Massive greenhouse wins award for sustainable design

September 23, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

The Global Flora Conservatory at Wellesley College already holds several design awards, including the 2021 Architizer A+ Awards Jury Winner for Architecture + New Technology. After several years of planning and construction, it is nearly complete. Designed by Boston-based Kennedy & Violich Architecture, Ltd., Global Flora Conservatory is a massive greenhouse and science center. It replaces the long-standing greenhouse erected 100 years ago under the guidance of Dr. Margaret Ferguson, a famed American botanist. Related: Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens LEEDs the way in green design “Global Flora builds on the rich history of botanical education and research at Wellesley College established in the 1920s by Dr. Margaret Ferguson, who advocated for interdisciplinary botanical education as a Center for the College’s intellectual life,” said Kristina Jones, professor of botany and director of the Botanic Gardens at Wellesley College. “The new space will be an amazing platform for student engagement with nature and with the systems thinking that underpins progress in sustainability.” The conservatory houses the college’s expansive and notable plant collection, including an iconic Durant Camellia tree, which is over 140 years old and memorialized in its own pavilion. In its final form, the building contours to accommodate the varied heights of the plants inside. The curved design is placed along the east to west sun path to take advantage of natural heating, cooling, ventilation and light. A transparent ETFE building skin, a lightweight alternative to glass, allows students, scientists and the public to view the plants, while an Interactive Sensor Platform provides real-time data in regards to air, water, soil and energy. This system allows visitors to share information to scientific and personal communities around the world. Inside the greenhouse , the ecosystem combines wet and dry biomes to support each other and helps maintain consistent temperatures and moisture levels for the plants.  Global Flora Conservatory integrated passive and active systems meet the criteria for the Net Zero Water category of the Living Building Challenge. The conservatory will also achieve net-zero energy consumption once the campus converts to solar and geothermal systems. The project was designed in collaboration with an interdisciplinary team at Wellesley College led by Jones and Cathy Summa, a professor of geoscience and the director of the Wellesley College Science Center. + Kennedy & Violich Architecture Images via KVA

See the original post here: 
Massive greenhouse wins award for sustainable design

This apple factory turned artist ranch is a budding community

September 23, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

This is the story of how a decommissioned apple processing facility became a modern rural retreat. Created by Best Practice Architecture, Cloud Ranch is an amazing combination of the old and the new. Cloud Ranch is in Tieton, Washington , a spot surrounded by expansive views. Before its construction, many people just saw an old warehouse building, a run-down spot where agriculture and industry once met. But Michael Northrup saw much more. He hired Best Practice Architecture to transform the space into the vision he had: a bridge between the agricultural and artistic communities. Related: Ranch Dressing house sets example for modernization with minimal impact A brand-new building sits next to the repurposed barn, which now serves as a gathering place to promote and share art . The facility is a thriving artist community with a writer’s cabin, workshop, bathrooms and even guest quarters. Though the property has a single owner, local artists are welcome to use the community building and public areas. As for the property’s past, Michael Northrup said, “I love living near structures with tangible human history. I respect this building for withstanding the winds, protecting the fruit that passed through and the many people who worked here. There are recipes, drawings and even romantic scribbles on the plywood walls. It’s an endless discovery.” Northrup’s new home is separate from the existing barn structure. Part of the old warehouse was removed to create a more cohesive design. Best Practice Architecture intentionally used rugged, low-maintenance building materials so the structures can withstand the heat and wind during summer. Concrete blocks, fiberglass windows, corrugated metal siding and plywood interiors contribute to the durable build. The home has a covered patio where inhabitants can enjoy the orchard views. On the upper floor, a large living area offers views of the countryside and the old warehouse, a feature of the property that Northrup loves. The south and west side of the house have peek-a-boo windows that provide privacy and limit solar gain during the hot summer months. + Best Practice Architecture Photography by Rafael Soldi

