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Sustainability

Agency2017: Australasian Student Architecture Congress in Sydney

18:02 - 14 August, 2017
Agency2017: Australasian Student Architecture Congress in Sydney

The Australasian Student Architecture Congress (ASAC)—titled Agency 2017—will be held in Sydney from the 28th of November to the 2nd of December. It will be the first congress held in Sydney since 1999 and student-led by ASAC Inc., a non-profit student body based in NSW, Australia.

Margot Krasojević Designs Bridge That Sails Like a Ship

14:00 - 13 August, 2017
Margot Krasojević Designs Bridge That Sails Like a Ship, © Margot Krasojević
© Margot Krasojević

Dr. Margot Krasojević, known for creating impossibly futuristic architecture has unveiled her latest project: a bridge that can sail across the water. Dubbed the “Revolving Sail Bridge” - the experimental project was commissioned by the Ordos government in the Kanbashi District of Inner Mongolia (China) to be built across the Wulamulum River. Featuring a main floating section topped with a carbon-fibre triple sail, the flexible structure is capable of sailing anywhere across the river to relocate itself.

© Margot Krasojević © Margot Krasojević © Margot Krasojević © Margot Krasojević +20

The Rehabilitation of Traditional Nubian Houses of Bigga

17:30 - 8 August, 2017
The Rehabilitation of Traditional Nubian Houses of Bigga

As part of larger ElBaseetah Suburbs for Investment and Community Development S.A.E. RTNHB project in south Egypt; RTNHB will provide an entertainment and social space among Nubian people, their visitors, and guests. Funded by ECO Group, the site will be an attractive Nubian area, a spot of social interaction, cultural dialogue, and place for entertainment in front of Philae Temple.

IKEA Launches Home Solar Battery to Take on Tesla

14:30 - 4 August, 2017
IKEA Launches Home Solar Battery to Take on Tesla, Courtesy of Solarcentury
Courtesy of Solarcentury

A new challenger has stepped into the ring of home solar batteries, and it’s a name you may recognize: global furniture retailer IKEA.

A competitor to Tesla’s now-available Powerwall home battery and solar roof system, IKEA’s home battery will be first sold in the UK, where owners of solar-powered homes can typically only sell excess energy produced back to the national grid at a loss. The battery pack will instead allow that power to be stored for later use, helping homeowners reduce their electricity bills by as much as 70 percent.

How Sustainable Is Apple Park's Tree-Covered Landscape, Really?

09:30 - 14 July, 2017
How Sustainable Is Apple Park's Tree-Covered Landscape, Really?, Courtesy of Duncan Sinfield
Courtesy of Duncan Sinfield

This article was originally published by The Architect's Newspaper as "How green are Apple’s carbon-sequestering trees really?"

Apple is planting a forest in Cupertino, California. When the company’s new headquarters is completed later this year, 8,000 trees, transplanted from nurseries around the state of California, will surround the donut-shaped building by Foster + Partners. The trees are meant to beautify Apple’s 176 acres (dubbed Apple Park). But they will also absorb atmospheric carbon.

That’s a good thing. Carbon, in greenhouse gases, is a major cause of global warming. Almost everything humans do, including breathing, releases carbon into the atmosphere. Plants, on the other hand, absorb carbon, turning it into foliage, branches, and roots—a process known as sequestration.

World's First "Smart Street" in London Turns Footsteps into Energy

16:15 - 12 July, 2017
World's First "Smart Street" in London Turns Footsteps into Energy, via Pavegen
via Pavegen

Technology company Pavegen has unveiled the world’s first “Smart Street” in London’s West End that utilizes the company’s unique kinetic paving slabs to generate energy from pedestrians’ footsteps. But unlike earlier Pavegen installations deployed in cities like Washington DC and Rio de Janeiro (which uses the panels as the foundation for a soccer field), the London Smart Street comes with its very own app – giving visitors precise information about the power they are generating, and encouraging use by offering up store vouchers in return for steps.

