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Environmental Design: The Latest Architecture and News

How Are Construction Materials Produced and How Does This Contribute to the Climate Crisis? Our Readers Answered

How does architecture contribute to the current climate crisis? 

We invited our readers to weigh in on this issue and were overwhelmed by the number of responses that we got. After reading through and compiling the replies from industry professionals, architectural students, and architecture aficionados, we were struck by a common theme: there are few resources when it comes to researching how materials and products used in construction are sourced and produced

Design Your Summer! UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design is Now Accepting Applications

 | Sponsored Content

Today's designers have inherited unprecedented global challenges, a legacy which will require radically new ways of fashioning the buildings, places, and landscapes that harbor our diverse ways of life. The College of Environmental Design offers several introductory and advanced programs for those interested in confronting these challenges in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture and environmental planning, urban design, and sustainable city planning. Please visit UC Berkeley's Summer Programs website to view images of student work and learn more about the CED Summer experience.

Could Tall Wood Construction Be the Future of High-Rise Buildings?

Across the globe, tall wood structures have begun transforming the world of skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, ushering in an important shift to an architectural practice that has traditionally been dominated by steel and concrete. Typically defined as wood-constructed buildings over 14 stories or 50 meters high, the past six years have seen over 44 tall wood buildings built or underway around the world. Notable examples include Michael Green Architecture and DLR Group’s T3 and Team V Architectuur’s upcoming 73 meter residential tower HAUT.

SURGE Combines High Aesthetics with Environmentally Oriented Technology

Chinese architect Mingfei Sun has designed an environmentally oriented urban hub for Masdar City, Abu Dhabi. Titled SURGE, its natural aesthetics and technological forwardness are intended to communicate a J.M.W. Turner-esque awe for the power of nature, making it an oasis of high aesthetic and ecological value.

3GATTI Proposes 'Green Spaceship' for Madrid Library

A Green Spaceship appears to have landed in Villaverde, Madrid, in design firm 3GATTI’s proposal for the new municipal library. The design for the landmark building employs the public’s curiosity to draw visitors in and create an iconic presence in the city. The library is split between two floors, both architecturally and conceptually. The ground level is transparent and open, meant to house the noisy, public aspects of the program; the upper floor is the architectural showpiece, floating above the ground and containing the more private, quiet study spaces.

© 3GATTI© 3GATTI© 3GATTI© 3GATTI+ 14

Stefano Boeri Architetti Creates a Vertical Forest for Tirana 2030 Master Plan

Albania’s capital city, Tirana, is slated to receive the country’s first Vertical Forest in a scheme designed by Milanese architecture firm, Stefano Boeri Architetti. Originating as part of the city’s new development master plan completed by the firm 3 years ago, the building will greatly increase the amount of greenery within and around the metropolitan area. Tirana’s Vertical Forest will contain 21 floors above ground with 4 more below and will be populated by 105 apartment units above a primarily commercial ground floor.

Tirana Vertical Forest. Image © Stefano Boeri Architetti24-hour school in Tirana. Image © Stefano Boeri ArchitettiBlloku Cube. Image © Stefano Boeri ArchitettiTirana 2030 - Agriculture. Image © Stefano Boeri Architetti+ 19

PPA Offers Unique Nature-Integrated Experience in Proposed Italian Forest Development

Milan-based architecture and design firm Peter Pichler Architecture has proposed a new sustainable tree-house concept, offering a unique maximized connection with nature.

Tree House Section Tree House RoomCourtesy of Peter Pichler ArchitectureCourtesy of Peter Pichler Architecture+ 7

The Trends that Will Influence Architecture in 2019

It is, once again, the time of year where we look towards the future to define the goals and approaches that we will take for our careers throughout the upcoming year. To help the millions of architects who visit ArchDaily every day from all over the world, we compiled a list of the most popular ideas of 2018, which will continue to be developed and consolidated throughout 2019.

Over 130 million users discovered new references, materials, and tools in 2018 alone, infusing their practice of architecture with the means to improve the quality of life for our cities and built spaces. As users demonstrated certain affinities and/or demonstrated greater interest in particular topics, these emerged as trends. 

The AIA Toolkit for Architects in the Era of Climate Change

A misconception often surfaces in design circles that architectural beauty and evidence-based environmental performance are mutually exclusive. To address this, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) is releasing a new tool that can assist architecture firms in designing high-performance energy-efficient buildings.

Despite the federal stance on paramount environmental issues, the AIA upholds and advocates for the responsibility of architects to mitigate against the effects of climate change. Aware that the construction industry consumes nearly 40% of the energy supply nationwide, the AIA COTE® Top Ten Toolkit presents a series of strategies to promote sustainability without compromising the design.

