New architecture learning center in London is built with bamboo and recycled yogurt pots

November 21, 2019 by  
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Architecture lovers have a new place to convene in London thanks to the recent completion of the Clore Learning Center at the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) headquarters. Designed by local architectural practice Hayhurst & Co , the new public destination offers a variety of interactive learning displays about architecture for all audiences, from children and families to life-long learners. In addition to its creative educational program, the space is also a beacon for sustainable design and incorporates eco-friendly materials such as bamboo and recycled yogurt containers .  Developed with input from Price and Myers, Max Fordham and Jack Wates lighting design, the Clore Learning Center is the result of Hayhurst and Co’s winning proposal in a RIBA -organized design competition in 2017. The architects drew inspiration for their design of the new playful space from architect Grey Wornum’s vision for the original RIBA headquarters, a Grade II* listed building. Located on the fourth floor of the headquarters, the Clore Learning Center includes a dedicated studio, study room, terrace and interactive display area. Related: RIBA crowns Children Village in Brazil as the world’s best new building “Hayhurst & Co’s design invites visitors to explore their ‘sense of space’ and develop an understanding of the architecture that surrounds us every day,” Hayhurst & Co said. “Conceived as a series of simple, delightful and adaptable interventions that enable an interactive learning experience, the spaces promote an understanding of architecture through active learning: observing, testing, making and sharing.” Sustainability was also a major driver behind the design of the project. Instead of timber, the architects opted for fast-growing bamboo and recycled yogurt containers — leaving some lids and labels visible — as primary materials for interior furnishings. Natural daylight is emphasized indoors and complemented with energy-efficient LEDs that can be dimmed and altered depending on the occasion. A mechanical ventilation system helps provide a constant supply of fresh air. + Hayhurst & Co Photography by Kilian O’Sullivan via Hayhurst & Co

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New architecture learning center in London is built with bamboo and recycled yogurt pots

Inside the transition from diesel to electric

November 12, 2019 by  
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Key learnings from the UPS fleet electrification project outside London.

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Inside the transition from diesel to electric

Vehicle-to-grid technology is revving up

November 12, 2019 by  
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Utilities expand the grid without building power plants. Consumers get backup power and a virtually free electric car. Such are the promises of V2G tech, even if the infrastructure isn’t quite here yet.

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Vehicle-to-grid technology is revving up

BREEAM Excellent office building keeps London’s carbon reduction targets in sight

November 4, 2019 by  
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The site of a former petrol station has been given a new lease on life as 1 Valentine Place, an award-winning sustainable office building certified BREEAM Excellent . Completed in March 2013, the seven-story office building was designed by West London architectural practice Stiff + Trevillion , who clad the contemporary structure in anodized aluminum and high-performance, solar-control glazing for a sleek and minimalist appearance. The energy-efficient building was a 2013 NLAwards winner and was shortlisted in the 2014 RIBA London Awards. Located on the corner of Blackfriars Road and Valentine Place, 1 Valentine Place provides grade-A office accommodation across 3,000 square meters within close proximity to the Southwark station. Though undeniably contemporary in design, the building is sensitively scaled and oriented to relate to its more traditional neighbors. For instance, the seven-story office building steps down in mass to match the rooflines of the smaller buildings next door, thus creating space for a large outdoor terrace that overlooks views of the City of London . Related: Railway heat to be repurposed to warm London homes this winter The architects constructed the building with an in situ reinforced concrete frame structure that’s internally exposed to take advantage of passive thermal mass . The exterior is clad in anodized aluminum and energy-efficient glazing as well as solar fins to mitigate unwanted solar heat gain. The glazed, double-height ground floor is protected by an overhang and is designed to engage the pedestrian realm. The reception is lined with wood paneling inspired by the area’s heritage. “Sustainability features such as exposed thermal mass, air-source heat-pump technology and a photovoltaic array far exceed Southwark’s stringent carbon reduction targets,” the architects noted in a project statement. The use of renewable energy and energy-efficient strategies are estimated to provide energy savings of approximately 40 percent. + Stiff + Trevillion Photography by Kilian O’Sullivan via Stiff + Trevillion

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BREEAM Excellent office building keeps London’s carbon reduction targets in sight

