CANON headquarters features modular, energy-efficient design

May 10, 2022 by  
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The building for the new CANON Production Printing Netherlands headquarters focuses on energy efficient design and Canon’s Kyosei philosophy: living and working together for the common good. Designed by BroekBakema Architects and M+R interior Architecture, the HQ is equipped with sun-resistant facades. It also features a tight envelope with triple glazing.  Renewable energy is created through rooftop solar panels and energy savings are achieved through the use of LED lighting.  Related: UNStudio designs K-pop entertainment’s new HQ in Seoul Moreover, by relying on an efficient heat pump and heat and cold storage (ATES), the building earned a Breeam Excellent Design Certificate. The flow of the building was designed to be modular as needs of use potentially change in the future. There is even the opportunity to add entire floors in a green space known as Green Plazas. These areas are provided as gathering spaces and function to connect one floor to another. They bring the outdoors inside with copious plants for a garden environment.  Furthermore, large glass surfaces throughout the atrium area provide an abundance of natural light to work spaces. The interior space relies heavily on natural materials such as sustainably-sourced wood . Designers also relied on green design principles for the furniture. They extended the life of existing pieces by covering them with sustainable upholstery selections. The building includes sitting areas, a restaurant , meeting areas, a boardroom, conference center and auditorium that seats 170 people. It was a priority for the design team to merge the interior and exterior design of the building with the natural surroundings. They describe the building as a “Gesamtkunstwerk in which the applications of CANON’s printing technique have been translated into parts of the interior.” Signage throughout the site reminds visitors the project was designed to match CANON’s corporate identity. Also incorporated into an onsite forest walk are sculptures and art from CANON’s collection.   + BroekBakema architects and M+R interior architecture Images via Herman de Winter

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CANON headquarters features modular, energy-efficient design

A green design makes this home a sustainable masterpiece

February 11, 2022 by  
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Venice House is a green design by FINNE Architects that brings the firm’s “crafted modern” sensibility to Los Angeles. The house is designed to be a garden sanctuary in the city. Located on a long, narrow lot in L.A.’s Venice neighborhood, the Venice House is shaped out of dramatic rooflines and a combination of wood and textured metal surfaces. A wood living pavilion projects out into the garden space, with a high ceiling accented by Douglas fir beams. The pool was placed directly outside the living space, creating a mirror effect. The bedroom wing frames the triangular living pavilion , while the living area is enclosed by a glass wall with generous roof overhangs of six feet, which shade the house in summer and allow passive heating of the interior flooring in winter. Oversized sliding glass panel doors open the living area to the pool, creating an integrated indoor-outdoor space. A living roof is planted on top of the high ceiling of the living area. The beams reverse their slope from one end of the living space to the other end, creating a curving interior line. Related: A food forest emerges in LA’s famous Venice neighborhood The house was sustainably designed with 40% higher insulation values than code, natural ventilation and large amounts of natural lighting, water-conserving plumbing fixtures, LED lighting, locally sourced building materials and drought-tolerant landscaping. Windows have high-performance low-E insulated glazing and feature concealed shades. The house roof has been planned for future solar panels that will provide electricity and hot water. FINNE Architects, a member of the Green Building Council, frequently designs eco-friendly elements into buildings as well as custom designing furniture to fit each space. Interior finishes include white-bleached rift-sawn white oak cabinets and floors and white plaster walls. A custom steel light fixture hangs over the quartz kitchen island and cast-glass breakfast counter. The sculpted vanity sink in the powder room is also made of a quartz finish. A minimalist steel and wood stair railing and wood screen wall outside the master bath were designed by the architects to complete the home’s sleek but natural look, and handmade Danish brick was used to create accent walls for the front entry and the living room fireplace. + FINNE Architects Images via Tom Bonner

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A green design makes this home a sustainable masterpiece

Create your own trees out of greenscreen’s 3D trellis

January 18, 2022 by  
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The greenscreen gsTree modular trellis system has won the 2021 Architizer A+ Product Award for conceptual design, the largest awards program in architecture and design. This unique 3D trellising system forms a tree-like shape that elevates and then spreads, growing plants to 10-feet heights. Similar to other greenscreen modular trellis systems, the gsTree creates three-dimensional shapes that allow for plant installations similar to trees planted down a city sidewalk. Basically, you can create your own trees out of your favorite plants or an entire park full of them. Related: This giant green wall is a show-stopper at Warsaw skyscraper What’s really cool about the gsTree trellis is that it brings new ways to use low-lying plants to create overhead shade. The trellis could also create privacy fencing to fill vertical or overhead spaces. City parks could use the gsTree for year-round sculpture-like installations that bloom in spring . GsTree exceeds 10-feet height on request. Finishes include black, bronze, terra, silver, green and white, with custom colors also available on request. Biophilic design is nothing new, but the greenscreen gsTree creates new design options for hardscapes, public pavilions or home gardenscapes . “I believe that our organization and product offerings provide a framework for architects , designers and contractors to realize their vision and see it come to life, all while taking into consideration the environment and budgetary demands,” said President of greenscreen Kory Levoy. “We are an organization whose focus is on sustainable growth, and on doing things the right way.” Do you have a lawn that needs an arbor? Want to create a living shelter for a garden bench? The gsTree will fulfill all your biophilic wishes. + Greenscreen Images via Greenscreen