More here: 
This apple factory turned artist ranch is a budding community

A green remodel gave this 1950s home major treehouse vibes

September 13, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

Your home might be cozy, but nothing compares to the fun of a childhood treehouse . Hazel Road Residence combines modern home design with treehouse vibes to showcase the best of both worlds. Completed by Oakland -based firm Buttrick Projects Architecture+Design, this project transformed a 1950s residence into a gorgeous family home with sustainable features. Located in Berkeley, California , this house began its life in 1952 as a 1,714-square-foot structure. Bringing the home’s “good bones” into the modern era took thoughtful planning. Buttrick Projects Architecture+Design started the transformation with a kitchen remodel in 2012. Warm wood cabinets echo the trees outdoors, while steel appliances keep the kitchen looking modern and fresh. This remodel also laid the groundwork for an upstairs addition, completed with the help of IDA Structural Engineers and Jetton Construction, Inc. The project was completed in 2018. Related: Residential building from the ’60s gets an energy-efficient remodel Now a 2,392-square-foot home, Hazel Road can comfortably house a family with kids. But more space isn’t the only welcoming element to the updated house. As stated in a project description, a “unifying concept to the project was to use the yard to greater effect.” This is where Hazel Road’s “tree-house feel” comes into play. The green yard features inviting wood and concrete stairs leading up to a deck shaded by a gorgeous Magnolia tree. Flush sliders added to the family room/kitchen blur the barrier between indoor and outdoor spaces . Continuing to bring the outdoors in, windows throughout the home frame views of the tree. This includes the upstairs master bedroom’s full-wall sliding windows with an ‘invisible’ glass safety rail. Sustainability features reinforce the home’s green perspective. For example, spray foam insulation and energy-efficient LED lighting were used throughout the structure. Exterior shades and deep overhangs control both glare and western light to minimize solar gain. The residence also includes a “state of the art rainscreen wall” with cementitious panel siding. + Buttrick Projects Architecture+Design Photography by Cesar Rubio, Matthew Millman and Buttrick Projects A+D

Read the original post: 
A green remodel gave this 1950s home major treehouse vibes

The Ice Box Challenge shows effectiveness of passive house design

September 3, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on The Ice Box Challenge shows effectiveness of passive house design

The Ice Box Challenge was a visual representation of the effectiveness of  passive house  design elements, presented as a collaborative effort from iPHA, Glasgow City Council, Passive House Institute, Edinburgh Napier University, Passivhaus Trust and Construction Scotland Innovation Centre. The display consisted of two small houses, placed side-by-side in Glasgow, Scotland’s city square. One house was built by standard Scottish building code, while the other implemented four of five passive house design elements. Each structure was filled with the same amount of ice, which was measured at the end of an established period. Related: Explore the Saltbox Passive House’s sweet sustainable design The results were undeniable, with the ice melting completely in the standard house within 11 days. Viewers could see the ice void days before the final measurements. In contrast, the passive house still had two large blocks of ice. In the end, the passive house still had 121kg of the original 917 kg of ice placed two weeks prior, even with unseasonably warm weather.  This demonstration highlights the effectiveness of energy-saving  passive design  elements since no active cooling systems were allowed. Passive design incorporates five standard elements to significantly reduce the need for mechanical heating and cooling. This not only reduces the use of limited environmental resources but saves money for the homeowner too.  For this challenge, the homes looked nearly identical from the outside, but the passive house relied on window glazing, insulation levels, airtightness and reduced thermal bridges for keeping out the summer heat and maintaining a cool and comfortable interior. Due to the nature of the competition, the passive house didn’t include the fifth element of passive design — a ventilation system with heat recovery — which adds to the  energy efficiency  of the construction.  The passive home standard is becoming increasingly more common in projects developed by the Glasgow City Council and local housing associations. Michelle Mundie from the Housing Investment Group at Glasgow City Council says, “Housing associations in Glasgow are looking at this very closely and what it means to new build programmes. For tenants it means more comfortable homes with lower running costs.” + Ice Box Challenge Images via © Passivhaus Trust, Kirsten Priebe

