sustainable architecture
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sustainable architecture
design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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School for Biodiversity: Landscape as Living Space

School for Biodiversity: Landscape as Living Space | sustainable architecture |

The project developed by Chartier Dalix involves two structures: a school with eighteen classrooms and a gymnasium which will be open to local residents. The two structures are united in a single volume, bounded by a same skin: the mineral wall, that represents a clear and definite gesture for the ZAC. This building is the “green heart” of the island. The school thus serves as a unifying element in a landscape where which flora and fauna play a vital part in guiding re-development for the rest of the area.

This project is a “landscape as living space“ rather than a simple building. There are two distinct parts to the building: a mineral section – the facades – and a section made of plants – the roof. This envelope wraps itself around the school, a general volume with smooth contours and supple lines, revealing fluid interior spaces and elastic exterior ones, avoiding ruptures between volumes. The highly compact building opens onto the neighbourhood, offering a multitude of perspectives.

Andy Nolan's curator insight, January 31, 2015 6:34 AM

Good design should consider the context within which the building is set. Great to see green space being added to a dense urban environment bringing benefits to the children at the school, wildlife and providing a little urban cooling and SUDs. 

asli telli's curator insight, February 2, 2015 12:15 AM

We need more of this happening! Asap...

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Moshe Safdie Creates Spectacular Bio Dome for Singapore Airport

Moshe Safdie Creates Spectacular Bio Dome for Singapore Airport | sustainable architecture |

Moshe Safdie is famous for his iconic Montreal housing complex Habitat ’67, and he is still creating innovative large-scale urban projects around the world. The latest project his firm, Safdie Architects, has debuted is the design for development at Singapore's Changi Airport. The scheme aims to create a public gathering space with gardens, retail stores, hotel, restaurants, and entertainment that will lure travelers, airport employees, and local residents.

The glass dome will encompass a space of 134,000 square meters and houses a 130-foot-high waterfall. The dome's curved shape, recalling the tradition of glass conservatories, provides inherent structural strength to the glass and steel structure. Tree-like structural columns in a ring support the dome while a suspended roof covers the adjacent atrium space.

The space also showcases natural elements: walking trails travel through an indoor topography of trees, palms, and ferns called "Forest Valley". The different elements — dining, accommodations, and retail — are spread throughout the structure so as to give each of them impressive views of the natural features.

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Sustainable Affordable Housing in Santa Monica: Pico Place by Brooks + Scarpa

Sustainable Affordable Housing in Santa Monica: Pico Place by Brooks + Scarpa | sustainable architecture |

Pico Place is a 32-unit affordable apartment building consisting of 2 and 3-bedroom units, featuring an interior courtyard that provides a pedestrian connection with Pico Blvd.

Sustainability is an important component, with appropriate shading, natural light and ventilation, along with proper building orientation to induce buoyancy and natural breezes. A green roof is positioned to contribute to the pedestrian nature of the street.

The exterior consists of recycled cement board siding in different colors and textures, creating a contextual and varies façade. Drought tolerant/native landscaping provides a rich living environment and provide a transition from the busy commercial area immediately to the west, to the residential district to the south and east...

Lola Ripollés's curator insight, September 11, 2013 4:51 PM

Perfectamente extrapolable a España.

Aditya Khanna's comment, September 12, 2013 3:31 AM
This looks amazing
Gabbie cbg's comment, September 13, 2013 12:59 AM
good looking.
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Sustainable Development: South Chase housing by Alison Brooks Architects

Sustainable Development: South Chase housing by Alison Brooks Architects | sustainable architecture |

Suburban housing development in Essex by Alison Brooks Architects that reinterprets the local rural architecture of wood and sloping roofs..

London firm Alison Brooks Architects used dark-stained timber and sloping rooftops for this suburban housing development.

Describing the goals of the development, Alison Brooks says she wanted to create "a completely new and more sustainable suburban housing typology where open-plan flexible houses are integrated with outdoor spaces to increase the sense of space and light".

The architect also emphasised the importance of creating "dedicated working spaces" in each house, adapting to the growing number of people who work from home and "helping to create an economically active suburb". In line with this, each house comes with an accessible loft that can be converted into an office and the larger houses also include a ground-floor study that doubles up as a spare bedroom...

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Pittsburgh's "breathing" building by Gensler aims to be the world's greenest skyscraper

Pittsburgh's "breathing" building by Gensler aims to be the world's greenest skyscraper | sustainable architecture |

The PNC Financial Services Group hopes to exceed LEED Platinum requirements while promoting a healthy workplace with a recent development – the Tower at PNC Plaza. Located in downtown Pittsburgh, the building will be 800,00 sq.ft (74,322 with a construction budget of approximately US $240 million.

