Translucent ‘hugging’ towers could help clean Hong Kong’s air pollution

February 20, 2018 by  
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Architect Suraksha Acharya from Midori Architects has proposed a pair of ultra-green translucent towers for the Hong Kong skyline. The futuristic Aero Hive skyscrapers are clad in an organic facade interspersed with greenery that leads up to the towers’ expansive open-air rooftop gardens . The concept is based on creating an iconic symbol of sustainable design for the city – a unique highrise designed to adapt to the challenges of the local climate and reduce CO2 emissions in the area. Acharya’s design, which recently won the Skyhive Skyscraper Challenge , is meant to provide the bustling Hong Kong skyline with an icon of sustainability. Although aesthetically apt for Hong Kong’s profile of soaring skyscrapers, the Aero Hive is also strategically designed to withstand the local climate. The shape and size of the two towers, as well as the materials, were all chosen to adapt to the city’s subtropical weather and extreme winds. Related: Futuristic floating skyscraper ‘heals’ the effects of climate change According to the architect, the design is meant to change ideas when it comes to green skyscrapers, “Aero Hive aims to challenge the common belief that contemporary tall buildings cannot be ventilated naturally due to their ultra-heights and offers pause from typical hermetically sealed glass-boxes, serving as a model of sustainability” The curvaceous form of the towers is designed to be self-shading, meaning that the angles of the buildings are precisely aligned to allow them to mutually shade each other throughout different times of the day. Additionally, the porous cladding allows optimal air circulation throughout the building. The double glazed windows that make up the cladding are also optimized to bring in diffuses natural light to the interior while restricting direct solar radiation. Topping the twisty towers are two flared rooftops, which will be open to the public as city gardens. The greenery is two-fold – helping preserve the city’s public green space, but also address the “urban heat island” effect common in Hong Kong’s tropical climate. The lush rooftop gardens will help create a natural habitat for local birds, as well as filter pollutants and reduce CO2. + Midori Architects + Midori Architects on Facebook + Midori Architects on Instagram + Midori Architects on Twitter + Midori Architects on G+ Images courtesy Midori Architects

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Translucent ‘hugging’ towers could help clean Hong Kong’s air pollution

Resilient infrastructure proposal aims to protect San Francisco Bay from rising sea levels

December 27, 2017 by  
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Looks like San Francisco’s beautiful Bay Area could be in for a major ecological makeover. SCAPE Landscape Architecture has unveiled Public Sentiment, a living infrastructure proposal that aims to create a visitor-friendly buffer zone around the bay’s most vulnerable ecosystems – made up of marshes, mudflats, and coastal edges – that would protect the low-lying zones from the imminent threat of rising sea levels . Scape’s proposal was developed for the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge , an open design competition that calls for innovative solutions to the many issues facing the Bay Area due to climate change . According to the architects, their inspiration for the proposal is based on using sediment as a core building block to create a nature-based resilient system around the bay. Related: EPA Grant Will Help Protect New York’s Salt Marshes The plan is comprised of three projects: Pilots for a Future Bay, The Bay Cushion, and Unlock Alameda Creek. Pilots for a Future Bay involves various pilot programs that would include the local community in participating in the planning process of making the area more resilient. The plan includes working with local students as environmental stewards that would help design and monitor various scientific experiments geared towards protecting the Bay Area’s ecosystems . The Bay Cushion calls for expanding on the ongoing South Bay Salt Pond initiative. Building on the project, which seeks to reduce tidal extremes around the bay, the proposal calls for creating a massive sediment reserve that links ecosystems, wildlife, and visitors to the area. The reserve would include viewing towers, outdoor mudrooms and various “sensing stations” that would run along the existing Bay Trail. Unlock Alameda Creek, which involves unlocking the sediment flows of Alameda Creek, is also an essential part of the proposal. This would include redesigning the creek’s water flow in order to restore the breeding grounds of the native steelheads. Once again, the area would be outfitted with a trail of viewing platforms to enable visitors to take in the infinite value of the bay’s valuable ecosystems. + Resilient Design Bay Area + SCAPE Landscape Architecture

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Resilient infrastructure proposal aims to protect San Francisco Bay from rising sea levels