Read more:
The Ice Box Challenge shows effectiveness of passive house design

A new rammed earth spiritual center arrives in Arizona desert

August 31, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on A new rammed earth spiritual center arrives in Arizona desert

The new TSG Foundation site is located on an 11-acre parcel of land in the Sonoran Desert in Scottsdale, Arizona . Some of the sustainable features include rammed earth construction, zinc tile exterior cladding, solar power, desert landscaping with native and drought-tolerant  plants , and energy-efficient LED lighting. “Like the beauty of a physical building that is designed by principles to nurture health, respect for its environment, longevity, and a source of peace and joy, building the inner life of a human being is designed to produce similar outcomes – if it is built utilizing similar principles,” said Gita Saraydarian, Founder and President of TSG Foundation. Built to embody the principles of the  Living Building Challenge  — a green building standard similar to LEED that focuses more on human health — the center has aligned its construction values with those of the challenge (Health and Happiness, Equity, Energy, Water , Materials, Place and Beauty). Related: Morocco Pavilion is a rammed earth wonder for Dubai Expo As visitors enter the center, a  desert  pavement driveway leads to parking areas landscaped to screen them from street view with asphalt made using decomposed granite, or gravelcrete, to minimize thermal gain. There’s a pedestrian bridge linking the parking area to the main building with additional landscaping and bicycle racks to connect the visitors to the outdoors as they enter. The designers at  180 Degrees Design + Build , responsible for the architecture, chose to axially rotate the site to allow more southern natural sunlight during the wintertime, as well as northern views looking out over the Carefree Mountains. Additionally, the building offers opportunities for nighttime star gazing. The architects also included principles of  Feng Shui  — Fire, Water, Earth and Metal — in the design throughout both the building itself and the building site. The 3,000-square-foot sanctuary space has passive and active energy strategies to assist the Foundation in its goal to become a Net Zero Energy and Net Zero Water Certified Building through the Living Building Challenge. + 180 Degrees Design + Build Images courtesy of 180 Degrees Inc.

The rest is here: 
A new rammed earth spiritual center arrives in Arizona desert

Louisiana dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Ida

August 31, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Louisiana dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Ida

Residents of Louisiana are stuck in the dark following destructive Hurricane Ida on Sunday. Officials are still counting losses and have said that it may take weeks before power is restored in some areas. The hurricane hit Louisiana with winds at speeds of 150 mph (240 km/h). Ida is now the fifth strongest hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland. Officials have confirmed the death of one person. Further, about 1 million residents of Louisiana are in the dark following destroyed power supply systems. Related: Climate change doubles natural disaster costs in the US According to CNN, about 25,000 workers from across the country are currently fighting to restore power . The workers are expected to bring back normalcy in phases, but some areas may wait longer than others before power returns. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said that although the hurricane was one of the strongest in history, protection measures helped reduce casualties and losses. “The systems we depended on to save lives and protect our city did just that and we are grateful, but there is so much more work to be done,” said Cantrell Hurricane Ida was initially predicted to be life-threatening, with some scientists even comparing it to Hurricane Katrina of 2005. Ida had a path similar to Katrina but did not cause as much destruction. Katrina claimed over 1,800 lives and properties worth billions. Some of the defense systems put in place after Katrina were effective in mitigating Ida’s effects. Governor John Bel Edwards said the systems “performed magnificently” in reducing the hurricane’s effect. Hurricane Ida gathered strength over the Gulf of Mexico , stopping up to 90% of the region’s oil production. Ida landed in New Orleans as a category four hurricane. A hurricane of this strength can destroy trees and buildings if there are no protection measures. As Hurricane Ida moved further inland, its winds speed dropped to 95 mph (153km/h), making it a category one hurricane. Even though the hurricane has downgraded to a tropical storm as it moves further inland, the National Hurricane Center has warned of potential flooding due to heavy rains. Residents of Mississippi , Alabama, and Florida have been asked to remain watchful. Mayor Cantrell has urged New Orleans residents who already evacuated to stay away from their homes until power returns. Via BBC and CNN Lead image via The National Guard

