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

Is U.S. car ownership on the decline?

February 17, 2017 by  
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Peak oil might be less of a problem now that America has reached peak car. According to research by Michigan’s Sustainable Worldwide Transportation , both the ownership of light-duty vehicles such as cars, SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks, plus the corresponding distance driven, began to wane in 2006. The reasons aren’t clear. “Friends and foes of car-centric planning have been fervently debating whether the post-2006 driving decline was a recession-driven trough or a reflection of the fact that younger Americans, with their Uber -hailing aversion to car ownership, were truly driving the automobile age to an early grave,” wrote Andrew Small in Citylab , a blog from the Atlantic , on Tuesday. There are hints —but just barely—of a rebound. Vehicle-ownership rates per person and per household rose by 1.4 percent from 2012 to 2015. Similarly, the distance driven per person and per household increased by 2.1 percent between 2013 and 2015. Related: Limits to growth prediction of imminent societal collapse As Smalls points out, all eyes are now on President Donald Trump. “The new administration’s pledge to roll back environmental and safety regulations might conceivably (eventually) make new car ownership cheaper and lure some Millennials back behind the wheel. (Especially if federal support for mass transit drops off the face of the earth.),” Smalls said. “On the other hand, the president’s proposed 20 percent tax on goods from Mexico would do the opposite.” TL;DR: We’re going to have to wait a few years to see how things shake out. Photo by Benjamin Child Via Citylab

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Is U.S. car ownership on the decline?

The Sunbubble greenhouse is a mini Eden for your backyard

February 17, 2017 by  
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Urban gardeners longing for a versatile space to grow their greens will love the Sunbubble Greenhouse – a portable dome-shaped pod that doubles as a mini Eden. The transparent bubble design provides optimal sunlight all day long, making it a perfect tool for growing plants as well as a chill-out area for reading or snoozing in the sun. The Sunbubble is a one-piece folding pack design with flexible fiberglass rods that allow for quick and easy assembly on almost any surface. The curved design lets the inside warm up much faster than a traditional greenhouse , enabling the surface to stay at 90 degrees towards the sun all day long, achieving minimum reflection and maximum light. Adjustable vents let gardeners control the interior temperature depending on their planting profile. Related: Gorgeous Bubble Gardens Pop Up in the Streets of Paris https://youtu.be/4ktuqgOEqLc Although there are many greenhouses on the market, the Sunbubble’s fun design doubles as a mini Eden for those wanting to enjoy their garden space year-round. Along with the vented windows, a strong, zipped doorway can be closed during inclement weather, letting users enjoy a quiet, covered space to read or relax surrounded by greenery and flowers. + Sunbubble Greenhouse Via Haxnicks

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China is building the world’s first migratory Bird Airport

February 17, 2017 by  
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Modern architecture has often been accused of encroaching on wildlife habitats – but McGregor Coxall just unveiled a new project that’s literally for the birds. The world’s first migratory “Bird Airport” is designed to convert a landfill in Lingang, China into a wetland bird sanctuary Every year, more than 50 million birds journey from the Antarctic along the East Asian-Australian Flyway (EAAF), but the route is increasingly threatened to due to coastal urbanization. Today, 1 in 5 globally endangered waterbirds fly this route as their population rapidly decreases. Related: 1.5 billion birds disappear from North America’s skies To address the problem, the Port of Tianjin called on international designers to create a wetland sanctuary for migrating birds. McGregor Coxall’s Bird Airport includes 60 hectares of wetland park, where birds will be able to stop, refuel, and breed on their way through the flyway. Renewable energy will be used to irrigate the wetlands with recycled waste water and harvested rain. Adrian McGregor, CEO and lead designer of McGregor Coxall explains the inspiration behind the project, “The earth’s bird flyways are a wonder of the natural world. The proposed Bird Airport will be a globally significant sanctuary for endangered migratory bird species whilst providing new green lungs for the city of Tianjin.” The city of Tianjin will enjoy many benefits from the new green infrastructure . The proposal calls for plenty of park space – including walking and cycling paths along a 7 km network of recreational urban forest trails. Construction on the bird airport is slated to begin late 2017, and the project will be completed in 2018. + McGregor Coxall

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China is building the world’s first migratory Bird Airport

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