Incredible net-zero floating home cleans the water around it

February 5, 2018 by  
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What if a home could improve the environment around it? That’s the question architect Michelle Lanker of Lanker Design LLC and her ecologist husband Bill Bloxom put to the test when they designed their new getaway—a floating home docked on Washington’s Lake Union that’s not only net-zero and certified LEED Platinum, but also improves water quality and biodiversity. Dubbed Houseboat H, this stunning sustainable home boasts a bevy of eco-friendly elements from material choices and renewable energy sources to its use of floating islands to create new aquatic habitats. Sustainability and symbiosis are at the heart of Houseboat H. Powered by solar and designed for minimal energy use, this net-zero home floats above a series of floating islands specially designed to improve water quality. Buoyant planters made of recycled plastic house native plants that form root systems to purify the water and encourage fish habitats. The growing aquatic habitats can be observed from a large window in the basement float of the home. In addition to the recycled plastics in the planters, thoughtful material choice can be seen throughout the home, most notably in the old-growth cedar logs used in the interior that were salvaged from Michelle and Bill’s original, century-old houseboat destroyed in a fire. Durable materials were carefully selected, like the plastic laminate for the cabinets and counters as well as the cement fiberboard for exterior cladding. The use of cedar and bamboo in the home lend a sense of warmth to the light-filled interior. Related: Rusting 1950s cargo ship transformed into a stunning modern floating home Natural lighting and beautiful Seattle skyline views are welcomed indoors through large triple-glazed windows that often span floor to ceiling. To minimize energy loss, the walls and roof are filled with spray foam insulation at maximum insulation thicknesses. A small green roof also aids in insulation. A 5.43-kW solar array attached to the standing seam metal roof powers the home’s LED fixtures, low-energy appliances, and water heater (with a 80 gallon storage tank) for the hydronic radiant floor system. A heat exchanger is also installed to collect heat from the lake. + Lanker Design LLC Images via Lanker Design LLC

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Incredible net-zero floating home cleans the water around it

Solar-powered Noe Hill Smarthome is an eco-friendly dream in San Francisco

October 19, 2017 by  
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The LEED Platinum -certified Noe Hill Smart Ecohome marries state-of-the-art green technology and the indoor-outdoor lifestyle that urban dwellers dream about. The house, designed by EAG Studio , creates a healthy living environment with plenty of natural light, native plant gardens, rain catchment, solar power and a bevy of smart features to optimize power use. The house occupies a coveted site near the crest of the Collingwood hill in San Francisco . It spans three levels and comprises 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths (with 3 bedrooms ensuite on the upper floor), media room, gym, flexible use 2-room guest suite, an open main level floor plan, 4 distinct outdoor living areas and 2-car independent parking. Related: Sunset’s Green Dream Home in San Francisco The dramatic vistas open up from the main living room and dining area connected to a sunny deck and a landscaped garden. The garden features drought-tolerant , native plantings. Retractable glass doors in the kitchen open directly to the deck and enhances the experience of the indoor-outdoor lifestyle. A sculptural staircase leads to the upper level and receives natural light from the skylight above. The bedrooms occupy the upper floor, with the luxurious master suite openning to its own view deck ideal for a morning cup of coffee or casual lounging. The staircase leads further up toward the roof deck with multiple dining and lounging areas perfect for entertaining guests. Related: San Francisco’s Solar “Mission: House” is a High-Tech Marvel A rainwater harvesting system captures most of the roof/surface water for landscaping irrigation. All exterior walls are insulated and optimized for energy efficiency, while a solar array provides renewable energy for the building. These systems, along with LED lighting , occupancy sensors and the use of reclaimed building materials make this building a modern and truly eco-friendly home. + Noe Hill Leed Home + EAG Studio

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Solar-powered Noe Hill Smarthome is an eco-friendly dream in San Francisco

