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Net Zero: The Latest Architecture and News

Ronald Lu & Partners' Competition Winning Design Re-imagines the Workplace

Ronald Lu &Partners revealed their new workplace concept, "Treehouse", an "eco-conscious integrated system" featuring biophilic elements, which capitalizes on wellness and aims to reconnect users with nature. The project is a response to contemporary workplace needs, as well as to current climate challenges, promoting carbon-positivity and net-zero operations through a blend of design, technology and smart management.

Arup Designs Carbon Neutral Tower in Hong Kong

Arup reveals the competition-winning design for a 230m tall net-zero commercial tower in Hong Kong that embodies the city's aspirations to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. Taikoo Green Ribbon blends technology and nature to create an urban ecosystem sustaining a new generation of workplaces. Featuring a façade of curved PVs, hanging gardens, algae walls and various renewable energy sources, the project is a high-performance building slated to achieve carbon neutrality in less than a decade after construction.

Courtesy of ArupCourtesy of ArupCourtesy of ArupCourtesy of Arup+ 17

Design Guide: 7 Essential Features of a Net Zero Building

Weekend House in Bazel / Bovenbouw architectuur. Image © Stijn Bollaert
Weekend House in Bazel / Bovenbouw architectuur. Image © Stijn Bollaert

Kiribati has a population of around 110,000 people and its economy is centered on fishing and agriculture. Comprised of 33 islands in the Central Pacific, its highest point is only 81 meters above sea level, which makes it potentially the first country that could disappear completely due to global warming and the consequent rise in sea levels. The climate crisis has been a hotly debated topic in recent years and terms such as carbon footprint, greenhouse effect, atmospheric aerosols, and many others, are already staples in our vocabulary. Another widely spoken term is “net zero”, or net zero emission, used as a goal for buildings in different industries and countries. Basically, it means that the energy balance is zero.

Net-Zero Buildings Are Critical to Staving off Further Climate Change

A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that global warming of 1.5°C (2.7 °F) is essentially inevitable in coming decades. The question now is whether the world can prevent further, more destructive warming of 2°C (3.6°F), or, even worse, 3°C (5.4°F), which is what current policies put us on a trajectory to experience. Our economies can only put another 420 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere if we want a good chance of keeping a temperature increase to 1.5°C instead of 2°C. At our current pace, the world’s carbon budget will be used up before 2030. We need to phase out fossil-fuel use, build thousands of new clean power plants -- and swiftly move to power our homes, offices, schools, and transportation systems with clean energy.

Courtesy of SMA x ECO Town Harumidai, Sakai City, Japan, Daiwa House Industry Company, Ltd.Courtesy of SMA x ECO Town Harumidai, Sakai City, Japan, Daiwa House Industry Company, Ltd.Courtesy of Trent Basin, Nottingham, UK. Blueprint Regeneration, Martine Hamilton KnightCourtesy of Belfield Townhomes, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Onion Flats+ 12

Designing Net-Zero: California's New Models for Integrated Housing

Few places have embraced sustainable design practices like California. Experiencing dramatic droughts, wildfires and environmental issues, the state has started to create new policies and initiatives to promote environmentally-conscious design solutions. From eco-districts and water management strategies to net-zero building projects, the Golden State is making strides to reshape its future. Forming long-term visions and procedures through the lens of physical resource consumption, California is working to better integrate its economic development plans with sustainable building methods.

Courtesy of Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects© Nic LehouxCourtesy of Klopf© Joe Fletcher+ 15

RCKa Designs Net-Zero Carbon Village in the U.K.

London-based RCKa has designed a net-zero carbon retirement village for Chester in the United Kingdom. Located in Boughton Heath, the project was made with engineer Max Fordham to reduce carbon emissions. Nearly 15,000 square meters, the village will be made to achieve the Fitwel Standard with more than 140 apartments as an on-site, extra-care development.

Courtesy of BlackpointCourtesy of BlackpointCourtesy of RCKa ArchitectsCourtesy of RCKa Architects+ 6

A Space Transportation Hub in Japan and a Humanitarian Response in Egypt: 10 Unbuilt Projects Submitted by our Readers

This week’s curated selection of Best Unbuilt Architecture encompasses conceptual proposals submitted by our readers. It features diverse functions and tackles different scales, from a spiraling bridge in China to a transportation hub dedicated primarily to space travel in Japan.

Comprising uncommon design approaches, this article introduces a humanitarian architectural response to the needs of the residents in an informal Egyptian settlement. In the master plan category, a Green city proposal highlights how we should develop our cities and neighborhoods in the future, and the first net-zero energy airport in Mexico reinterprets holistic design approaches. Moreover, the roundup presents different cultural interventions, from a museum in Botswana, an installation at the Burning Man festival by AI Studio, and an observatory in Vietnam.