See the original post: 
Louisiana dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Ida

New Office of Climate Change and Health Equity announced

August 31, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on New Office of Climate Change and Health Equity announced

The U.S. Office of Climate Change and Health Equity will be charged with protecting vulnerable communities from climate-driven disasters. Responding to President Joe  Biden’s  executive order on climate change, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the new office Monday. “History will judge us for the actions we take today to protect our world and our health from  climate change ,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra in a statement released Monday. “The consequences for our inaction are real and worsening. We’ve always known that health is at the center of climate change, and now we’re going to double-down on a necessity: fighting climate change in order to help protect public health in our communities.” Related: Evacuations ordered as Caldor Fire moves toward Lake Tahoe OCCHE plans to play a pivotal role in protecting  health  both in the U.S. and abroad. Its mandate includes identifying communities that face disproportionate exposure to climate hazards and addressing their health disparities. The office will promote research on the public health benefits of climate actions and translate that research for the public. OCCHE will also lend its expertise to the White House and federal agencies working on climate change and health equity. With the Caldor Fire still raging in the west and Hurricane Ida’s trail of ruin in the east, help for those with few resources cannot come soon enough. “Climate change is turbo-charging the horrific  wildfires , extreme heat, and devastating floods that are killing people and making millions more sick from exposure to unhealthy smoke, mold and debilitating heat,” said National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy in a statement. “The new HHS Office of Climate Change and Health Equity is fulfilling President Biden’s vision to bring America’s world-class medical community into the fight against climate change—a fight for our health that ensures no community is left behind.” Via Department of Health and Human Services Lead image via Gage Skidmore

Original post:
New Office of Climate Change and Health Equity announced

Cottage Rock tiny home nurtures healthy living and nature

August 27, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Cottage Rock tiny home nurtures healthy living and nature

The project began with a client brief by rock-climber enthusiasts who wanted to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life in favor of a simple, off-grid  tiny home  where they could focus on the health of themselves and their ailing son. With this goal in mind, the clients brought in architect Nadine Engelbrecht to overcome the obvious site challenges and deliver their new home, called Cottage Rock.  Located in Pretoria’s Tierpoort in South Africa , the building lot had little to offer as far as accessibility. The only way to access the site was on foot, and even that required dedication. The site was wedged between usable farmlands and had no agricultural value. So the first several months involved excavating a rustic road into the building site, which put limitations on the supplies and how they were delivered. Related: Viewfinder House combines great views with energy efficiency A press release from the architect said, “Due to the steep and winding road only 3m3 concrete trucks and maximum 8m long trucks could be used to supply materials. Building materials had to be planned accordingly and a 15m length steel H-column had to be cut into three lengths and reassembled.” On the build site, emphasis was placed on preserving and reusing the copious amounts of large sandstone boulders throughout the property. Designers incorporated them throughout the landscaping and into the exterior of the house to use as a climbing wall. For  minimal site impact , the footprint of the house was limited to 86 square meters, yet the home remains cozy with two loft bedrooms and an open living space below.  A tight budget and desire to respect the natural surrounding environment guided the decision to use reclaimed steel windows, raw concrete for floors and walls, and stone . The team also incorporated raw bricks and cement-washed walls. With a primary goal to eliminate chemicals, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, all materials were used in unprocessed forms.  Catering to the client’s wish for a home that opened up to the outdoors, Cottage Rock employs retractable doors on both sides of the house to invite  natural light  and ventilation and erase the lines between indoors and outdoors.  Cottage Rock is also completely off-grid. A  rainwater collection  system funnels water into a storage tank beneath the patio. Passive design elements provide natural temperature control and meet the client’s request for extremely low operating costs for the future of the home.  + Nadine Engelbrecht Architecture  Via ArchDaily   Images via Marsel Roothman  

