LEED Gold UBC Aquatic Center boasts innovative water recycling

April 11, 2018 by  
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A striking aquatics center on the University of British Columbia Vancouver Campus melds elite-level swimming facilities with impressive eco-credentials. Designed by Canadian architecture firm MJMA , in collaboration with Acton Ostry Architects , to achieve LEED Gold certification, the UBC Aquatic Center is awash in high water demands with its three pools, hot tub, steam and sauna, drinking fountains, and 34 showers. To meet water efficiency regulations set out by UBC and LEED Gold, the architects employed an innovative water management system that includes water recycling and an underground cistern tank that can store 1.3 million liters of rainwater at a time. The 85,000-square-foot UBC Aquatic Center is more than just a recreational facility for UBC staff and students. Envisioned as a community resource, the swimming center was also created to provide a high-performance training and competition venue for Olympians and includes separated sections for Community Aquatics and Competition Aquatics. In a fitting response to the demanding brief, the architects topped the mostly glazed building with a white angular roof for that gives the facility a sense of eye-catching drama and helps facilitate rainwater collection. Combined with a long skylight that bisects the building, the continuous ceramic fritted glazing that wraps around three elevations brings in copious amounts of natural light . Sensors for zoned lighting control help reduce electricity demands. Healthy indoor air quality is promoted with an air flow system that replaces chloromine-contaminated air from the top of the water surface with fresh air. Related: Flussbad Berlin Wants to Build an Enormous Natural Swimming Pool in the City’s River Water is captured from the roof and reused for plumbing, landscape irrigation and pool top up. Rainwater collection provides the facility with around 2.7 million liters of water each year—an amount equivalent to an Olympic-sized pool. Renewable materials were also used throughout the build with approximately 30% of materials sourced from British Columbia and Washington State. + MJMA Via Architect Magazine Images by Ema Peter

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LEED Gold UBC Aquatic Center boasts innovative water recycling

The 2018 Super Bowl stadium in Minnesota offsets 100% of its energy

January 26, 2018 by  
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The NFL’s Super Bowl LII kicks off next Sunday—but football won’t be the only thing on our mind when the game begins. This year’s championship game will be held in Minneapolis, the northernmost American city to ever host a Super Bowl, at the LEED Gold-certified U.S. Bank Stadium . Designed by American architecture firm HKS , the energy-efficient NFL stadium is home to the Minnesota Vikings, and it offsets 100% of its electricity with renewable energy credits and employs energy-efficient technologies. Minneapolis’ snowy winter climate presented a major challenge in designing the 1.8 million-square-foot U.S. Bank Stadium. The sculptural shape of the stadium, which features a jagged form evoking ice formations and Viking longboats, was designed in response to environmental conditions: the asymmetrical steep roofline efficiently sheds snow, while southern exposure is maximized for increased snow melting capability. Inspired by traditional Nordic dwellings, the stadium’s lightweight roof uses a single steel truss and is covered with ETFE —the first ETFE roof in a U.S. stadium—to allow solar thermal heating and natural daylight. It has the added benefit of letting the visitors feel as if they’re sitting outside. In addition to translucent ETFE, high-performance glass wraps around part of the stadium to further minimize the need for artificial lighting. Zinc cladding envelops the majority of the building – this material was chosen for its low maintenance and durability. The form of the building optimizes air circulation, which draws captured heat from a “heat reservoir” down to the seating bowl. In the summer, the flow of air risers is reversed to take advantage of the “stack effect” , which ventilates heat at the top of the building while drawing in cool air from below. Related: The 50th Super Bowl at Levi’s Stadium will be a net-zero energy game Heat recovery, air handling units, efficient ventilation, and high-efficiency motors reduced the U.S. Bank Stadium’s energy costs by 16 percent as compared to Minneapolis’ smaller Metrodome, the former home of the Vikings. Lighting was also reduced by 37 percent thanks to the installation of LED sports lighting. The stadium has implemented a sustainability program and is working towards becoming a zero-waste facility. Super Bowl LII will take place Sunday, February 4 at the U.S. Bank Stadium featuring the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. + HKS Images via HKS

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The 2018 Super Bowl stadium in Minnesota offsets 100% of its energy

