Orange County hosted the U.S. Department of Energy's biennial green building event the Solar Decathlon this year, constructing a village of 'solar homes' in Irvine's Great Park, open to the public two weekends in October.
The twenty student-built projects compete in ten contests with specific criteria, ranging from architecture and engineering to communications and energy balance. The individual contest scores are totaled at the end of the competition to determine overall livability, efficiency and affordability, awarding the team with the highest overall score first place.
Energy Plus House by Unsangdong Architects creates a new type of energy-producing sustainable housing. A combination of natural properties and technology, this green home incorporates all elements, such as the structural system, materials, spatial composition, landscape and lifestyle into it's passive design and optimized intelligent energy system. The result of a collaboration between UNSANGDONG Architects and Kolon Institute of Technology, the building has acquired Passive House Certificate from the Passivhaus Institut in Germany.
Read the complete article for details on Passivehaus requirements, as well as the green strategies and systems incorporated into the dynamic exterior and minimalist interior of the E+ Green Home...
The rhizosphere is the interface between plant roots and soil where interactions among a myriad of microorganisms and invertebrates affect biogeochemical cycling, plant growth and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stress. The rhizosphere is intriguingly complex and dynamic, and understanding its ecology and evolution is key to enhancing plant productivity and ecosystem functioning. Novel insights into key factors and evolutionary processes shaping the rhizosphere microbiome will greatly benefit from integrating reductionist and systems-based approaches in both agricultural and natural ecosystems. Here, we discuss recent developments in rhizosphere research in relation to assessing the contribution of the micro- and macroflora to sustainable agriculture, nature conservation, the development of bio-energy crops and the mitigation of climate change.
The PACT Foundation has changed their name to the Belize Nature Conservation Foundation, and they are doing a call for grant proposals in the areas of general park management, training, and research. The deadline is the 31st of July, and the maximum grant amount is $39,000. For more information, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The Foundation provides grants to registered management organizations of terrestrial protected areas including, non-governmental organizations and community based organizations that are involved in conservation and management for sustainable use of Belize’s natural resources and terrestrial protected areas.
A physical restriction on a building site can lead to interesting design. Delaware-based ikon.5.architects were faced with a challenge when designing an addition for the children’s book section of the Hockessin Public Library. Due to unavoidable constraints on the north, east, and west sides of the library, the only option for extension was south, into a 100-year flood plain.
The architects bypassed this limitation by employing a cantilever, pushing the volume of the construction into the surrounding wooded environment. They came up with a glass pavilion in the middle of the woods, resulting in a unique modern design with an emphasis on unadulterated materials.
Floor-to-ceiling glazing blurs the distinction between the inside and outside spaces, bringing the landscape into the building, as well as natural daylight...
The new Museum of Modern Art needed to address the role and function of art in Oslo's city center, as a place for the interpretation of both the historical and contemporary reality. The museum uses twisted geometry standing on a massive footing to introduce series of event spaces, from landscape to interior exhibition to roofscape.
Facing the water front the massing rises and pedestrians are invited into the area through multiple accesses on the landscape, leading to the radial center of the museum lobby. The volume creates a protected plaza, or canopy for temporary outside exhibitions.
Sustainability: The technology came in the form of self-compacting concrete in which chemical additives are introduced into the concrete mix, significantly increasing its workability without any resultant loss in strength. The project is conceived like a bridge. Sustainable design integrates environmental, economic, and social issues of sustainability together with users’ goals and needs. The NMAAD Museum employs sustainable design to reduce energy consumption, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, encourage water conservation, and provide high indoor environmental quality.
An entry in the Solar Decathlon 2013 competition, Ecohabit is a project of a cross-disciplinary group of sixty Stevens Institute of Technology students with expertise it the areas of engineering, design, computer science, and the technological aspects of business, visual arts, and music.
The Stevens Team states that its mission is to create an innovative home that utilizes green technology to revolutionize renewable energy and sustainable living strategies and practices.
Ecohabit features a smart detection system so that the home can learn from its occupants to optimize energy efficiency. Its climate control systems include a multi-stage heat pump, seven air delivery registers, a dehumidifying ventilator, a condensate misting system, and a dedicated energy recovery ventilator in the bathroom...
The American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment (COTE) has announced the 2011 COTE Top Ten Green Projects, naming the top 10 examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions that protect and enhance the environment. The program celebrates projects that are the result of a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems, and technology. They make a positive contribution to their communities, improve occpant comfort, and reduce environmental impact through strategies such as reuse of existing structures, connection to transit systems, low-impact and regenerative site development, energy and water conservation, use of sustainable or renewable construction materials, and design that improves indoor air quality. Here are the winners...
The Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation was conceived to meet the urgent need for tradespeople, site managers and construction workers who are skilled in the practices of sustainable building. It is also designed to be one of most innovative and advanced sustainable facilities in the world, designed to the standards of the Living Building Challenge, the most rigorous sustainability program on the planet.
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