New Arizona highrise takes sustainable luxury to another level

September 7, 2020 by  
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This 12-story residential tower doesn’t just boast an impressive luxury highrise  condominium  design, but also an award-winning green building design. The luxurious 7180 Optima Kierland is located in one of North Scottsdale’s most desirable areas, with lavish amenities throughout and a vertical landscape system with self-containing irrigation. The building debuted a new  green  design created by David Hovey Jr., Optima’s president and head architect. The architectural firm has already earned a reputation for its unique buildings that marry design with innovation and sustainability. Related: A massive green wall grows up the side of this luxury Italian hotel Both the rooftop and ground level feature  luxury  amenities. The 12th floor Sky Deck includes a cutting edge design that utilizes railings just beyond the skyline to create a negative-edge view, giving residents the sensation of floating above the city. The top floor Sky Deck also contains the state’s first rooftop running track, a heated lap pool, various seating areas and a spa complete with cold plunge pools, a steam room, a sauna and hydrotherapy capabilities. There is also an outdoor theater, indoor screening area, a fire pit area and an indoor/outdoor fitness studio. On the ground floor, residents enjoy an additional gym and spa, a covered dog park and dog wash, a game room, a catering room and more. Sustainable elements include perforated panels on the facade along with sun-screening louvers to create textured shadows. During construction, builders used post-tension concrete and aluminum. A variety of energy-efficient and carbon-reducing design aspects, combined with water-conserving plumbing fixtures, give the building added eco-friendly elements. The building’s most impressive  sustainable  feature has to be the innovative vertical landscape system; built-in self-containing irrigation and drainage allow for vibrant, colorful plants that start at the edge of each floor and grow up and over the building. A six-acre park accented by a water feature and landscaped with  drought-resistant , desert climate plants surrounds the building. This green space helps reduce ambient temperature, creating a microclimate that lowers the temperature by between five and nine degrees. + Optima Kierland Images via Optima Kierland

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New Arizona highrise takes sustainable luxury to another level

Geometric pavilion with an inverted living garden holds court in a public square in Annecy, France

September 27, 2019 by  
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Almost 10 years ago, New York-based Behin Ha Design Studio erected an incredible green-walled living pavilion made out of recycled milk crates in the heart of Governors Island. Now, the plant-loving designers are back at it, unveiling a beautiful, inverted garden pavilion in a public square in Annecy, France. Installed in the Notre Dame plaza in the old city center of Annecy, the 330-square-foot Living Pavilion is a modular system of dairy crates. Assembled in a three-sided geometric shape, the recycled milk crates serve as the framework for the inverted garden. The exterior shape of the Living Pavilion, with its hipped and gabled roof, was meant to pay homage to the historic buildings of Annecy. With three immense openings, visitors are invited to enter under the pavilion to enjoy the suspended, lush garden planted on the interior walls. Related: A tiny, 96-square-foot rustic pavilion brings the outdoors in The geometric design gives the structure the potential to become a public or private shelter that is open to fresh air yet protected from harsh elements. The crates that make up the structure were strategically planted with drought-tolerant Liriope plants, which are resilient to almost any type of climate and can naturally cool the interior. Like the original installation in Governors Island in 2010, the most recent version of the Living Pavilion uses multiple milk crates to create a planting system for the garden. The drought-tolerant plants are initially cultivated in the crates in an upright position. Once the vegetation has grown, the planted crates are then installed upside-down to form walls. At the end of the Annecy installation, the crates can be removed and cultivated in another environment. According to the designers, the modular system creates a full-circle lifecycle for the structure. The design ensures that the pavilion can be easily disassembled and reassembled in another location while protecting the plants during the transition, allowing for regeneration of the same pavilion year after year. + Behin Ha Design Studio Photography by Aurelien Vivier and Behin Ha via Behin Ha Design Studio

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Geometric pavilion with an inverted living garden holds court in a public square in Annecy, France

San Francisco’s first community-built living wall is a drought-resistant masterpiece