Foster + Partners unveils LEED Gold-targeted PGA TOUR HQ in Florida

January 23, 2018 by  
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Foster + Partners has unveiled designs for the new PGA TOUR headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The sleek, light-filled building will be equipped with sustainable biophilic design features that will help the project obtain its targeted LEED Gold certification. Surrounded by greenery, the building will be placed within a large freshwater lake in a nod to the iconic ‘Island Green’ 17th hole at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course. Located to the south of the Clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass, the 187,000-square-foot PGA TOUR headquarters will serve as the new Global Home for the professional golf platform. The new headquarters will also consolidate all the offices —currently spread out across multiple buildings—under one roof. The new building will stress a sense of openness, transparency, and flexibility for a greater collaborative environment. “Inspired by the lush greenery of TPC Sawgrass and the beautiful Floridian light, the new PGA TOUR headquarters is designed as an extension of its surrounding landscape,” said Nigel Dancey, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners. “As the Global Home of the PGA TOUR, it brings the organization under one roof for the first time, and signifies the progressive spirit of the TOUR.” Twenty-foot-wide bridges connect the two building bays and allow for informal meetings, while flexible workspaces cater to the increasingly mobile workforce. Related: Foster + Partners’ Apple Park Visitor Center opens to the public Natural light and air pours into the headquarters through glazed facades and five large skylights. Axial landscape views are welcomed into the building, and employees will have access to a 1.3-kilometer running track in the middle of the woods. Rooftop solar panels will power a portion of the building’s energy needs, while deep roof overhangs mitigate solar heat gain. + Foster + Partners Images via Foster + Partners

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Repurposed cargotecture dwellings keep naturally cool in Costa Rica

January 23, 2018 by  
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An environmentally conscious family tapped DAO and Re Arquitectura to design a home expansion project with low landscape impact. In response, the architecture firms created Franceschi Container Houses, a series of cargotecture apartments to independently house the family’s three sons. Located in Santa Ana west of Costa Rica’s capital, the repurposed shipping container dwellings make use of passive climate control, solar water heaters, and recycled materials to minimize waste and energy demands. Set next to the Uruca River canyon, the Franceschi Container Houses were built on the same property as the main family house where the clients have been living for around 20 years. The project comprises three independent units raised off the ground for minimal landscape impact . The dwellings were built from repurposed 40-foot-tall cargo containers and feature identical floor plans. Related: Qatar unveils first-ever FIFA World Cup stadium to be built from shipping containers The architects carefully placed the dwellings to maximize passive climate control conditions and to optimize natural lighting. The social areas and a deep covered porch are located on the ground floor while the private areas are placed on the upper level. Waste was minimized through recycling and leftover materials like wood and metal were reused for miscellaneous objects like handrails, door handles, planters, and hangers. + Re Arquitectura Via ArchDaily Images via Re Arquitectura

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Repurposed cargotecture dwellings keep naturally cool in Costa Rica

Google and BIG unveil designs for new green-roofed tech campus in Sunnyvale

January 5, 2018 by  
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Google and BIG have teamed up for yet another massive and spectacular Google campus—this time in Sunnyvle’s Moffett Park. Google recently unveiled plans for a new BIG-designed campus last month, following the acclaimed architecture firm’s work on Google’s Mountain View and London campuses . Located on Caribbean Drive, the 1.04-million-square-foot project could accommodate 4,500 employees and feature eye-catching terraced buildings topped with accessible green roofs. Designed to foster community and healthy living, Google’s new Sunnyvale campus will be flush with green space including on its roof. Unsurprisingly, the project will target LEED Gold and is expected to rack up points through its native, low-irrigation landscape and promotion of eco-friendly transit like cycling to work. Related: Google unveils giant green ‘landscraper’ for London HQ The massive site could also accommodate more than just office space. “Housing is part of our thought process in Moffett Park,” Mark Golan, chief operating officer of Google’s global real estate investments & development unit, told The Mercury News . “A new mixed-use community where you have live-work capabilities, makes a lot of sense. Housing and transportation are two huge issues for the Valley overall, and they are huge issues for Google. One of the best ways to address this is by creating mixed-use communities that allow people to live close to where they work, which allows for a vibrant community and also helps the transportation.” The project is not expected for completion until 2021 at the earliest. + BIG Via ArchDaily Images via Google

