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Sustainability: The Latest Architecture and News

Colors Of the Earth: Ghana's Incredible, Rammed Earth Walls

05:30 - 12 April, 2019
Colors Of the Earth: Ghana's Incredible, Rammed Earth Walls, Cortesia de Hive Earth
Cortesia de Hive Earth

Rammed earth constructions are not a novelty, on the contrary, some sections of the Great Wall of China were made using this technique. Relegated and replaced by modern methods of construction, the mud walls are currently re-emerging as an economic, sustainable solution, with low environmental impact. Even Joelle Eyeson, a young African entrepreneur, is betting that it may be the answer to the housing deficit in her region.

This is a rudimentary construction system in which earth is compressed into wooden boxes. The clay is horizontally placed in layers of 15 cm in height, and compacted with manual or pneumatic tools, to achieve its ideal density creating a resistant and durable structure.

Cortesia de Hive Earth Cortesia de Hive Earth Cortesia de Hive Earth Cortesia de Hive Earth + 22

Architect-Designed Light Fixtures at the 2019 Salone del Mobile

09:30 - 11 April, 2019
Architect-Designed Light Fixtures at the 2019 Salone del Mobile, Sergey Makhno Architects. Image Courtesy of ArchDaily
Sergey Makhno Architects. Image Courtesy of ArchDaily

As Milan Design Week continues to set avant-garde design trends for the upcoming years, the 2019 Salone del Mobile’s lighting biennale, Euroluce, saw a nod to classic designs mixed with contemporary craftsmanship.

Two dominant trends at this year’s Euroluce are ‘rediscovering the past’ and a ‘reference to nature’. Vintage lighting pieces were rediscovered, not only to serve as valuable tokens of the past, but as foundation for new research. The reference to nature is evidently the most dominant design trend at this year’s lighting biennale, as designers found inspiration from natural, organic forms, and produced their pieces with eco-friendly material.

However, some of the most unique pieces at this year’s Euroluce were developed in collaboration with heavyweights in the world of design. Profound architects found their way into the 2019 Euroluce, bringing together their design skills with the engineering solutions of design companies.

How to Implement Passive Solar Design in Your Architecture Projects

04:00 - 10 April, 2019
How to Implement Passive Solar Design in Your Architecture Projects, Conservatory. Image © Onnis Luque
Conservatory. Image © Onnis Luque

Although the sun is almost 150 million kilometers away, this star has had the most impact on our planet. But while some are busy chasing the sun for sun-kissed skin, architects are all about creating sun-kissed spaces.

In definition, “passive solar energy is the collection and distribution of energy obtained by the sun using natural means”. The simple concept and process of implementing passive solar energy systems have provided buildings with heat, lighting, mechanical power, and electricity in the most environmentally-conscious way possible.

In this article, we will provide you with a complete guide of implementing passive solar systems in your designs.

Triple-Glass Facade. Image © Adrien Buchet Passive Office Building in Belgium . Image Courtesy of Neutelings Riedijk Architects Maison + Agence. Image © Philippe Ruault Sun Rain Room. Image © Edmund Sumner + 27

BIG and UN Collaborate on Floating, Modular Eco-City

08:30 - 5 April, 2019
BIG and UN Collaborate on Floating, Modular Eco-City , © Bjarke Ingels Group
© Bjarke Ingels Group

As part of UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda, Bjarke Ingels Group has proposed a vision for the world’s first resilient and sustainable floating community, designed to accommodate 10,000 people. “Oceanix City” is a response to the prediction that by 2050, 90% of the world’s largest cities will be exposed to rising seas, resulting in mass displacement, and the destruction of homes and infrastructure. The scheme is anchored in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, enacting circular flows of food, energy, water, and waste.

© Bjarke Ingels Group © Bjarke Ingels Group © Bjarke Ingels Group © Bjarke Ingels Group + 15

A Sustainable Solution for South Africa's Toilet Crisis by the Community, for the Community

04:00 - 29 March, 2019
A Sustainable Solution for South Africa's Toilet Crisis by the Community, for the Community, Courtesy of Nicole Moyo
Courtesy of Nicole Moyo

This article was made in partnership with Design Indaba, a website and annual festival that uncovers innovation for good. Global Graduate Nicole Moyo presented her project Day 1 of the 2019 festival. Click here to learn more about the annual event.

Our planet is home to almost 7 billion people. Out of these 7 billion, more than 5 billion have access to mobile phones, but less have access to working toilets, and more than 1 billion still discharge waste in the open.

