Greenbuild: The world’s biggest green building expo is coming to Boston

July 18, 2017 by  
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The world’s biggest conference dedicated to green building is coming to Boston this November – and you won’t want to miss it. The Greenbuild International Conference and Expo will convene sustainable building experts, professionals and leaders for mind-blowing exhibits, learning activities, a Net Zero zone, and pavilions packed with the latest in green building technology. If you are passionate about green living, then clear your calendar for November 8 – 10 and get ready for an amazing experience. This year, Greenbuild will feature education, workshops, tours, awards, and an expo hall that is not to be missed. Inhabitat regularly attends the conference, so we know first-hand how great it can be. Check out our coverage from past years to get a glimpse into what you can expect – we’ve rounded up some of our favorite innovations here , here and here . Greenbuild has a reputation for stellar education sessions, where you can learn about a huge range of topics – from passive and net zero building to tips from developers who are changing the face of the industry. Workshops qualify for continuing education credits and toward LEED certification hours. Summit topics will include Communities and Affordable Homes, The Water Summit and the International Summit. Greenbuild’s tours are always highly anticipated, and this year’s lineup promises to be exceptional. Attendees will be able to visit four net positive and passive house buildings that are breaking the mold, MIT to learn about its green building innovations, and some of Boston’s groundbreaking green spaces. Early registration ends September 7, so head over to Greenbuild to nab your spot now. + Greenbuild Expo Save

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Greenbuild: The world’s biggest green building expo is coming to Boston

Energy-efficient Bluebonnet Studios offers sustainable housing to Austins most vulnerable citizens

July 14, 2017 by  
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The Bluebonnet Studios social housing development in Austin supports a healthy lifestyle through the design. The property, designed by Forge Craft Architecture + Design , provides housing for the homeless, low-income veterans and local musicians. It features forward-thinking sustainable elements such as recycled and locally-sourced materials, a well insulated envelope, optimal orientation, low-flow fixtures and occupancy sensors. The architects worked with a difficult site and a very tight budget, which required a close collaboration between the design, construction, and ownership teams, as well as help of sustainability experts like Pliny Fisk and Jason McLennan . An important aspect of the design was access to natural light , which the team provided by creating a light well that runs through the center of the building. This emphasis on daylight also allows for most of the building to be functional without artificial light in the event of a power outage – including all circulation. Heating and cooling are provided by centralized LG VRF units tied to individual apartment thermostats. Each thermostat is coupled to both window sensors and door-triggered occupancy sensors . All the interior finishes and products were regionally sourced, recycled and healthy. On top of the building, a green space allows for outdoor activities. Related: Top 6 Green Supportive and Low-Income Housing Projects Of the 107 single-occupancy units, 22 are reserved for the area’s homeless and low-income veterans, while five are dedicated to local musicians. Each resident received a small package of tools, including a recycling bin, recycling magnet, green cleaning recipes, and recommendations for conservative thermostat settings to help residents keep their homes green. Additionally, a green housekeeping program provides a dispensing station with Green Seal certified cleaning chemicals for maintenance staff and janitorial contractors. + Forge Craft Architecture + Design Photos by Paul Bardagjy

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Energy-efficient Bluebonnet Studios offers sustainable housing to Austins most vulnerable citizens

A tremendous translucent ‘forest’ pops up in a French courtyard

July 13, 2017 by  
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The courtyard of Fondation Martell in Cognac, France has been transformed into a translucent forest made of glass fiber-reinforced polyester sheets. Spanish architecture firm SelgasCano designed the Pavillon Martell as a temporary, mobile multipurpose space for concerts, workshops, and relaxation. The pavilion covers a 25,000-square-foot space situated behind the Foundation. Its main material, developed by French brand Onduline, is translucent and watertight and shelters a huge area where various activities can take place. Soft, changing light permeates this undulating membrane, creating an interesting and visually engaging rainbow effect. The architects typically work with off-the-shelf structural solutions. Related: German Students Create a Cloud-Like Retreat High Up in the Treetops “We started to look for the lightest and most cost-effective materials on the market. We found what we were looking for hidden away in the catalogue of Onduline, a leading French construction company with a worldwide presence,” said SelgasCano. Inflatable seats installed in the structure are attached by straps and provide visitors with places to sit, relax and organize workshops, concerts and various other events. The structure is easy to dismantle and transport to any location thanks to its modular nature and light weight. + SelgasCano Via World Architecture Photos by Iwan Baan  

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A tremendous translucent ‘forest’ pops up in a French courtyard

