional green features and fantastic views...

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