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Denmark hotel inspires green design through woodwork

November 1, 2021 by  
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In order to meet climate goals, the building industry needs to emphasize innovation and modern sustainable architecture practices. A new development located in Rønne on the Danish island of Bornholm has set out to do just that with the Hotel Green Solution House (Hotel GSH).  The building stands out among the rest, not only because of its green design elements, but because the structure, built and clad doesn’t follow traditional architecture in the area. It does, however, meet the certification standards of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). Related: KAJ Hotel is a one-room boathouse rental that exudes hygge The project is the newest wing of the Hotel Ryttergården and features 24 rooms, a conference room and a roof spa. Designed by 3XN/GXN, Green Solution House absorbs CO2 at every level with its wood material, a natural process that is expected to earn the project a positive carbon footprint. In addition to the wood selection, the team incorporated upcycled waste , such as construction offcuts that were repurposed in the furniture and surfaces, and debris from a nearby granite quarry that was put to use in the conference room.  “It is a dream to work with a developer who is completely uncompromising when it comes to sustainability and the circular economy,” said Lasse Lind, architect and partner in GXN. “This hotel will not look like others in Denmark and sustainability will be a central part of the experience. Through the project, we have collaborated with local companies, from craftsmen to material producers, who have all embraced the ambition to build completely climate-friendly, and who are helping to show the way for the rest of the country.” The area of Bornholm is booming with industry and tourism, even with the detrimental effects of the pandemic on both. Hotel GSH’s Director Trine Richter hopes the project shows the potential for continual growth in the area with a focus on passive design , energy-efficiency and natural building materials.  “Even though the hotel industry is having a hard time right now, we are full of expectation that the Danes will continue to spend their holidays in Denmark , and that companies will continue to demand meetings and conferences with a sustainable set-up,” said Trine Richter, director of Hotel GSH. “We are excited about the prospect of setting new standards for Danish commercial construction with this new climate-positive building, where the load-bearing structure will be made from wood. Everyone talks about it – we build it.” The layout of the building takes advantage of natural light and ventilation so energy needs are low. The entire development was designed with a cradle-to-cradle mindset. For example, elements throughout the space were designed for reuse with reversible joints to allow them additional life at another project site in the future instead of adding to construction waste.  “I hope that this project can help to show others the potential of wood construction,” said Lind. “If we want to be serious about achieving our climate goals , the construction industry needs to think and act differently, and therefore there is a great need for projects like this.” + GXN/3XN   Photography by Adam Mørk

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Denmark hotel inspires green design through woodwork

