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Energy: The Latest Architecture and News

2°C: A COTE|LA SYMPOSIUM ON CLIMATE CHANGE

00:00 - 28 February, 2019
2°C: A COTE|LA SYMPOSIUM  ON CLIMATE CHANGE, 2C Symposium COTE LA March 1, 2019 (c) WPA
2C Symposium COTE LA March 1, 2019 (c) WPA

The 2°C Symposium is an opportunity to learn essential technologies, strategies and tools that address climate change at a critical time for our collective future.

SPARK Architects' 3D Printed "Big Arse Toilet" Transforms Waste into Energy in India

04:00 - 23 November, 2018
SPARK Architects' 3D Printed "Big Arse Toilet" Transforms Waste into Energy in India , Courtesy of SPARK Architects
Courtesy of SPARK Architects

In support of World Toilet Day on November 19, SPARK Architects launched their prototype for a 3D printed toilet module titled, "Big Arse Toilet" alongside a slogan stating that "Sparks gives a sh*t." Though the pun-filled humor is definitely attention-grabbing, the project tackles serious issues of hygiene and sanitation as part of the UN initiative to eliminate open defecation by 2025. With the perpetuating cycle of malnutrition, disease, and poverty, poor sanitation is the leading cause in nearly a third of the deaths in low- and middle-income regions in several countries such as India.

Easily transportable, the toilet module converts human waste into biogas into electricity using a micro combined heat and power (CHP) unit. Essentially producing "free" energy, SPARK's proposal combats the issue of open defecation and uses the abundant natural waste in remote communities in Indian villages where there is low accessibility to electricity.

Courtesy of SPARK Architects Courtesy of SPARK Architects Courtesy of SPARK Architects Courtesy of SPARK Architects + 10

Pasadena Heritage Craftsman Weekend

18:11 - 22 October, 2018
Pasadena Heritage Craftsman Weekend

In its 27th year, Pasadena Heritage will present the Annual Craftsman Weekend on November 9-11, 2018. The Weekend will feature house tours of notable Craftsman properties, along with bus and walking tours of the surrounding neighborhoods. Other events scheduled include a Show and Sale with exhibitors of antique and contemporary furniture and decorative arts, a silent auction, workshops and presentations. In addition, Pasadena Heritage will be offering exclusive receptions at historic locations throughout the weekend.

Helsinki Energy Company to Go Entirely Energy Neutral

14:00 - 16 September, 2018
Helsinki Energy Company to Go Entirely Energy Neutral, Helen’s Suvilahti solar power plant. Customers can lease panels and monitor their output in real time on the power plant’s webpage. Thus citizens can become solar power producers. In the background is the old Suvilahti power plant, today a cultural center. Photo attribution: Katri Tamminen / Helen
Helen’s Suvilahti solar power plant. Customers can lease panels and monitor their output in real time on the power plant’s webpage. Thus citizens can become solar power producers. In the background is the old Suvilahti power plant, today a cultural center. Photo attribution: Katri Tamminen / Helen

In the quest for carbon neutrality, the City of Helsinki in Finland announced its action plans to minimize greenhouse gas emissions substantially by 2035. The city’s fully owned energy company, Helen Ltd, a producer of district heating, power, and district cooling, aims to augment this policy by converting its largely coal and natural gas energy production processes to climate-neutral energy production, thereby eliminating carbon dioxide emissions fully by 2050.

This New Documentary Series Seeks to Bring Knowledge to Architecture Students

06:00 - 15 September, 2018
This New Documentary Series Seeks to Bring Knowledge to Architecture Students

Architecture, Form, and Energy is a documentary series featuring 6 interviews with architects and intellectuals from the United Kingdom, United States, Malaysia, and Mexico. The series seeks to disseminate information that inspires contemporary architectural evolution, from the impact of climate on a place, finding inspiration in nature, the relationship between form and energy, selecting the right materials, and appropriate technological application.

Form Follows Energy

09:55 - 10 June, 2018
Form Follows Energy, Book cover, Form Follows Energy, Photo: Hatice Cody
Book cover, Form Follows Energy, Photo: Hatice Cody

Architecture is energy. Lines drawn on paper to represent architectural intentions also imply decades and sometimes centuries of associated energy and material flows. “Form Follows Energy” is about the relationship between energy and the form of our built environment. It examines the optimisation of energy flows in building and urban design and the implications for form and configuration. It speaks to both architectural and engineering audiences and offers for the first time a truly interdisciplinary overview on the subject, explaining the complex relationships between energy and architecture in an easy to follow manner and using simple diagrams to show how