The "breathing" design created by architecture firm Gensler moves away from the traditional closed air-conditioned environment and has the lofty aim of becoming the greenest skyscraper in the world.

Employees in the 33 floor glass tower will access daylight and fresh air. The PNC Tower design recognizes that the Pittsburgh climate can provide increased levels of natural light onto the floorspace along with improved regulation of temperatures for much of the year without using traditional, energy-intensive HVAC systems. The Tower hopes to achieve this with a double-skin facade of two panes of glass separated by an enclosed cavity, allowing external air inside. The facade features operable doors and windows that admit fresh air into the building during optimal conditions, while a solar chimney is another passive system- it pulls air in through the open windows, the air then travels across the floors, is heated and exhaled through the roof shaft.

The Tower will consume less than 50 percent of the energy a typical office building uses and will save PNC at least 30 percent on its energy costs...

Norm Miller's curator insight, January 9, 2013 12:07 PM

Tall buildings have been historically less efficient than smaller squarer buildings to operate, but now with new technologies we are seeing rapid improvements in the taller buildings and FINALLY we are seeing things like operable ventilation once again.

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s curator insight, February 1, 2013 9:25 AM

SCUP–49, the Society for College and University Planning's 49th annual conference, will be held in Pittsburgh in July 2014.

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Responding to the Landscape: Archipelago House by Tham & Videgård Arkitekter

Responding to the Landscape: Archipelago House by Tham & Videgård Arkitekter | sustainable architecture |

The goal for this project was to provide a direct relationship with the dramatic archipelago landscape and to create a simple platform which would offer several diverse readings of the relationship between space and nature. Conceived as a light-weight construction in wood and glass and located in Stockholm’s outer archipelago, this summer house was built within the specific conditions prevailing on the island.

Without any car access, all materials had to be brought by boat from the mainland. Wood was chosen throughout the design in order to provide simplicity of construction and to minimize difficulties with heavy transportation.

The horizontal character of the black-stained exterior relates to the verticality of the island’s tall pines, and mirrored views of the Baltic Sea. The geometry of the plan is generated by the specifics of the site; the house sits on a flat surface between two rocky outcrops, and is oriented simultaneously towards the sun in south and towards sea views in the west. With smaller rooms placed behind, the three large social areas of the house open up to the terrace and provide an open platform, criss-crossed by sliding glass...


Visit the article link for more images, as well as additional details on the sustainable strategies incorporated into the design and construction of this modern home...

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Earthbag Construction

Earthbag Construction | sustainable architecture |

Innovative architecture from recycled plastic bags (filled on-site with local materials, stabilized and then plastered).  How can this be a part of a sustainability plan?  A development plan?  This image is actually from Rochester, NY, complete with building permits and plans to export the idea to Haiti with projects already in Argentina, Mexico, Philippines and many other places. 

Via Seth Dixon
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Solar-powered dormitory houses medical staff in African village

Solar-powered dormitory houses medical staff in African village | sustainable architecture |
Solar panels provide all the energy needed to power this brick dormitory designed by Louise Braverman to house medical staff at a rural village in Burundi.

The Village Health Works Staff Housing accommodates an 18-bed dormitory for the healthcare workers in the 16-hectare village of Kigutu. It was designed by New York-based Louise Braverman as part of a wider masterplan for the area.

Lola Ripollés's curator insight, December 30, 2014 4:12 AM

It is great to use well available resources.

A. Perry Homes's curator insight, December 31, 2014 2:12 PM

Tech and design, together, can make beautiful things

Stafford Battle's curator insight, January 8, 2015 4:34 PM

Africa will help lead the solar revolution.

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A New University Building Design Promotes Sustainable Development In Vietnam

A New University Building Design Promotes Sustainable Development In Vietnam | sustainable architecture |

Vietnam-based architect firm Vo Trong Nghia Architects designed an environmentally-friendly structure for FPT University that is located about 34 km away from Hanoi.
The façade of the seven-story building is designed to look like a checkerboard, with huge floor trees placed in the openings. The openings also let in lots of natural sunlight, saving on energy.
Measuring at 11,065-square-meters, the structure will also feature a green roof to protect the whole building from too much sunlight.
According to the architects, “the structure is intended to promote sustainable development in Vietnam,” and “instill sustainable practices in the future generations”.

Andy Nolan's curator insight, August 16, 2014 4:32 AM

University sustainable design in Vietnam:

Norm Miller's curator insight, August 18, 2014 2:14 PM

Again Asia is really showing a lot of innovation.

