Mountain-inspired skyscrapers unveiled for Zhengzhou

February 23, 2017 by  
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London-based architecture firm Tonkin Liu recently revealed their competition-winning designs for the Cradle Towers in Zhengzhou , China. Centered on a large green space, this collection of five mixed-use towers is designed with a swooping sculptural form to mimic the nearby Songshan mountains. This urban “mountainscape” will be partly covered in greenery and feature a responsive skin to control solar shading and maximize energy efficiency. Located in a city regarded as China’s cradle of civilization, the 434,000-square-meter Cradle Towers pay homage to the city’s ancient past with its nature-inspired form and simultaneously looks to the future with its contemporary design. The five tapered towers will be built at different heights atop a podium . The towers surround a central park with a large man-made lake that will double as an ice skating rink in the winter. Related: 5+design stacks a dramatic mountain-inspired mixed-use project atop a transit hub in Shenyang The mixed-use buildings will comprise offices, apartments, and a hotel. The podium base will contain retail and leisure open to the public. The fritted glass facade will feature a responsive skin that changes to minimize solar heat gain . The facade has a subtle color gradation and transitions from dark at the podium base to light at the tops of the building, “establishing the podium as a heavy mass and blending the lantern-like tips of the towers with the sky,” write the architects. Each building will be topped by a landscaped rooftop. + Tonkin Liu Via ArchDaily

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Mountain-inspired skyscrapers unveiled for Zhengzhou

China plans its first "Forest City" to fight air pollution

February 22, 2017 by  
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Just weeks after Stefano Boeri announced plans for China’s first vertical forest, the Italian architect unveiled an even more ambitious vision: Forest Cities. Scaling up from his tree-clad Bosco Verticale skyscraper, Boeri created a blueprint for new cities in China that will be blanketed in greenery to fight air pollution. The first implementation of the nature-filled city will start in the city of Liuzhou, with construction expected to begin later this year. Stefano Boeri’s Forest City masterplans are envisioned as models of sustainable growth in China , a country choked with smog and undergoing rapid urbanization as millions of farmers migrate to cities every year. “We have been asked to design an entire city where you don’t only have one tall building but you have 100 or 200 buildings of different sizes, all with trees and plants on the facades,” Boeri told the Guardian . “We are working very seriously on designing all the different buildings. I think they will start to build at the end of this year. By 2020 we could imagine having the first forest city in China.” The Forest City was created as a scalable development following a petal formation. Each petal, which caters to a population of 20,000, can be scaled to include five petals in a single region, forming a flower-like formation centered on communal green space . All buildings would be covered in trees and greenery to help suck tons of carbon out of the atmosphere, pump oxygen into the air, and provide soothing habitat to both humans and native fauna. Related: China’s first vertical forest is rising in Nanjing The first Forest City settlement is planned for Liuzhou, home to around 1.5 million residents in the southern province of Guangxi. Boeri has high hopes to build the second Forest City in Shijiazhuang, a northern city in Hebei province that ranks among China’s worst for air quality . + Stefano Boeri Via The Guardian Images via Stefano Boeri

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China plans its first "Forest City" to fight air pollution

Zaha Hadid Architects designs Beijing tower with worlds tallest atrium

February 17, 2017 by  
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Beijing is one step closer to completing the world’s tallest atrium. The 190-meter-tall atrium is part of the Leeza Soho, a 46-story mixed-use tower currently under construction that recently reached level 20. Zaha Hadid Architects designed the striking light-filled building integrated with energy-efficient systems and engineered to meet LEED Gold standards. Shaped like a slim barrel, the 172,800-square-meter Leeza Soho is set within the Lize Financial District and will be well connected with the city thanks to its position above a subway interchange station and proximity to the city’s bus routes. Zaha Hadid Architects used the subway lines that run beneath the site as the basis for a diagonal axis that splits the tower into two halves connected via the central atrium . The architects write: “As the tower rises, the diagonal axis through the site defined by the subway tunnel is re-aligned by ‘twisting’ the atrium through 45 degrees to orientate the atrium’s higher floors with the east-west axis of Lize Road, one of west Beijing’s primary avenues.” Related: Zaha Hadid’s Guangzhou Infinitus Plaza focuses on environmental sustainability The twist in the atrium allows natural light to penetrate into the center of all the floors and allows for a diversity of views into the city from all directions. To maximize energy efficiency, the glass curtainwall system is constructed with double-insulated low-e glazing units. High-tech insulation, self-shading and use of an advanced 3D BIM energy management system with real-time monitoring will help create a comfortable indoor environment year-round. The tower will target LEED Gold certification and also includes heat-recovery from exhaust air, high-efficiency pumps and fans, chillers and boilers, low-flow rate fixtures, gray water flushing, high-efficient air purifiers, and low VOC materials. Leeza Soho will reach its full height of 207 meters in September this year. The tower is slated for completion in late 2018. + Zaha Hadid Architects

