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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Ehrlich Retreat + // LEED Platinum by John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects

Ehrlich Retreat + // LEED Platinum by John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects | sustainable architecture |

Ehrlich Retreat + by John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects:

“The Ehrlich Retreat + consists of a new guest house, pool, and shade structure that combine with the original house (previously designed by JFAK) to create a family compound. The new structure is contextually related to the original house, borrowing many of its architectural elements, yet has its own identity.

"The LEED Platinum project is also a model of “integrated sustainability,” in which its green strategies are seamlessly integrated into a unique sculptural aesthetic: the structure’s broad frame embraces and gives presence to the new yard, while shading the house’s southern orientation; the triangular cut-out over the office creates a dramatic form, but also introduces generous amounts of ambient northern light; the steel and wood trellis provides welcoming shade for the yard, and at the same time hosts a 2.4kW photovoltaic array that powers the house and pool.

The overall result is a responsible, light-filled, and joyful environment.”

Catherine Devin's curator insight, January 9, 2015 1:59 AM

Bâtiment performant certifié et manifestement agréable à vivre pour ce bâtiment annexe à la maison principale.

Une preuve que les deux objectifs  ne sont pas antinomiques.

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Emerson College Los Angeles by Morphosis Architects

Emerson College Los Angeles by Morphosis Architects | sustainable architecture |

Emerson College Los Angeles sits on a stretch of Sunset Boulevard that is rapidly changing from seedy to cinematic. Designed by Thom Mayne of Morphosis Architects, the $85 million, 10-storey microcampus hosts students majoring in television, film, marketing, acting, screenwriting, and journalism.
At nearly 10,000 sq m, Morphosis' scheme maxes out the site, but has a hollow centre. The mixed used educational building includes two 10-story dormitory towers (housing 217 students), classrooms, faculty offices, video and film production labs, and multi-use performance spaces, including an outdoor amphitheater with a view of the Hollywood sign. A superstructure roof connecting the two towers does double duty as a theatrical lighting grid and helipad.
The architects hope to achieve LEED Gold certification. Motorized sunshades on the east and west tower facades control solar heat gain and give the building a tough, mechanical-looking exterior. Designed using computational processing, the folded aluminum screens on the sides of the courtyard are dynamic and mesmerizing, an optical illusion suggesting depth and motion.

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Green Grows Up: The Many Faces of Today's LEED Homes

Green Grows Up: The Many Faces of Today's LEED Homes | sustainable architecture |

What does a LEED certified home look like architecturally? And how does it compare with what a sustainable house should look like? 

A LEED certified home, as you’re about to see from the photos in this article, can pretty much look like anything you want. The strength (and weakness) of the LEED for Homes rating system is that it attempts to reconcile sustainable building objectives with the current reality of the green building market and the range of options that are realistically available to the majority of people...

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Google Campus Dublin by Henry J. Lyons Architects

Google Campus Dublin by Henry J. Lyons Architects | sustainable architecture |

Masterplanned by the Swiss architecture studio Camenzind Evolution in collaboration with local firm Henry J. Lyons Architects, the campus represents the Google EU Headquarters and serves as the center for sales and finances in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Sustainability is a key focus area for Google and indeed all Google real estate projects work to LEED accreditation. The Google Dublin Campus is currently awaiting the prestigious LEED Gold and LEED Platinum certification.

Sheridan Tatsuno's comment, July 9, 2013 1:24 PM
Nice design! Will they offer open innovation programs?
The Team @ E-Side's comment, July 10, 2013 5:35 AM
Lots of green, we are wondering if they managed to include low-toxic, sustainable furniture as well.
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Massive Green Building Projects Aim to Create a Sustainable 2014 World Cup

Massive Green Building Projects Aim to Create a Sustainable 2014 World Cup | sustainable architecture |

For the 2014 World Cup, Brazil will roll out impressive facilities that could score LEED certification and add to its rich modern architecture legacy.

Describing any massive construction project as “green” is a stretch, especially when it comes to sports facilities. But in football-mad Brazil, plans for a bevy of new and refurbished football stadia for the 2014 World Cup are well underway.

Brazil's projects could both score international green building certifications such as LEED while adding to the country’s rich modern architecture legacy. Much of the credit for Brazil’s greening of the World Cup goes to Vicente Mello and Ian McKee, two architects who drafted the CopaVerde plan, which advocates for the most responsible construction practices possible for the event’s venues...