Courtesy of Nicole Moyo Courtesy of Nicole Moyo Courtesy of Nicole Moyo Courtesy of Nicole Moyo + 16

Kantoor IMd / Ector Hoogstad Architecten

02:00 - 25 March, 2019
Kantoor IMd / Ector Hoogstad Architecten, © Petra Appelhof
© Petra Appelhof

© Petra Appelhof © Petra Appelhof © Petra Appelhof © Petra Appelhof + 14

30 Plans, Sections and Details for Sustainable Projects

07:00 - 19 March, 2019
30 Plans, Sections and Details for Sustainable Projects

The dramatic improvement in recent decades in our understanding of sustainable design has shown that designing sustainably doesn't have to be a compromise—it can instead be a benefit. When done correctly, sustainable design results in higher-performing, healthier buildings which contribute to their inhabitants' physical and mental well-being.

The benefits of incorporating vegetation in façades and in roofs, as well as materials and construction systems that take energy use and pollution into account, demonstrate that sustainable design has the potential to create buildings that improve living conditions and respect the natural environment.

Below we have compiled 30 plans, sections and construction details of projects that stand out for their approach to sustainability.

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

05:30 - 18 March, 2019
Stefano Boeri Architetti Creates a Vertical Forest for Tirana 2030 Master Plan, Tirana Vertical Forest. Image © Stefano Boeri Architetti
Tirana Vertical Forest. Image © Stefano Boeri Architetti

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 Architetti 24-hour school in Tirana. Image © Stefano Boeri Architetti Blloku Cube. Image © Stefano Boeri Architetti Tirana 2030 - Agriculture. Image © Stefano Boeri Architetti + 19

Sun-Filled Spaces Created By Skylights In 20 Architectural Projects

07:00 - 6 March, 2019
Sun-Filled Spaces Created By Skylights In 20 Architectural Projects, © Adam Mork
© Adam Mork

Perhaps the most renowned 'skylight' ever built is the Pantheon of Rome commissioned by Marco Vipsanius Agrippa during the reign of Emperor Augustus (27 BC-14 AD) and rebuilt by Hadrian (117-118) around 126 AD. At the highest point of its dome (in this case, the oculus) the sunlight shines, casting its beams over the various statues of planetary deities that occupy the niches on the walls. The light that enters the space symbolizes a cosmic, sacred dimension. In projects around the world, natural light continues to fulfill this scenic role, especially in religious projects.

It is characterized as zenithal illumination as that which comes from above, from the sky (zenith). Very useful for large spaces that can not be adequately lit by windows, skylights are a widely used device for providing a pleasant, diffuse light. Generally, care is taken to prevent direct entry of sunlight; the openings must be well designed so that they do not overheat the space of allow water infiltration. Below is a collection of projects that make good use of this technique.

© Mathias Kestel © Hufton + Crow © Christian Richters © Andrew Lee + 44

Coolest White: A Painting to Reduce the Urban Heat Islands

05:00 - 1 March, 2019
Coolest White: A Painting to Reduce the Urban Heat Islands, Cortesia de UNStudio and Monopol Colors
Cortesia de UNStudio and Monopol Colors

The increasing use of air conditioning is causing many cities to hit record energy consumption levels during brutally hot summer months. In populous countries like India, China, Indonesia, Brazil, and Mexico, large urban centers function like ovens: buildings absorb heat that is re-released back into the environment, further increasing the local temperature. More heat outside means more air conditioning inside, which not only raises energy consumption, but also increases the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

With this vicious cycle in mind, a paint was created to protect buildings and urban structures from excessive solar radiation, diminishing the effect of the urban heat island. The innovation came from the partnership of UNStudio, a Dutch architectural firm, and Monopol Color, a Swiss paint specialist. The dark-colored materials that are used to construct the buildings in our cities are one of the main causes of heat accumulation in urban areas. While darker materials absorb up to 95% of the sun’s rays and release them straight back into the atmosphere, this value can be reduced to 25% with a normal white surface. Now, with ‘The Coolest White’, it is possible to reduce absorption and emission to 12%.

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.

Rwanda’s Bugesera International Airport to Set Records for Sustainability

04:00 - 20 February, 2019
Rwanda’s Bugesera International Airport to Set Records for Sustainability, © Airport Design Management
© Airport Design Management

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.

Mass Timber: Shattering the Myth of Code Exceptions

04:00 - 12 February, 2019
Mass Timber: Shattering the Myth of Code Exceptions , T3 Minneapolis. Image Courtesy of DLR Group
T3 Minneapolis. Image Courtesy of DLR Group

Structural timber is in the midst of a renaissance; an ironic trend given that timber is arguably the most ancient of building materials. But new innovations in structural timber design have inspired a range of boundary-pushing plans for the age-old material, including everything from bridges to skyscrapers. Even more crucially, these designs are on the path to realization, acceding to building codes that many (mistakenly) view as restrictive to the point of impossibility.

The timber structures of today aren't just breaking records - they're doing it without breaking the rules. 

