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Sustainable Design: The Latest Architecture and News

5 Ways to Discuss Building Performance for Your Next Project Pursuit

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Today in the United States, buildings account for nearly 40% of carbon emissions (EESI) and 78% of electricity usage. The most sustainability-focused firms run energy simulations for less than 50% of their projects (10% for a typical firm) and only doing so late in the process when design changes are limited and insufficient to combat red flags found in the performance report (AIA 2030 report). We can make building performance widespread once we help the entire community discuss the subject in terms of investment and return. Especially during a project pursuit, since having the buy in from the whole team helps ensure the key project metrics are met. Owners are seeking out teams who are using actual metrics and data driven processes that affect their bottom line. This new approach to practice is what makes the younger teams’ standout and will benefit both the climate and the bottom-line. Here are 5 ways to talk about building performance in your project pursuits: 

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.

Land Art Generator Initiative 2019 - Masdar City

LAGI 2019—Return to the Source—invites you to create an iconic work of art for a landmark site within Masdar City, Abu Dhabi. Your artwork will use renewable energy technology as a medium of creative expression and will provide on-site energy production consistent with the master plan of the city.

Learn more at https://landartgenerator.org/competition2019.html

LAGI 2019 presents a new kind of challenge from the Land Art Generator initiative. This year’s special edition is sponsored by Masdar and is in partnership with the 24th World Energy Congress, the largest and most influential global energy event—a forum for innovation and dialogue on energy issues for

Land Art Generator Initiative 2019 - Masdar City

LAGI 2019—Return to the Source—invites you to create an iconic work of art for a landmark site within Masdar City, Abu Dhabi. Your artwork will use renewable energy technology as a medium of creative expression and will provide on-site energy production consistent with the master plan of the city.

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

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

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 NewsCourtesy of SIC Mostovik© Laurian GhinitoiuCourtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects+ 11

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

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

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 ArchitectsCourtesy of Henning Larsen ArchitectsCourtesy of Henning Larsen ArchitectsCourtesy of Henning Larsen Architects+ 7

MIT's Mass Timber Longhouse Shows a Technology-Driven Approach to Sustainable 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 DesignCourtesy of MIT Mass Timber DesignCourtesy of MIT Mass Timber DesignCourtesy of MIT Mass Timber Design+ 14

Beijing Hongkun Valley / ZOE Architecture

Architecture and Landscape. Image © Chaoying Yang, Huiming ZhangRoof Top Space. Image © Chaoying Yang, Huiming ZhangFiance Facade. Image © Chaoying Yang, Huiming ZhangCourtyard. Image © Chaoying Yang, Huiming Zhang+ 41

  • Architects: ZOE Architecture
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  145158
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2014
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: ASIA CUANON, SYSWAY, Tianjin CSG Architectural Glass

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

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 Architectsvia Humphreys & Partners Architectsvia Humphreys & Partners Architectsvia Humphreys & Partners Architects+ 6

The Science Behind the Next Generation of Wood Buildings

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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

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

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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

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"

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

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

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.