Microsoft is razing its Redmond campus to build a sustainable mini city

December 1, 2017 by  
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If you thought Microsoft’s awesome treehouse offices were the ultimate step in the tech giant’s efforts to make its employees a top priority, think again. The tech giant just announced that it will be razing its 500-acre Redmond campus in order to construct a sustainable Microsoft mini city, complete with 18 new buildings, a two-acre open plaza , retail space, jogging and walking trails, two soccer fields, a cricket field, and its own light rail station. According to the company, the expansive campus, which will be divided into “team neighborhoods”, will be focused on providing a “more open and less formal” working environment. Inside, the spaces will be filled with social hubs and light-filled offices, but the new layout will be primarily focused on providing plenty of outdoor and recreational space for the employees. Once complete, the campus will have 18 new buildings, offering workspace for the 47,000 employees that currently work on site, as well as extra room for an additional 8,000 people. The Redmond campus is already a Zero Waste Certified campus, but will be renovated with increased waste-reduction initiatives . Related: Microsoft unveils amazing treehouse office where employees can brainstorm in fresh air As part of the green transportation focus, all of the cars will be parked in an underground parking lot, so that above ground, the employees can travel by foot, bike or, eventually, by a light rail system scheduled for completion in 2023. As part of the green transportation focus, a new foot and bike bridge will be built over the WA-520 in order to connect both sides of its campus. This will connect with a planned Redmond Technology Transit Station where the Link Light Rail is expected to arrive in 2023. Microsoft president Brad Smith said the project will run approximately $150m, and expects the rebuild to create 2,500 construction and development jobs.”We are not only creating a world-class work environment to help retain and attract the best and brightest global talent, but also building a campus that our neighbors can enjoy, and that we can build in a fiscally smart way with low environmental impact,” explained Smith in the announcement. + Microsoft blog Via ZD Net Images via Microsoft

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Artists transform gigantic Japanese park into a psychedelic forest of light

November 13, 2017 by  
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Japanese art collective teamLab has transformed a 5-million-square-foot park in Japan into a luminous “Forest Where Gods Live”. The massive art installation features 14 distinct artworks that use lights, projections, sensors, and sound to react as visitors stroll through the grounds. Mifuneyama Rakuen park is located in Japan’s Saga Prefecture in Kyushu. The exhibition spans the landscape of rocks, caves, and ample vegetation that leads to the towering Mount Mifune. The park is home to various Buddhist statues as well as 5,000 cherry blossom trees and 50,000 azaleas, all of which play key roles in the art installation . Related: Singapore Night Festival dazzles crowds with 13 stunning light installations TeamLab believes that digital art can connect people with nature: “We exist as a part of an eternal continuity of life and death, a process which has been continuing for an overwhelmingly long time. It is hard for us, however, to sense this in our everyday lives. When exploring the forest, we come to realize that the shapes of the giant rocks, caves, and the forest that have been formed over the eons, are the shapes of the continuous cycle of life itself. By applying digital art to this unique environment, the exhibition celebrates the continuity of life.” The exhibition, which is part of a Shiseido skincare campaign, uses projectors, motion sensors, and an ambient soundtrack to create a soothing forest of light in constant motion. Visitors can stroll through the park, passing through 14 artworks where the natural landscape lights up in reaction to the crowds. There’s a simulated waterfall that cascades down a sacred rock wall and a giant moss-covered boulder that digitally depicts the entire life cycle of colorful flowers. Walking along, visitors will see an example of artful Japanese calligraphy projected onto a large rock, surrounded by smoke. One of the most popular stops is the WASO Tea House, which displays beautiful flowers blooming inside a teacup, representing the skincare company’s slogan “All things beautiful come from nature”. + teamLab Via CNN Images and video via Team Lab

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2017’s Greenest Cities in the U.S.

October 30, 2017 by  
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Anchorage, Alaska, has more green space than any city in … The post 2017’s Greenest Cities in the U.S. appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Failed Palm Springs golf course is being repurposed into a sustainable community filled with olive groves