Swanky hotel made of 26 repurposed shipping containers opens in London

November 4, 2019 by  
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Building with repurposed shipping containers has come leaps and bounds over the years, with various cities around the world using the affordable building material to their advantage. Now, visitors to London’s vibrant Waterloo district can stay at the fabulous Stow-Away Hotel , a sustainable hotel built out of an impressive 26 repurposed shipping containers. Designed by London-based architectural studio Doone Silver Kerr , Stow-Away is London’s latest shipping container building. The chic hotel comprises several 29-foot long containers that are stacked to form five stories. Related: Treehouses made from shipping containers offer the ultimate glamping getaway in Portugal The exterior of the container hotel is stark white, emitting a contemporary aesthetic. The ends of the containers were cut to make room for large windows that overlook the street. Angled steel “fins” were added to the windows to shade the interior rooms. To pay homage to the containers’ industrial past, the bottoms of the shades were painted a bright orange. The hotel offers an apart-hotel concept, where guests can stay just one night or months at a time. As such, the elegant rooms are designed to be more akin to apartments than hotel rooms. Lined with marble and stained plywood, the rooms offer well-lit, comfortable accommodations that appeal to visitors of all types. The compact rooms have flexible furnishings to make the most out of the limited space. Each room comes with a king-sized bed, a seating area and a spa-like bathroom with a shower. The rooms also include kitchenettes equipped with hot plates, sinks and dishwashers. Guests will enjoy a bevy of modern amenities, including air conditioning, a flat-screen smart TV and free high-speed Wi-Fi. The shipping container hotel is located just steps from the Waterloo Underground, which is a huge advantage to travelers. However, to block out the noise from the busy station, special rubber pads were placed between the stories, adding to the hotel’s long list of useful amenities. + Doone Silver Kerr + Stow-Away hotel Via Dezeen Images via Stow-Away Hotel

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Swanky hotel made of 26 repurposed shipping containers opens in London

Research finds heart attacks and strokes surge on high pollution days in England

October 25, 2019 by  
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A new study published by King’s College London (KCL) reports that elevated levels of air pollution contribute to increased spikes in cardiac arrests, stroke admissions and asthma hospitalizations. The sobering news has been described as a health emergency, prompting calls for the British government to commit to more enforceable sustainability targets and improved air quality standards. The research team surveyed data across nine cities: London, Birmingham, Bristol, Derby, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Oxford and Southampton. London had the largest uptick of health incidents because it experienced more high pollution days. For the English capital city, an additional 124 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, 231 stroke admissions and 193 asthma hospitalizations occurred on days registering higher pollution levels. The collated data clearly revealed a cause-and-effect correlation. Thus, increased air pollution from wind direction and wind strength conclusively affected people’s health in just a short period of time while similarly having implications on life expectancy. Related: For 2019, the 10 worst cities for air quality are in California and Arizona Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said, “London’s lethal air is a public health crisis — it leads to thousands of premature deaths in the capital every year, as well as stunting the development of young lungs and increasing cases of respiratory illness.” The research results were published ahead of the British National Clean Air Summit , which was hosted by UK100 , a British network of local government leaders. In response to the study findings, the British National Health Service (NHS) tweeted that almost a third of preventable deaths in England “are due to non-communicable diseases specifically attributed to air pollution .” Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS, further explained, “Since these avoidable deaths are happening now — not in 2025 or 2050 — together we need to act now. For the NHS, that is going to mean further comprehensive action building on the reduction of our carbon footprint of one-fifth in the past decade. So our NHS energy use, supply chain, building adaptations and our transport will all need to change substantially.” + King’s College London Via EcoWatch Image via Matt Buck

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Research finds heart attacks and strokes surge on high pollution days in England

Kengo Kuma weaves bamboo and carbon fiber into a nest-like structure at the V&A Museum

October 2, 2019 by  
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At the 2019 London Design Festival, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has crafted a new eye-catching outdoor installation in the John Madejski Garden at the V&A Museum — just one year after his completion of the V&A Dundee museum in Scotland. Dubbed Bamboo (?) Ring, or ‘Take-wa ??’, the temporary doughnut-shaped structure is woven from rings of bamboo and carbon fiber. The sculpture was developed in partnership with Chinese consumer electronics brand OPPO. Best known for his design of the New National Stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, architect Kengo Kuma has won international acclaim for his contemporary projects that draw inspiration from traditional Japanese design and emphasize natural materials . A recurring theme in his work is the expression of lightness and transparency, qualities that have also guided the design of the Bamboo (?) Ring.  Curated by Clare Farrow, the cocoon-like structure is based on a 2-meter diameter ring made from strips of the bamboo Phyllostachys edulis reinforced with carbon fiber used to laminate each ring. “For Kuma, working with Ejiri Structural Engineers and the Kengo Kuma Laboratory at The University of Tokyo, the installation is an exploration of pliancy, precision, lightness and strength: by pulling two ends, it naturally de-forms and half of the woven structure is lifted into the air,” reads the London Design Festival 2019 press release. “Bamboo (?) Ring, or ‘Take-wa ??’, is intended to be a catalyst for weaving people and place.” Related: Kengo Kuma unveils bold timber museum in Turkey that pays homage to the region’s Ottoman heritage Kuma’s installation was on display at 35 Baker Street for the duration of the London Design Festival , from September 14 to September 22, 2019. The project was developed in partnership with Chinese electronics brand OPPO, which recently built an OPPO design center in London during its new smartphone series launch. The experience center’s temporary installation, called “Essence of Discovery,” blended technology and art to introduce their smartphone products during the festival. + Kengo Kuma Images via Sassy Films