LEED-seeking illumina i3 campus lets workers work anywhere

August 17, 2017 by  
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San Diego’s new BioMed Realty i3 campus is raising the bar for corporate research parks everywhere. Perkins+Will recently designed the iconic science and research campus that’s on track for LEED Platinum certification and exemplifies the “work anywhere” culture. Filled with natural light and topped with green roofs, this environmentally progressive design features a wide variety of energy saving measures and reduces energy and water use by 30 and 20 percent. Located off Interstate 805, the Biotech Hub is the new home of leading genomics research and life sciences company illumina . The campus comprises three trapezoidal, all-white concrete buildings punctuated with landscaped gathering spaces, as well as a 33,500-square-foot outdoor courtyard at the campus heart that includes a performance stage, bocce ball court, herb garden, fitness area, restaurant, and cafe. Parking is hidden underground. Connectivity and collaboration are major themes of the campus design—i3 is 100 percent wireless—and employees are encouraged to work anywhere on campus they feel most comfortable at any time of the day. “The campus turns the stereotypical concept of a suburban research park right on its head, and makes it infinitely better,” said Ryan Bussard, principal at Perkins+Will. “Instead of a trove of uninviting office buildings surrounding a sea of asphalt parking lots, the i3 campus empowers people to connect, engage, collaborate, innovate, and—perhaps most important—be inspired.” Floor-to-ceiling glass lets in ample natural light and frames views of the surrounding mountains. Collaborative areas, such as the lounges and conference rooms, are connected directly to outdoor terraces . A variety of workspaces can accommodate different work styles and preferences. Related: World’s greenest and healthiest office crowned in Washington, D.C. The i3 campus is on track to earn LEED Platinum certification for the core and shell, while LEED Gold is expected for the interiors. The campus’ on-site fuel cells generate clean energy, while energy usage is minimized thanks to access to natural light, motorized and fixed sunshades, and energy-efficient fixtures. Responsible water management is a big part of the campus design. Recycled water sourced from a local utility irrigates the site and is used for cooling towers. Green roofs planted with heat- and drought-tolerated native plants filter and reduce stormwater runoff in conjunction with the on-site bio-filtration system and permeable pavers. Site-water mitigation tucked beneath the courtyard also helps reduce burden on the city’s local infrastructure. + Perkins+Will

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LEED-seeking illumina i3 campus lets workers work anywhere

Various Architects turn an industrial Oslo building into contemporary offices

August 17, 2017 by  
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A historic building in Oslo’s locomotive industrial zone has been transformed into contemporary offices filled with natural light. This adaptive reuse project, called Lokomotivstallen, has been praised as a positive example of recycling and historical restoration in the city. Designed by Various Architects , the modern offices house the rail-based intermodal company CargoNet. The 3,000-square-foot building has a peculiar rectangular footprint that’s much longer than it is wide with a 205-meter-long facade and seven-meter width. To break the structure’s narrow monotony and to widen the footprint of the floors, the architects inserted timber boxes into the facade. Meeting rooms are located in the wooden boxes. The timber additions are of varying sizes and heights, and each are faced with a south-facing floor-to-ceiling glazed wall to let in maximum daylight. The largest wooden box houses the cafeteria that serves as the building’s central meeting area. Related: Various Architect’s Stunning Collapsible Stadium The original brick facade was preserved although the interior was largely gutted to make way for the modern office spaces . A new elevator tower that connects all the floors is also clad in brick and topped with a trademark railway clock. The office building comprises eighty desks distributed between five open landscape areas and can be rearranged to fit different needs. Micro spaces are interspersed throughout the office and provide quieter private working spaces. + Various Architects Images by Ibrahim Elhayawan, Dawid Nowak

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Various Architects turn an industrial Oslo building into contemporary offices

This high school in California embodies sustainability at every possible level

June 28, 2017 by  
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The new Center for Environmental Studies (CES) at Bishop O’Dowd high school in California is one of the greenest classrooms we’ve ever seen. Siegel & Strain Architects designed the building to support sustainability at every level while providing a flexible space for learning. It paid off – the classroom has achieved both Zero Net Energy and LEED Platinum certification. The new facility is located at Bishop O’Dowd, a college preparatory high school in the Oakland Hills in California . Its goal is to prepare students for careers in renewable energy, resource management and environmental engineering and inspire them to become innovators in tackling environmental challenges. Related: Sprout Space is an Award-Winning Prefab Modular Classroom by Perkins + Will Passive design strategies minimize the building’s energy use. A deep overhang and low-emissivity dual glazing protect south-facing clerestory windows from unwanted solar gain , while a large porch wraps around the building and shades its west side. Related: Project FROG’s Zero Energy Modular Classrooms Rainwater is collected in a series of large cisterns for use in toilets and irrigation, while low-flow water fixtures reduce the use of potable water by 60% over USGCB-estimated baseline water usage for a building of similar type and size. In order to create a healthy environment, the architects used natural, non-toxic, renewable, recycled and environmentally friendly building materials. + Bishop O’Dowd High School + Siegel & Strain Architects Photos by David Wakely

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World’s greenest and healthiest office crowned in Washington, D.C.

