Arplan envisions a new, green City Oasis for Latvia

November 25, 2020 by  
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The new City Oasis is a planned residential area in Riga, Latvia that has been designed for optimal efficiency. The project includes hundreds of homes in a highly functional district that is safe and green. City Oasis is expected to serve as an example of sustainable urban planning for the future. The plan was created by Arplan, an architectural firm based in Riga. It worked with B&R Progetti, architect Paolo Bodega and engineer Giussepie M. Rustignoli. The design won an architectural competition in 2011. It took 10 years to set a construction date for the project, which is officially expected to break ground in 2021. Related: SOM designs a low-carbon waterfront community for China’s “most livable city” The City Oasis is planned to sit next to a UNESCO World Heritage site. This made the development of the project challenging, as several approval processes had to be completed first. The building permits have now been issued and City Oasis is starting to look like a reality. Structural engineer Finmap Latvia worked on the project, using design technologies to create an optimal construction plan for City Oasis. “It will be an inclusive residential quarter, with well-thought-out planning and landscaping , aesthetic architecture, and high-quality materials for both the interiors and exteriors,” said Rolands Bruzgulis, founder and lead architect of Arplan. City Oasis is located on the site of a former textile factory that was founded in 1866. It was the largest factory of its kind in the Russian empire by 1913 and stayed in operation until 1989. While some of the old buildings onsite were destroyed, several historic elements were preserved, including a water tower and a locally famous chimney. These elements will be integrated into the masterplan. City Oasis will blend new buildings with preserved and restored historic buildings in a model that proves the past and the future can be blended together beautifully. The plan includes three buildings with six to seven stories each. Commercial space will be available on the ground floors. The new buildings will feature renovated, historic facades, which will maintain the character of the location. Several types of housing units will be available, including lofts and mezzanine-style apartments with their own private entrances. Premium apartments will be located in the restored, 19th-century villa. The residences’ heating and ventilation systems will recuperate residual heat to save energy . Developers also plan to preserve the site’s existing trees, some of which are more than 100 years old. A car-free zone will be included in the plan along with an underground parking area; a public courtyard will sit on top of the parking structure. City Oasis will be surrounded by schools, a public swimming pool, a large playground, a sports center and multiple cafes and restaurants. + Arplan Images via Yellow Stuudio

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Arplan envisions a new, green City Oasis for Latvia

Tencent gets proposal from MVRDV for green smart city

January 27, 2020 by  
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After two years of development,  MVRDV  has unveiled its competition entry for Chinese tech giant Tencent’s next campus — a green and futuristic smart city shaped like a continuous undulating mountain range. Located on a 133-hectare site in Shenzhen’s Qianhai Bay, the nature-inspired development combines references to the lush, mountainous surroundings with Tencent’s cutting-edge technology. The massive urban district is expected to include enough office space for 80,000 to 100,000 employees, public amenities, a conference center and homes for 19,000 Tencent employees.  Although Tencent recently completed their current Shenzhen headquarters, the Tencent Seafront Towers, the company’s meteoric growth and technological ambitions spurred them to launch a design competition for yet another headquarters in  Shenzhen  that would take the shape of an enormous smart city district. In developing their competition entry for the Tencent Campus, MVRDV conducted intensive research and created 28 different outline designs. Their final proposal not only includes the key qualities of smart cities, such as innovation and adaptability, but also incorporates green technology, from solar energy to the introduction of autonomous cars and a shuttle bus loop as the main means of transit. MVRDV’s proposal envisions the Tencent campus as a grid of over 100 buildings topped with an undulating roof of  solar  panels. Sky bridges link certain buildings to create a continuous surface reminiscent of a mountain range, while a waterfront park at the foot of the buildings emphasizes the campus’ connection to Qianhai Bay to the east. The park is also home to many of the urban district’s public buildings, including a school and kindergarten, a sports center and a data center. A rock-shaped conference center bookends the southern side of the park. The “beating heart” of the development is a spherical information plaza that will display data related to the everyday functioning of the campus, from occupancy rates to carbon usage.  Related: BIG presents a sustainable “living laboratory” town in Japan for Toyota at CES “Our studies and competition entry for Tencent are an attempt to show that the smart city is also the green city,” Winy Mass, MVRDV founding partner, said. “With ubiquitous smart city elements, headlined by a futuristic data hub at the heart of the campus, Tencent employees would feel enveloped by technology. But they are also literally surrounded by nature, with the serpentine park always within a short walking distance, and green terraces all around them.” + MVRDV Images by Atchain and MVRDV

