Architects cracked this concrete building to fill its interior with daylight

May 17, 2017 by  
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Usually, architects avoid creating a building full of cracks. But the beautiful concrete facade of this mixed-use building in Aarhus, Denmark was built with intentional imperfections. Copenhagen-based architecture studio Sleth designed the building with a facade of cracked concrete that provides a glimpse of the illuminated interior and references the industrial history of the city’s Sonnesgade district. The Sonnesgade building, realized by the architects as a design-build project, revitalizes an existing industrial construction and consists of three stacked layers of long office floors. It was designed to reflect its surroundings and the transformation of the old freight terminal area into a lively cultural district. It facilitates interaction between the floors, with open-plan areas and flexible office spaces . Related: Berlin’s Tchoban Foundation Museum shelters architectural history within an energy-saving, hand-drawn concrete facade Storage and parking areas are tucked away underneath the landscaping. A sloped asphalt terrain surrounding the building forms outdoor areas for terraces, bikes and gardens, which grounds the project in the existing urban context. Thanks to its role in the rejuvenation of the area and the building’s expressive design, the project was nominated for the Architecture Award Mies Van der Rohe 2017. + Sleth architects Via Fubiz Photos by Rasmus Hjortshøj / C O A S T

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Architects cracked this concrete building to fill its interior with daylight

Office with arched openings shows off the beauty of cross-laminated timber

March 29, 2017 by  
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Increasing numbers of architects are celebrating the strength, beauty, and sustainable properties of cross-laminated timber . Japanese architecture firm Junichi Kato & Associates shows off how the timber can be used as both a structural and finishing material in the Santo CLT Office. Built in Japan’s Shiga Prefecture, this nearly 140-square-meter office building houses warm and welcoming workspaces with arched openings. Inspired by the climbing kiln in Shigaraki, a town famous for ceramics, Junichi Kato & Associates introduced an arch -shaped continuous frame into the building structure. A raised wooden terrace wraps around two sides of the building and is partly shaded by the roof overhang. The walls and floors are constructed from cross-laminated timber, while foam insulation and low-e glass improve energy efficiency. Related: Taiwan’s first CLT building paves way to greener alternatives to concrete and steel The office is entered from the west and visitors are immediately greeted with an exhibition space, reception desk, and a small informal meeting area. A wall divides the entrance area from the large working space in the center of the building. The night-duty room, shower, and toilet are located in the rear. Large windows fill the office with natural light which, coupled with the ample use of wood, gives the office its cozy and welcoming character. + Junichi Kato & Associates Via ArchDaily Images by Kei Sugino

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Office with arched openings shows off the beauty of cross-laminated timber

NYC’s first WELL-certified office boasts a host of health-boosting features

March 16, 2017 by  
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Structure Tone , one of Manhattan’s largest construction firms, isn’t giving “sick building syndrome” a chance. Its new headquarters at 330 West 34th Street is the first in New York City to be certified WELL , meaning that it’s deliberately designed to boost the wellbeing of the people inside it. The 82,000-square-foot office space received a Silver rating for a host of prescriptive features, including flooring, soundproofing, furniture, paint, and sealants that have low or no volatile organic compounds—that is, toxic gas emissions that frequently contribute to indoor pollution. Other pro-health elements include scrupulous air and water filtration, circadian-attuned lighting that promises to foster alertness in the day and better rest at night, and sit-and-stand desks so employees can keep their bodies limber and moving. Structure Tone even brought in acoustic consultants to dampen ambient noise and minimize distractions. Related: Foster + Partners aims to be first WELL-certified NYC tower Nutrition-wise, the company has its staff covered, as well. An on-site café serves up plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains, along with beverages that contain less than 25 grams of sugar. There is also an automated system that allows employees to “customize their own health profile” and learn to make more nourishing choices. “Targeting WELL certification for our new office was important to us not only for our employees’ health and wellness, but also to ensure as construction managers that we understand what it takes to build these kinds of spaces,” said James Donaghy, chairman of the board at Structure Tone. “We have already seen our clients incorporating wellness into their built environments and firmly believe WELL will play a strong role in the workplaces of the future.” Related: Tour the WELL-certified building where Leonardo DiCaprio recently purchased an apartment Although less widely known than programs such as LEED , the WELL Building Standard offers a new paradigm for our built environment, chiefly by incorporating features that promote the mind and body. It’s not meant to supplant environmental building certifications, according to the International WELL Building Institute, but rather augment them. And the captains of industry had best pay attention. “Having Structure Tone achieve the first WELL certification in New York for its headquarters is indicative of its global leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, chairman and CEO of IWBI. “This is a company that at its core deeply understands the connection between the health of people and the importance of designing and constructing spaces that enhance health and wellness. We congratulate them on this significant achievement.” + WELL Building Institute