Alice Boyd's curator insight, June 3, 2013 11:07 AM

What a building!  Everyone is getting on board with Green Buildings and LEED certifications.  Turner is also on the Green and LEED Certified train. It's the new IN thing. 

Kenneth Hadden Miller's curator insight, April 26, 2015 3:56 AM

An earlier scoop showed the issues that Rio was going to have with disabled patrons who attend the 2016 Olympic Games.  This is a bit more positive as it shows the green facilities that were created or rebuilt for the 2014 World Cup.  One of these even had its own solar power plant, which is extremely impressive!

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Wharton’s Entire San Francisco Campus Earns LEED Gold Certification

Wharton’s Entire San Francisco Campus Earns LEED Gold Certification | sustainable architecture |

Wharton's new San Francisco Campus in the historic Hills Brothers Coffee Plant earns LEED Gold with the help of Gensler.

The campus expanded the school's presence on the west coast by moving into the historic Hills Brothers Coffee Plant on the Embarcadero. Designed by Gensler, the sustainable renovation of the space into a word-class teaching facility schools some of the other buildings in the city with eco-conscious materials, a green cleaning program and locally-sourced food for the cafeteria.

Gensler designed the adaptive reuse of the 37,000 sq ft facility, which includes state-of-the-art group study rooms and amphitheater-style classrooms with HD video conferencing. Renovation and upgrades included a strong focus on natural daylighting, use of locally-sourced and eco friendly materials as well as the installation of energy efficient lighting, equipment and systems.

Natalie Curtis's curator insight, April 19, 2013 9:45 AM

Besides repurposing, I'm a big fan of anything LEED and this deserves some serious credit, of course.

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Blu Homes Prefab: Breezehouse

Blu Homes Prefab: Breezehouse | sustainable architecture |

The Breezehouse, one of Michelle Kaufmann’s iconic designs, is the model for the first Blu Homes development in New York State, consisting of 12 home sites ranging from 6.8 to 24 acres overlooking the Hudson River Valley and the Catskills.

The local developer worked with conservancy groups to sustainably develop the project set amid woods, streams, ponds, and vistas. The three-bedroom, three-bath dwelling features a light-filled indoor environment that connects seamlessly with the natural landscape. Structural steel framing and advanced building science make it possible to withstand extreme weather, including high snow loads and wind gusts of up to 110 mph.

Blu Homes are LEED Silver certifiable upon leaving the factory and are solar-ready. Beyond the standard green features that Blu includes in every home, such as recycled steel framing, radiant heat flooring, high R-value walls and energy-efficient appliances, Blu Homes can achieve net zero energy status, Energy Star rating and higher LEED certifications with the inclusion of other available green elements.

Debbie Walsh's comment, February 2, 2013 4:23 PM
Very cool!
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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 |

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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Nelson Cultural Center: LEED Gold at the American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis

Nelson Cultural Center: LEED Gold at the American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis | sustainable architecture |

The American Swedish Institute received a new addition with the LEED Gold-designed Nelson Cultural Center by HGA in Minneapolis.

The 34,000 sq ft addition provides space for education and cultural facilities for contemporary exhibitions, administrative offices, collections care, and expanded programs. Designed by locally-headquartered firm HGA, the new extension incorporates contemporary design, traditional Swedish aesthetics and a number of sustainable strategies. The Nelson Cultural Center is anticipating LEED Gold certification due to its sustainable building strategies, which include geothermal heating and cooling, a green roof and much more.

Sustainability was an important aspect of the design, and the institute anticipates LEED Gold certification for its efforts – which would make it the first museum in Minnesota with such accolades.

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Chrysler Building Joins Other Midtown Icons in Earning LEED-EB Gold

Chrysler Building Joins Other Midtown Icons in Earning LEED-EB Gold | sustainable architecture |

After energy and water infrastructure upgrades over the past year, the Chrysler Building now joins the Empire State Building with dual Energy Star and LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance Gold certification.

No longer is LEED for Existing Buildings Gold certification only the province of the Empire State Building. Tishman Speyer has announced that the 77-story skyline stalwart Chrysler Building has added to its Energy Star labels from 2008 (85) and 2012 (84) by also earning a Gold rating under LEED-EB: OM. The application was primarily supported by recent upgrades to the 1.2 million-square-foot building’s energy efficiency and maintenance program, as well as new plumbing fixtures.

Overall, the Chrysler Building has dropped energy consumption by 21 percent over the past year...