October 20, 2017 by  
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A failed Palm Springs golf course is being reborn as an “eco-modern agrihood” located on 300 beautiful acres of desert landscape. The Miralon residential community will include 1,150 solar-powered homes , along with almost 100 acres of open recreational space, including working olive groves, community gardens, and walking trails. The ambitious project is located on a former golf course, which was built, but never operational due to falling into foreclosure in 2008. Freehold Communities bought the property and will be collaborating with Robert Hidey Architect s along with C2 Collaborative Landscape Architecture to create a sustainable residential community focused on providing a healthy lifestyle for the homeowners. The large complex will include multiple pools, a fitness and recreation center, and various amenities. Related: Wind and solar-powered Thunder Valley Regenerative Community rises in South Dakota Miralon will consist of more than 1,000 eco-friendly homes, all equipped with solar panels. However, at the heart of the project is the massive amounts of outdoor space included in the master plan. The residential area will be surrounded by almost 100 acres of green space , which will be landscaped to create recreational space for the residents. Former golf cart paths will be repurposed as 6.5 miles of hiking trails. The tee boxes and greens will be converted into community gardens as well as dog parks, exercise stations and community social areas with firepits and WiFi. What’s even more impressive is that the homes will back up to more than 70 acres of working olive groves , which will be installed with a drip-irrigation system and cultivated by Temecula Olive Oil Company . The olives will be pressed on-site and be made available to the residents, along with produce from the community gardens. “Evolving the existing golf course into habitat-sensitive, agricultural open space is a response to the precious resources of the Coachella Valley including its need for water,” explained Freehold California Division President Brad Shuckhart, “At the same time, Miralon responds to peoples’ desire for authentic experiences – whether through community gardening or immersion in a rich range of social spaces.” + Miralon + Freehold Communities

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Failed Palm Springs golf course is being repurposed into a sustainable community filled with olive groves

Hinckley unveils the world’s first fully electric luxury yacht

October 20, 2017 by  
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Imagine silently slicing through the Long Island Sound on a yacht , wind tousling your hair. That peaceful vision is possible with Hinckley’s new Dasher yacht, which they say is the world’s first fully electric luxury yacht. Inhabitat took a ride in Oyster Bay recently, and we were amazed at how quiet the boat is – thanks to twin 80 horsepower electric motors and waterproof BMW i3 lithium-ion batteries . Chief Marketing Officer Peter Saladino and Director of New Product Development Scott Bryant hosted us for a trip on the new zero-emissions Hinckley Dasher this week. Dasher is completely powered by electricity . Before we started slicing through the water, Bryant actually had to tell us the boat was on and ready to go – that’s how quiet it is. Related: The Tesla of solar electric yachts launches in New Zealand “Hinckley started building boats in 1928. We’ve been known for building timeless boats built in the Maine tradition, and we’ve always been known for not just innovating for the sake of innovating, but using technology to augment the user experience,” Bryant told Inhabitat. The 28 foot, six inch electric yacht cruises through waters at speeds of 10 miles per hour (mph), though it can reach fast cruising speeds of 18 to 27 mph. At the 10 mph cruising speed, Dasher has a range of 40 miles. At faster speeds, its range is 20 to 25 miles. The experience isn’t impeded by noisy boat motors; a gentle waterfall-like sound from the boat’s wake can be heard as the yacht moves through the water. It can be charged back up in four hours with dual 50 amp charging cables. The electric car movement currently suffers from a lack of charging infrastructure, but that’s not an issue with electric boats. Charging ports already dot docks so yachts have a source of electricity for lights and other features aboard; Saladino pointed out the ports were plentiful on the docks where we took a ride on the Dasher. He also said Dasher can be charged with 30 amp cables if a dock doesn’t have the 50 amp cables; it will just take a little longer. With Dasher, Hinckley is also debuting their artisanal teak material, which they describe as a lightweight hand-painted epoxy composite that’s less expensive to maintain and not as heavy as varnished teak wood. That and 3D-printed materials contribute to what is the lightest Hinckley has ever offered in their nearly 90-year history. According to the company, titanium hardware and console details were 3D-printed “to achieve shapes and a level of precision unavailable in typical construction methods.” (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.10’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); Check out the world's first all-electric luxury yacht Join us! We're checking out the world's first all-electric luxury yacht from @TheHinckleyCompany Posted by Inhabitat on Friday, October 20, 2017 A touchscreen on the console allows the captain to easily see their travel radius before they’ll need to recharge the batteries on a map. The console also conveys what percentage of battery power remains. The open layout allows guests to comfortably gather together, and there’s even a retractable windshield so the captain can join in on the fun. Bryant told Inhabitat, “That’s the core experience: having the owner sitting here, casually running the boat; you’ve got all your people around you, you’re enjoying this time, you’re close to the water, you can hear the water. It becomes a very authentic boating experience.” Hinckley is accepting orders for Dasher, which they plan to deliver next summer. + Hinckley Images courtesy of Hinckley and Lacy Cooke for Inhabitat

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LAVA unveils greenery-infused Garden Island to revamp Sydney Harbour

