The energy already embodied in the built environment is a precious unnatural resource. It’s time to start treating it like one.
At its Googleplex headquarters in Mountain View, California, Google has what is arguably one of the most sustainable corporate campuses in America. It has a new million-square-foot complex on a 42-acre landscape, featuring monumental futuristic buildings from Danish architect Bjarke Ingels and British designer Thomas Heatherwick. But these places are not the same place. Although the new campus has no doubt been developed with a sense of environmental duty, the radically sustainable campus is the one next door, which Google has been using since 2003. Foreseeably—and fortunately—they’ll go on using it. Built in 1994, it was once the corporate home of an earlier Palo Alto technology firm, Silicon Graphics.
https://www.archdaily.com/932528/a-new-idea-in-architecture-no-new-buildingsThomas de Monchaux
Located in Trondheim, Norway, Powerhouse Brattørkaia, the world’s northernmost energy-positive building, designed by Snøhetta challenges the traditional notions of construction and puts in place new standards for buildings that produce more energy than they consume.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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