The River School places classrooms around a central courtyard

February 1, 2021 by  
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Great design means different things to different people, but the best architectural design incorporates history, culture and functionality. In addition to these paramount foundational elements, L’École du Fleuve (The River School) also presents a plan that relies on locally sourced, sustainable and recycled materials. The River School won second place in the international Archstorming competition , which called for designs for a school in Senegal. The designers, Tina Gao and Prathyusha Viddam with research support from Amy Zhang, aimed their finished project at honoring the history of the local area, where making and using buckets and baskets is standard. They also drew inspiration from the rivers around the Casamance region; these rivers are central to the culture and economy of the area, as is education. Related: Green school in Bali shows students how to live sustainably The competition was organized in conjunction with NGO Let’s Build My School (LBMS), a U.K.-based charity with a focus on building schools in developing countries, especially in remote areas with limited access. The brief for the competition outlined the need for using local, renewable materials and easy, affordable construction techniques. The idea is for community members to be able to use the design elements to build homes and other buildings by replicating the process. L’École du Fleuve is situated to curve around an existing tree that provides a gathering space in the shade. Like a bend in a river, the building arcs with all classrooms facing the central courtyard. The doors for each classroom are composed of bamboo screens that can fully extend to open the classroom to the outdoors. Outside of the classrooms, gardens provide vegetables, which are then served from a small kitchen. Sustainable building requires attention to water usage. The River School harvests water through a terraced rainwater channel in the courtyard. The water is then funneled into two percolation ponds. A PVC pipe inserted into each pond then disperses the water into the ground and back to the well. In addition, a collection tank in the restroom is filled with water collected from gutters along the roof. Going back to the process of bucket making, the outer facade is made up of adobe bricks formed using plastic buckets as molds. The bricks are stacked in a pattern that resembles traditional baskets, paying tribute to the way Senegal’s women balance baskets on their heads. The process for laying the bricks allows for sunlight and ventilation within the space. Primary walls are composed of easy-to-source natural materials , such as clay, sand and straw. A small amount of cement speeds up the process and stabilizes the structure. The roof trusses are made from locally grown bamboo in a process that the community can replicate in other buildings.  + Essential Design Images via Essential Design

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The River School places classrooms around a central courtyard

Earth911 Podcast: Roger Duncan and Dr. Michael E. Webber on the Future of Buildings, Transportation, and Power

November 23, 2020 by  
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Earth911 talks with Roger Duncan and Dr. Michael E. Webber … The post Earth911 Podcast: Roger Duncan and Dr. Michael E. Webber on the Future of Buildings, Transportation, and Power appeared first on Earth 911.

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Earth911 Podcast: Roger Duncan and Dr. Michael E. Webber on the Future of Buildings, Transportation, and Power

Qatar to create 16 sustainable floating hotels for World Cup

June 1, 2020 by  
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As construction of the Lusail International Stadium continues, Qatar, the country set to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, is also beginning to address the impending question of crowd accommodation. The massive number of fans traveling to the Middle East to enjoy the soccer competition will need a place to stay. With the growing issue of climate change and the environmental toll of tourism in mind,  sustainability  is paramount. Finnish company Admares has designed a series of “floating” hotels that will sit on the surface of the water just 15 minutes from the new stadium. While the 16 structures will be designed to float off the coast of Qetaifan Island North in the Persian Gulf, the buildings will have the capacity to be reused and moved to another coastal location for further events. The island located off Lusail City spans over 4.5 million square feet and will serve as the main activities and tourism hub for the 2022 World Cup . Related: Construction to Begin on Zaha Hadid’s 2022 World Cup Stadium in Qatar Each  building  will be four stories high and measure 236 feet by 52 feet. The structures will each contain 101 guest rooms, a restaurant and a lounge bar. Unlike other buoyant accommodations, the floating hotels will require significantly lower water depth to operate and no major ports, since the draft is much smaller than a cruise ship. Once the Word Cup has ended and the fans have gone home, the buildings can be  reused  at any coastal location with at least 13 feet of water. The modular hotels are certainly on par with the overall architectural theme of the 2022 World Cup. The Qatar stadium will feature an efficient energy-saving  system with solar canopies built to control the temperature and produce energy for the stadium and surrounding buildings. Like the hotels, the stadium is anticipated to be reused as well. The seats are to be removed, and the space will be utilized as a community center complete with shopping and dining, as well as athletic, education, and health facilities. + Admares Images via ADMARES

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Qatar to create 16 sustainable floating hotels for World Cup

Climate, COVID-19 and the economics of decarbonizing buildings

April 9, 2020 by  
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Facilities managers and staff are scrambling to adjust buildings for vacancy indefinitely. As we look toward recovery, there will be wide-ranging impacts on the fundamental systems that enable learning, work and commerce.

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Climate, COVID-19 and the economics of decarbonizing buildings

Utilities are the new cool

April 9, 2020 by  
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Thriving in the age of climate change pivots around electricity, and that means electric utilities are at the center.

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Utilities are the new cool

Orchestrating the energy transition: Tuning into buildings

April 2, 2020 by  
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For the sector to play its part means adopting aggressive energy efficiency, zero-carbon and grid-interactive strategies, especially for existing structures.

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Orchestrating the energy transition: Tuning into buildings

Trend: Commercial buildings go all-electric

March 2, 2020 by  
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All signs point to the next generation of commercial buildings becoming all-electric.

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Trend: Commercial buildings go all-electric

Could Dubai’s $350 million sustainable supercity work in New York?

February 25, 2020 by  
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Dreaming of what’s possible in the Big Apple.

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Could Dubai’s $350 million sustainable supercity work in New York?

Investment analysts conclude that greener businesses rule

February 25, 2020 by  
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Investment returns on firms driving the transition to a green economy are easily outstripping those of their fossil fuel competitors, new analysis suggests.

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Investment analysts conclude that greener businesses rule

Los Angeles city-owned buildings to go 100% carbon free

February 18, 2020 by  
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It’s also the first California city to demand lower carbon in construction materials.

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Los Angeles city-owned buildings to go 100% carbon free

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