via Pavegen via Pavegen via Pavegen via Pavegen +5

Norman Foster Stresses the Importance of Interdisciplinary Architecture in Creating Future Cities

16:00 - 8 July, 2017

Architecture, as both a profession and the built environment, currently finds itself at a crossroads in trying to adapt to a world in constant flux. Cities and its people face continuous socio-economic, political and environmental change on a daily basis, prompting a necessary rethink in the evolution of sustainable urbanization. With a focus on housing, society and cultural heritage, RIBA’s International Conference, Change in the City, aims to offer insight into the “New Urban Agenda” and how architects can play an interdisciplinary role in future urban development.

Speaking in an interview ahead of the conference, Norman Foster is a strong advocate for a careful consideration of what aspects of urban life need to be prioritized when designing cities of the future. For an increasingly global society, Foster stresses the need for architecture to surpass buildings and tackle its greatest obstacle – global warming, honing in on its roots and factors involved to create viable urban solutions.

Foster + Partners to Transform Major Landfill Site Into Sustainable Innovation Hub in Sharjah

08:00 - 5 July, 2017
Foster + Partners to Transform Major Landfill Site Into Sustainable Innovation Hub in Sharjah, via Flickr User Utsav Verma. Licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0).
via Flickr User Utsav Verma. Licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Foster + Partners have announced plans for the redevelopment of a major landfill site in Sharjah, UAE, belonging to Bee’ah – the foremost environmental energy and waste management company in the Middle East since 2007. Upon Sharjah reaching its “zero waste to landfill” target by 2020, the site is set for redundancy, sparking a proposed sustainable masterplan as an example of a circular economy and a reflection of Bee’ah’s vision of clean energy and sustainable innovation.

“We believe that this vision, as interpreted through our masterplan, represents a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate just what can be achieved at sites like this which feature in every industrialized nation on the planet,” expressed Giles Robinson, Senior Partner at Foster + Partners. “The project will also serve to further showcase Bee’ah’s waste management center as a place where innovation, environmental best practice, and good design take center stage.”

"Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding" by Julien Lanoo

14:00 - 1 July, 2017

Architectural photographer Julien Lanoo is known for his storytelling. His documentary-style photographs of the built environment range from Adjaye Associates' Aishti Foundation, OMA’s CCTV and the Oslo Architecture Triennale to name a few. Now the photographer has released a short film: introducing Canadian-Ghanaian architect Akwasi McLaren as he tells the story behind building his eco-lodge in the Cape 3 Points region of Ghana. Broken down into 3 chapters, “Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding” follows McLaren’s journey from designing his parents’ hotel in Ghana as a student to building his beloved lodge on the beach, to his hopes of sharing the valuable skills of ecological building and craftsmanship to cities.

Stefano Boeri on Designing the World's First Forest City in China

12:00 - 30 June, 2017

I really hope that this experiment will become a reference for many other architects, for many other urban planners, for many other public administrators and politicians, in order to implement, improve and multiplicate the realization of forest cities in China and all over the world.

In this video, Stefano Boeri explains the design of the just-announced Lizhou Forest City, which, when completed in 2020, will become the world’s first ground-up city constructed employing the firm’s signature Vertical Forest research.

Boeri explains the evolution of the concept from their first Vertical Forest project in Milan to the Lizhou development, which will accommodate up to 30,000 people in a master plan of environmentally efficient structures covered top-to-bottom in plants and trees, as well as the planning processes required to bring the project to fruition.

Call for Entries: Rise Tiny Home Design Challenge

04:00 - 28 June, 2017
Call for Entries: Rise Tiny Home Design Challenge, Rise Tiny Home Challenge. Credit: Rise Home Design Inc.
Rise Tiny Home Challenge. Credit: Rise Home Design Inc.

Tiny Homes are hot these days - more and more people are seeing the value of drastic downsizing in favour of increased financial freedom and reduced consumption and footprint. These are also important values that are core to Rise’s existence - helping you save money while reducing your footprint.