The Architecture of Chernobyl: Past, Present, and Future

14:30 - 30 April, 2018
Abandoned amusement park, Pripyat. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/oinkylicious/2329332355/in/photolist-4xQrmF-Zy21ao-Kk1D9g-Gb2HP2-Gbd54x-JowQgL-Gbd2dH-kmncdm-HhH4ar-vjHaG4-UEr5H6-a18skw-4Jfgyq-a15xDt-b8aKqR-79Cs8L-7f8k5o-6mTumV-AchudK-nMskBH-21Paa6J-YtFY7A-Zym38a-GqNxX-Zu4Rj7-Zvy49y-o4Cvtz-GvJskr-Zvy4ZV-a18r3j-nMrmxp-22mw4E4-a18sfj-9pfhyd-a18srJ-6mTu12-8AFucS-6mTu6v-6mXBWu-a18q1b-6mXBNJ-a18rMf-a15AuP-a15Aor-aR4JPT-CJcGwg-d7Z5uq-GqPr6-GqKb1-a15B3P'>Flickr user oinkylicious</a> licensed under <a href=' https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-NC-ND 2.0</a>
Abandoned amusement park, Pripyat. Image © Flickr user oinkylicious licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

April 26th saw the 32nd anniversary of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster, with the explosion of the Reactor 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine causing the direct deaths of 31 people, the spreading of radioactive clouds across Europe, and the effective decommissioning of 19 miles of land in all directions from the plant. Thirty-two years later, a dual reading of the landscape is formed: one of engineering extremes, and one of eeriness and desolation.

As the anniversary of the disaster and its fallout passes, we have explored the past, present, and future of the architecture of Chernobyl, charting the journey of a landscape which has burned and smoldered, but may yet rise from the ashes.

Reator 4, Chernobyl has been encased in the world's largest movable metal structure. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/entoropi/35375407185/in/photolist-VU1d6x-ikWQJ1-TsSEwh-9qYCRm-9r6pCQ-5m9uAf-hQxGTt-9qW5dX-9qZ86h-ikXxJp-VGwNBV-9r3mCk-9qW8b4-JnBeTu-JEs1bN-JPwDqi-5m9uKY-VTZpwk-9qW1gt-pquPBw-o5xhEA-o5CtPv-ikXzoX-9qYYe5-9qW5Cv-ViPtB3-a1f2LP-24v4vJn-ikXG5T-ikXae5-ikXbbA-HS2sCx-ikX47f-JFgyt9-ikWQvz-JFuDgD-4JaWEF-9qYUAA-4JaXwp-ikX25w-ikX5uL-9r3dEz-21K4gzj-VLhgQ8-9qZaH1-9qVN4v-9r3vVX-9qYCb9-qVuDsv-9qW9kr'>Flickr user entoropi</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-NC-ND 2.0</a> The unfinished 5th reactor at Chernobyl. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/spoilt_exile/35540029246/in/photolist-W9xWuW-8EJWzQ-8EFKjR-nYASP9-b5mfSF-KaKzfq-JoyU1p-LeqYKQ-db7Rjb-g9sy6Z-eFjTwt-8EJRUJ-9HxbYc-9ChyMP-eFqD41-9r6syY-b5jZX8-8E3Gq8-UBvtEu-eFjVJH-2cMJbu-S1h3Ni-G8UJNf-HbTHda-oDXEJ-SSthoT-JFpB8R-oDXyo-76kFmX-sfX8km-atjDdx-8EJBQm-GbcxvD-GbcuAR-FL67kj-FfKC19-G8UGMb-Gbchbv-25mkvaF-FBeQuK-HgSNsj-8EJX9S-5m9vfu-22Epjzj-fai36Q-8EJP1W-4jMERm-JFuDgD-YYzhkv-eFqCuS'>Flickr user spoilt_exile</a> licensed under <ahref='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> Abandoned swimming pool, Pripyat. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/22746515@N02/26563907296/in/photolist-GtmYaE-eLaenJ-eeUnTA-SF9h32-Bo4Gq1-7f8nJw-uQ48C-6qxrvs-9BV2oD-HFWifd-6qxqAm-eLaehW-4JEQH3-RX8AcC-SNS9DU-RPNywP-TC6jR6-7FU6vg-D3PFi5-UYXshy-eLaeey-SSsDqz-V3p7Lt-TNWtAx-TNRUWT-TKSjx9-V3se2D-TKVEVC-TKWHey-6w9yh1-TNqymV-TNVDBr-RX6McY-V3r94z-TNpNft-RzXz6U-6jNwgu-TNsYHr-UN3K7h-UQEByr-V3rvgz-UYsKFu-UQKsgt-TKrHko-UMYEZY-9dGEHv-XRsh7D-7f8k5o-XArcfz-UsfA6W'>Flickr user Bert Kaufmann</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/'>CC BY-NC 2.0</a> Abandoned amusement park, Pripyat. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/thedakotakid/6216419723/in/photolist-atjM1p-9qZbyw-fai36Q-VU1fxr-fahXd9-o1wcX3-Dy5et5-VU1d6x-ikWQJ1-TsSEwh-9qYCRm-9r6pCQ-5m9uAf-hQxGTt-9qW5dX-9qZ86h-ikXxJp-VGwNBV-9r3mCk-9qW8b4-JnBeTu-JEs1bN-JPwDqi-5m9uKY-VTZpwk-9qW1gt-pquPBw-o5xhEA-o5CtPv-ikXzoX-9qYYe5-9qW5Cv-ViPtB3-a1f2LP-24v4vJn-ikXG5T-ikXae5-ikXbbA-HS2sCx-ikX47f-JFgyt9-ikWQvz-JFuDgD-4JaWEF-9qYUAA-4JaXwp-ikX25w-ikX5uL-9r3dEz-21K4gzj'>Flickr user thedakotakid</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> + 18