Albion District Library / Perkins + WillFort Mason Center for Arts & Culture / LMS Architects Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery / DLR GroupFamily House / LMS Architects+ 6

The World's First Zero-Waste Bio-Brick is Grown from Human Urine

Courtesy of University of Cape Town
Courtesy of University of Cape Town

Some years ago, researchers in the United States previously tested the concept of using synthetic urine-based substances to fabricate building materials. However, new research conducted by Masters student Suzanne Lambert at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, puts forth a zero-waste process of producing urine-based bricks by using collected human urine for the first time.

Courtesy of University of Cape TownCourtesy of University of Cape TownCourtesy of University of Cape TownCourtesy of University of Cape Town+ 6

Ross Barney Architects' CLT Design for McDonald's Expands the Possibilities of Timber Construction

© Kendall McCaugherty, Hall+Merrick Photographers
© Kendall McCaugherty, Hall+Merrick Photographers

In an effort to reinvent an iconic American fast-food brand, McDonald’s U.S. has announced a new direction for the corporation, beginning with rethinking the restaurant’s current archetypal design both in its interior eating spaces and exterior urban landscape. A primary example of this commitment can be seen in the recently completed design for McDonald’s Global Flagship in Chicago by Ross Barney Architects.

The structure, which fills an entire city block in the heart of Chicago, was envisioned as a hallmark example of both the architect and the corporation's shared commitment to environmentally sustainable design. Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), an essential material for the project, replaced many of the commonly-used building materials such as steel, concrete, and plastics that have a larger environmental footprint.

Ingenhoven Architects and Architectus Win Competition to Design Sydney's Tallest Residential Skyscraper

A beautifully delicate design by ingenhoven architects, in cooperation with architectus, has bested series of internationally acclaimed architects to design Sydney’s tallest residential tower at 505-523 George Street. The 79-storey skyscraper will reach 270m, and include several uses, ranging from high-quality living and retail to hotel and leisure. The designers hope the tower will be “a profoundly visible landmark standing for an economical, environmental and socially sustainable, future-oriented development”.

Courtesy of Doug and WolfCourtesy of Doug and WolfCourtesy of Doug and WolfCourtesy of Doug and Wolf+ 12

Massachusetts' LEED Platinum Award Winning Arena Named US' Most Environmentally Sustainable

Massachusetts’ Bentley University Arena together with Architectural Resources Cambridge (ARC) have earned the LEED Platinum certification and was named the most environmentally sustainable arena in the United States. The 76,000 square foot arena emphasizes the university’s commitment to sustainability, energy efficiency, and goal to reach carbon neutrality by the year 2030. Bentley Unversity also offers a major in Sustainability Science and a program that will reduce more than 270 tons of material waste per year. This arena hosts several university events such as concerts, alumni events, career fairs, and is home to its NCAA Division I hockey team.

Courtesy of InkHouseCourtesy of InkHouseCourtesy of InkHouseCourtesy of InkHouse+ 5

Call for Submissions / 2018 Summer [IN]STITUTE in Environmental Design

UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design is now accepting applications for the 2018 Summer [IN]STITUTE in Environmental Design! The Summer [IN]STITUTE gives participants the opportunity to test their enthusiasm for the material and culture of architecture, landscape architecture and sustainable city planning. The Institute is geared towards post-baccalaureate participants with no previous experience in design, or experienced designers who wish to explore an aspect of environmental design outside of their primary discipline.

Five-Dragons Temple Environmental Refurbishment / URBANUS

© Yang Chaoying© Yang Chaoying© Yang Chaoying© Jerry Yin+ 27

  • Architects: URBANUS
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  267
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2016

Aeriform Ecologies: An Atmospheric Archive for Industrial Effluvium

Air pollution in urban areas is quickly racing to the forefront of the environmental discussion, with several major cities facing a serious deterioration of breathable air supply. New Delhi, Beijing, Los Angeles, Moscow and Karachi represent a handful of cities facing the world's worst urban pollution, each with recorded amounts of particulate matter exceeding acceptable levels. In 2014, the World Health Organization issued a report estimating that 7 million people suffered premature deaths in 2012 due to air pollution exposure.

Enter Aeriform Ecologies: An Atmospheric Archive for Industrial Effluvium. Conceived as a thesis project by Jennifer Ng, University of Michigan with thesis advisor Kathy Velikov, Aeriform Ecologies delves into the possibilities for byproducts of petroleum production by proposing a network of solutions for the 'spatial runoffs' created by fossil fuel extraction. Based on a futuristic approach that includes a network of unmanned atmospheric gas harvesting dirigibles, the project blurs the lines between science, technology, and architecture.

Explore the effervescent world of Aeriform Ecologies after the break

The Queen Maud Research Station. Image © Jennifer Ng111oW Respositories in Elevation. Image © Jennifer NgPhysical Models. Image Photos © Jennifer Ng & Adam SmithQueen Maud Station 066's Extraction and Sampling Pod. Image © Jennifer Ng+ 41