June 22, 2017 by  
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The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) headquarters in Washington DC was just named the greenest and healthiest office on the planet! Perkins+Will designed the groundbreaking interior, which has received both LEED and WELL Platinum Certification under WELL Building Standard. The 8,500-square-foot office features human-centric design elements that reduce stress, increase air quality, mask sounds and regulate the body’s physiological processes. Employees have no assigned seats, but choose available workplace environments that support specific daily tasks. The interior includes meeting spaces and private areas that can be reserved for several hours at a time. Related: GSK’s US Headquarters Awarded Double LEED Platinum in Philadelphia’s Navy Yard Biophilic design strategies employed throughout the space include the use of natural materials , architectural forms, patterning, and state-of-the-art monitoring systems to create a world-class working environment. ASID staff participated in the design process by wearing sensors that measured speech patterns and body movement when they interacted with each other. These sensor readings were compared to show how their interactions changed as a result of the new office design. Related: NBBJ Unveils New Plans for Biosphere Greenhouses at Amazon’s Seattle HQ “We began this project with a clear goal of showcasing the many ways design can positively affect the health and well-being of employees while boosting resource efficiency ,” said ASID CEO Randy W. Fiser. “At ASID, we believe in research-based results in design and placed an emphasis on third-party validation of the space,” he added. + Perkins+Will + American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)

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World’s greenest and healthiest office crowned in Washington, D.C.

Thailands first LEED Platinum vertical village to rise in Bangkok

April 17, 2017 by  
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Thailand’s wealthiest man, Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, has teamed up with architecture firm SOM to plan One Bangkok, a $3.5 billion project that will be first in Thailand to target LEED Platinum certification for Neighborhood Development. Located in the heart of the capital next to Lumphini Park, the 16.7-acre mixed-use development is one of the largest private-sector developments in Thailand to date. The “people-centric” project will include luxury amenities, public spaces, and sustainable design technologies to reduce energy use. SOM designed One Bangkok to “foster community and promote well-being in a dense urban environment” using attractive streetscapes, eight acres of public plazas, and a mixed-use program. In addition to public space, the 1.83-million-square-meter project will comprise five Grade-A office towers, five luxury hotels, three luxury residential towers, and retail. An estimated 60,000 people are expected to live and work in the district upon completion in 2025. Related: SOM designs pedestrian-friendly revamp for the heart of Philadelphia To achieve LEED Platinum certification for Neighborhood Development, One Bangkok will centralize energy and water-management systems to maximize efficiency. The landscape optimizes stormwater management efficiency by reducing runoff and retaining rainwater onsite for absorption and return to groundwater. Green spaces are also integrated into the buildings on higher levels, from cascading green terraces to networks of sky gardens. The first stage of One Bangkok is expected to open in 2021. + SOM Renderings via SOM , Diagram via PPtv Thailand

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Gorgeous bamboo gridshell combines Cambodian design with mathematical forms

April 17, 2017 by  
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Mathematics is beautiful, a truth not lost on architects. Luca Poian Forms designed a gorgeous bamboo pavilion that draws inspiration from the Enneper minimal surface for its striking appearance. Conceived as a landmark structure for Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park, the pavilion combines innovative digital tools with low-tech and sustainable bamboo construction that also references traditional Cambodian design. Created as a submission for the Building Trust’s Camboo Bamboo Landmark Design Challenge , Luca Poian Form’s proposal responds to the competition’s call for an innovative and temporary pavilion to help popularize bamboo as a modern and desirable material in Cambodia. The architects designed a structure that uses locally sourced bamboo in ways both familiar and novel to Cambodia. The sculptural pavilion’s split bamboo roofing references traditional weaving while its undulating arches are inspired by the Ennerper surface as well as the radiating arms of the ancient Goddess Prajnaparamita. Related: Zaha Hadid Architects Win Bid to Design Mathematics Gallery in London’s Science Museum “Known for its characteristic tensile strength, bamboo is a building material that lends itself excellently to the construction of sustainable grid-shell structures,” wrote the architects. “Celebrating the material’s qualities, our proposal derives a grid-shell pattern from the trajectory of the structure’s principal stresses under gravity, effectively eliminating shear forces and maximising the pavilion’s overall stiffness. The result is highly sculptural, structurally coherent, and spatially expressive: a structure that is timeless in its architectural language and innovative in its structural and tectonic approach.” The 110-square-meter pavilion design received an honorable mention in the design competition. + Luca Poian Forms Via divisare Images via Luca Poian Forms