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NYC’s first WELL-certified office boasts a host of health-boosting features

Solar-powered home on wheels frees US couple from the 9-5 grind

March 16, 2017 by  
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Modern technology is allowing an increasing number of people to travel without taking time off work. Internet, smart phones and laptops allow us to work remotely instead of wasting away in an office. Arkansas natives Zack and Annie (and dog Lola) are the latest digital nomads to reject the grind of 9-5 life. The couple recently converted a former school bus into an ultra-modern solar-powered mobile home on wheels , and now they’re living the dream. After several years of working in an office, the couple decided to turn their lives around and finally see all the places they have always wanted to visit. Zack found a job as a web developer, which allows him to work remotely. Related: 8 buses converted into gorgeous mobile homes perfect for adventure “We began the overwhelming process of trying to figure out what vehicle we wanted and which one would best suit our needs,” the couple wrote on their blog. “Going through this process is probably the most crucial part of starting into this lifestyle. Picking the wrong vehicle could make for a miserable experience. We narrowed down our choices and finally made a decision. A 2001 Thomas HDX school bus.” Related: This couple ditched their tech jobs for life and work on the road in a converted school bus They sold their house and converted the school bus into a permanent home on wheels with a standing workspace, kitchen, king-sized bed, bathroom with a composting toilet and lots of storage space. The couple is currently traveling in their fancy new home nicknamed “Stormy”. You can follow their story on their Instagram page and website. + Natural State Nomads Via Treehugger

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Solar-powered home on wheels frees US couple from the 9-5 grind

Czech zoo to remove horns from rhino herd after poacher attack in France

March 16, 2017 by  
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A zoo in the Czech Republic announced Tuesday that it plans to preemptively remove the horns from its herd of rare rhinos. The decision comes a week after poachers broke into a French zoo, shot dead an endangered white rhino and hacked off its horn. As extreme as it sounds, the surgery could be potentially lifesaving. “It’s for the sake of rhino safety,” Andrea Jirousova, spokeswoman for the zoo in the central Czech town of Dvur Kralove nad Labem, told AFP . “The attack put us on alert, the danger is really intense.” The March 7 death of 4-year-old Vince from Thoiry Zoological Park outside Paris sent shockwaves through the wildlife community. Experts say that the animal’s death likely marks the first time a rhino has been killed in a zoo. The message the tragedy sent was chillingly clear: No living rhino, not even one held in captivity, is safe from poachers. The Dvur Kralove zoo currently houses 21 black and southern white rhinos, including three calves who will be excluded from the surgery. At up to $60,000 per kilogram, rhino horn sells more on the black market than gold or cocaine. Most of the demand for horn comes from China and Vietnam, where it’s prized for its purported medicinal and aphrodisiac properties. Related: Poachers broke into a French zoo to kill a rhino and steal its horn Jirousova said that the rhinos would be kept under anesthesia for the procedure, which involves removing the horns with a chainsaw, then filing down the edges. The move, she added, is entirely unprecedented. “We have never done this because of poachers,” Jirousova added. “We did it for other reasons like transport or health concerns.” Via AFP Photos by Flowcomm and Son of Groucho

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Czech zoo to remove horns from rhino herd after poacher attack in France