Hollands first Vertical Forest to rise with 10,000 air-purifying plants

July 6, 2017 by  
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Hot on the heels of the world’s first Forest City in China , Stefano Boeri Architetti has announced their winning bid for the first Vertical Forest in the Netherlands. Set to rise in Utrecht, the Hawthorn Tower will, like its Milanese predecessor , be blanketed in greenery and is expected to absorb over 5.4 tons of carbon dioxide. The equivalent of one hectare of woods will be installed on the tower to create a real urban ecosystem with over 30 different vegetal species. Slated to begin construction in 2019, the Hawthorn Tower will infuse greenery into the heart of Jaarbeursboulevard area close to Utrecht Station. The tower is one of two tall buildings in the development, the other designed by Amsterdam-based MVSA studio. “The 90 meters in height tower designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti attempts to create, in Utrecht city center, an innovative experience of cohabitation between city and nature,” said the architects. Around 10,000 plants of different species—360 trees, 9,640 shrubs and flower—will be installed on all sides of the facade. The mixed-use building is positioned as the “new healthy center of Utrecht” and will comprise offices, fitness and yoga areas, bike parking, and public leisure space. Its scale and design will thoughtfully react and complement the surrounding urban fabric. The tower will also host the Vertical Forest Hub, a research center on worldwide urban forestation that’s open to the public on the ground floor and directly connected to the sixth-floor roof garden. The research center will showcase the different technical and botanic solutions chosen for the tower and track the progress of Vertical Forests under construction around the world. Related: China breaks ground on first “Forest City” that fights air pollution The Hawthorn Tower is the latest Vertical Forest of its kind to be unveiled, this time in the heart of Europe, and follows in the steps of other urban forestation projects designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti. Other projects include soon-to-be-completed Vertical Forests in Nanjing and Lausanne, a greenery-covered Mountain Hotel in Guizhou , and other green buildings planned in Paris, Tirana, and Shanghai. Construction on Hawthorn Tower is expected to finish in 2022. + Stefano Boeri Architetti Images by Imaginary A2 / Stefano Boeri Architetti

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Hollands first Vertical Forest to rise with 10,000 air-purifying plants

Chic, minimalist hydroponic garden makes growing your own veggies a snap

July 6, 2017 by  
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Hydroponic systems let you grow fresh produce indoors, but they can be a pain to set up. Fortunately, Seedo just unveiled a modern hydroponic garden that takes all the fuss out of harvesting your own fruits and vegetables. The device looks like a typical mini fridge, but don’t let its simple exterior fool you – the Seedo is an amazingly high-tech system that can help just about anyone grow the urban garden of their dreams. Especially useful for those who aren’t blessed with a green thumb, Seedo’s high tech system comes with a number of features that make urban gardening possible in just about any environment. The system comes with a sterile hermetic ecosystem that keeps insects away and built-in cartridges that automatically release CO2 during the photosynthesis phase. To create a healthy growing environment on the inside, a full spectrum LED system controls the lighting and an automated temperature control function keeps the interior temp and humidity at precise levels. Related: Start an Organic Garden Anywhere Using Fizzy Farms Compact Hydroponic Grower The Seedo is a great option for almost any type of plant profile , from veggies and herbs to flowers and medicinal plants. In order to monitor the system from the comforts of your own home or while on the road, the Seedo system also comes with its own app and an internal HD camera in order to closely monitor your garden. + Seedo Lab Via Geeky Gadgets Save

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Chic, minimalist hydroponic garden makes growing your own veggies a snap

Old warehouse transformed into a vibrant urban market in Mexico City

July 3, 2017 by  
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Architect Francisco Pardo gave new life to an old warehouse in Mexico City by transforming it into a vibrant urban market. The four-story structure once served as an auto parts shop, however it now features a two-story local grocer, restaurants, a barber’s shop and a yoga studio . The top floor is open to the public and hosts a beer bar. The main challenge for the architects was to adapt the original structure to the new dynamics of the area. They decided to integrate a regular grid of exposed concrete beams, columns and slabs into the venue’s new public role. Related: Foster + Partners unveils plans to rejuvenate Cairo’s Maspero Triangle District “Through it, the street folds to the inside and upwards” says Francisco Pardo, founder of the architectural practice “it’s like a vortex that transversely crosses the building, pulling the street right up to the rooftop ”. + Francisco Pardo Arquitecto Photos by Diana Arnau

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Old warehouse transformed into a vibrant urban market in Mexico City

Nanoleaf’s Terra light wall paints Arctic landscapes with 1,200 color-changing LEDs

July 3, 2017 by  
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Nanoleaf – creators of the first modular smart light – recently unveiled a mesmerizing light wall at Alaska ‘s Anchorage Museum that evokes remote Arctic landscapes. “Terra” is made up of 1,200 Nanoleaf Aurora LED panels, which display beautiful imagery of sunsets and polar bears with over 16 million colors. Terra is Nanoleaf’s largest Aurora installation to date – it’s made from 1,200 triangular panels that can be connected together like LEGO bricks. Related: Add a splash of ‘living paint’ to your walls with Nanoleaf’s new LED light panels Thanks to improvements made by Nanoleaf, Aurora panels now offer voice control with Amazon Alexa, IFTTT integration, and an open API – which was used to create Terra’s moving arctic imagery. “The belief that lighting should be a more joyful experience was largely what inspired the Aurora,” said Nanoleaf CEO & Co-Founder Gimmy Chu. “Even though many people only see light as a function, we know that light is vital in creating the right ambiance. We wanted to give that experience back to the user, and hopefully inspire more creative ways of using light in a space – which is exactly what we’ve seen with ‘Terra’ at the Anchorage Museum. We see the Aurora as the ultimate tool for self-expression.” + Nanoleaf