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Google and BIG unveil designs for new green-roofed tech campus in Sunnyvale

LEED Gold-seeking SXSW Headquarters breaks ground

November 24, 2017 by  
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The multimedia behemoth South by Southwest (SXSW) just broke ground on its new “green” headquarters in downtown Austin. Located a block away from the city Capitol, the striking building aims for LEED Gold certification and will boast a large green roof, rain gardens, and other energy-efficient systems. Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects heads the design of the new mixed-use structure and will work together with landscape architecture firm dwg. to preserve the property’s existing heritage live oaks. The 280,000-square-foot glass-clad SXSW Headquarters will comprise 12 floors—five of which will be dedicated to parking for 300 cars—and consolidate the company’s various campuses. The new building sports a serpentine shape optimized for views of the Capitol dome and to preserve the grove of heritage live oaks. The curved building also serves to frame an inviting new public plaza with rain gardens , seating, and pedestrian pathways at the corner of Lavaca and 14th Streets. A spacious cafe and flexible, informal coworking spaces will complement the ground-floor entry and lobby. “Their special vision led to a transformation of the typical office building paradigm,” said lead designer Yvonne Szeto of the SXSW founders. “The lobby was reimagined not as a traditional circulation space but as a relaxed and welcoming living room that fosters interaction between tenants as well as with the neighboring community.” Related: Energy-efficient Bluebonnet Studios offers sustainable housing to Austin’s most vulnerable citizens A major highlight of the building will be The Rooftop Deck, a 2,000-square-foot covered patio surrounded by greenery that’s located 165 feet above downtown Austin for sweeping views of the Capitol and Hill Country. The project is slated for completion in 2019. + Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Renderings by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and CZ Properties

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Historic train shed transformed into Tasmanian School for Architecture

November 24, 2017 by  
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A stellar example of adaptive reuse is being used to house and teach students at the University of Tasmania School of Architecture & Design. Formerly a 1951 diesel locomotive workshop, this award-winning conversion project preserves parts of the building’s industrial heritage while upgrading it with energy-efficient systems. Australian architecture firm Six Degrees led the project design in collaboration with Sustainable Built Environments to achieve an environmentally friendly design on a relatively modest budget of AUS$6.2 million. Completed in 2007, the UTAS School of Architecture in Launceston was focused on ecologically sustainable design from the start. The architects kept the heritage warehouse’s sawtooth roof and airy industrial character, but also inserted an extra level to the originally single-story building to create 4,500 square meters of usable space. The arrangement of the interior were informed by passive solar studies; offices and classrooms were located on the east side while the workshop, Learning Hub, and some studio spaces were stacked on the west end. Under-floor heating, displacement ventilation, and labyrinth cooling were also used to minimize energy demands. Related: Herzog & de Meuron are upcycling a historic gasometer into a stunning residential tower Australian plantation timber plywood is installed throughout to lend warmth in a palette primarily comprised of metal, glass, and concrete. “Our intention was to maximize the use of the existing building an continue its industrial architectural language through the building by revealing its structure,” the architects wrote in a design statement. “Simplicity is the principle that characterizes the building’s materiality. Materials in the palette have been used in their natural forms with minimal finishes applied.” + Six Degrees Images by Patrick Rodriguez

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Historic train shed transformed into Tasmanian School for Architecture

Perkins + Will overhauls a boring concrete warehouse into beautiful LEED Gold offices