Trump orders review of Obama-era fuel economy standards

March 16, 2017 by  
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In another move aimed at dismantling former President Barack Obama’s climate change legacy, President Donald Trump on Wednesday told car executives and auto workers gathered near Detroit that he would order a review of the fuel economy standards for cars and trucks that were put in place by the Obama Administration in 2012. The rules would have raised average fleetwide fuel efficiency to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 — well above the current 35.5 mpg requirement that has been credited with decreasing the nation’s dependence on foreign oil and reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that climate scientists say are the primary drivers of global warming. Trump spoke at a former WWII bomber factory in Ypsilanti, Michigan that is being repurposed to test autonomous vehicles. The president said that he would “ensure that any regulations we have protect and defend your jobs, your factories,” adding that the White House is “setting up a task force in every federal agency to identify and remove any regulation that undermines American auto production.” Related: US vehicle emissions hit record low as fuel economy climbs to record high While Trump talked of ending the “assault” on the US auto industry, it is unclear exactly what he is referring to. Despite carmakers complaining about the EPA’s fuel economy standards, a recent report from the regulatory agency found that Detroit was actually outperforming the GHG emission standards while at the same time selling a record number of new cars and trucks. Last year automakers sold a record 17.55 million vehicles  in the US — the seventh straight year of rising sales. Also, Trump didn’t mention that Obama has been credited with helping to save the domestic auto industry. A bipartisan congressional oversight panel concluded that the government intervention resulted in the industry becoming more efficient, allowing automakers “to become more flexible and better able to meet changing consumer demands, while still remaining profitable.” Via The Christian Science Monitor Image 1 , 2 via Wikimedia

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Trump orders review of Obama-era fuel economy standards

This train station which doubles as city hall in Sweden will function as an "urban living room"

February 2, 2017 by  
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The new station and city hall in the southern Swedish city of Växjö is an urban living room that gathers several functions under one striking, prismatic roof. White Arkitekter ‘s winning proposal for an anonymous competition, the building combines an expressive form with accessibility, and provides a series of public spaces for citizens, visitors and employees. The 150,000-square-foot wooden structure is topped with an elegant, sloping roof that ensures lower energy consumption . The three main entrances connect these spaces to the city and lead to a central space that functions as a public living room with a tourist office, exhibition area, waiting room, cafés and shops, meeting rooms  for various occasions and a modern workplace for municipal employees. While glass dominates the exterior of the building, the interior prominently features wood. Related: White Arkitekter wins bid to design Sweden’s tallest timber building “Our goal has been to create a building at the forefront of development in sustainable construction as well as to achieve the highest Swedish environment certification,” said Klara Frosterud, Lead Architect at White Arkitekter. “People are placed at the heart of this building which will be socially, economically and ecologically sustainable over time,” she added. + White Arkitekter Via World Architecture News Images by Tegmark

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This train station which doubles as city hall in Sweden will function as an "urban living room"

How Citigroup has gamified employee engagement

January 30, 2017 by  
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“Sustainability has been so focused on impacts to the environment… and lost in the conversation are the people in the building — the occupants,” said Steve Avadek, Director of Sustainability for Citi Realty Services.Avadek sat down with GreenBiz at VERGE 16 to talk about Citigroup’s ambitious green building record and its employee engagement initiatives.

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3 important data questions about smart buildings

January 18, 2017 by  
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Data plays an important role in enabling our building stock to play a productive role in the low-carbon electricity system of the future. Here is what we need to ask it.

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Green-roofed gallery in Hanoi lights up like a lantern at night

November 29, 2016 by  
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This green-roofed gallery and lighting showroom in Hanoi is wrapped in a layer of perforated terracotta that filters sunlight into the narrow, tall volume of the building. Natural materials and different patterns and textures, trademarks of Vo Trong Nghia Architects , turn the building into a beautiful combination of traditional Vietnamese architecture and contemporary design. The building is located within Dong Da district in Hanoi. Its interior spaces are organized around a central void that houses a staircase which provides glances of the exhibitions. The terracotta blocks, traditionally used in Vietnamese architecture , facilitate natural ventilation and provide shade from harsh sunlight. These affordable building elements are coupled with a bespoke fixing system, enabling quick and simple assembly. Related: Lush green rooftop terrace invites homeowners outdoors in the foothills of Vietnam The top floor, where the gallery is located, overlooks a large neighboring tree and receives additional lighting through skylights that expose the roof garden above. While the building is in shade during the day, its internal nighttime illumination makes it look like a beautiful lantern. + Vo Trong Nghia Architects Via Archdaily Photos by Hiroyuki Oki , Trieu Chien

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Green-roofed gallery in Hanoi lights up like a lantern at night

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