AD Classics: The Dymaxion House / Buckminster Fuller

14:00 - 9 February, 2019
AD Classics: The Dymaxion House / Buckminster Fuller, Bucky and the Dymaxion © Bettmann/Corbis via britannica.com
Bucky and the Dymaxion © Bettmann/Corbis via britannica.com

The Dymaxion House was a futuristic dwelling invented by the architect and practical philosopher R. Buckminister Fuller - who would have turned 118 today. The word “Dymaxion,” which combines the words dynamic, maximum and tension, was coined (among many others) by Fuller himself.

In 1920 Fuller wished to build a sustainable autonomous single family dwelling, the living machine of the future. Although never built, the Dymaxion's design displayed forward-thinking and influential innovations in prefabrication and sustainability. Not only would the house have been exemplary in its self-sufficiency, but it also could have been mass-produced, flat-packaged and shipped throughout the world.

More on this revolutionary design after the break...

via www.trumanlibrary.org model via scene.org © MoMA © The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller, via myipamm.net + 18

Solutions to London's Mounting Affordable Housing Crisis Proposed in Bee Breeders' Latest

04:00 - 1 February, 2019
Solutions to London's Mounting Affordable Housing Crisis Proposed in Bee Breeders' Latest , Beyond the Shell . Image © Lianjie Wu, via BeeBreeders
Beyond the Shell . Image © Lianjie Wu, via BeeBreeders

Skyrocketing prices of London housing have become so unbearable that many have turned to less-than-ideal compromises. Large homes can be found but come with commutes of hours; places are still available in the city, but only for those with sky-high paychecks. Unable to balance their needs, people are resorting to workarounds that disrupt the existing urban fabric and dissatisfy all involved. Surely we can do better.

Beyond the Shell . Image © Lianjie Wu, via BeeBreeders Informal Intimacy. Image © Medina Dzonlic, Daniel Andersson, via BeeBreeders Wesley New Town // Chronotopia. Image © Yip Siu, via BeeBreeders Hedge House. Image © David Saand, Simone De Bergh, Björn Vestlund, Jay Williams, via BeeBreeders + 54

Reframing Climate Change as a Local Problem of Global Proportion: 4 Ways Architects can Deliver Change

07:00 - 28 January, 2019
Bankside 123 in London creates new routes, public spaces and retail, with three simple rectilinear buildings set within a permeable public realm designed to reconnect the site with its surroundings. Image Courtesy of Allies & Morrison
Bankside 123 in London creates new routes, public spaces and retail, with three simple rectilinear buildings set within a permeable public realm designed to reconnect the site with its surroundings. Image Courtesy of Allies & Morrison

The latest UN special report on climate change, released in October 2018, was bleak - perhaps unsurprisingly after a year of recording breaking temperatures, wildfires, floods, and storms. The report, released by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), reiterated the magnitude of climate change’s global impact, but shed new light on the problem’s depth and urgency. Climate change is a catastrophe for the world as we know it and will transform it into something that we don’t. And we have just 12 years to prevent it.

SET Architects' Climbing-Frame Inspired Sassa School Prioritizes Adaptability

11:00 - 27 January, 2019
SET Architects' Climbing-Frame Inspired Sassa School Prioritizes Adaptability , Courtesy of SET Architects
Courtesy of SET Architects

Ten years after a destructive earthquake rocked Italy's central Abruzzo region, many students still attend class in temporary modules similar to containers. Named winners of an international competition, SET Architects’ design for the new “Sassa School Complex” proposes reconstructing a place for students and the community to learn, gather, and grow. Inspired by the modularity and essential nature of climbing frame play structures, the architects describe the design as a metaphor for “freedom and social aggregation as a fundamental value for dynamic and innovative teaching.”

Sassa School Complex / SET Architects. Image Courtesy of SET Architects Sassa School Complex / SET Architects. Image Courtesy of SET Architects Sassa School Complex / SET Architects. Image Courtesy of SET Architects Sassa School Complex / SET Architects. Image Courtesy of SET Architects + 28

The First Complete Street in Sao Paulo has a 92% Approval Rating

12:00 - 26 January, 2019
The First Complete Street in Sao Paulo has a 92% Approval Rating, Rua Joel Carlos Borges, in Sao Paulo. Image: Pedro Mascaro/WRI Brasil
Rua Joel Carlos Borges, in Sao Paulo. Image: Pedro Mascaro/WRI Brasil

The implementation of a Complete Street is something to be celebrated. A Complete Street initiative is a clear indication that a city is striving for urban mobility and seeking a more democratic and safer use of space. Nevertheless, it is vital to measure the impact of these interventions when implementing future actions.

Joel Carlos Borges Street, the first Complete Street in São Paulo, underwent an evaluation two months after it was completed. The study revealed that 92% of its users approved of the project and believed that the changes were beneficial.