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Tencent gets proposal from MVRDV for green smart city

Eco-friendly house uses only 19% of the energy it creates

January 27, 2020 by  
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Lexington, Massachusetts is known for its historical landmarks, but now the city is also home to a powerhouse of  energy-efficient design . Designed by Stephanie Horowitz of  Zero Energy Design,  the Lexington Modern Residence is a contemporary 4,400 square-foot home that not only generates its energy through solar power, but is strategically built to significantly reduce its overall energy consumption. In fact, the design is so efficient that the home only uses 19% of the energy it generates. The prolific team behind Zero Energy has long been recognized as a leader in  sustainable design . Not only do their projects maintain the highest standards in green architecture, but their signature modern aesthetics blend into nearly any environment. Related: Net-zero community planned for Hamburg will rely on geothermal and solar energy One of their latest designs, the Lexington Modern Residence, is a stunning example of how creating a sustainable home doesn’t mean sacrificing luxury. Completely powered by a 10kW rooftop  solar electric system , the home also boasts several energy-reducing strategies to create a highly insulated shell. For example, a high-performance building envelope and high-efficiency mechanical systems enable the home to consume only 19% of the energy it generates. The  layout of the family home  was intentionally created to make the most out of the landscape’s natural topography. Its sculptural volume is comprised of a series of cubed forms clad in various materials such as white stucco, wood siding and fiber cement panels. These exterior facades designate the use of the interior spaces found within. From the exterior, these areas are connected via open-air pathways, decks and patios. The interior of the four-bedroom home enjoys multiple strategic  passive features , as well as refreshingly modern interior design. The large open-space layout of the living area enjoys an abundance of natural light thanks to several triple-paned windows and a massive six by 16-foot Passive House (PHI) certified skylight. + Zero Energy Via Houzz Photography by Eric Roth Photography

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Eco-friendly house uses only 19% of the energy it creates

Sherpa Light for indoor farming wins CES 2020 Innovation Award

January 27, 2020 by  
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Developed with the tagline “Grow whatever your heart desires, wherever you are,” Sherpa Light is a tunable artificial light source with the potential to replicate the exact sunlight conditions needed to grow any plant from around the world. Using tunable, full-spectrum LEDs , the device was created to emit different lighting intensities depending on the plant’s cellular structure to optimize growth. Korea-based design studio  Sherpa Space  developed the Sherpa Light and recently showcased their prototype product at CES 2020, where it was named an honoree of the event’s Innovation Award. Sherpa Space was founded to enhance plant growth through technology. The designers say that sunlight falls short of producing the optimal light settings that different plants need at different growth stages. They believe that their artificial lights, which use an adjustable combination of narrow-band LEDs, are best suited to generating the right light conditions — such as intensity, photoperiod, and quality — needed to optimize plant health, from growth and flowering to the enhancement of leaf quality and the concentration of desired chemicals in plants. “Much like how a baby first needs breastfeeding and later switches to solid foods, plants also need different lights and nutrition at different growth stages for maximum growth,” the designers said in a project statement. “For instance, flowering can be promoted in many crops by changing the wavelength given to a plant. Sherpa Space’s unique competitive advantage lies in our ability to convert light wavelengths with minimal energy loss. Using the quantum dot technology, we can provide lights of specific wavelengths optimized not only for each plant but also for each growth stage. As a result, we maximize crops’ nutrient compositions and productivity.” Related: This self-sustaining planter doesn’t require sunlight for plants to thrive The designers also say that Sherpa Light could be the key to recreating the desired flavor components of certain fruits and vegetables that are typically only enjoyed in the region where they’re grown. For instance, they claim that mangos grown with Sherpa Light in Canada could taste just as good as those in India. There is no word yet of when this product will be made available for sale or testing.  + Sherpa Space Images via Sherpa Space and Inhabitat

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Sherpa Light for indoor farming wins CES 2020 Innovation Award

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