October 20, 2017 by  
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Australia-based firm LAVA just unveiled a stunning proposal for converting an inaccessible plot of land near Sydney Harbour into a sustainable waterfront community. The ambitious Garden Island proposal envisions a vibrant green public space with eco-friendly residential towers and multi-use buildings that would host activities throughout the year. Although the area is currently used by the Royal Australian Navy, the proposal hopes to completely overhaul the area in order to convert it into a new waterfront community. Using a sustainable model , a breezy cityscape would be built along the existing coastline that would include residential and multi-use buildings operating with green technology. The various towers, which would offer stunning views of the harbor, would all be installed with plenty of rooftop terraces and surrounded by public gardens . Related: LAVA’s Winning Design for Masdar’s City Center LAVA’s proposal also includes implementing various adaptive reuse methods where possible. For example, a former dry dock would be converted into a floating market that would have room for public baths, shopping, and performance spaces. The development would also install a number of amenities throughout renovated space such as a waterfront promenade, museums, and various social facilities that would aim to foster a strong sense of community. + LAVA Images via LAVA

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LAVA unveils greenery-infused Garden Island to revamp Sydney Harbour

This company wants to turn food waste into building materials heres how

October 20, 2017 by  
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What do peanuts, rice, bananas, potatoes, and mushrooms have in common? In addition to being delicious, they could be transformed into building materials. In a report entitled The Urban Bio-Loop , the Arup group proposes to use food waste (something developed nations have an abundance of) to develop low-cost and eco-friendly materials for use in construction. The authors of the report aim to demonstrate ‘that a different paradigm for materials in construction is possible.” Because first-world nations, such as the United States , waste up to 40 percent of all food , the goal is to turn the waste into a resource for the creation of “construction, engineering, and architecture products,” reports Archinect . This could be done by modifying the traditional waste management system. Discarded organic materials that could prove useful include peanut shells, which could be used to create low-cost partition boards that are resistant to fire and ice; rice , which could be turned into ash and mixed with cement to eliminate the need for fillers; bananas, a fruit whose leaves can make rugged textiles as a result of high-strength fibers; mushrooms, which can be used to grow buildings ; and potato peels, which can be cleaned, pressed and dried to produce a light, fire-resistant and water-repellent insulating material. The group argues that using food waste for building would contribute to a circular economy where organic waste is put to use, rather than tossed into landfills . Repurposing food waste would also reduce the amount of methane that is produced when fruit and vegetable scraps slowly decompose. The gas contributes to global warming , a phenomenon which results in warming temperatures, rising sea levels, and worsening natural disasters. Related: The free grocery store fighting food waste and hunger Arup’s goal is to ameliorate rising levels of waste and a shortage of raw material. Using the low-cost, low-carbon materials would go a long way towards this goal. + “ The Urban Bio-Loop” Via Archinect Images via Wikipedia , Arup Group

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Futuristic solar home hidden inside 18th-century stone ruins

October 20, 2017 by  
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The stone ruins of an 18th-century Scottish farmhouse have been brought back to life as the envelope for a surprisingly modern solar-powered home. Nathanael Dorent Architecture and Lily Jencks Studio crafted Ruin Studio with layers like a palimpsest, from the 200-year-old farmhouse frame to futuristic and tubular interior shell. In addition to the use of photovoltaics, the dwelling was built to near passivhaus standards and boasts a super-insulated envelope. This unusual home located in the remote Scottish countryside retains an outwardly rural appearance with a pitched roof and exterior stone walls. Instead of using timber for the pitched envelope, however, the architects clad the structure in black waterproofing EDPM rubber . Stranger still is the pair of interior curved shells, inserted inside the rubber-clad envelope, made of insulating recycled polystyrene blocks and covered with glass-reinforced plastic. These white futuristic “tubes” serve as hallways connecting the centrally located communal areas with the bedrooms located on either end of the home. “Emphasizing the narrative of time, these three layers also reflect different architectural expressions: the random natural erosion of stone walls, an archetypical minimalist pitched roof, and a free form double curved surface,” wrote the architects. “These three layers are not designed as independent parts, rather, they take on meaning as their relationship evolves through the building’s sections. They separate, come together, and intertwine, creating a series of architectural singularities, revealing simultaneous reading of time and space.” Related: Barn ruins transformed into contemporary home with spa Natural light fills the predominately white interior and large windows frame views of the Scottish countryside. The furnishings are kept minimalist and are mostly built from light-colored wood; gridded timber bookshelves located in the tube adhere to the curved walls. Portions of original stone walls are brought into the home. + Nathanael Dorent Architecture Via ArchDaily

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