World's First Vertical Forest City Breaks Ground in China

14:00 - 23 June, 2017
World's First Vertical Forest City Breaks Ground in China, © Stefano Boeri Architetti
© Stefano Boeri Architetti

Construction has begun on the Liuzhou Forest City in the mountainous region of Guangxi, China. Designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti, the new ground-up city will accommodate up to 30,000 people in a master plan of environmentally efficient structures covered top-to-bottom in plants and trees.

Liuzhou Forest City will contain all of the essential typologies of the modern city – offices, houses, hotels, hospitals and schools – housed within a 175 hectare site near the Liujiang River. Employing the firm’s signature vertical forest system, The facades of each building will be covered in plant life, with a total 40,000 trees and nearly 1 million plants from over 100 species specified.

© Stefano Boeri Architetti © Stefano Boeri Architetti © Stefano Boeri Architetti © Stefano Boeri Architetti +6

Vincent Callebaut Imagines Hyperbolic Shaped Forest Suspended Over River in Seoul

16:00 - 17 June, 2017

Vincent Callebaut Architectures have developed a design plan reimagining the riverbank of Yeouhido Park, Seoul. The park is envisioned as an experimental urban space dedicated to sustainable development through a series of interventions - including a floating ferry terminal. Named the “Manta Ray,” the ambition of the proposal is to transform the park into an ecological forest of trees, enhancing its natural irrigation and strengthening the banks from floods. The “permeable landscaping” seeks to reduce floods and rehabilitate urban ecosystems that have become fragmented through Seoul’s rapid built expansion. The vegetation-dominated strategy also seeks to reduce the urban “heat island” effect Seoul has been experiencing due to climate change over the past decades. 

© Vincent Callebaut Architectures © Vincent Callebaut Architectures © Vincent Callebaut Architectures © Vincent Callebaut Architectures +32

CBT Unveils Community-Oriented Phase 2 Masterplan for Masdar City

15:10 - 15 June, 2017
CBT Unveils Community-Oriented Phase 2 Masterplan for Masdar City, Masdar City Phase 2. Image Courtesy of CBT
Masdar City Phase 2. Image Courtesy of CBT

“The world’s most sustainable eco-city,” Masdar City, is preparing for its next phase of development, as unveiled in the award-winning detailed master plan (DMP) by CBT. Depicted in a comprehensive masterplan by Foster + Partners, Masdar was originally envisioned as a carbon-neutral elevated city without cars, instead featuring pod-based transportation located below the podium. As the first phase was constructed, including the Masdar Institute of Technology, a new vision for the city began to emerge, eventually leading to CBT’s pedestrian-oriented innovation community plan for Phase 2. 

Masdar City Phase 2. Image Courtesy of CBT Masdar City Phase 2. Image Courtesy of CBT Masdar City Phase 2. Image Courtesy of CBT Masdar City Phase 2. Image Courtesy of CBT +9

How to Design a "Building that Breathes": A Sustainable Case Study of Colombia's EDU Headquarters

06:00 - 9 June, 2017
How to Design a "Building that Breathes": A Sustainable Case Study of Colombia's EDU Headquarters, © Alejandro Arango
© Alejandro Arango

In the Colombian capital city of Medellin, a new headquarters is being constructed for the Empresa de Desarrollo Urbano (Urban Development Company), combining optimal thermal performance with local urban regeneration. The new EDU headquarters is the result of a three-part collaboration between the public company, the private sector, and Professor Salmaan Craig from the Harvard Graduate School of Design who has family roots in the Colombian capital. 

Constructed on the site of the former EDU headquarters on San Antonio Park, the scheme aims to act as a benchmark for sustainable public buildings in Medellin, embracing the mantra of “building that breath."

As a specialist in materials, thermal design, and building physics, Professor Craig (EngD) voluntarily offered his service to the scheme’s realization. Below, he explains the thermodynamic challenges behind the building’s conception. 

