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Breeam: The Latest Architecture and News

Evaluating Buildings: 12 Green Building Certifications to Know

The Brundtland Report, 1987 - "Our Common Future" - introduced the notion that the sustainable use of natural resources must "meet the needs of the present generation without affecting the ability of future generations to meet theirs." Since then, the term sustainability has been popularized and, often, trivialized in our daily lives. In the construction industry, this is no different. As much as we know that to build, we need to destroy, how is it possible to mitigate the effects of construction during the useful life and demolition of buildings? A sustainable building, in its design, construction, and operation, must reduce or eliminate negative effects overall and may even generate net positive impacts on the climate and environment – preserving resources and improving the quality of life of the occupants simultaneously. To say that a building is sustainable is easy and even seductive. But what exactly makes sustainable construction?

Answering this question is not a simple exercise. That is why, in the last 30 years, several building sustainability certifications have been created. Through outsourced and impartial evaluations from different sources, they aim to verify the sustainable aspects of any construction. Each of them addresses particular building elements and is typically focused on certain regions of the world. While there are some certifications that verify whether the building meets certain efficiency criteria, others create different classifications, assigning a score based on these evaluations. Below, we list some of the primary sustainability certifications around the world – ranked alphabetically – and include their main architectural applications alongside a brief explanation:

LOM Architecture and Design Creates Santander’s New Digital Hub in England

Expected to open in autumn 2022, construction works began on Santander’s landmark new workplace in Milton Keynes. The campus entitled Unity Place, designed by LOM architecture and design, is a hub for digital banking innovation, bringing together, in one space, the 6,000 employees of Santander.

© LOM© LOM© LOM© LOM+ 11

Construction Works Begin on Hugh Broughton's Discovery Building at Rothera Research Station in Antarctica

A new building in Antarctica breaks ground at the Rothera Research Station. Designed by Hugh Broughton Architects, the project commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), aims to facilitate the British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) ongoing climate-related research.

Determine Which Sustainable Building Rating Systems are Best for You

The variety of sustainable building rating systems promoting health and wellbeing can be confusing. With so many standards, how do you determine which are suitable for your project? How do you take advantage of the synergies between these rating systems to pick the right building materials? By increasing your knowledge of all the available options, you can make a more informed decision and achieve the best possible results for your building. In AEC Daily’s online course you can explore health and wellbeing credits across sustainable building rating systems and study the many options for creating optimal conditions for building occupants.

ZHA & Esplan Win Competition to Design the New Terminal for Rail Baltica

Zaha Hadid Architects were selected along with Esplan from Estonia to design the new terminal of the Rail Baltic railway at Ülemiste, Tallinn. Their proposal for the starting point of the Rail Baltic line connecting Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius with the European high-speed rail network, has been awarded the first place in the design competition.

Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects© ZOA Studio, courtesy of Zaha Hadid ArchitectsCourtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects© ZOA Studio, courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects+ 11

Foster + Partners Plan a Tulip-Shaped Tower for Central London

Foster + Partners have unveiled details of their latest proposed tower for the City of London. “The Tulip” seeks to become a “new public cultural attraction” sitting adjacent to The Gherkin: one of Foster’s and London’s most iconic structures.

The 305-meter-high, bud-like scheme, named after its nature-inspired form, will offer an education facility operated by building owners J. Safra Group. The program, with 20,000 free places per year for London’s state school children, will feature “unparalleled vantage point to view London from a height of around 300 meters.”

© DBOX for Foster + Partners© DBOX for Foster + Partners© DBOX for Foster + Partners© DBOX for Foster + Partners+ 8

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Design Zero-Carbon Headquarters for Global Chemical Company in Brussels

Quad campus. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen
Quad campus. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen

Schmidt Hammer Lassen has released images and details of its competition-winning design for the headquarters of Solvay, an advanced materials and chemicals company, to be located in Brussels, Belgium. Working in collaboration with Modulo Architects and VK Engineers, the Danish firm has prioritized sustainability and resilience in the zero-carbon, near-zero-energy building.

The winning team was chosen from a competitive international field including OMA, Valode & Pistre, Wilmotte & Associés, and Henning Larsen.

Night view. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer LassenFacade. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer LassenLobby. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer LassenInterior roof park. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen+ 18

T2.a Architects Uses Algorithm to Design Customizable Apartment Complex

Imagine having input in the design process for your custom apartment built alongside the second largest river in Europe. T2.a Architects has unveiled their design for DANUBIO, a new residential development in Budapest, which aims to do just that.

The driving concept behind the development of DANUBIO is to give the freedom of design back to the residents, inviting them to give input into the configuration of units within the building. Using Grasshopper, a Rhinoceros plug in, a script was developed to allow creative flexibility in the design of each resident’s future home. This algorithm is altered every time a new resident enters the community by allowing them to define the typology, orientation, and location of their future home during the design process.

Courtesy of DANUBIO/T2.a ArchitectsCourtesy of DANUBIO/T2.a ArchitectsCourtesy of DANUBIO/T2.a ArchitectsCourtesy of DANUBIO/T2.a Architects+ 23

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Selected in Competition for Redevelopment of Riga Historic Quarter

The office building was inspired by the arches of the historic brewery. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
The office building was inspired by the arches of the historic brewery. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Danish firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects has been selected to design the redevelopment of Kimmel Quarter, a historic district in the heart of the Latvian capital of Riga, after an international competition. The 19th-century Kimmel Brewery complex, now mostly abandoned, will be transformed into a mixed-use center featuring a new office building, hotel, and an array of public facilities. Schmidt Hammer Lassen was one of eleven participants, with firms such as Henning Larsen and Zaha Hadid invited to the open competition.

The proposal for the 120,000-square-foot (11,500-square-meter) district manifests as a vibrant, public-orientated program, including a gym, child care center, café, food court, and spa. A series of courtyards and plazas are laced throughout the scheme, connecting old and new in a “timeless, classic appearance that is also uniquely contemporary.” The design took 2nd place in a competition in which no first place winner was selected, as the jury felt that no entry fully met the competition criteria. As the highest-placing entry, the competition organizers have committed to begin negotiations with Schmidt Hammer Lassen to refine the design.

Surfaces and facades are constructed from recycled brick. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen ArchitectsConceptual sketch. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen ArchitectsOffice terrace. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen ArchitectsCourtyards offer a connection between old and new. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects+ 19

Bloomberg’s New European Headquarters Rated World's Most Sustainable Office Building

Bloomberg’s new European HQ, which is located in the heart of the City of London, has been rated the world’s most sustainable office building. Designed by Foster + Partners, the office complex has been awarded an Outstanding BREEAM rating, attaining a 98.5% score – the highest design-stage score ever achieved by any major office development.

© Bloomberg© Bloomberg© Bloomberg© Bloomberg+ 9

WELL Building Certification - An Architectural Aid for Human Health

Architecture continually evolves to meet societal demands. Recently, a global effort to tackle climate change, and to achieve optimum energy efficiency in buildings, has brought standards such as BREEAM and LEED to the fore. However, as scientific analysis and awareness of human mental health has increased, architects are once again required to place humans at the centre of the design process. This growing trend has led to the development of WELL Building Certification – considered the world’s first certification focused exclusively on human health and wellbeing.

Symantec HQ - Staff interaction is encouraged as part of WELL standards. Image Courtesy of LittleSymantec HQ - A vibrant collection of spaces encourage movement. Image Courtesy of LittleSymantec HQ - Staff movement and interaction is encouraged to promote wellbeing. Image Courtesy of LittleSymantec HQ - The building has achieved WELL certification. Image Courtesy of Little+ 16