Solar Squared: A Glass Block That Generates Electricity

06:00 - 25 September, 2017
Solar Squared: A Glass Block That Generates Electricity, © Build Solar
© Build Solar

Renewable energy experts from the University of Exeter in England have developed a glass block with built-in solar cells. The idea is that with the spread of technology, it is possible to build a house or a whole building's facade using blocks that generate energy.

The product has been named Solar Squared, tests done at the university have shown that they guarantee thermal insulation and allow natural light to enter the building.

Student Design Competition: Innovation 2030

19:30 - 31 August, 2017
Student Design Competition: Innovation 2030

Architects play a crucial role in addressing both the causes and effects of climate change through the design of the built environment. Innovative design thinking is key to producing architecture that meets human needs for both function and delight, adapts to climate change projections, continues to support the health and well being of inhabitants despite natural and human-caused disasters, and minimizes contributions to further climate change through greenhouse gas emissions.

New Book Calls for an End to Our Fetish for Conditioned Skyscrapers

06:00 - 16 March, 2017
New Book Calls for an End to Our Fetish for Conditioned Skyscrapers, Cambridge research seeks to end the architectural fetish of glass and steel skyscrapers © Flickr user tomhilton. Licensed under CC BY 2.0
Cambridge research seeks to end the architectural fetish of glass and steel skyscrapers © Flickr user tomhilton. Licensed under CC BY 2.0

Professor Alan Short of the University of Cambridge has published a book advocating for the revival of 19th-century architectural ideas to address the crippling energy use of modern skyscrapers. The Recovery of Natural Environments in Architecture proposes an end to the architectural fetish for glass, steel, and air conditioning, instead drawing inspiration from forgotten techniques in naturally ventilated buildings of the 1800s. The book is a culmination of 30 years’ research and design by Prof. Short and his colleagues at the University of Cambridge.

Cambridge research seeks to end the architectural fetish of glass and steel skyscrapers © Flickr user tomhilton. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 Professor Short argues that skyscraper design must depart from its current reliance on glass and steel, and begin to harness natural ventilation. Boeri Studio's Bosco Verticale. Image Courtesy of Paolo Rosselli Professor Alan Short calls for an overhaul of artificial ventilation in skyscrapers. Image Courtesy of University of Cambridge Energy demands from a recent skyscraper boom in China has led to energy controls on millions of inhabitants © Flickr user obscurepixels. Licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0 + 5

Snøhetta Designs World’s Northernmost Energy Positive Building in Norway

12:10 - 18 January, 2017

A country known for economic dependency on its rich oil deposits, Norway is now looking toward the future of energy production: net-positive architecture. Taking the lead in this initiative, developer Emil Eriksrød has commissioned American-Norwegian firm Snøhetta to design Norway’s first energy positive building, Powerhouse Telemark, a 6,500 square meter (70,000 square foot) office building located in the tiny Norwegian town of Porsgrunn, home to just 35,000 people. When completed, it will be the world’s northernmost plus-energy building.

Snøhetta Designs World’s Northernmost Energy Positive Building in Norway © Loft Visual Group/Snøhetta © Loft Visual Group/Snøhetta © Loft Visual Group/Snøhetta + 11

Thom Mayne Completes Research on Houston’s Urban Future

14:00 - 18 December, 2016
Thom Mayne Completes Research on Houston’s Urban Future, Courtesy of University of Houston
Courtesy of University of Houston

Pritzker Prize winner Thom Mayne has completed a three-semester–long study of Houston’s future, given its current sprawling urban conditions and rapid growth. The project, conducted alongside 21 University of Houston students and faculty members Matt Johnson, Peter Zweig, and Jason Logan, focused on ways of addressing the problems that arise from Houston’s historical lack of zoning in conjunction with the largely unregulated growth of industry and capitalism. These approaches include reinventing the current energy infrastructure, changing real estate and density, and leveraging the lack of zoning to generate new ideas.

