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

Stunning family home in Ecuador offers serenity in an increasingly noisy world

November 26, 2019 by  
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At one time, we were all so eager to stay connected to everything at every moment, but now, architects are fielding demands to create quiet refuges where people can escape the noise. Case in point is the gorgeous House of Silence designed by Ecuadorian firm Natura Futura Arquitectura . Located just out of Quevedo, this unique home has a massive central courtyard that acts as a serene meditation space for a family looking to block out the noise. Located in Quevedo, a province of Los Ríos, Ecuador, the House of Silence was designed for an elderly man who wanted a home where his family could come together to escape the city and a space where his grandchildren could run and play freely throughout the interior and exterior. Related: A playful home built of recycled materials takes in sunrise views in Ecuador The 1,000-square-foot house creates a seamless connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces. Two rectangular volumes house the main living area on one side and the private areas on the other. The interior spaces are connected by a large interior courtyard . This central garden, which opens up to an expansive landscape, is at the heart of the design. The serene space includes a wraparound walkway with a pair of hanging hammocks looking out onto a small garden area. Leading farther out toward the landscape, a concrete platform floats over a shallow pool, a strategic feature meant to bring the inhabitants closer to nature. With an opening above, natural light floods the entire space, creating a flexible area that can be used for either quiet meditation or family gatherings. Additionally, this open area has its practical, energy-efficient uses as well. According to the architects, the green-filled space was designed to provide a “ bioclimatic effectiveness ” that naturally cools the interior living spaces during the summertime and warms them during the winter months. + Natura Futura Arquitectura Via ArchDaily Images via Natura Futura Arquitectura

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Stunning family home in Ecuador offers serenity in an increasingly noisy world

Bioclimatic design creates a highly efficient and healthy home in Spain

November 20, 2019 by  
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Spain’s Rías Baixas area is a picturesque part of the country. Now, in this idyllic region sits a highly energy-efficient home designed by local firm ARKKE . The architects incorporated several bioclimatic features into the design, taking advantage of the local climate and landscape to help reduce the building’s energy use. The Small Bioclimatic House is a compact, two-bedroom home that sits elevated on a steep hill side overlooking the Ría de Arousa, the largest estuary in Galicia. The area is known for its picturesque landscape dotted with quaint fishing villages, so the architects wanted to create an energy-efficient home that harmonizes with the surroundings and complements the existing vernacular. Related: Brazilian timber home uses bioclimatic principles to reduce its environmental footprint The home is just over 900 square feet and is surrounded by natural landscaping. According to the architects, the layout and size of the house was inspired by the limited building space as well as the stunning views. The firm explained, “The essential premise of the commission was to design a small, highly efficient and healthy house capable of making the most of a very narrow plot but with delicious views of the Arosa estuary.” The architects created a simple, one-story design with two bedrooms, a living room, an open kitchen and a bathroom. The front wall is comprised of floor-to-ceiling windows that open up to a front deck; this helps the family to enjoy optimal natural light as well as unobstructed views year-round. To create a strong thermal envelope for the home, the architects chose to build with CLT . The porch extends laterally, forming eaves that shade the interiors from direct solar radiation, again reducing the home’s energy use. Additionally, the entire envelope has been insulated with a unique exterior insulation system (SATE) to withstand both the region’s frigid winters and the searing summer months. + ARKKE Via ArchDaily Images via ARKKE

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Bioclimatic design creates a highly efficient and healthy home in Spain

Bioclimatic design creates a highly efficient and healthy home in Spain

November 20, 2019 by  
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Spain’s Rías Baixas area is a picturesque part of the country. Now, in this idyllic region sits a highly energy-efficient home designed by local firm ARKKE . The architects incorporated several bioclimatic features into the design, taking advantage of the local climate and landscape to help reduce the building’s energy use. The Small Bioclimatic House is a compact, two-bedroom home that sits elevated on a steep hill side overlooking the Ría de Arousa, the largest estuary in Galicia. The area is known for its picturesque landscape dotted with quaint fishing villages, so the architects wanted to create an energy-efficient home that harmonizes with the surroundings and complements the existing vernacular. Related: Brazilian timber home uses bioclimatic principles to reduce its environmental footprint The home is just over 900 square feet and is surrounded by natural landscaping. According to the architects, the layout and size of the house was inspired by the limited building space as well as the stunning views. The firm explained, “The essential premise of the commission was to design a small, highly efficient and healthy house capable of making the most of a very narrow plot but with delicious views of the Arosa estuary.” The architects created a simple, one-story design with two bedrooms, a living room, an open kitchen and a bathroom. The front wall is comprised of floor-to-ceiling windows that open up to a front deck; this helps the family to enjoy optimal natural light as well as unobstructed views year-round. To create a strong thermal envelope for the home, the architects chose to build with CLT . The porch extends laterally, forming eaves that shade the interiors from direct solar radiation, again reducing the home’s energy use. Additionally, the entire envelope has been insulated with a unique exterior insulation system (SATE) to withstand both the region’s frigid winters and the searing summer months. + ARKKE Via ArchDaily Images via ARKKE

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Bioclimatic design creates a highly efficient and healthy home in Spain

Oracle Real Estate Facilities’ Francisco Ruiz on IoT and building efficiency

November 14, 2019 by  
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Data collected from AI and IoT technologies can empower companies to make better decisions about their energy consumption.

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Oracle Real Estate Facilities’ Francisco Ruiz on IoT and building efficiency

Microsoft’s Elizabeth Willmott on the company’s carbon neutrality commitment

November 14, 2019 by  
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Microsoft has been committed to reaching carbon neutrality in its operations since 2012. It has since set a goal to reduce its scope 3 emissions by 30 percent. Elizabeth Willmott manages the company’s carbon program, which partners with other internal teams and external supply chain companies to expand how it is reducing its climate impacts.

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Microsoft’s Elizabeth Willmott on the company’s carbon neutrality commitment

Green Mountain’s Svein Atle Hagaseth on carbon neutral data centers

November 12, 2019 by  
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As companies’ data center use continues to grow, there’s an expanding need for the facilities to be energy efficient.

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Green Mountain’s Svein Atle Hagaseth on carbon neutral data centers

EDF Renewables’ Raphael Declercq on the importance of energy efficiency for grid resilience

November 11, 2019 by  
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At VERGE 19, the executive vice president of distributed solutions and strategy at EDF Renewables, Rahpael Declercq, shares the ways his team strategizes to integrate energy efficient softwares into large-scale solar, wind and electric vehicle smart charging programs.

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EDF Renewables’ Raphael Declercq on the importance of energy efficiency for grid resilience

A watt saved is a watt earned

November 8, 2019 by  
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Energy efficiency is often overlooked, and sometimes ignored. Why?

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A watt saved is a watt earned

Poo and power: Electrification and manure offer competing paths to decarbonize HGVs

November 8, 2019 by  
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Tevva and CNG Fuels announce new plans to deliver greener trucks.

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Poo and power: Electrification and manure offer competing paths to decarbonize HGVs

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