Continued here: 
Cottage Rock tiny home nurtures healthy living and nature

Copper-clad Bondi House highlights compact, multi-level living

August 24, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Copper-clad Bondi House highlights compact, multi-level living

Armed with a thoughtful combination of natural light, garden outlooks and angled design, this copper-clad townhouse in Australia manages to achieve compact, multi-level living with a deep sense of  privacy  — despite its location on an exposed corner site. The Bondi House, named for the beachy suburb where it’s located in eastern Sydney, comes from Fox Johnston Architects and has already been shortlisted for the 2021 Australian Interior Design Awards, Houses Awards and the AIA NSW Architecture Awards. The home itself spans an impressive 212 square meters on a 153 square meter site, while still leaving room for  landscape  spaces for the owners to cultivate. The small space doesn’t infringe upon the neighbors either, instead using its setback and deep balcony to offer up additional space along the public walkway and light to the homes on the northwest side. Related: A sustainable, zinc-clad family home on a budget in Australia The living room uses concrete floors paired with exposed timber beams, as well as windows and doors crafted from western red cedar. The architects also chose local Sydney sandstone for the office plinth and dark stone for the kitchen benchtops. Natural light and organic tones cover the entire interior, culminating in a central  courtyard  that separates the kitchen from the living room, accented with curved windows. The office sits where the car space once stood, though the area could easily be refitted into a parking space if the owners ever choose to sell the property.  “The central courtyard was an early idea we developed to gather light and segment the living level into zones, which we think is more interesting in a small space, rather than that feeling of just being in one long room,” said Conrad Johnston, Director at Fox Johnston. “The copper wall is big gesture for the setting and the street. Next to a traditional semi we’ve attached this bold, curved copper wall on a tiny block. This sculptural element crowns and connects the entire site. It’s a bit full on but in a gentle way.” Copper lasts long and doesn’t easily degrade or corrode, making it immune to most environmental elements or hazards. Plus, it is completely  recyclable  at the end of its life.  Other sustainable features to the home include locally sourced construction materials, low VOC diminishes, 4 Green Start fittings and fixtures, native landscaping to reduce water usage and a 3,000-liter  rainwater  tank for irrigation. + Fox Johnston Via ArchDaily Images courtesy of Brett Boardman

Original post:
Copper-clad Bondi House highlights compact, multi-level living

Viewfinder House combines great views with energy efficiency

August 18, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Viewfinder House combines great views with energy efficiency

In an initial meeting with Faulkner Architects, the client requested every room be oriented towards the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It took some out-of-the-box thinking, but somehow the design team managed to stay in the box while achieving that goal. Called Viewfinder House, this home is located in Truckee, CA, a launching point for myriad outdoor activities in every season. Even at 7,200 square feet with a pool, the design offers unique architecture and environmentally friendly features. The body of the home is made up of two rectangular boxes, with connections between the spaces via covered porches. The lower level is contoured to match the property line, but the upper level is rotated to take full advantage of Pacific Crest mountain views. Related: House Lhotka brings energy-efficient home design to the Czech Republic The team relied on steel for the base to hold up against deep winter snow, and an exterior rain screen of red cedar, which also shields the home from the street while allowing  natural light  to filter in.  Passive design elements create shade and promote  energy efficiency  throughout the home, starting with the roof overhang that protects the glass doors from weather and solar gain inside the home. High-efficiency boilers conserve energy and work in conjunction with effective radiantly heated floors. The back of the lower level takes advantage of earth sheltering to organically insulate the home, and natural ventilation is found through window and door placement. Faulkner Architects emphasized using enhanced-efficiency glazing and insulation for a tight construction envelope. According to a press release, these combined efforts help the building achieve a 14.5% improvement in efficiency, above the already strict California energy code.   Outdoors, the surrounding hillsides are covered in native  plants  and mature trees. The materials removed from the pool and house excavation were saved and used for the nearby terraced landscaping. + Faulkner Architects Photography by Paul Hamill

Original post:
Viewfinder House combines great views with energy efficiency

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 8546 access attempts in the last 7 days.