August 23, 2017 by  
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At first glance, it’s hard to imagine that this gorgeous light-filled building was once an uninspiring concrete monolith. It’s a testament to the architectural might of Perkins + Will , which transformed the 1940s military warehouse in San Francisco into the LEED Gold -certified Bay Area Metro Center. Constructed with recycled materials, this eight-story adaptive reuse project features soaring ceilings with state-of-the-art offices, community hearing spaces, a boardroom, and ground floor retail. Located at 375 Beale Street, this massive 525,000-square-foot building once served as a navy supply warehouse during World War II and exuded an air of impenetrability with its fortress-like facade. Perkins + Will and interior design firm TEF did away with the monolith’s bleak appearance with the addition of ample glazing and an seven-story-tall atrium that floods the building with natural light . The transformation created a welcoming and collaborative environment that consolidates four government agencies and offers diverse amenities including retail, workspaces, open coffee bars, and even bike storage. Reclaimed timber is used throughout the interior to lend a sense of warmth to the concrete structure. Wood rails were repurposed from the building and nearby sites as was the timber used for stair treads, countertops, and wall finishes. Splashes of greenery enliven the building including a tree well on the sixth floor, garden patio on the eighth floor, and a landscaped garden outside the main public hearing room. Related: Form follows function at Shanghai’s new bioclimatic Natural History Museum Perkins + Will wrote: “As part of a required seismic retrofit, shear walls were introduced at all perimeter walls to reinforce the structure without compromising the opportunity for open offices. Addressing both seismic and daylighting issues, a seven-story atrium was carved out the of the center of the building, both reducing the structural mass of the building and bringing much needed daylight to the building’s interior, decreasing energy use while creating a welcoming atmosphere. The atrium and interconnecting stairs also provide the opportunity for informal encounters between the various agency employees.” + Perkins + Will

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Perkins + Will overhauls a boring concrete warehouse into beautiful LEED Gold offices

Worlds newest mega-skyscraper opens in Seoul

April 6, 2017 by  
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The world’s newest super-tall building has opened in Seoul , Korea. Clocking in at fifth tallest in the world, the Lotte World Tower is a 554.5-meter (1,819 feet) tall skyscraper that knocks the 1WTC, the tallest U.S. building, out of the top five. Designed by Kohn Pederson Fox Associates , the solar-powered building will seek a LEED Gold accreditation and boasts additional record-breaking features including the world’s highest glass-bottomed observation deck, fastest elevator, and the highest swimming pool in a building. Set on the banks of the River Han in southern Seoul, the Lotte World Tower is a multibillion-dollar mixed-use tower that houses retail, offices, luxury residences, and a seven-star hotel. The sleek and tapered form of the 123-story building draws inspiration from the curves of Korean artistry and contrasts with Seoul’s craggy mountainous landscape. The building shape and interior combine a modern aesthetic with elements inspired by the Korean arts of ceramics, porcelain, and calligraphy. Related: World’s largest shipping container shopping mall pops up in Seoul The building’s top ten stories are allocated for public use and entertainment facilities. The glass-floor observation deck on the 118th floor allows visitors to experience a busy Seoul intersection from a bird’s eye view. The skyscraper also includes a massive 2,000-seat concert hall, aquarium, movie theater, and food hall. Designed for the LEED Gold , Lotte World Tower is equipped with solar panels, wind turbines, external shading devices, and water harvesting systems. + Kohn Pederson Fox Associates Via Bloomberg Images via Kohn Pederson Fox Associates

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Worlds newest mega-skyscraper opens in Seoul

Light-filled Compass House prioritizes low maintenance and energy savings

March 23, 2017 by  
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Toronto-based superkül architects designed a vacation home for a family of six transitioning back to Canada after living abroad. Set on the grassy plains of Mulmur, Ontario, the 4,300-square-foot dwelling is a striking all-white building that prioritizes low maintenance, natural light, and energy savings. The energy-efficient home was built in two phases, the first of which was certified LEED Gold . Created as a spacious weekend home, the Compass House comprises two volumes arranged in an L-shaped plan with multiple bedrooms and an open-plan kitchen, dining area, and living room at the heart. The dwelling was constructed with locally sourced fieldstone and other low-maintenance materials such as the white cement-board siding, aluminum windows, and steel roof. In contrast to the hardy, weatherproof exterior, the interior emanates warmth with white oak and knotty white cedar floors and walls. Related: Superkül Designs Canada’s First Active House Skylights and large windows fill the home with natural light and ventilation. The ample glazing also frames views of the varied landscape, from the forests to the west to the 100 acres of fields in the north and east. An outdoor courtyard extends the indoor spaces out. “Through its siting, tectonics and materiality, it balances intimacy and expansiveness, light and dark, land and sky — orienting and heightening one’s experience of the surrounding environment,” wrote the architects. Use of geothermal -powered heating and cooling, natural daylighting, passive ventilation, and high insulation values help keep energy demands low despite the building’s large size. Construction waste was also kept to a minimum. + Superkül Images by Ben Rahn / A-Frame Studio

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