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Sustainable Design

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

04:00 - 2 November, 2018
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 Town Courtesy of University of Cape Town Courtesy of University of Cape Town Courtesy of University of Cape Town + 6

Cities are Avoiding Hosting the Olympics. They Shouldn’t.

09:30 - 16 August, 2018
Cities are Avoiding Hosting the Olympics. They Shouldn’t., © Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

The apple of every athlete's eye, the Olympic Games direct the gaze of the world onto one host city every two years, showcasing the best that sport has to offer across both summer and winter events. In a haze of feel-good anticipation, the general buzz around the city before during the four week stretch is palpable, with tourists, media and athletes alike generating contributing to the fervour. With almost an almost exclusively positive public response (the majority of Olympic bids are met with 70% approval or higher), the Games become an opportunity for a nation to showcases their culture and all it has to offer. At first glance, it's an opportunity you'd be a fool to miss.

Yet as the dust settles, these ‘lucky’ host cities are often left with structures that lack the relevance and function of their initial, fleeting lives. Empty aquatics centers, derelict running tracks and rarely-used stadiums have become as much a trademark of the Games as the Rings, with the structural maintenance and social implications burdening former hosts for years to come. In recent years, fewer cities have been taking part in the bidding process, suggesting that the impact of the Games is beginning to catch up with the excitement. As many as 12 cities contended for the honor of hosting the 2004 games; only two were put forward for 2024/28.

Courtesy of Redskins and CBS News Courtesy of SIC Mostovik © Laurian Ghinitoiu Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects + 11

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

06:00 - 1 August, 2018
Ingenhoven Architects and Architectus Win Competition to Design Sydney's Tallest Residential Skyscraper , Courtesy of Doug and Wolf
Courtesy of Doug and Wolf

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

Henning Larsen Release New Renders of Their Luxurious Spa Hotel in the Georgian Mountains

08:00 - 21 July, 2018
Henning Larsen Release New Renders of Their Luxurious Spa Hotel in the Georgian Mountains, Courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects
Courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects

New renders have been released of Henning Larsen’s “luxurious hideaway in the Georgian mountains” after construction started on the 25000m², 135 room hotel earlier this year. The new Agobili Hotel is located at the Abastumani spa resort in Georgia, which itself has been a health retreat for both the Tsar family and general public alike. The new building hopes “to create a story about the magnificent place it inhabits.”

Courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects Courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects Courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects Courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects + 7

MIT's Mass Timber Longhouse Shows a Technology-Driven Approach to Sustainable Design

08:00 - 19 July, 2018
MIT's Mass Timber Longhouse Shows a Technology-Driven Approach to Sustainable Design, Courtesy of MIT Mass Timber Design
Courtesy of MIT Mass Timber Design

MIT Mass Timber Design, a cross-disciplinary design workshop at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have developed a building prototype that aims to tackle the world’s growing energy crisis, “one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century.” Extensively using the wood-based building design and construction technology mass timber - a method growing in popularity within North America - the project utilizes the “efficiency, speed, precision and versatility” of prefabricated timber construction elements to realize a multi-functional, sustainable building. The longhouse typology, often one of the first permanent structures of a civilization, is a common across the world, but in adapting its construction to face modern-day issues, the team hopes to create a space that “builds upon this rich cultural icon.”

Courtesy of MIT Mass Timber Design Courtesy of MIT Mass Timber Design Courtesy of MIT Mass Timber Design Courtesy of MIT Mass Timber Design + 14

Beijing Hongkun Valley / ZOE Architecture

18:00 - 14 July, 2018
Beijing Hongkun Valley / ZOE Architecture, Architecture and Garden Front. Image © Chaoying Yang, Huiming Zhang
Architecture and Garden Front. Image © Chaoying Yang, Huiming Zhang

Architecture and Landscape. Image © Chaoying Yang, Huiming Zhang Roof Top Space. Image © Chaoying Yang, Huiming Zhang Fiance Facade. Image © Chaoying Yang, Huiming Zhang Courtyard. Image © Chaoying Yang, Huiming Zhang + 41

  • Architects

  • Location

    Xi-hong-men Town, Daxing District, Beijing, China
  • Lead Architects

    Huiming Zhang
  • Design Team

    Huiming Zhang, Rong Lin, Ning Han, Xiaoyan Jia, Ming Gong, Fei Liu, Yanyan Liu, Di Zhang
  • Area

    145158.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

Spotlight: Emilio Ambasz

07:00 - 13 June, 2018
Spotlight: Emilio Ambasz, Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall (1995). Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/kentamabuchi/5920306109/'>Flickr user kentamabuchi</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>
Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall (1995). Image © Flickr user kentamabuchi licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

As early as the 1970s, Emilio Ambasz (born 13 June 1943) initiated a discussion on sustainability through his work with green spaces and buildings which is arguably more important today than ever, and contributed to theoretical and design discourse outside of architecture through his wide variety of interest and career pursuits. Ambasz’s work has crossed several disciplines; he has been a curator, a professor, an industrial designer, and an architect, and is highly regarded in all of these varied pursuits.

Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall (1995). Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/kentamabuchi/5920306109/'>Flickr user kentamabuchi</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> Cordoba House (1975). Image © Michele Alassio Banca dell’Occhio (2008). Image Courtesy of Emilio Ambasz Lucile Halsell Conservatory at the San Antonio Botanical Garden (1988). Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/joevare/2995227809'>Flickr user joevare</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/'>CC BY-ND 2.0</a> + 8

The Future of Housing: Drones, Automation and Co-Habitation

08:00 - 28 February, 2018
The Future of Housing: Drones, Automation and Co-Habitation, via Humphreys & Partners Architects
via Humphreys & Partners Architects

Humphreys and Partners, a Dallas-based architecture firm, presented a vision of future residential living at the 2018 International Builders’ Show earlier this year. Tackling current issues of affordable housing, sustainable design and how technology is changing the way we live, their futuristic vision Pier 2: Apartment of the Future consists of two soaring skyscrapers on the Manhattan waterfront.

via Humphreys & Partners Architects via Humphreys & Partners Architects via Humphreys & Partners Architects via Humphreys & Partners Architects + 6

The Science Behind the Next Generation of Wood Buildings

Sponsored Article
The Science Behind the Next Generation of Wood Buildings, UC San Diego Shake Table Test | Photo: NEHRI@UCSD
UC San Diego Shake Table Test | Photo: NEHRI@UCSD

At a time when engineers, designers, and builders must find solutions for a resource-constrained environment, new wood technology, materials, and science are accelerating efforts to enhance safety and structural performance.

International Building Code requires all building systems, regardless of materials used, to perform to the same level of health and safety standards. These codes have long recognized wood’s performance capabilities and allow its use in a wide range of low- to mid-rise residential and non-residential building types. Moreover, wood often surpasses steel and concrete in terms of strength, durability, fire safety, seismic performance, and sustainability – among other qualities.

Tiny House Design Competition Winners Revealed

06:00 - 19 October, 2017
Tiny House Design Competition Winners Revealed, Courtesy of Volume Zero
Courtesy of Volume Zero

A design for a portable, sustainable 250 square foot house is no tall order. But back in June, online design magazine, Volzero, put $3200 USD on the line for designers to honor this request through their Tiny House Design Competition.

Interior program requirements included: Living Area | Sleeping Area for 2 | Cooking and Dining Area | Toilet | Workspace.

Around the world, creatives worked to conquer the puzzle of maximum usable space with a minimum footprint. Tiny houses were born. The jury consisted of five principals of different design firms: Abraham Cota Parades, Andrew Patterson, Didier Ryan, Md.Rafiq Azam and Sameep Padora. In addition to filling the basic needs of the competition, winning projects display a strong concept, and unique personality.

With the Right Tools, a Focus on Sustainability Can Lead to New Business

Sponsored Article
With the Right Tools, a Focus on Sustainability Can Lead to New Business, Site-wide pEUI Analysis using Autodesk Insight: helps identify outliers that could possibly impact the site’s energy consumption the greatest.. Image Courtesy of Dekker/Perich/Sabatini
Site-wide pEUI Analysis using Autodesk Insight: helps identify outliers that could possibly impact the site’s energy consumption the greatest.. Image Courtesy of Dekker/Perich/Sabatini

Dekker/Perich/Sabatini (D/P/S) has made a strategic business decision, one that architecture firms are starting to adopt as a means to help them achieve their own sustainability goals and drive more business. With the implementation of a Building Performance Analysis (BPA) team and equipped with time-saving design tools, D/P/S has been leveraging building information modelling (BIM) for energy analysis. Since joining the AIA 2030 Commitment last year, the firm has already analyzed and reported nearly 1 million square feet in new construction projects.

KAAN Architecten Designs Glassy New Terminal for Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

08:00 - 17 September, 2017
KAAN Architecten Designs Glassy New Terminal for Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, © Filippo Bolognese
© Filippo Bolognese

Netherlands-based architectural firm KAAN Architecten, in partnership with ABT, Estudio Lamela and Ineco has been selected to design the new Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Terminal, with the help of Arnout Meijer Studio, DGMR and Planeground. Soon to be located south of Schiphol Plaza, at Jan Dellaert Plein, the new 100,500-square-metre terminal will implement futuristic and sustainable design trends.