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San Francisco's new Exploratoruim science museum seeks net-zero energy goal

San Francisco's new Exploratoruim science museum seeks net-zero energy goal | sustainable architecture |

When the Exploratorium science museum in San Francisco relocates next spring to a new $220-million waterside home, visitors no doubt will marvel first at the spectacular views of San Francisco Bay from the building's perch on Piers 15 and 17.

Less noticeable is the network of heating, cooling, water-use and other systems that assist in achieving the goal of net-zero energy use—a lofty target for a major museum.

The new 422,166-sq-ft Exploratorium will be nearly three times larger than the museum's current facility at the landmark Palace of Fine Arts.

The new building also could be the largest net-zero energy museum in the world, according to Nibbi Brothers, San Francisco, the project's general contractor.

Stop by the link to learn more about the city's new Exploratorium and how the project team plans on achieving the high energy-efficiency goals through green design strategies, innovative technologies and renewable energy systems...

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Four Environmental Innovations that have Revolutionized Architecture

Four Environmental Innovations that have Revolutionized Architecture | sustainable architecture |
The green revolution has impacted almost every sector of the economy. Now, eco-friendly technology is revolutionizing the way we think about architecture. Every part of the architectural process is undergoing huge changes.
When people think of green architecture, they often picture simple modifications, such as the substitution of environmentally friendly materials for less sustainable ones. While this can certainly be a viable means of reducing a project’s carbon footprint, it is by no means the only way to make a positive impact. Often, the best green projects are the ones that go above and beyond, completely altering the way people think of architecture as a whole. The following are just a few of the spectacular developments taking place in architecture today.


Kimberly Hordern's comment, April 28, 2013 8:49 PM
This idea is pretty cool. With all the pollution we have in the world today we need to start replanting the trees and plants we have tore down. Especially since more people are wanting to live in the big cities making the cities larger decreasing on our natural environment.
A. Perry Homes's curator insight, July 24, 2014 9:20 PM

These are beautiful ways to combine urban and natural environments. 

Zoya Ayaz's curator insight, September 9, 2014 8:24 AM
We offer you Architectural Engineering Services at the affordable cost :)

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In London, A Big Win For Green Building

In London, A Big Win For Green Building | sustainable architecture |
In the London borough of Newham, where much of the Olympic Park is located, one of the greenest buildings in the world is on the rise at the Royal Docks.

The Crystal, as its known, was developed by Siemens — that global powerhouse in renewable energy tech, among other things — for the center of London’s new Green Enterprise District.

Conceived of as an ‘intelligent all electric’ building, it will serve as a showcase for innovative tech- from solar arrays (which cover the roof of the building) to heat pumps tied to geothermal wells (buried beneath the building site). The Crystal was designed to take top marks in both LEED and BREEAM certifications; no fossil fuels will be used to power the building.

The Crystal — developed by Siemens at a cost of £30 million – was designed to serve as a focal point for London’s new Green Enterprise District, which the city’s mayor, Boris Johnson, envisions as “a vibrant, international hub incubating dozens of low carbon businesses.” The District is expected to generate up to 6,000 new jobs and develop “new low carbon skills.”

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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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KieranTimberlake’s U.S. Embassy in London celebrates groundbreaking

KieranTimberlake’s U.S. Embassy in London celebrates groundbreaking | sustainable architecture |

The U.S. Department of State - Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations announced the groundbreaking of the KieranTimberlake-designed U.S. Embassy in London on Nov. 13.

The design places the Embassy building at the center of the Nine Elms site and develops the surrounding area into an urban park that honors the English tradition of urban parks and gardens as the context for civic buildings. The paving about and within the Embassy site utilizes the familiar limestone in many London walks and parks. London Plane trees provide shade and form at the perimeter and along Nine Elms Lane, as well as the walk to the south that connects the site to Vauxhall Station, the nearest Tube stop."

Lola Ripollés's curator insight, November 15, 2013 4:32 AM

Ya han salido del hoyo! La nueva embajada de EEUU en Londres empieza a emerger.

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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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Is this one of the world's greenest buildings?

Is this one of the world's greenest buildings? | sustainable architecture |

Pittsburgh-based Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, has opened the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL), said to be one of the world’s greenest buildings.

Completed in late 2012, the new 24,350-­square-­foot structure is the first building project to pursue all three of the highest green architecture and landscape standards: the Living Building Challenge SM, LEED® Platinum and Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™) certification. A model of sustainability for architects, scientists, planners and anyone interested in living greener, this new building was designed to mimic nature and function as elegantly and efficiently as a flower...

ESTAR's curator insight, June 14, 2013 10:51 AM

Very industrial to be green...

