How to Incorporate Gardens in Home Design

Indoor gardens can contribute important benefits to home living, ranging from aesthetic beauty to improved health and productivity. Research has shown that indoor plants help eliminate indoor air pollutants called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that emanate from adhesives, furnishings, clothing, and solvents, and are known to cause illnesses. They also increase subjective perceptions of concentration and satisfaction, as well as objective measures of productivity. Indoor gardens may even reduce energy use and costs because of the reduced need for air circulation. These benefits complement the obvious aesthetic advantages of a well-designed garden, making the indoor garden an attractive residential feature on several fronts.

Courtesy of TAA DESIGN © BK © Rafael Gamo Hydroponic gardening. Image © Needpix user naidokdin + 42

Embodied Energy in Building Materials: What it is and How to Calculate It

All human activities affect the environment. Some are less impactful, some much, much more. According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the construction sector is responsible for up to 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Activities such as mining, processing, transportation, industrial operations, and the combination of chemical products result in the release of gases such as CO2, CH4, N2O, O3, halocarbons, and water vapor. When these gases are released into the atmosphere, they absorb a portion of the sun's rays and redistribute them in the form of radiation in the atmosphere, warming our planet. With a rampant amount of gas released daily, this layer thickens, which causes solar radiation to enter and and stay in the planet. Today, this 'layer' has become so thick that mankind is beginning to experience severe consequence, such as desertification, ice melting, water scarcity, and the intensification of storms, hurricanes, and floods, which has modified ecosystems and reduced biodiversity.

As architects, one of our biggest concerns should be the reduction of carbon emissions from the buildings we construct. Being able to measure, quantify, and rate this quality is a good way to start.

House in Tsukimiyama / Tato Architects

© Shinkenchiku Sha © Shinkenchiku Sha © Shinkenchiku Sha © Shinkenchiku Sha + 20

Kōbe, Japan
  • Architects: Tato Architects ; Design: Tato Architects/Yo Shimada
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 69.31
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2015

Spotlight: Kengo Kuma

Kengo Kuma (born 8th August, 1956) is one of the most significant Japanese figures in contemporary architecture. His reinterpretation of traditional Japanese architectural elements for the 21st century has involved serious innovation in uses of natural materials, new ways of thinking about light and lightness and architecture that enhances rather than dominates. His buildings don't attempt to fade into the surroundings through simple gestures, as some current Japanese work does, but instead his architecture attempts to manipulate traditional elements into statement-making architecture that still draws links with the area in which it's built. These high-tech remixes of traditional elements and influences have proved popular across Japan and beyond, and his recent works have begun expanding out of Japan to China and the West.

Green Cast. Image Courtesy of kengo kuma & associates GC Prostho Museum Research Center. Image © Daici Ano Même – Experimental House. Image Courtesy of kengo kuma & associates Shun Shoku Lounge by Guranavi. Image Courtesy of kengo kuma & associates + 37

House in Hokusetsu / Tato Architects

© Shinkenchiku Sha © Shinkenchiku Sha © Shinkenchiku Sha © Shinkenchiku Sha + 29

Osaka, Japan
  • Architects: Tato Architects
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 150.0
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2015

House in Sonobe / Tato Architects

Exterior view from West. The large siding door of the Sunroom is opened. Overlooking the Sunroom. Large sliding doors closed Sunroom. View towards Entrance Sunroom. View towards Dining area + 36

Nantan, Japan
  • Architects: Tato Architects
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 84.59
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2017

30 Plans, Sections and Details for Sustainable Projects

The dramatic improvement in recent decades in our understanding of sustainable design has shown that designing sustainably doesn't have to be a compromise—it can instead be a benefit. When done correctly, sustainable design results in higher-performing, healthier buildings which contribute to their inhabitants' physical and mental well-being.

The benefits of incorporating vegetation in façades and in roofs, as well as materials and construction systems that take energy use and pollution into account, demonstrate that sustainable design has the potential to create buildings that improve living conditions and respect the natural environment.

Below we have compiled 30 plans, sections and construction details of projects that stand out for their approach to sustainability.

Split-Level Homes: 50 Floor Plan Examples

Faced with the challenge of designing homes on terrains with steep slopes - or in compact urban contexts that do not allow much variation in plan - several architects have experimented and proposed split-level homes to enhance the use of space, allowing, among other things, interesting visual perspectives.

These variations can be seen in numerous examples published on our site. Below, we have selected 50 examples that can help you in your next project. 

Taipei Nanshan Plaza / Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei

© Shinkenchiku-sha Courtesy of Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei © Hisao Suzuki © Hisao Suzuki + 44

House in Miyamoto / Tato Architects

© Shinkenchiku Sha © Shinkenchiku Sha © Shinkenchiku Sha © Shinkenchiku Sha + 21

Osaka, Japan
  • Architects: Tato Architects ; Design: Yo Shimada
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 50.0
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2017

The 50 Most Popular Architecture Photographs of 2017

At ArchDaily, we're lucky enough to know a fantastic network of architecture professionals, allowing us to share the world's best architecture with our audience. But our articles wouldn't be the same without the many photographers who dedicate themselves to making incredible, inspiring images. For that reason, here we present the 50 most popular architecture images of 2017.

World Photo Day 2017: Our Readers’ 100 Most-Bookmarked Architectural Photographs

This August 19th is World Photo Day, which celebrates photography on the anniversary of the day on which France bought the patent for the daguerreotype, one of the earliest photographic processes, and released it to the world for free in 1839. At ArchDaily, we understand the importance of photography in architecture—not only as a tool for recording designs, but also as a discipline that many of us enjoy. To celebrate the occasion, we decided to reveal the most popular images ever published on ArchDaily, as selected by you, our readers. Using data gathered from My ArchDaily, we have ranked the 100 most-saved images from our database; read on to see them.

Materials That Make Construction Details Protagonists: Photos of the Week

We love construction details! That's why this week's photos highlight the art of the synthesis of materials and the varied photographic products we can obtain by looking closer. Photographers like Joel Filipe, Marie-Françoise Plissart and Adria Goula, give us precise and beautiful exposure to wooden joints, steel structures, concrete details, curtain walls and more.

© Ivan Morison © Noel Arraiz © SWANG © Joel Filipe + 14

House in Fukushima / BHIS + K's planning

© Shinkenchiku-sha © Shinkenchiku-sha © Shinkenchiku-sha © Shinkenchiku-sha + 40

Fukushima-shi, Japan

Weekend House in Kumano-cho / Araki+Sasaki architects

© Shinkenchiku-sha © Shinkenchiku-sha © Shinkenchiku-sha © Shinkenchiku-sha + 15

Hiroshima, Japan

22 Skinny Houses With a Narrow Footprint and a Broad Impact

Skinny houses have a wider appeal than their footprint would suggest. With cities becoming denser, and land becoming rare and expensive, architects are increasingly challenged to design in urban infill spaces previously overlooked. Although designing within these unusual parameters can be difficult, they often require an individual, sensitive response, which can often lead to innovative, playful, even inspiring results. With that in mind, here are 22 houses with a narrow footprint, and a broad impact.