Unique turtle bungalow encourages ecotourism in Thailand

October 29, 2021 by  
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Turtle Bay weaves Thailand’s lush landscape with a quite literally  green design , creating a cluster of cozy turtle shell-shaped structures. Inspired by the existing natural context of jungle trees, expansive lotus ponds and wild peacocks, a mixed-use ecotourism destination was formed. Architect Sarawoot Jansaeng-Aram from Dersyn Studio Co., Ltd. designed Turtle Bay to become a unique tourist destination. The architecture echoes the familiar  Thai  overwater bungalow but innovates with an original design. Completed this year, it sits in Hua Hin, one of Thailand’s most famous seaside areas.  Related: Off-grid bamboo bungalow embraces nature in Thailand Considered to be a main tourist attraction, the site is located near the Khao Tao Reservoir, which serves as inspiration for the unique shape. “Khao” is Thai for  mountain , while “Tao” translates to  turtle . Thus, the design resembles the sacred animal that symbolizes good fortune, longevity and prosperity in Thai folklore. Dersyn Studio carefully selected the materials for Turtle Bay to have a balanced harmony with its  natural  surroundings. Shingle roofs give the surface a gravel and stone chip texture and create a turtle shell-like appearance. The designers also accounted for air movement and incorporated sustainable architectural design by extending the roof to create shade for guests. The roof also has  solar cell equipment , which generates electric energy from the sun to power lights at night.   The “turtles” dot the surface of a lavish lotus pond, which has been preserved to “maintain the sense of place.” Installed in it is a Chaipattana Low Speed Surface Aerator, a device to improve the  water quality  of lakes and ponds that may not have a natural source of oxygen to sustain the inhabitants in its freshwater ecosystem. Meanwhile, a sewage water treatment system prevents untreated water from draining into natural soil or the pond. Naturally flexible, locally-sourced  bamboo  was selected for the main roof, wall surfaces and furnishings throughout Turtle Bay. Additionally, bamboo is easy enough for experienced local artisans to construct without requiring heavy machinery. The material adds personality to the otherwise minimalist and open interiors, bringing the outdoor jungle within.  Turtle Bay implemented locally sustainable “poon-tum” construction material for its natural ability to keep the walls, and therefore guests, cool even in intense heat and humidity. Poon-tum can be found in ancient temple architecture. Working with local artisans, Jansaeng-Aram designed large open spaces with high roofs and deliberate placement of windows for optimal  natural ventilation  for all the rooms — which includes an eco café, organic eatery, workshop area, local artisans’ souvenir shop and homestay-style lodging. Thailand’s Hua Hin is famous as a  summer  hotspot with its clear beaches and balmy weather. Turtle Bay, with its cluster of turtle shell-shaped structures, is one of many special ecotourism destinations to visit.   + Dersyn Studio Co., Ltd. Photography by TonPixelPro

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Unique turtle bungalow encourages ecotourism in Thailand

MHTN shifts focus towards carbon-reducing building elements

October 25, 2021 by  
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The construction industry bears a heavy responsibility in reversing the ongoing environmental impact caused by materials and transport emissions during construction and operational carbon once the building is complete. MHTN Architects take the responsibility seriously, placing sustainable solutions on the company’s list of core values.  The Salt Lake City-based firm prioritizes ongoing education and keeping up with sustainable building trends. MHTN has been involved in several projects that bring this dedication to green design solutions into focus, including its own studio, which is housed in an existing building. This decision was based on the knowledge that renovating an existing building produces a fragment of the embodied energy required for a new build. Plus, the location met other goals, such as providing a walkable neighborhood with surrounding amenities and close proximity to public transit, as well as a public green space.  Related: Innovative biophilic design planned for new village in Portugal To compensate for the lack of passive design in a building that is oriented east to west instead of the preferred north to south, the team developed ultra-efficient lighting strategies throughout the space, including placing the most-commonly used spaces in the path of the natural light .  In addition to lighting, the team used efficient materials to enhance the acoustics and mechanical systems for air quality and temperature control to optimize employees’ opportunity for creative and collaborative thinking. Since wellness is also a core value of the company, the studio’s layout creates a flow of movement and provides ergonomic options such as sit-to-stand workstations. The company also promotes a flexible dress code and personal heating and cooling options with the goal of making employees comfortable so they can reach their peak productivity and personal satisfaction. To further this concept, the building features biophilic elements that encourage a connection with nature. The company offers quiet nooks, a nap space and a flexible work policy that encourages employees to rest and recharge with a focus on stress management. These efforts combined to inspire MHTN to pursue WELL Building Certification for the space.  The architectural studio is now open in the Historic Ford Building. The process of designing the space overflowed into a refreshed company mindset around sustainability . The team explained, “The world-shifting events of 2020 have certainly added another layer and put into perspective what sustainability means to MHTN. Input was cultivated through a series of workshops and surveys that ultimately led MHTN to adopt a more holistic, three-pronged approach to sustainability that addresses energy performance, human health and wellness and organizational resilience.” In alignment with its goals to remain earth-centered and promote a positive human impact, the company has signed the Architecture 2030 Commitment, which is oriented towards eliminating carbon emissions from buildings by 2030. The company developed an internal research and development team to develop and monitor actions the team makes on each project. For example, the new building is equipped with energy monitoring equipment that measures energy efficiency and provides feedback for the team as they plan and design spaces for clients.  “As we integrate sustainability into our firm culture, creating high-performing, healthy buildings becomes more and more seamless,” said Darrah Jakab, AIA, NCARB, CPHC, Associate Principal of Sustainable Design. “When the client embraces this, it can take projects to the next level. There is always an opportunity for every project to be sustainable in some way, and we seek to find that.” In addition to their own office, MHTN’s environmental focus is seen in a range of new projects, such as the redesign of the West Bountiful Elementary School in Utah to place a focus on elements that engage creativity and imagination for the students and staff. Along with the benefits to the inhabitants, the design resulted in a zero-energy status through the use of solar panels , a tight building envelope, a ground-source heat loop and efficient LED lighting.  “When it comes to sustainability, it truly does take a village ,” Jakab said. “We at MHTN are motivated by opportunities we have to contribute to sustainable solutions and take the impact that architecture has on climate change seriously.” This dedication is seen in another project, the University of Utah Carolyn and Kem Gardner Commons, which showcases innovative design as the first building at the University of Utah to use ground source wells to provide 96% of the heating and 60% of the cooling energy requirements. This efficient energy system offers substantial savings, estimated at $70,000 annually.  For the Utah State University Moab Academic Building, MHTN supported the campus’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by year 2030 by implementing passive design strategies that reduce energy use. Design elements include optimum building orientation, shaded roof overhangs, high-performance glazing and above-code insulating values. It has led the project towards qualification for both LEED Silver Certification and ILFI Zero Energy Certification. + MHTN Images via MHTN 