This Floating Desalination Megastructure is Designed to Combat California's Water Shortages

09:30 - 25 August, 2016
This Floating Desalination Megastructure is Designed to Combat California's Water Shortages, Day View of the Vessel. Image Courtesy of Bart//Bratke
Day View of the Vessel. Image Courtesy of Bart//Bratke

California is suffering through its 5th year of severe water shortage. Aquifers and rivers continue to dry out as the water provided by melting snowpacks is reduced, and even the heavy rain brought by El Niño this year could not relieve the drought. Authorities are wary of the long-term consequences for California and neighboring areas of the Colorado River, and Santa Monica is now seeing a growing number of initiatives to control the use of potable water and find sustainable solutions.

Most recently, a competition asked architects, artists and scientists to conceive sustainable infrastructure projects to improve Santa Monica’s water supply. Bart//Bratke and studioDE developed a raft structure named “Foram” that illustrates the future of floating platforms in sustainable development.

Night View from the Coast. Image Courtesy of Bart//Bratke Aerial Coast Assembly. Image Courtesy of Bart//Bratke Pavilion Alignment. Image Courtesy of Bart//Bratke Interior of the Pavilion. Image Courtesy of Bart//Bratke + 15

ArchTriumph Present the "Energy Pavilion" Now Open at Museum Gardens

12:00 - 26 June, 2016
ArchTriumph Present the "Energy Pavilion" Now Open at Museum Gardens, Courtesy of Sergio Grazia and Luc Boegly
Courtesy of Sergio Grazia and Luc Boegly

This week, Museum Gardens became the host to the annual Triumph Pavilion, this year focusing on the concept of "energy." Five Line Projects' aptly titled "Energy Pavilion" takes a multi-faceted approach to the theme, addressing social sustainability, movement and the power of community. The pavilion presents a playful meeting place, designed to explore the impact of a single positive action on its surroundings.

Courtesy of Sergio Grazia and Luc Boegly Courtesy of Sergio Grazia and Luc Boegly Courtesy of Sergio Grazia and Luc Boegly Courtesy of Sergio Grazia and Luc Boegly + 13

Open Call: Santa Monica LAGI 2016: Powering Places in Southern California

14:31 - 4 March, 2016
Open Call: Santa Monica LAGI 2016: Powering Places in Southern California

The Land Art Generator Initiative is delighted to announce that LAGI 2016 will be held in Southern California, with the City of Santa Monica as site partner. This free and open call ideas competition invites individuals or interdisciplinary teams to design a large-scale site-specific work of public art that also serves as clean energy and/or drinking water infrastructure for the City of Santa Monica.

The complete Design Guidelines along with CAD files, photos, and more will be available on January 1, 2016 at http://landartgenerator.org/designcomp

The design site includes the breakwater adjacent to the historic Santa Monica Pier and offers the opportunity to

International Passive House Conference 2016

10:53 - 6 January, 2016
International Passive House Conference 2016

The Passive House is now 25 years old; to celebrate this, the International Passive House Conference is returning to Darmstadt – the city in Germany, in which this success story began. On 22 and 23 April 2016, over a hundred speakers from all over the world will report on the latest projects relating to highly energy efficient construction and retrofits. But the anniversary will also serve as an occasion for a review, with the presentation of results relating to the durability of the individual building components of the first Passive House. The complete Conference programme is now available online. In

Architecture at Zero Competition Challenges Teams to Design Zero Net Site Energy Housing for UCSF

07:00 - 12 May, 2015
Architecture at Zero Competition Challenges Teams to Design Zero Net Site Energy Housing for UCSF, Courtesy of Architecture at Zero
Courtesy of Architecture at Zero

The 2015 Architecture at Zero Competition has launched, challenging students and designers to develop 'family-style residential units' for the Mission Bay Campus of the University of California San Francisco. Now in its fifth year, the competition calls for designs that produce "at least as much energy as [they] use over a year," excluding the embodied energy of building materials and transportation of people and materials to and from the site. Entrants must be able to demonstrate that their designs can be reasonably expected to meet a zero net energy goal over a prolonged period of time. The competition is open to student and professional individuals and teams, with up to $25,000 in prize money to be won. Interested parties have until August 28 to register and submissions are due September 25 at 1PM PST. Read more about the competition at Architecture at Zero's website and check out the winners from last year here.

Video: How Tesla's Powerwall Will Provide Energy to the World

14:20 - 6 May, 2015

The world's energy infrastructure may soon undergo significant change; Tesla Motors recently unveiled the Powerwall, a compact, lithium-ion battery pack that will allow residents to autonomously consume energy by drawing from their own sun-powered reserve. For just $3,500, you can purchase an attractive, wall-mounted battery capable of storing up to 10 kilowatt-hours of energy - about a third of what the average US household uses daily. Beyond this, the company will also be offering scalable Powerpacks to businesses and utility companies that will allow limitless storage. Powerwalls will go out for delivery this summer.