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Gorgeous bamboo gridshell combines Cambodian design with mathematical forms

Desert Rain House in Oregon is one of the greenest homes in the world

February 10, 2017 by  
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There’s a new contender for the world’s greenest home: Desert Rain House in Bend, Oregon . Designed by Tozer Design , the LEED Platinum home recycles all its water, produces more power than it can use, and it is the first residential compound to be certified by the Living Building Challenge . Solar panels and a rainwater collection cistern help this super green home pioneer a new paradigm for sustainable family living. The five-building Desert Rain House boasts seriously environmentally friendly features. Human waste is composted thanks to a central composting system, and greywater is reused for irrigation via a constructed wetland. Natural and local materials comprise the elegant dwellings; reclaimed lumber and plaster made with local clay, sand, and straw are among the sustainable building materials utilized. Related: Kansas University students build net-zero home with LEED Platinum and Passive House certification Materials from old buildings that once occupied the site were repurposed for Desert Rain House, such as old stone salvaged from old foundations and used in concrete for patios. The team that built the home looked for ways to reduce their carbon footprint as much as possible. For example, instead of having a manufacturer ship them roofing panels, the team assembled roofing onsite from a large roll of steel. Red List-compliant sealants and finishes also make for a non-toxic environment. Indoors the air is clear: not only can the owners open large windows for air circulation, but a waste heat-capturing energy recovery ventilator also means fresh air continually wafts through the main residence. Three homes and two out-buildings add up to 4,810 square feet situated on 0.7 acres. Elliott Scott, who owns the home with his wife Barbara, said in a statement, “We can’t continue thinking we are building a better world by making a ‘less bad’ version of the world we have created. The Living Building Challenge forces us to think in terms of a new paradigm.” + Tozer Design + Desert Rain House Via International Living Future Institute and Curbed Images via Desert Rain House Facebook and Desert Rain House

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Desert Rain House in Oregon is one of the greenest homes in the world

Tropical park with native species will add much-needed green space to Hong Kong

January 30, 2017 by  
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The concrete jungle of Hong Kong will soon become a bit greener. Landscape architecture firm Gustafson Porter + Bowman revealed landscape designs for Taikoo Place to create a new public space that will inject much-needed green space to the dense urban environment. The 69,000-square-foot project will promote biodiversity and public awareness of Hong Kong’s local landscapes with the planting of 53 native trees grown specifically for the park. Taikoo Place’s landscape design will offer a sequence of active and passive spaces, from open areas suitable for jazz concerts and markets to more intimate meeting areas. The park spaces will be tied together by large bands of brown and white granite that run through the site, surrounding streetscape, and lobby of one of the development’s planned towers. Taikoo Square, the largest space in the design, comprises water features designed using 3D modeling to introduce dynamic movement and sounds that reference the former Quays that had existed on the site. Densely planted tropical plants and over 70 trees that provide shade and a cooling microclimate will be neatly framed by sculpted stonework. “To promote biodiversity and raise public awareness of Hong Kong’s heritage of Fung Shui woodlands, 53 of the trees are native species , grown specifically for the project,” writes the firm. “Fung Shui woodlands are remnants of native woodlands which are protected from agricultural clearances due to their spiritual significance. At Taikoo Place, these remnant species have found a new home and bring additional natural elements to an otherwise dense urban space.” Related: Glowing bamboo pavilion promotes ecological design in Hong Kong The lush public park is designed as part of the HK$15 billion redevelopment for Taikoo Place spearheaded by Swire Properties. The development’s planned pair of Grade-A office towers, designed by Wong Ouyang, will target LEED Platinum ratings. The towers will be connected by a new elevated walkway designed by Hugh Dutton Associés. The project is slated for completion in 2021. + Gustafson Porter + Bowman Via ArchDaily Images via Gustafson Porter + Bowman

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Tropical park with native species will add much-needed green space to Hong Kong

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