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New York's 'Folded' School of Engineering And Applied Science by Perkins+Will

New York's 'Folded' School of Engineering And Applied Science by Perkins+Will | sustainable architecture |

The Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences was designed by Perkins+Will in New York, with an intriguing and innovative sustainable design.

The concept, characterised by an irregular folded-like structure wrapped in copper, aims to mark a new 'Front Door' for the School of Engineering. The building is organized around a multi-story gallery that allows students to circulate easily through the space. The intriguing learning space is vibrant and breezy; students can sit, discuss projects or share ideas over a cup of coffee in the multi-story student lounge.

Seeking LEED Gold, efficient strategies include improved building shell insulation, high-performance windows, energy efficient lighting design with occupancy and photo sensor control.

Adolfo Sequeira Orellana's comment, April 30, 2013 7:58 PM
so beatiful
Glenn Laughlin's curator insight, November 25, 2013 12:16 PM

It is always nice getting a new building especially designed specifically for you, and by the students

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Banc Sabadell Headquarters by Bach Arquitectes

Banc Sabadell Headquarters by Bach Arquitectes | sustainable architecture |

The new Banc Sabadell Headquarters brings fresh, open spaces to an industrial area in the vicinity of Barcelona, Spain. Designed by Jaume and Eugeni Bach of Paris-based studio Bach Arquitectes, the project is an extension of the bank’s Landscape office complex planned by the same architects ten years ago.

The office building is covered by a dark grey expanded metal mesh façade whose zig-zagging elevations combine function and aesthetics, at once protecting the building from solar radiation and adding subtle changes to its image as the shadows move with the position of the sun.

Planned and built to obtain Gold in LEED Green Building Certification System, this project revolves around the words profitable, effective and sustainable...

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Richard Meier & Partners | Italcementi i.lab

Richard Meier & Partners | Italcementi i.lab | sustainable architecture |

Richard Meier & Partners celebrates the opening of the Italcementi i.lab in Bergamo, Italy. The new building is a benchmark of sustainable design in Europe and it has attained one of the first LEED Platinum accreditations in Italy.

Italcementi i.lab, the new research and development center for Italcementi is intended to reflect the company’s position of leadership, technological advancement and commitment to research and innovation in the use of concrete.

One of the top five cement manufacturers in the world, Italcementi is internationally recognized for its dedication to Sustainable Development. Dukho Yeon, Design Partner-in-charge, comments: “This is our fourth completed project in Italy, after the Jesolo Lido Village, the Ara Pacis Museum, and the Jubilee Church. i.lab is our firm’s most sustainable building to date embodied in sculptural and dramatic, but simple forms showcasing the possibilities of concrete in perfect balance with the technical purpose of the building.”

Each element of the building’s organization reflects an ambitious effort, both in Richard Meier & Partners focus on sustainable architecture and in the innovative use of efficient materials and construction solutions...

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Sri Lanka's First LEED Platinum Eco-Resort

Sri Lanka's First LEED Platinum Eco-Resort | sustainable architecture |

A new resort in Sri Lanka has earned LEED Platinum, the first-ever such designation for the country’s tourism sector.

The 16 units at the Rainforest Ecolodge border the southeastern edge of the Sinharaja Rainfores. The property, sited on a 500-acre portion of the Enselwatte Tea Estate, plunges visitors in the middle of nature and provides 360-degree views of the tea bushes and surrounding forest reserve.

It has successfully adopted a number of environmentally sensitive attributes, such as a stormwater management system, rainwater harvesting, green roofs, and water-efficient landscaping. The facility has achieved energy savings through the use of windows for natural ventilation and daylighting, reducing reliance on HVAC and electric lighting.

“The eco-lodge initiative remains central to the strategy of building sustainable tourism based on Sri Lanka’s unique biodiversity richness,” said Prema Cooray, chairman of the Rainforest Ecolodge. “The lodge conforms to environmental best practices in design and management, following international ecotourism guidelines in Sri Lanka for the first time, and also supports conservation activity in the forest buffer of the threatened Sinharaja Rainforest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”

Damien Fletcher's curator insight, March 6, 2013 5:36 AM

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Biophilic Design at the High Line: 510 West 22nd Street by COOKFOX Architects

Biophilic Design at the High Line: 510 West 22nd Street by COOKFOX Architects | sustainable architecture |

COOKFOX designs a biophilic office building along the High Line that looks to connect with nature and serve as the next version of the sustainable workplace...