Archivo Grupo Arca. Image Courtesy of Esrawe StudioMaison ONF. Image Courtesy of Vincent Lavergne Architecture UrbanismeSPACEPORT CITY. Image Courtesy of Noiz ArchitectsThe Tower Flower . Image Courtesy of VHA Architects+ 56

FCBStudios' Net Zero Carbon Timber Workspace in London, Receives Planning Commission

A new six-story net-zero carbon office development in Vauxhall, London, UK has been granted planning commission by the city council to move further. Designed by FCBStudios, the timber workspace named Paradise, will transform an abandoned site on old Paradise street, and replace the existing disused roastery.

Courtesy of FCBStudiosCourtesy of FCBStudiosCourtesy of FCBStudiosCourtesy of FCBStudios+ 6

Plant Prefab and Koto Design Unveil Two Net-Zero Prefabricated Houses

Dedicated to sustainability, Plant Prefab has partnered up with Koto Design to create 2 new Net-Zero LivingHomes. The prefabricated modular homes inspired by Scandinavian architecture, embrace biophilic and sustainable living.

Rwanda’s Bugesera International Airport to Set Records for Sustainability

Rwanda’s largest publicly funded project, Bugesera International Airport is on track to be the first certified green building in the region. A few pieces of this net zero emission complex include: a 30,000 square metre passenger terminal, 22 check-in counters, ten gates, and six passenger boarding bridges. Funded by Public Private Partnership, the project is cost estimated at $414 million USD. The international hub was only one of several initiatives discussed by the Africa Green Growth Forum (AGGF) in Kigali at the end of last year.

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. 

U.S. Mayors Join Coalition for New Buildings to be Net-Zero by 2030

Cornell Tech Campus. Image © Iwan Baan
Cornell Tech Campus. Image © Iwan Baan

A coalition of 19 U.S. mayors have joined together with C40, a group dedicated to climate action. The coalition has proposed a plan to ensure that all new buildings be net-zero by 2030. The cities are joining forces with the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) to achieve their emissions goals. All cities in C40 have signed the pledge to ensure new buildings will be required to produce as much energy as they consume by 2030. The initiative is part of a larger plan to make all buildings net-zero by 2050.

Zero Energy Residential Unit, ZERU

The International Collaboration office at the Faculty of Engineering Ain Shams University is pleased to announce its 1st International Architectural Design Competition. 

Sustainability on Roosevelt Island: How Morphosis and Arup Are Making Cornell's Bloomberg Center Net Zero

© Cornell University / Kilograph
© Cornell University / Kilograph

When the first images of Cornell University's new campus on Roosevelt Island were unveiled last year, the First Academic Building (now known as the Bloomberg Center) was highlighted as a design driven by sustainability. In this interview, originally published by Arup's newly-revamped online magazine Arup Doggerel as "Net zero learning," Sarah Wesseler talks to members of the team from Morphosis, Arup and Cornell about how they designed the building to be one of the most sustainable education facilities in the world.

For its new tech-focused New York City campus, Cornell University set out to create one of America’s most sustainable university centers. With the net zero Bloomberg Center now in construction, I interviewed three leaders of the design team — Diana Allegretti, Assistant Director for Design and Construction at Cornell; Ung Joo Scott Lee, a principal at Morphosis; and Tom Rice, a structural engineer and project manager at Arup.

Bloomberg Center exterior rendering. Image © Morphosis Architects© Cornell University / KilographBloomberg Center exterior rendering. Image © Cornell University / Kilograph© Cornell University / Kilograph+ 14

The 'World's Greenest Commercial' Building Opens in Seattle Today

Courtesy of Bullitt Center
Courtesy of Bullitt Center

The Bullitt Center, a six-story, 50,000 square foot office building in Seattle that aspires to be the world's greenest commercial building, opens its doors to the public today on Earth Day. This $30 million "living laboratory," designed by Miller Hull Partnership, distinguishes itself from other sustainable projects with its composting toilets, the exclusion of 350 common toxic chemicals - including PVC, lead, mercury, phthalates, BPA and formaldehyde - along with a strict energy and water budget that aims for self-sufficiency under the Living Building Challenge. The environmentally-conscious Bullitt Foundation hopes that the new center will demonstrate that carbon-neutral office space can be "commercially viable and aesthetically stunning," a series of systems that can be easily copied elsewhere without being overly demanding in upkeep.

Read more about the Bullitt Center after the break...