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Zaha Hadid Architects designs Beijing tower with worlds tallest atrium

Leonardo DiCaprio appointed brand ambassador for Chinese electric vehicle maker

February 8, 2017 by  
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Actor Leonardo DiCaprio has played many roles – and not just in the movies. He is a United Nations Messenger for Peace, climate change documentary maker, and a bold advocate of climate action . Now our favorite climate justice activist has been appointed brand ambassador for Chinese company BYD’s new line of electric vehicles. DiCaprio will be brand ambassador for BYD’s new line of what they call new energy vehicles, or electric vehicles . They describe themselves as one of the world’s biggest new electric vehicle manufacturers, comprising 11 percent of the 2015 global market. They experienced a 130 percent increase in electric vehicle sales in the first half of 2016. They’re developing the new cars as part of their Cool the Earth by One Degree Celsius campaign as they aim to transform how each person consumes energy while raising awareness about climate change. Related: Leonardo DiCaprio says climate action is America’s “biggest economic opportunity” Sounds like a perfect mission for DiCaprio – the company says he will help them highlight their new developments in China . BYD Brand and Public Relations General Manager Sherry Li said in a statement, “Mr. Leonardo DiCaprio has greatly inspired the world with his outstanding dedication to saving the planet’s ecological environment . As our brand ambassador in China, we are pleased to work with him in promoting public awareness of climate change through the use of new energy vehicles.” In a statement DiCaprio said, “All over the world people are realizing that cars that run on fossil fuels are inefficient and a major threat to the planet. I am very pleased to be joining an effort to increase the number of clean vehicles on the road in China and beyond.” Via CleanTechnica Images via BYD Twitter and BYD Facebook

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Leonardo DiCaprio appointed brand ambassador for Chinese electric vehicle maker

Chinese fishery installs immense floating solar farm for extra income

February 6, 2017 by  
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A fishery in eastern China now doubles as a solar power station. An immense array of photovoltaic panels has been installed across 300 hectares to generate not only clean electricity , but additional money for the fishery. Lines of solar panels stretch over the waters of a fishery in Cixi City, which is in the Zhejiang Province in eastern China . People’s Daily Online reports with a 200 megawatt (MW) capacity, it is the biggest solar power station constructed on a fish farm in the country. The panels will be connected to the state grid and will provide the fishery with an annual income of 240 million RMB, which is around $34 million. Fish should still be able to thrive in the waters underneath the panels; People’s Daily Online says the panels will provide shade, but PV Magazine also noted they were intentionally spaced out to allow sunlight to filter through, which is necessary for the fish to grow. Related: $11 million floating solar testbed in Singapore will be the largest in the world The huge station can generate enough power for 100,000 households, and could maybe even replace 7.4 tons of coal, according to People’s Daily Online. The solar panels should generate an impressive 220 million kilowatt-hours of electricity every year. PV Magazine reports there’s a similar 120 MW installation in China in the Jiangxi Province, but clearly the Cixi City project is much larger. The new solar system certainly wasn’t cheap; it cost 1.8 billion RMB, or $260 million. But Electrek reports the floating solar farm will pay for itself in about seven or eight years. The fishery turned renewable energy plant could offer a model for other fisheries or coastal areas around the world; PV Magazine reports construction just finished in late 2016, so it’s time to see how the fish farm functions with solar panels atop their pond. Via Electrek , People’s Daily Online , and PV Magazine Images via Max Pixel and screenshot

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Chinese fishery installs immense floating solar farm for extra income

China’s first vertical forest is rising in Nanjing

February 2, 2017 by  
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Stefano Boeri Architetti is bringing the vertical forest concept popularized in Milan to Nanjing, China with the Nanjing Towers . The two green towers could provide the city with a breath of fresh air, producing around 132 pounds of oxygen every day as they absorb carbon dioxide. They’ll accomplish this air-cleaning feat with 1,100 flourishing trees from 23 local species and 2,500 cascading shrubs and plants . The two towers at 656 feet and 354 feet tall will rise above the Nanjing Pukou District, which Stefano Boeri Architetti’s press release describes as an area that will likely lead modernization efforts in the south of China’s Jiangsu province and help develop a Yangtze River economic zone. Nanjing Yang Zi State-owned Investment Group Company Limited is promoting the towers and is listed by Stefano Boeri Architetti as an investor in the project. Related: Vertical forest Mountain Hotel will clean the air in Guizhou, China The taller tower will hold offices, a museum, a green architecture school, and a rooftop club. The second tower will host a 247-room Hyatt hotel and rooftop swimming pool. A podium 65 feet high will include shops, restaurants, and a conference hall. Balconies on the buildings will allow inhabitants to get up close to the nature thriving on the building facades. 600 tall trees and 500 medium-sized trees will grow on the towers, and Stefano Boeri Architetti says the trees and cascading plants will help regenerate biodiversity in the area. Not only will the green towers be the first in China, but in all of Asia . And they probably won’t be the last – the ambitious architecture firm aims to design vertical forests in Shanghai, Guizhou, Shijiazhuang, Liuzhou, and Chongqing. Stefano Boeri Architetti aims to continue to popularize the concept with a book edited by their China office and published by Tongji University Press, A Forest City . The book is scheduled to come out in April. The Nanjing Towers are slated for completion in 2018. + Stefano Boeri Architetti Images courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti

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China’s first vertical forest is rising in Nanjing

76 water protectors arrested at Standing Rock

February 2, 2017 by  
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Just one day after federal officials greenlighted the Dakota Access pipeline , North Dakota police arrested 76 water protectors camped out at the site. Hundreds of activists had established a new camp at Standing Rock after it became clear that the Trump administration planned to move ahead with the project, but local police claim that “rogue” protestors were trespassing on private property. Embed from Getty Images North Dakota Senator John Hoeven stated on Tuesday that the army had been directed to proceed with the easement needed to complete the pipeline . Hundreds of protestors, including environmental activists and indigenous people, gathered at a camp to fight against the pipeline’s construction. Many protestors left when it became known that the police were planning to raid the camp, but others felt that the “prospect of treaty rights was something worth getting arrested over,” according to Linda Black Elk. The Morton County sheriff’s office said that it was too soon to tell what charges were being filed beyond the claim that protestors were trespassing. Related: Here’s every bank funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, and how to switch Nearly 700 people have been arrested in the battle against the pipeline, and Native Americans have stated that many have been subjected to inhumane conditions or mistreated in the local jails. Activists not arrested say that they are hoping to free those rounded up by police as soon as possible. Via The Guardian lead image via Flickr

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76 water protectors arrested at Standing Rock

Rolling green ‘ribbons’ proposed for new urban park in downtown LA

February 2, 2017 by  
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Anyone who has been to Los Angeles knows the city could use more green space , and now it seems Brooks + Scarpa agrees. The urban design firm has unveiled their vision for the city’s future FAB (First and Broadway) Civic Center Park, which includes a two-acre tree-filled expanse and an events center covered with undulating strips of green turf. The competition, which is part of the city’s 50 Parks Initiative , encouraged proposals for the FAB Civic Center Park, a $12 million public park slated for First and Broadway in Downtown LA, across the street from Los Angeles City Hall. In addition to Brooks + Scarpa, AECOM, Eric Owen Moss, and Mia Lehrer + Associates submitted designs. Related: Dallas is building one of America’s biggest urban nature parks According to Brooks + Scarpa, their design could energize the surrounding neighborhood: “the city has a unique opportunity to design and construct an iconic park project in the Los Angeles Civic Center, that will augment the adjacent Grand Park, incorporate uses that bring life to the area (such as restaurant and public art installation).” + Brooks + Scarpa Via Archdaily Images via Brooks + Scarpa

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Rolling green ‘ribbons’ proposed for new urban park in downtown LA

New elevated cycleway in China soars over traffic

February 1, 2017 by  
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Even China is getting on the bike wagon with a soaring new cycleway in Xiamen. The 4.7 mile-long bike path is 16 feet higher than the road at its tallest point, and allows for rapid, clean transportation through the city, connecting six public transportation centers. Over 2,000 bikes per hour can travel on the new aerial path. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1sxEUEnQ4A Curbed reports the elevated bike lane is China’s first and the world’s longest. It is 16-feet-wide and includes both a pedestrian path and bike lane. Part of the path stretches beneath an elevated road utilized by rapid transit buses, which now serves the double purpose of keeping bikers dry in the rain. 30,000 lights adorn the cycleway so people can ride safely at night. There are 11 entries, which provide access to two subway stations and 11 bus stations. Related: London mayor announces plan for two new bike superhighways The aerial bike lane provides a green transportation alternative for people in three business areas and five major residential areas, and is now open for a month-long trial. Locals already seem to enjoy it. One resident, Chen Yimin, told Xinhua the commute from home to work on the bike path only took 10 minutes, which is the same amount of time it would take to drive. Another local, Wu Xueying, said at first the height was intimidating but the guardrails made biking high above city streets feel safe. Xiamen City Public Bicycle Management said during the trial period, the bike lane will be open from 6:30 AM till 10:30 PM for private and public bicycles. When finished, it will be equipped with on-ramp gates that will shutter if the cycleway is too full. Xueying told Xinhua, “It’s nice to ride a bicycle under the blue sky in the sunshine.” Via Curbed and Xinhua Images via screenshot

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New elevated cycleway in China soars over traffic

Will China beat the U.S. clean energy market?

January 30, 2017 by  
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China invested more than $100 billion in clean energy in 2015, double U.S. investment, and spurred job growth. Can the U.S. catch up?

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Will China beat the U.S. clean energy market?

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