While One Bryant Park—the firm’s groundbreaking Platinum LEED tower—distinguished itself on the city skyline with a glacial, shard-like glass profile- 510 West 22nd Street responds directly to the neighboring elevated-rail-turned-urban-park and seeks to connect tenants with the landscape.

The building’s glass curtain wall has dark metal mullions that reflect the High Line’s steel structure and brise-soleils that reduce glare and mitigate heat. The building also has a High Line of its own with a rooftop garden, complete with mobile planters on train tracks.

Inside, high ceilings, abundant daylight, and an under-floor ventilation system create a healthy environment. Views were optimized by cantilevering the floor slabs, making way for unbroken expanses of glass on the perimeter. Operable windows provide access to fresh air and let in the sounds of the birds who live in the High Line’s birch thicket just outside.

510 will seek a LEED Platinum rating, banking not just on the energy saving measures of its high-performance envelope and efficient mechanical systems, but on the strides it takes in establishing an environment conducive to the health and well-being of its human inhabitants...

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LEED Gold: Facebook Prineville Data Center seeks to be the world's most energy efficient building of its type

LEED Gold: Facebook Prineville Data Center seeks to be the world's most energy efficient building of its type | sustainable architecture |

When Facebook users post photos or status updates, data seemingly drifts into the “cloud,” which is actually a complex data center housing racks of servers using as much energy as a small town...

Defying this energy-draining typology, the Facebook Prineville Data Center in central Oregon has achieved LEED Gold status through advanced technologies, including an innovative mechanical equipment penthouse and evaporative cooling system, all while keeping data flowing and providing pleasant workspaces.

For Facebook, a company that prides itself on openness, the architects created a prominent building that harmonizes with its high desert landscape. The permeable yet secure perimeter is clad in warm-toned precast concrete panels, corrugated steel and layered glazing. “People spaces,” including conference rooms and workspaces, open onto an interior courtyard. In fact, every employee enjoys views and natural light from at least two directions.

To reach the status as one of the world’s most energy efficient data centers, not to mention rigorous LEED Gold requirements, the designers of the had to rethink every part of a data center’s building, mechanical, electrical, and computing systems and remove everything that didn’t directly benefit efficiency- learn more and view the complete gallery of images at ArchDaily...

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Ecologia Montréal: a contemporary LEED Platinum home by Gervais Fortin

Ecologia Montréal: a contemporary LEED Platinum home by Gervais Fortin | sustainable architecture |

Ecologia Montréal, designed by Gervais Fortin, is the first single dweling home in Montreal, Canada aiming for a Platinum LEED certification.

The owner, in collaboration of the Ecologia Foundation, had the objective to reduce the home's ecological footprint by using healthy, local and non-toxic materials. The team demonstrated that it’s possible to build an ecological house without sacrificing good, contemporary design. All the materials were hand-picked from the most ecoresponsible suppliers of Quebec and featured a combination of exposed beams, large windows and an inner courtyard, creating a cozy and modern living space.

In addition to utilizing a geothermal system, he structure of the house is built with insulating concrete forms, mostly constituted of 100% recycled materials. As for the concrete used for the structure and as thermal mass, concrete contains 39% recycled materials. Ideal in an urban setting, a green roof completes it all.

Ecologia Montréal is the first house in Quebec to integrate the BioGeometry™ science, to control electromagnetic fields, to consider the energy of the earth and to infuse domestic water. The combination of all these factors harmonize the emotional, vital and spiritual levels of the home and its occupants...

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Green architecture | Beachaus II, White Rock

Green architecture | Beachaus II, White Rock | sustainable architecture |
Beachaus II is among the first independently certified sustainable homes built in the White Rock/South Surrey area which received LEED Platinum certificate from the Canadian Green Building Council (CAGBC) LEED program. The home has been carefully planned from the ground up, and it was inspected and verified through every stage of planning and construction to ensure that it meets the strict rules of the CAGBC program.

Designed by Pb Elemental architects, the 2-storey 188 square-meter (2,025 square-foot) home has 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and additional large office. Beachaus II offers stunning ocean views from throughout the home as well as from the private rooftop deck. It is designed to meet the needs for active “smart” living in vibrant White Rock East Beach community. An exterior stair accessed from the living room is positioned within the exterior shroud and leads to a roof deck with gorgeous views of Semiahmoo Bay.

Beachhaus II was planned by Inhaus Development, whose motto of “live smart, not large” was used throughout the project to make it the most efficient, livable and intelligent home around. They took a truly hybrid approach in the construction, and it was inspired by the modern beachfront homes that dot the California coastline...

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