New BU academic tower will be 100% free from fossil fuels

January 29, 2020 by  
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To advance a Climate Action Plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2040, Boston University has recently broken ground on the Center for Computing & Data Sciences, a 19-floor complex expected to become the “University’s and Boston’s biggest and most sustainable, energy-efficient building” once built. Toronto-based firm KPMB Architects led the design of the 345,000-square-foot project, which will house BU’s mathematics, statistics and computer science departments under one roof. The tower, which will be the tallest building on campus , will feature a suite of energy-saving and energy-generating technologies, including geothermal wells, state-of-the-art shading systems and triple-glazed windows. Located at the heart of the campus, the Center for Computing & Data Sciences will be the university’s first major teaching center in half a century and is slated for completion in 2022. Key to the design of the tower is the “vertical campus” concept that encourages a sense of community over 19 floors. In addition to maximizing transparency and accessibility, the architects have strategically configured the building to house the most-trafficked areas — such as the classrooms, learning labs and functional spaces — on the lower levels, while the upper floors contain the university departments. The rooftop hosts quiet lunch and meeting spaces optimized for concentration. Collaborative spaces will be woven throughout, including expansive whiteboard walls and a series of terraced platforms for small-group interactions. Related: The new Center for Student Services is a sustainable gateway for Boston University “The new Center for Computing & Data Sciences building makes a dynamic urban place that is a crossroads and a beacon for Boston University’s central campus,” the architects explained in a project statement. “The design maximizes opportunities for mixing, interaction and interconnectivity. The building serves as a platform for innovation formatted as a vertical campus. Every element is integrated to establish Data Sciences as Boston University’s new iconic heart.” To meet net-zero energy standards, the Center will depend on a ground-source heat exchange system with 31 1,500-foot-deep geothermal wells for heating and cooling. Energy loss will be minimized with external sun shading devices, triple-glazed windows, enhanced heating and ventilation systems and LED lighting . The tower will also be built 5 feet above the city for Boston’s suggested level for sea level rise. + KPMB Architects Images via KPMB Architects

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New BU academic tower will be 100% free from fossil fuels

Brazilian timber home uses bioclimatic principles to reduce its environmental footprint

July 16, 2019 by  
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Designed by Brazilian firm PITTA Arquitetura , the aptly named Casa Modelo serves as an architectural model for sustainable home design. Built using numerous bioclimatic principles , the solar-powered home has minimal environmental impact on its idyllic tropical setting just outside of São Paulo. Built for the owner of a sustainable real estate development company, Casa Modelo is located in the remote area of Ubatuba. Surrounded by acres of lush, green, protected biospheres that span out to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches, the home has a setting that is as idyllic as it gets. Related: Striking home in Greece uses bioclimatic features to be energy-efficient year-round The incredible location set the tone for the design. Working with the homeowner, the architects sought to create a model sustainable home that could serve as a platform for future constructions in the area. At the forefront of the design was the objective of reducing the home’s impact on the pristine natural setting. Inserting the 1,100-square-foot building into the lot with minimal interference was essential to the project. Accordingly, the timber home is elevated off of the landscape by a concrete platform and pillars that allow natural vegetation to grow under and around the structure. The local climate is marked by severe humidity, ultra hot summers and considerable rainfall, all of which prompted the designers to create a resilient structure that could stand up to the extreme elements. Not only did elevating the home reduce its impact on the landscape, but it also helps keep ground humidity at bay and improves natural air circulation. Passive, energy-saving features are found throughout the home, namely in the structure’s large openings and high interior ceilings. The open-plan living area and kitchen open up to the outdoors thanks to a long stretch of sliding glass doors with retractable timber screens on either side of the house. The doors can be completely or partially left open to ensure cool temps and natural ventilation on the interior, a feature that also creates a strong, seamless connection with the outdoors. The layout was also driven by the natural elements. The two bedrooms were orientated to embrace the morning sunlight , while overhangs shade the living spaces from the hot summer sun. In the winter months, sunlight from the large, north-facing windows is absorbed by the concrete walls and floors during the day and released at night. In addition to its impressive passive features, the home was installed with several systems to minimize energy use. A solar array covers 100 percent of the electrical needs, which are reduced thanks to highly efficient lighting, electrical equipment and smart home devices. Additionally, an innovative rainwater harvesting system provides water for the residents. + PITTA Arquitetura Via Dwell Photography by Gustavo Alkmim via PITTA Arquitetura

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Brazilian timber home uses bioclimatic principles to reduce its environmental footprint

Loop’s launch brings reusable packaging to the world’s biggest brands

January 24, 2019 by  
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Why a quirky startup has attracted P&G, Unilever, Coke, Pepsi, Nestle, Mars, Clorox, Danone and 20 other brands to a platform for disruptive packaging.

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Loop’s launch brings reusable packaging to the world’s biggest brands

Loop’s launch brings reusable packaging to the world’s biggest brands

January 24, 2019 by  
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Why a quirky startup has attracted P&G, Unilever, Coke, Pepsi, Nestle, Mars, Clorox, Danone and 20 other brands to a platform for disruptive packaging.

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Loop’s launch brings reusable packaging to the world’s biggest brands

3 takeaways on the makeup and purpose of sustainability teams

January 24, 2019 by  
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Plus, how political polarization is affecting priorities and succession planning.

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3 takeaways on the makeup and purpose of sustainability teams

3 takeaways on the makeup and purpose of sustainability teams

January 24, 2019 by  
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Plus, how political polarization is affecting priorities and succession planning.

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3 takeaways on the makeup and purpose of sustainability teams

Meet John Hancock’s first sustainability director in the United States

January 24, 2019 by  
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The insurance giant has sustainability members in most of its departments, but recently created a global head to steer them all.

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Meet John Hancock’s first sustainability director in the United States

Meet John Hancock’s first sustainability director in the United States

January 24, 2019 by  
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The insurance giant has sustainability members in most of its departments, but recently created a global head to steer them all.

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Meet John Hancock’s first sustainability director in the United States

Inside Planet’s mission to see change and change the world using miniature satellites

January 24, 2019 by  
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How former NASA scientists are reimaging the world, from one, static photo to an entirely new, constantly updating, global data set.

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Inside Planet’s mission to see change and change the world using miniature satellites

Net Impact at 20: It’s not just academic

November 2, 2012 by  
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How a student networking group became a platform for innovation, and more.

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Net Impact at 20: It’s not just academic

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