© Alejandro Arango Estado de construcción en Abril de 2016. Image Cortesía de EDU Estado de construcción en Abril de 2016. Image Cortesía de EDU Análisis bioclimático. Image Cortesía de EDU +44

Media City, Istanbul - From Micro Code to Macro City

16:00 - 4 June, 2017
Media City, Istanbul - From Micro Code to Macro City, Courtesy of GAD Architecture
Courtesy of GAD Architecture

For over ten thousand years, cities have maintained an industrial infrastructure to transform local materials into basic necessities, such as clothing, food, and shelter. Even in the present day, with advances in science, construction, and commercial technology, a need still exists for structures dedicated to industrial-scale production, storage and distribution. However, in this more advanced, environmentally-conscious age, a challenge has emerged to create industrial complexes which are ecologically sensitive, responsible and sustainable.

Against this environmental backdrop, Istanbul-based GAD Architecture have unveiled Media City, a multimedia-based industrial complex to serve Istanbul’s future airport, projected to be the world’s largest upon completion. Recognized with a Future Project Award by the Architectural Review, Media City will incorporate industrial buildings in an urban setting inspired by QR codes, where artistic and cultural values co-exist with a celebration of environmental and technological progress.

Courtesy of GAD Architecture Courtesy of GAD Architecture Courtesy of GAD Architecture Courtesy of GAD Architecture +11

Apple Opens its First Flagship Store in Singapore

08:00 - 4 June, 2017
Apple Opens its First Flagship Store in Singapore, Courtesy of Nigel Young l Foster + Partners
Courtesy of Nigel Young l Foster + Partners

On a tree-lined avenue in Singapore, fittingly named Orchard Road, Apple has opened its first Flagship store in the city-state, highlighting its role as a global center for creativity and innovation. Designed by Fosters + Partners, in collaboration with the design team at Apple, the Orchard Road Flagship seeks to create a new social focus by working in tandem with nature, blurring the boundaries between inside and out.

Courtesy of Nigel Young l Foster + Partners Courtesy of Nigel Young l Foster + Partners Courtesy of Nigel Young l Foster + Partners Courtesy of Nigel Young l Foster + Partners +4

Harvard HouseZero - A Retrofit Response to Climate Change

14:00 - 27 May, 2017
Harvard HouseZero - A Retrofit Response to Climate Change , ZeroHouse aims to set a new benchmark for sustainable retrofitting. Image Courtesy of Snøhetta/Plompmozes
ZeroHouse aims to set a new benchmark for sustainable retrofitting. Image Courtesy of Snøhetta/Plompmozes

As part of a global, interdisciplinary effort to tackle climate change, architects are devoting resources towards optimizing the energy efficiency of buildings old and new. This effort is more than justified, given that buildings account for almost 40% of UK and US emissions. Although sustainability is now a hallmark of many new architectural schemes, the energy inefficiency of structures from the 18th and 19th centuries still contribute to global carbon emissions on a vast scale.

In order to address the challenge of intelligently retrofitting existing buildings, the Harvard Center for Green Buildings (CGBC) at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, in collaboration with Snøhetta and Skanska Technology, are retrofitting the CGBC’s headquarters in a pre-1940s timber-framed building, aiming to create one of the world’s most ambitious sustainable buildings. HouseZero is driven by uncompromising performance targets, such as 100% natural ventilation, 100% daylight autonomy, and almost zero energy required for heating and cooling. The result will be a prototype for ultra-efficiency, reducing reliance on energy-intensive technology whilst creating a comfortable indoor environment.

An array of features include PV cells, a heat pump, window shrouds and a solar vent. Image Courtesy of Snøhetta The existing 1940's timber-framed house will become the CGBC HQ. Image Courtesy of Snøhetta Despite its environmental provisions, ZeroHouse also places an emphasis on user-friendly design. Image Courtesy of Snøhetta/Plompmozes ZeroHouse aims to become completely energy autonomous. Image Courtesy of Snøhetta/Plompmozes +5