May 27, 2016 by  
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We’re talking about an enormous wall of plants in California, where a severe drought has robbed residents of much-needed water for several years. With that in mind, Heineman, SF Landscapes , Goldberg and her team at Planted Design created the 1,200-square-foot living mural from 3,200 drought-tolerant plants. The mural also includes an ingenious irrigation system, design by SF Landscapes , that collects and recycles rainwater using copper gutters and a 1,350-gallon recirculating rainwater collection tank. 200 feet of drip irrigation built into the living wall help keep the plants watered and happy in the midst of a California water shortage. Related: “World’s most environmental” restaurant opens in San Francisco In addition to being a sustainable masterpiece of ecological engineering, the greenery decorating the SafeHouse is also quite a sight to behold. The mural was carefully planned on a grid, much like a cross-stitch pattern, with undulating channels of varied colors leading from the sidewalk to the sky. The lush living wall has also created much-needed habitat for wildlife where none existed before, inviting birds, bees, and other critters to take up residency in the greenery, and a rooftop garden extends the greenery upward. The project interacts with the sense of smell, also. Yerba Buena, a native mint plant with little white flowers, was strategically placed over the doorway. The plant emits the aroma of mint, giving a little uplifting aromatherapy to those who enter the building. “As humans, most of us now spend 90 percent of our life surrounded by walls or commuting in a maze of concrete and metal, yet we all have an intrinsic need to connect with nature ,” said Goldberg. “When we’re around plants we literally breathe easier. Planted Design’s clients also see the value of plants, whether it’s greening an indoor workspace or giving life to a community wall, like the one we just built.” + Planted Design + The SafeHouse + SF Landscapes Images via Planted Design *There were originally several errors in this post, including the local of the building, which we have since updated and corrected. The building is located on 14th Street near the corner of Folsom Street. There are native plants included in the living wall, but also many non-native plants; including Yerba Buena, fescue, pine (!!!), oxalis , tansy, geraniums, and others. The design was a collaboration of several architects and landscape designers, including Zach Heineman, Amanda Goldberg, Brandon Pruett, and Brett Stephens of SF Landscapes .

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Aerial photos show that celebs are wasting water while California suffers the worst drought in history

May 12, 2015 by  
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New aerial photos spotted over at the New York Post show that some of Hollywood’s biggest stars are pouring water into their lawns and landscaping at an alarming rate, even while the state suffers from its worst drought in history . Photographer John Chapple took aerial photos of some of the most luxurious celebrity estates in California, showing that some of Hollywood’s elite, like Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, and Hugh Hefner are still surrounded by lush greenery, sparkling pools and bubbling fountains, despite the dire state of California’s drought . Read the rest of Aerial photos show that celebs are wasting water while California suffers the worst drought in history Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aerial photos , california drought , California estates , celebrity estates , Drought , drought-resistant plants , wasting water , water conservation , water crisis

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Aerial photos show that celebs are wasting water while California suffers the worst drought in history

Magnitude 7.3 earthquake hits a traumatized Nepal

May 12, 2015 by  
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Just two weeks after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake devastated Nepal and claimed over 8,000 lives, a powerful 7.3 earthquake has struck the rural town of Namche, which lies around 50 miles northeast of Kathmandu, near Mount Everest and the Chinese border. Initial updates from Nepal’s National Emergency Operation Centre suggest that at least 42 people have died and over 1,100 are injured as a result of today’s earthquake, and that figure is expected to rise amid reports of collapsed buildings and landslides. Read the rest of Magnitude 7.3 earthquake hits a traumatized Nepal Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 7.3 earthquake , aid work nepal , building collapse nepal , earthquake china , earthquake india , how to help nepal , kathmandu quake , landsllide nepal , may 12 earthquake , natural disaster , nepal 2nd earthquake , Nepal earthquake

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Magnitude 7.3 earthquake hits a traumatized Nepal

Beautiful net-zero energy family ranch comfortably hosts sixteen in California

February 6, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Beautiful net-zero energy family ranch comfortably hosts sixteen in California Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , California , corrugated zinc , drought-resistant plants , family ranch , high r insulation , native grasses , net zero , net zero energy design , net zero ranch , net-zero energy , Northern California , passive cooling , rainwater capture system , reclaimed wood , solar heat gain , Solar Power , sunshades , sustainable design , SWA group , Turnbull Griffin Haseloop , western red cedar , zinc roof

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Beautiful net-zero energy family ranch comfortably hosts sixteen in California

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