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Morgenfarm proposes vertical farms to replace Berlins Autobahn

September 23, 2021 by  
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Costing 200,000 euros per meter to construct, the 3.2-kilometer (1.9-mile) extension of Berlin’s motorway ring road was always controversial. If completed, it would bring 130,000 cars per day to south and east Berlin by 2022. As the political will to act on the climate crisis builds, the extension is starting to look like an expensive and ugly mistake. Morgenfarm offers a utopian vision for  Berlin’s infrastructure where toxic fumes are replaced by green space and healthy vegetables. Berlin’s A100 motorway partially circles the inner city. It was constructed as part of a campaign in the 1960s to make Germany’s capital a ‘car friendly city.’ The southeastern extension from Sonnenallee and Treptower Park has been the target of several protests. Now, a new concept would turn the excavated path of the motorway into a vertical farm. The proposal hopes to inspire city dwellers with a vision of what’s possible when urban planners stop prioritizing cars. Related: Construction of Europe’s largest vertical farm is underway Campaign leader Perttu Ratilainen is convinced that the ‘ Autobahn ’ belongs to a bygone era. “It feels like we are stuck in the 60s when you hear about new motorways being built, surely we have progressed since then?” Developed by non-profit ‘Think and Do Tank’ Paper Planes e.V., this farm would save water and energy plus reduce the need for long haul transportation involved in conventional agriculture . Major investments are being made in the emerging market of sustainable urban farming, particularly in Asia and the United States. Europe’s largest vertical farm, Nordic Harvest vertical farm in Denmark , was completed in 2021 with 14 stories of stacked edibles. It acts as a living feasibility study for vertical agriculture. Vertical farms  are buffered from external influences (sun, rain, heat or cold extremes), which means they can produce food all year round. Current vertical farms produce fruit, vegetables, edible mushrooms, algae and insects. These farms make more efficient use of resources than conventional industrial agriculture and do not require any pesticides. They provide a reliable supply of fresh and vitamin-rich food for the local city population, even in times of crisis such as the drought conditions Germany has experienced in recent years.  Another crisis this project could address is the housing shortage in Berlin. With the Autobahn repurposed as vertical farming space, the areas next to the road could be used to construct housing. With the upcoming German election, there has again been debate about building housing on Berlin’s most popular park, the repurposed airport Tempelhofer Feld, so freeing up land that roads make unusable could be a big plus for the capital city. Fridays for Future  has announced a strike in Germany on the Friday before the election. Thousands are expected on Sept. 24 for a massive demo in Berlin, calling on politicians to rethink the system we live in and move faster on “Energiewende” and “Mobilitätswende,” the move away from fossil fuels and motor vehicles to better public transport , cycle infrastructure and renewable energy. Rather than a concrete proposal, the Morgenfarm project encourages the space needed to rethink the urban environment. If the Berlin city administration really wants to deal with  climate change , then projects like this should be discussed. What do you think about turning over roads to grow food? Would this approach allow more space for rewilding projects on the edge of the city? Do you have a vision about how Berlin should reconfigure this road-building project? + Morgenfarm Berlin Images via Paper Planes eV

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Morgenfarm proposes vertical farms to replace Berlins Autobahn

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens LEEDs the way in green design

