Eco-friendly, affordable housing emphasizes walkability in Milan

April 14, 2021 by  
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International design firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel (ACPV) has unveiled designs for the Cascina Merlata Lot R7/2, a social housing complex that will function as a “city within the city” where residents can walk or ride their bicycles to everything they need for their daily lives. Created as part of the Cascina Merlata pedestrian-friendly masterplan that ACPV developed back in 2011, the new, 12,600-square-meter residential complex consists of two structures that have already obtained a ‘Class A’ rating from Italy’s Energy Performance Certification in recognition of their energy-efficient, low-impact design. The development is expected to welcome its first residents this month. Located on the outer edge of Milan within walking distance of the Fiera Milano grounds that host the annual Salone del Mobile furniture fair, Cascina Merlata Lot R7/2 is part of a masterplan that aims to improve livability in the city by providing access to essential services and retail destinations within a 15-minute walking radius for residents. Guided by principles of environmental sustainability and community-building, the architects have also integrated multiple parks, public spaces and a series of pedestrian and bicycle paths into the plan.  Related: A LEED Gold-targeted office will enhance worker wellbeing “The goal here is to foster a sense of community and belonging while also innovating the way we design residential buildings,” said architect Antonio Citterio, co-founder of ACPV. “The masterplan and architectural guidelines for Cascina Merlata play a crucial role in ensuring that the new residents feel at home and have access to all the services they need.” The development’s two new residential buildings are located between Via Daimler and Via Pier Paolo Pasolini and feature ground-floor retail to engage the public realm. A rooftop garden that tops the residential complex is also visible from street level. The project was designed with BIM and features a 10-story structure that overlooks Via Pier Paolo Pasolini as well as a second structure that consists of two volumes — a south-facing, 17-story volume and a north-facing, 25-story volume — connected with a single core. + Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel Photography by Giulio Boem via ACPV

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Eco-friendly, affordable housing emphasizes walkability in Milan

"Carbon-absorbing" vertical forest skyscraper nears completion in Taipei

March 12, 2021 by  
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Paris-based  Vincent Callebaut Architectures  has revealed new photos of Tao Zhu Yin Yuan, a LEED Gold-certified high-rise slated for completion in the second half of 2021. Located in the financial district of Taiwan’s capital, the award-winning vertical forest building was created by the architects as an “anti-global warming and carbon-absorbing ecosystem” and will feature approximately 23,000 trees, shrubs and plants along the ground floor, balconies and terraces. The architects estimate that the 21-story building will absorb around 130 tons of carbon a year.  The Tao Zhu Yin Yuan — formerly known as the Agora Garden — includes 20 floors of luxury apartments expected to be the most expensive per square foot in Taipei. Designed to mimic the double helix structure of DNA , the building’s twisting form allows for stunning panoramic city views from every floor. There are two apartments per floor and spacious 165-square-meter open-air private terraces. Each column-free floor is rotated by 4.5 degrees clockwise, resulting in a 90-degree difference between the ground floor and the top level.  Since seismic activity and tropical typhoons are common in Taiwan, the architects bolstered Tao Zhu Yin Yuan with a suspended structural system and a Vierendeel truss system to ensure high earthquake and weather resistance. To meet  LEED Gold  standards, the energy-efficient building is wrapped in a double-skin facade and integrates natural ventilation chimneys, a rainwater recycling system, LEDs and solar panels to generate renewable energy. Related: France’s first Vertical Forest will add a “hectare of forest” to Paris’ skyline “A building should be a song of the earth and co-exist with the environment,” the architects explained. “A carbon absorbing  Vertical Forest  building is no doubt the most profound foresight for the buildings of future cities. Tao Zhu Yin Yuan puts fighting global warming into practical action, shows love for the trees and forests, interprets in depth through space and carves the sustainable faith. We hope to improve the world’s effort in fighting against global warming and establish the carbon absorbing culture of the people; we will set out from Taiwan and declare it to the world.” + Vincent Callebaut Architectures Images via Vincent Callebaut Architectures

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"Carbon-absorbing" vertical forest skyscraper nears completion in Taipei

