Students fight urban sprawl with a subdivision for two LEED Platinum houses

December 2, 2019 by  
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In an effort to fight urban sprawl and accommodate the growing population in Lawrence, Kansas, nonprofit Studio 804 has created a subdivision for two sustainable homes to show how urban density can be achieved in established neighborhoods. Designed and built by graduate students at the University of Kansas Department of Architecture, the Houses on Oak Hill Avenue are the most recent achievement of the comprehensive year-long design/build learning experience offered at Studio 804. As with every Studio 804 project since 2008, the recently completed buildings are certified LEED Platinum. To help Lawrence avoid outward sprawl, Studio 804 purchased and subdivided a lot for two small homes. Separated by a row of plantings and staggered for privacy, each of the light-filled homes features a gabled roof, a glazed south-facing end wall and vaulted ceilings to create a sense of spaciousness indoors. Both houses also feature similar floor plans, with the living areas on the southern street-facing side, long kitchens on the west side and private areas tucked behind. The larger of the two houses includes an additional flex room that could be used as an office space or second bedroom. Related: Students design and build a gorgeous LEED Platinum-seeking forum in Kansas “According to the city, we have seen medium to high population growth rates over the last two decades, and if this trend continues, we will need housing to accommodate a projected 30 to 60 thousand additional residents by the year 2040,” Studio 804 explained. “Increasing urban density in established neighborhoods provides a sustainable way to accommodate a growing population by utilizing existing resources and infrastructure.” The energy-efficient homes feature airtight and highly insulated envelopes topped with reflective metal roofs that reduce heat absorption. High-performance windows and doors prevent energy loss, while large walls of glass let plenty of natural light in to reduce reliance on artificial lighting. Including this project, Studio 804 has completed 13 LEED Platinum buildings to date. + Studio 804 Photography by Corey Gaffer Photography via Studio 804

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Students fight urban sprawl with a subdivision for two LEED Platinum houses

New Block design offers a low-cost and sustainable solution to urban infill

June 14, 2018 by  
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Los Angeles-based architecture firm Newman Garrison + Partners has unveiled New Block, a patented “green building solution” for urban developers nationwide. Created with affordability and livability in mind, New Block offers a cost-effective strategy for landowners and developers to maximize density on smaller lots, typically two-acre urban infill sites. Elements such as multi-family housing and an abundance of open space are part of New Block’s long-term sustainable concept. All architectural units in the New Block design concept would be built with Type V wood-frame construction, while 24,000 square feet would be leftover for usable open space — 45 percent of that as park landscape. The design also includes a green roof system. The concept’s licensing structure allows developers to hire Newman Garrison + Partners or a local architect of their choice to execute the development. “The difficulties and challenges we face today are quite different than the ones we faced nine years ago,” explained NG+P Chairman Kevin Newman in a statement. “The continuing rise in land costs, construction and materials have created road blocks within the industry to develop and build a more affordable housing type within our urban neighborhoods. New Block is a bridge between lower density three-story garden walk-up apartments and four-story over podium construction typologies, a design concept that ultimately offers developers construction plans that address the constraints surrounding the maximization of density, while meeting the open space and sustainability requirements of smaller land sites at an affordable rate.” Related: Solar-Powered OnTop House Can be Added to the Top of Almost Any Urban Home New Block is a proven design concept. In 2010, Irvine-based affordable housing developer Jamboree Housing Corporation and the City of Buena Park tapped Newman Garrison + Partners to apply New Block in a project now known as Park Landing. The project has won 10 industry awards for design excellence as well as LEED Gold certification for its homes. + Newman Garrison + Partners Images via Newman Garrison + Partners

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New Block design offers a low-cost and sustainable solution to urban infill

The Condo Game looks at how today’s towers are built, and how they may fall apart

November 21, 2013 by  
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Density is a wonderful thing for cities, but do our new buildings have to be built so badly?

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The Condo Game looks at how today’s towers are built, and how they may fall apart

Ultra-Light EV Barely Tips the Scales But Can’t Hit the Road

April 5, 2010 by  
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Japanese company Teijin Ltd has designed an ultra-light concept EV that barely tips the scales at 963 pounds, showcasing technologies and manufacturing methods that shed weight, but, unfortunately, also make the car unsafe to drive. The PU_PA EV is a two-seater that weighs about half of a normal EV and almost 60 percent less than a smart fortwo , which weighs in at 1,600 pounds.  The designers used techniques like integral molding to reduce the amount of parts to 100, compared to 20,000 parts for a normal EV.  The core structure was made of feather-weight carbon composite material and the interior fabrics were made from biodegradable PET

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Ultra-Light EV Barely Tips the Scales But Can’t Hit the Road

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