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A Living Bridge by Rotterdam-based Creative Group, Observatorium

A Living Bridge by Rotterdam-based Creative Group, Observatorium | sustainable architecture |

Since 1997, the group Observatorium, based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, has been committed to creating relationships between art, landscape and society. Designed to be for the common good, their work aims to create a sense of place.

Waiting for the River is a living bridge, with benches, hostel-style rooms, and eco-bathroom  - entirely made of used planks. The 38-metre long zigzag bridge anticipates the new clean river valley Emscher, which is now still an open sewer. It sits over the waste land that will be the site of pastoral landscape in ten years time. It serves as an example for the future development of the Emscher Park in the Ruhr area for which the authorities have coined the description ‘productive park’.

Intended as a temporary structure the house will now be reconstructed and made permanent.
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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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Kuala Lumpur’s Iconic Sustainable Tower

Kuala Lumpur’s  Iconic Sustainable Tower | sustainable architecture |

Sitting within a short distance of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the future Datum Jelatek development is set to become the most iconic tower in Malaysia.

The new retail and residential development will host a range of sustainable features, and recently won the Most Iconic Design of the Year at the 2012 Malaysian Reserve Editor’s Choice Awards. Located in Jalan Ampang, the project consists of four residential towers- four retail towers and one level of office suites. The concept  to embody ‘Infinite Living – The Point of Life,’ tying in with the prediction that it will be awarded a Green Building Index Platinum certification.

The design incorporates a curvilinear balcony, providing shade at the interior spaces, while the extensive landscaping will limit solar radiation and heat gain. Water features, such as the rainwater harvesting system, will reuse and store water for the needs of the irrigation system.

Each of the towers will be topped by a Sky Garden and all will be connected by the Sky Bridge, Malaysia's first of its kind, serving as a means of connection and site for outdoor activities.

Cameron Highlands Hotel's curator insight, December 4, 2015 10:13 PM

The new retail and residential development will host a range of sustainable features, and recently won the Most Iconic Design of the Year...

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The Crystal: London's new sustainable development hub & one of Britain's greenest buildings

The Crystal: London's new sustainable development hub & one of Britain's greenest buildings | sustainable architecture |

Electronics giant Siemens recently unveiled the Crystal, a £30m project in east London that aims to promote sustainable urban development in the capital.
The structure, which stands on the waterfront at the Royal Victoria Docks, covers more than 6,300 square metres and takes its place as one of Britain’s greenest buildings, having been built to achieve top scores in both the BREEAM and LEED rankings for energy efficient complexes.
Inside is Siemens’ Centre of Competence Cities, a team made up of urban sustainability experts, as well as an exhibition on the future of cities across the world.
The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, was there to officially launch the building, and said, “The futuristic Crystal is a fantastic new landmark for London which has breathed new life into the historic Royal Docks.” and noted that “Siemens’ investment is a great boost to our ambitious plans to redevelop swathes of former industrial land in order to bring jobs to the capital.”

The hub of this summer’s Olympic Games, the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, is only five miles down the road from the Crystal, and the London mayor made reference to the successful games, saying that the new development is another step forward in east London’s “rebirth”...

alexandrine champiot's curator insight, December 2, 2014 9:25 AM

Le long du front de mer « Royal Victoria Docks » dans l’est de Londres l’entreprise Siemens a inauguré un centre d’exposition. Une inauguration faite par le maire de Londres ainsi que par le secrétaire d'État pour les communautés et le gouvernement local. Ce centre d’exposition abrite une exposition sur l’avenir des villes à travers le monde. Pour tous, ce bâtiment est une infrastructure fantastique qui insuffle une nouvelle image aux docks de Londres.
Après les Jeux Olympiques, ce centre d’exposition dénommé Crystal va participer au renouveau de l’est de Londres. Une construction qui est inscrite dans les préoccupations pour l’environnement et pour une ville durable. Ainsi, l’intégration dans la planification urbaine du concept de durabilité et une moindre consommation en carbone sont d’une importance cruciale. C’est dans cette perspective que le Crystal accueille la conférence pour la planification de l’habitat urbain des Nations Unies.

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Passive Progressive in Philadelphia

Passive Progressive in Philadelphia | sustainable architecture |

A pioneering green developer in Philadelphia is pushing the envelope of sustainability with a mixed-use project called The Ridge on the banks of the Schuylkill River, which is expected to become the nation’s largest Passive House, a net-zero energy building. In doing so, design-build development firm Onion Flats aims to redefine mixed-use development by example.

On December 5, Onion Flats was selected by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA) to redevelop a vacant site bound by Kelly Drive, Calumet Street, and Ridge Avenue at the terminus of the Fairmount Park jogging and biking trails, forming a gateway for the East Falls neighborhood...

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