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Nanoleaf’s Terra light wall paints Arctic landscapes with 1,200 color-changing LEDs

Dwell Development’s net-zero home in Seattle is packed with sustainable goodness

June 29, 2017 by  
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This 5-Star Built Green home in Mount Baker, Seattle is packed with sustainable elements – including locally and sustainably-sourced materials and net-zero building strategies. The house was designed by JT Architecture for Dwell Development , and it’s perched on a peaceful hilltop in one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods with expansive views of the city. The design of the Mount Baker house is in line with the philosophy of Dwell Development and its net zero strategy rooted in the idea of remaining local. Each home by the firm occupies an urban site in a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood, where homeowners can live within blocks of all essential services and social activities. This new home was built on an urban infill lot steps away from Hunter Boulevard which includes an Olmsted designed center median park and dense retail and commercial areas on Rainier and McClellan. Related: Dwell Development’s outstanding zero-energy Emerald Star home in Seattle is almost entirely reclaimed The floors throughout the building are covered in sustainably harvested walnut from Montana, while the exterior polished concrete pavers were sourced locally. The exterior facade of the house is clad with reclaimed barn wood and reclaimed standing seam metal sourced from Oregon, while the interior features posts wrapped in over 100-year-old hand-hewn beam skins from Montana. The house is prepped for solar panels and electric vehicle charging, uses 100% LED lighting and is 100% electric. An exterior barrier system and a heat recover ventilation system regulate indoor temperatures 24/7. + JT Architecture + Dwell Development Photos by Tucker English

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Dwell Development’s net-zero home in Seattle is packed with sustainable goodness

Washington’s new Tukwila Library is topped with a carbon-negative green roof

June 27, 2017 by  
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Architecture firm Perkins+Will recently announced the completion of King County’s Tukwila Library – a 10,000-square-foot building inspired by the city’s diverse community where over 80 different languages are spoken. The new library showcases a variety of sustainable design strategies – including a green roof with a negative-carbon footprint. The building, built for the King County Library System, is located 20 minutes south of Seattle in Tukwila, Washington. A community-focused ‘mosaic space’ at the library’s center serves as a space for events, performances, contemplation, learning and reading. “In designing the new library , we were inspired by the city of Tukwila’s rich cultural diversity, and set out to create a welcoming space that both services and celebrates it,” said Ryan Bussard, design principal with Perkins+Will. Related: What Does the Interior of the World’s Largest and Most Expensive Family Home Look Like? The building’s facade features charcoal terra cotta, zinc cladding, aluminum sunshades and red- and purple-toned glass finishes, while large windows provide plenty of natural light for the interior spaces. Related: Perkins+Will’s LEED Platinum CTRB Sports a Prismatic Curtain Wall that Refracts Natural Light in Florida One of the building’s most exciting features is its roof, which is made of carbon-negative cross-laminated timber. This wood sequesters the same amount of carbon emitted by 91 cars in one year. Some of the roof is covered in a layer of heat- and drought-tolerant native plants that help regulate indoor temperatures while cutting stormwater runoff by more than 60 percent. + Perkins+Will

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Washington’s new Tukwila Library is topped with a carbon-negative green roof

This green-roofed cultural center in Sweden doubles as a vibrant public square

June 26, 2017 by  
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This green-roofed cultural center in Sweden blurs the line between the indoors and outdoors. Designed by Sweco Architects , the new Bergsjön Kulturhus grows out from the existing hill and blends with the square to form a unified environment. Sweco Architects won a competition to design a new culture house for Bergsjön, a district in eastern Gothenburg. The architects sought to weave storytelling, knowledge and recreation together like a “basket of possibilities”. An atrium serves as the core of the project, and surrounding spaces hold a library, a café, ateliers, exhibition space , meeting rooms, a studio, a small theater, a greenhouse and multi-use facilities. Related: Iceberg-inspired Greenland cultural center celebrates 20 years of resilience in the Arctic The building’s glass facade creates a visual connection between the interior and the green areas outside. Integrated into the surrounding urban fabric, the cultural center creates a welcoming atmosphere and functions as a social arena that fosters interaction. + Sweco Architects Images by Sofia Kourbetis, Linda Hansson

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This green-roofed cultural center in Sweden doubles as a vibrant public square

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