UK citizens get the right to repair

March 11, 2021 by  
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Consumers have become accustomed to the idea of planned obsolescence — that the things we buy will deliberately fail sooner rather than later, requiring us to buy more. But the  U.K.  has announced that it will implement EU rules for increasing the lifespan of certain consumer goods. The new measures go into effect this summer and apply to appliances like dishwashers, TVs, refrigerators and washing machines. For the first time, manufacturers will be legally required to make spare parts available so that consumers can make repairs at home; hence, the nickname “right to repair law.” As MP Philip Dunne stated, “There should be no contest: consumers should have every right to fix items they own. Making spare parts available is the first step in creating a circular economy where we use,  reuse  and recycle products.” Related: How to mend and repair your clothes Goods will also be better made and more energy efficient. This month, new energy labels were introduced with an A-G grading scale. Few products meet the high standards required for the A grade. “Simplifying the way energy efficiency is displayed on labels will help consumers to make more informed choices to reduce their  energy  consumption and bills,” said Emilie Carmichael, head of the Energy Saving Trust. The new rules could extend products’ lifespan by up to 10 years. Buying products with higher energy standards may also save consumers a significant amount of money over the lifespan of their purchases. The regulations reflect agreements made two years ago by U.K. and EU member states and will apply to Great Britain. Northern Ireland will continue to apply  EU  laws. “Our upcoming energy efficiency framework will push electrical products to use even less energy and material resources, saving people money on their bills and reducing carbon  emissions ,” said Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, as reported by The Guardian. Via BBC , The Guardian Lead image via Pixabay

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UK citizens get the right to repair

Experimental ILOW to follow the suns trajectory for less energy use

March 8, 2021 by  
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International design office Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) and Bouygues Immobilier have revealed designs for ILOW (pronounced ee-low), an experimental and sustainably minded building that aims to bridge two different socio-economic neighborhoods near Paris. Proposed for the commune of Nanterre, the project would be located between La Défense — the financial powerhouse for Paris that’s also Europe’s largest business district — and a neighborhood home to Tours Nuages (Cloud Towers), a pioneering post-war social housing project designed by architect Émile Aillaud. Designed with a parametric approach to resemble a pair of open arms, the curvaceous ILOW references the Cloud Towers’ mimetic form while introducing new energy-efficient construction. Named after the pun on the French word for “small island” often used in the phrase “an island of greenery,” ILOW makes social cohesion and sustainability its two main design objectives. The curvaceous building consists of two wings that frame a central green courtyard, which connects to an adjacent public park. Topped with a lush roof garden , the 134,550-square-foot mixed-use building would primarily house office spaces stacked atop a publicly accessible and transparent ground floor with a restaurant and a café. This building would serve as a physical “common ground” for the two socially separated neighborhoods. Related: Vincent Callebaut proposes a green, food-producing footbridge for Paris “We are trying to use design promote social encounters — between different people, cultures and social groups,” said Carlo Ratti, founding partner of CRA and director of the Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “This is what is unique about physical — as opposed to digital — space, something which the pandemic made us all too aware of. We can use architecture to bridge across different social worlds.” To minimize the building’s energy consumption, the architects have used a parametric approach to inform the arrangement and sizes of the facade’s prefabricated modules, which are engineered to follow the sun’s trajectory to ensure optimal natural light indoors and minimize energy use. CRA has filed permits for ILOW to the local municipal authority. + Carlo Ratti Associati Images via Carlo Ratti Associati

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Experimental ILOW to follow the suns trajectory for less energy use

The Most Efficient Small Clothes Washers

February 23, 2021 by  
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If you are looking for a small washer, it can … The post The Most Efficient Small Clothes Washers appeared first on Earth 911.

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The Most Efficient Small Clothes Washers

Energy Apps To Help You Go Green and Spend Less Green

February 16, 2021 by  
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Maintaining a comfortable home is important. No one wants to … The post Energy Apps To Help You Go Green and Spend Less Green appeared first on Earth 911.

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Energy Apps To Help You Go Green and Spend Less Green

How To Finance Your Energy Efficiency Upgrades for Free

September 1, 2020 by  
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As many environmentalists know, the falling price of renewables and … The post How To Finance Your Energy Efficiency Upgrades for Free appeared first on Earth 911.

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Home “Eco”nomics – Window Replacement

August 18, 2020 by  
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Getting new windows is one of the most satisfying ways … The post Home “Eco”nomics – Window Replacement appeared first on Earth 911.

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Infographic: How a Passive House Saves Energy

April 24, 2020 by  
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An energy efficiency building standard, Passive House design reduces a … The post Infographic: How a Passive House Saves Energy appeared first on Earth911.com.

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What’s your energy strategy for an empty office or retail space?

April 17, 2020 by  
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Asking these five questions during the COVID-19 shutdown could help your organization reset its power consumption habits to more energy-efficient levels for the future.

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