© Filippo Bolognese © Filippo Bolognese © Beauty & The Bit © Beauty & The Bit + 13

How a Retired 88-Year-Old Solar Design Pioneer Became one of 2017's "Game Changers"

09:30 - 2 February, 2017
How a Retired 88-Year-Old Solar Design Pioneer Became one of 2017's "Game Changers", Knowles’ research into environmental conditions and theories about solar envelope zoning prefigured the parametric tools architects and planners use today. This scheme for an L.A. row-housing project demonstrates how dense developments—both low- and high-rise—could still provide equity in terms of natural sunlight. Image Courtesy of Ralph Knowles
Knowles’ research into environmental conditions and theories about solar envelope zoning prefigured the parametric tools architects and planners use today. This scheme for an L.A. row-housing project demonstrates how dense developments—both low- and high-rise—could still provide equity in terms of natural sunlight. Image Courtesy of Ralph Knowles

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as part of their 2017 Game Changers issue. You can read about all of their 2017 Game Changers here.

I meet architect and educator Ralph Knowles on an unseasonably warm autumn day, even for Southern California. He greets me in shirtsleeves (his shirt is a tropical pattern of vines and branches) and leads me to a seat on the balcony of his condo. The building—a retirement community—is fairly new, but mature oak trees line the quiet street. As we talk about his career, the California oaks form a poignant backdrop. For more than five decades, Knowles, 88, has argued for an architecture that hews closely to nature’s forces and rhythms.

Snøhetta Designs World’s Northernmost Energy Positive Building in Norway

12:10 - 18 January, 2017

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.

Snøhetta Designs World’s Northernmost Energy Positive Building in Norway © Loft Visual Group/Snøhetta © Loft Visual Group/Snøhetta © Loft Visual Group/Snøhetta + 11

Building Trust International's African Design + Build Workshop

14:37 - 29 June, 2016
Building Trust International's African Design + Build Workshop, Local children play with a scale model of the school site
Local children play with a scale model of the school site

Building Trust are happy to announce that we will be working alongside We Yone Child Foundation to design and build a new hall space for a school that we have been working on for the last 2 years. Building Trust have a number of sustainable design and build projects around the World in 2016, ranging from schools and housing to wildlife conservation and healthcare.

We are offering a hands on participatory workshop where you will gain experience in sustainable building techniques and understand more about humanitarian design while building worthwhile projects that will have a huge benefit to the local community. You will gain an insight into a number of building techniques and architectural styles.

Building Trust International's African Design + Build workshop

12:19 - 31 May, 2016
Building Trust International's African Design + Build workshop

Building Trust are happy to announce that we will be working alongside We Yone Child Foundation to design and build a new hall space for a school that we have been working on for the last 2 years. Building Trust have a number of sustainable design and build projects around the World in 2016, ranging from schools and housing to wildlife conservation and healthcare.

We are offering a hands on participatory workshop where you will gain experience in sustainable building techniques and understand more about humanitarian design while building worthwhile projects that will have a huge benefit to the local community. You will gain an insight into a number of building techniques and architectural styles.

Infrastructure Space: LafargeHolcim Forum for Sustainable Construction

09:15 - 22 February, 2016
Infrastructure Space: LafargeHolcim Forum for Sustainable Construction

Since infrastructure is the embodiment of long-term investments, its impact in determining the organization of flows extends well into the future, both for developed and developing countries. Whereas the former are confronted with the need to maintain and renew highways, electrical grids, sewage systems, and the like, the latter are scrambling to meet the needs of their own expanding populations. In both cases, massive investments for retrofitting or for new infrastructure are key to sustaining the human habitat. This topic: “Infrastructure Space” will be the focus of the 5th International Forum for Sustainable Construction in Detroit, USA from April 7 to April 9, 2016.

Structures of Coastal Resilience Exhibition Opening

16:09 - 25 January, 2016
Structures of Coastal Resilience Exhibition Opening

Please join us for the opening of Structures of Coastal Resilience: Designing for Climate Change!

The devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in October of 2012 has highlighted the vulnerability of urban coastal areas to the effects of catastrophic storms and climate change. Coastal communities must adapt planning strategies to mitigate the risk posed by these natural hazards.

Structures of Coastal Resilience (SCR) matches the latest science with urban and landscape design to propose actionable solutions for buffering against storms. Structures of Coastal Resilience (SCR) is a Rockefeller Foundation-supported project dedicated to studying and proposing resilient designs for urban coastal