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Sustainability: The Latest Architecture and News

How to Approach Embodied Carbon Reduction within an Architectural Project

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In order to start integrating embodied carbon studies into projects to meet sustainability goals, it is important to consider many factors such as carbon (kgCO2e) values, and what typical ranges of values to be aware of when designing for embodied carbon reduction. This e-book presents an overview of how to start integrating embodied carbon studies in your projects.

Bjarke Ingels Group to Design Mega-Sustainable Infinity Loop on the Hangzhou Horizon

Nestled in the heart of Yuhang District, Bjarke Ingels Group’s design for the new OPPO R&D Headquarters, China’s largest smartphone company, combines aesthetics and innovative technology in a building that will be an environmental, economical, and socially sustainable hub for innovation.

Courtesy of BIG - Bjark Ingels GroupTop View. Image Courtesy of BIG - Bjark Ingels GroupCourtesy of BIG - Bjark Ingels GroupCourtesy of BIG - Bjark Ingels Group+ 12

Natural Ventilation Isn't the Most Efficient Solution in All Cases

Ventilation serves two main purposes in a room: first, to remove pollutants and provide clean air; second, to meet the metabolic needs of the occupants, providing pleasant temperatures (weather permitting). It is well known that environments with inadequate ventilation can bring serious harm to the health of the occupants and, especially in hot climates, thermal discomfort. A Harvard University study demonstrated that in buildings with good ventilation and better air quality (with lower rates of carbon dioxide), occupants showed better performance of cognitive functions, faster responses to extreme situations, and better reasoning in strategic activities.

It is not difficult to see that ventilation plays a vital role in ensuring adequate air quality and thermal comfort in buildings. We have all felt it. But when we talk about ventilation, a light breeze from the window might come to mind, shifting through our hair and bringing a pleasant aroma and cooling temperature that brings fresh air and comfort. In mild climates, this experience can even be a reality on many days of the year. In harsh climates or polluted spaces, it could be quite different.

Hempcrete: Creating Holistic Sustainability With Plant-Based Building Materials

Hemp is one of the oldest crops domesticated by humans. With its wide variety of uses and applications, it’s easy to understand why it’s been a desirable product throughout history. Hemp seeds and flowers are used in health foods, medicines, and organic beauty products; the fibers and stalks of the hemp plant are used in clothing, paper, and biofuel. Today even a waste product of hemp fiber processing, so-called hemp shives, is being utilized to create sustainable building materials like hempcrete.

Google Maps to Start Showing Routes With the Lowest Carbon Footprint

The Google Maps application will direct drivers to more eco-friendly routes that generate the lowest carbon footprint using mainly traffic data, road slopes and inclines, and other factors.

The eco-friendly option will be the application's default route if comparable options take about the same time. When alternatives are significantly faster, Google will offer choices and let users compare estimated emissions.

A New Layer of Public Space: The Case for Activating Urban Rooftops

In increasingly denser urban environments, there is a new-found interest in underused spaces as opportunities for further development. Representing up to 25% of cities' land area, rooftops are among the most exciting spatial resources. From sustainable infrastructure and urban farming to social spaces and cultural venues, the article looks into the potential of creating a multi-layered city through the activation of urban rooftops.

CopenHill by BIG. Image © Hufton+CrowGreen Cloud by ZHUBO-AAO. Image © John SiuRodeph Sholom School Playdecks by Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects. Image © Francis DzikowskiYOU+International Youth Community Shenzhen by officePROJECT. Image © Chao Zhang+ 10

RCR Arquitectes to Design Nature-Inspired Signature Residences at the Palmares Ocean Living & Golf Resort

Inspired by the colors and textures of the surrounding environment, Pritzker Prize winners RCR Architectes have translated the Algarve's landscape into new residences and facilities at the Palmares Ocean Living & Golf Resort. A total of 37 new signature apartments and luxury villas are currently under construction, with completion due dates expected between summer 2021 and 2022.

Courtesy of Palmares Ocean Living & GolfCourtesy of Palmares Ocean Living & GolfCourtesy of Palmares Ocean Living & GolfCourtesy of Palmares Ocean Living & Golf+ 24

The Contemporary Transformation of Traditional Chinese Architecture

The American architect, designer, and futurist Buckminster Fuller once defined the Dymaxion principle as “constructing ever more with ever less weight, time, and ergs per each given level of functional performance.”

Passive Thermal Comfort Strategies in Residential Projects

There was a time when people appreciated self-contained architecture, in which the building envelope would not function as a moderator between the climate outside and the interior environment but rather as an inert and independent barrier. Countless mechanical devices and electrical ventilation, heating, and cooling equipment. A real machine.

Today, architects are increasingly concerned with the interaction between architecture and the environment in which it is inserted, thus assuming responsibility for the thermal comfort of interior spaces, using design strategies for natural climate control.

House LLP / Alventosa Morell Arquitectes © Adrià GoulaFVB House / Claudia Haguiara Arquitetura © Christian MaldonadoSoul Garden House / Spacefiction Studio © Monika Sathe PhotographyHouse Among Trees / El Sindicato Arquitectura © Andrés Villota+ 17

From Past to Future: The Urgency of "Green" in Architecture

The climate crisis has revealed the poor planning of our cities and the spaces we inhabit. Both construction and projects contribute to high carbon gas emissions. Fortunately, there are several ways to intervene to bring change into this scenario, either through materials and techniques adopted in each initiative or through geographical and social impact. In this scenario, the only certainty is that: to think about the future we cannot ignore the "green" in all its recent meanings from nature to sustainability, and ecology.

Bio-climatic Fixtures in Buenos Aires' Houses as Seen In Floor Plans and Layout

House N / Estudio GM ARQ. Image Golf House / BAM! arquitectura. Image AC House / Estudio GM ARQ. Image PYE House / BAM! arquitectura. Image + 20

The principles of bio-climatic architecture, when applied with an understanding of the surrounding climate and geography, can simultaneously increase a building's efficiency and create a more comfortable living space. Passive measures like solar panels, rainwater and grey water harvesting, openings for natural light, and cross-ventilation are all low-cost, high yield methods of increasing a home's thermal comfort and efficiency and decreasing its carbon footprint.

Is It Possible To Create Lightweight Bricks By Recycling Cigarette Butts?

Students at the School of Engineering, RMIT University recently published a study experimenting with a new form of waste management and recycling. As they note in their research, cigarette butts are the most commonly discarded single waste item in the world, with an estimated 5.7 trillion having been consumed around the globe in 2016. However, the materials in cigarette butts—particularly their cellulose acetate filters—can be extremely harmful to the environment due to poor biodegradability. The RMIT study builds on a previous research study by Mohajerani et. al (2016) that experimented with adding discarded cigarette butts to clay bricks for architectural use. In their research, the RMIT students found that such a measure would reduce the energy consumption of the brick production process and lower the thermal conductivity of the bricks, but that other issues including bacterial contamination would have to be addressed prior to successful implementation. Below, we explore this research in more detail, investigating its relevance to the architecture industry and imagining possible futures of application.

NBBJ Designs Amazon's Nature-Infused Second Headquarters in Virginia

Amazon has just revealed the proposed design for its second headquarters, in Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. Designed by NBBJ, the project “creates an environment that prioritizes healthy work, celebrates nature and engages the community across multiple scales.” Encompassing 2.8 million square feet of offices, public gathering areas and street-front retail, the intervention aims to create a healthier workforce and community.

Courtesy of NBBJCourtesy of NBBJCourtesy of NBBJCourtesy of NBBJ+ 6