July 8, 2021 by  
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“Imagine the beauty of humanity living in harmony with nature .” This is the goal behind the ongoing work to raise the bar of sustainability in architecture at The Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) and other projects at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The conservatory offers a closed-circle campus that, over the course of a year, produces more energy than it consumes through a combination of geothermal and wind systems along with solar panels . In fact, it ranks as the most energy-efficient conservatory in the world. It achieves this title through effective use of natural lighting , venting, earth tubes and fogging systems to cool and light the space without reliance on energy. Related: An off-grid home in South Africa features a conservatory for fully enjoying nature In addition to generating excessive energy, the project treats all water onsite for both human and landscaping needs. It collects rainwater as well as filtering water captured through natural landscaping, a lagoon system and permeable paving.  Throughout the process of updating the campus, the goal has been to set an example of what is possible in innovative, passive design . As a result, the project meets qualifications for six of the most desired certifications in green design. These include the Living Building Challenge, LEED Platinum, First SITES™ Platinum and First WELL Building Platinum as well as the achievement of the first certified BREEAM Outstanding In-Use Building in the United States award. The conservatory has also earned a Fitwel three-star rating. The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens invites visitors to wander through the campus, taking in the rain gardens, lagoon and atrium with lush greenery and native plants throughout. In fact, the conservatory has an obligation to promote green building practices with a central focus on merging human activities and nature in a sustainable way. According to a conservatory officials, “As Phipps’ education, research and administration facility, the CSL is an integral part of the Phipps visitor experience as a ‘living museum,’ focusing attention on the important intersection between the built and natural environments, and demonstrating that human and environmental health are inextricably connected.” + Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens Images via Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

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Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens LEEDs the way in green design

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens LEEDs the way in green design

July 8, 2021 by  
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“Imagine the beauty of humanity living in harmony with nature .” This is the goal behind the ongoing work to raise the bar of sustainability in architecture at The Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) and other projects at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The conservatory offers a closed-circle campus that, over the course of a year, produces more energy than it consumes through a combination of geothermal and wind systems along with solar panels . In fact, it ranks as the most energy-efficient conservatory in the world. It achieves this title through effective use of natural lighting , venting, earth tubes and fogging systems to cool and light the space without reliance on energy. Related: An off-grid home in South Africa features a conservatory for fully enjoying nature In addition to generating excessive energy, the project treats all water onsite for both human and landscaping needs. It collects rainwater as well as filtering water captured through natural landscaping, a lagoon system and permeable paving.  Throughout the process of updating the campus, the goal has been to set an example of what is possible in innovative, passive design . As a result, the project meets qualifications for six of the most desired certifications in green design. These include the Living Building Challenge, LEED Platinum, First SITES™ Platinum and First WELL Building Platinum as well as the achievement of the first certified BREEAM Outstanding In-Use Building in the United States award. The conservatory has also earned a Fitwel three-star rating. The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens invites visitors to wander through the campus, taking in the rain gardens, lagoon and atrium with lush greenery and native plants throughout. In fact, the conservatory has an obligation to promote green building practices with a central focus on merging human activities and nature in a sustainable way. According to a conservatory officials, “As Phipps’ education, research and administration facility, the CSL is an integral part of the Phipps visitor experience as a ‘living museum,’ focusing attention on the important intersection between the built and natural environments, and demonstrating that human and environmental health are inextricably connected.” + Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens Images via Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

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Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens LEEDs the way in green design

Steven Holl unveils office clad in colorful photovoltaic glass for Doctors Without Borders

November 2, 2017 by  
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Steven Holl Architects just beat out a slew of other firms with plans for the new Doctors Without Borders headquarters in Geneva. The energy-efficient “Colors of Humanity” building features an innovative facade made of multi-hued photovoltaic glass and it’s topped with a lush green roof . The New York-based architect’s design was chosen over various proposals from architecture firms around the world. According to Mathieu Soupart, Logistics Director for the MSF Operational Centre Geneva, the winning design best represents the MSF ethos of community: “Steven Holl Architects’ project is the opportunity for MSF to integrate its core values like independence, impartiality, neutrality, altruism and dynamism in a challenging new architecture and project itself in the future.” Related: Steven Holl Architects designs LEED Platinum-targeted cultural center for Shanghai The massive photovoltaic facade , which is 40% transparent, pulls double duty: it produces up to 72% of the building’s energy needs and creates an interior framework for the community inside. Solar panels will also be installed on the building’s roof, sharing space with a large roof-top garden . Additionally, the innovative glass wall system is “open ended,” which means the building could be expanded in the future if need be. The inside layout is focused on the needs of the MSF community, and each individual space is designated by its color. Designed to foster interaction , the building has various circulation paths where workers and visitors can take a break in one of the many seating alcoves. This design feature was strategic to encourage community collaboration: “These centers serve as a friendly catalyst for interaction, acting like social condensers within the building.” + Steven Holl Architects Via Archdaily

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Steven Holl unveils office clad in colorful photovoltaic glass for Doctors Without Borders

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