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Kengo Kuma weaves bamboo and carbon fiber into a nest-like structure at the V&A Museum

Tooth: the eco-friendly toothbrush made from recycled and biodegradable materials

September 26, 2019 by  
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As ubiquitous as morning coffee is the practice of brushing your teeth. We know you’re conscientious about water consumption by turning off the faucet while you brush, but there’s that seldom-discussed issue of toothbrush waste, mostly plastic , that equates to around 1,000,000,000 toothbrushes heading to the landfill annually, and that’s just in the United States. Luckily, some passionate designers from London have decided to develop a sustainable option to divert waste from landfills. They call it Tooth, a last-for-a-lifetime toothbrush handle with replaceable heads. Unlike the 98 percent of toothbrushes that are not biodegradable, the Tooth replacement heads will break down. The main portion of the brush head is made from locally sourced sugar beets that have been turned into Floreon. The bristles are made from Nylon 4; both products are 100 percent biodegradable . Related: Your guide to eco-friendly toothpastes The handle is contoured out of recycled aluminum , a durable metal that eliminates the need to create virgin aluminum and the carbon emissions that come with it. The handles are also 100 percent recyclable when they are no longer useful. Tooth has a lifetime guarantee as long as you remain a subscriber. Select one of four colors including ash, charcoal, rose, or gold, and choose from three bristle firmness options. You can also get a recycled steel stand to keep your Tooth aired out and to avoid contact with germs lurking on countertops. There’s also a travel case that protects the Tooth and stores up to three additional replacement heads. Dentists recommend changing your toothbrush every three months, so with a subscription, Tooth will automatically send a replacement head directly to your house every three months; you can go ahead and cross that chore off the list. Because the company is sustainably focused, your shipment will arrive in eco-friendly packaging. With recycled cardboard , plastic-free labels and a flat design, everything can go into the recycling upon receipt. Tooth is currently an active and fully funded Kickstarter campaign , due to expire on October 18. Shipments are expected for April 2020. + Tooth Images via Tooth

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Tooth: the eco-friendly toothbrush made from recycled and biodegradable materials

Artist converts old city bus into public swimming pool

September 12, 2019 by  
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As the the last vestiges of summer are upon us, the residents of one French region can still squeeze out a little summer fun thanks to French artist Benedetto Bufalino . The artist, who is known for converting old automobiles into fun and functional objects, has recently presented the northern French region of Artois with a new public swimming pool , converted out of an old bus. Accommodating up to ten swimmers at a time, The Bus Pool offers locals a respite from late summer heat. The installation is part of a local program, “operation odyssey”, which hosts various events throughout the summer to attract visitors to the area of the Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin, an UNESCO World Heritage site . The pool was unveiled in late August and will be installed in three local towns until it finds a permanent home. Related: This 18th-century London townhouse hides a swimming pool under a glass floor Adding to his portfolio of transforming discarded vehicles into something fun and useful, the artist salvaged an old Tadeo model bus from the local transport graveyard. Once he completely gutted the interior seats and flooring, the next step was removing an entire side panel. Tipping it over onto its side, he then retrofitted the interior body of the bus with a custom shell so that it would be able to hold water. The finished product is a colorful swimming pool that measures almost 30 feet long and almost 8 feet wide. The pool holds up to 10 swimmers at a time and even boats a lifeguard station at one end. Water temps are kept at around 82 degrees at the swimming pool . The Bus Pool is the latest addition to Bufalino’s long portfolio of public art installations. In 2016, the French artist turned an old cement truck into a giant disco ball . + Benedetto Bufalino Via Designboom Drone photography by Romain Hayem

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Artist converts old city bus into public swimming pool

Green-roofed community center champions sustainable design in London

August 27, 2019 by  
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In the heart of London , the Phoenix Garden — an acclaimed refuge for urban wildlife and greenery — has gained an award-winning beacon for sustainable design. Local architecture practice OFFICE SIAN Architecture + Design designed the Phoenix Garden Community Center to improve accessibility to the park, which is open to the public and commonly used by visitors for a variety of events ranging from student field trips to weddings. In addition to a thriving green roof and a highly contextual design, the new building also features durable, super-insulating materials and air-source heat pumps. Located in London’s Soho area a few meters from Covent Garden and Leicester Square, the 120-square-meter Phoenix Garden Community Center and the adjoining garden were conceived as a green retreat from the stresses of London’s West End. Although the park is just a third of an acre in size, the community garden has become very popular for both residents and urban wildlife alike. In deference to the landscape, the community center was constructed with natural materials, from the timber doors and walls of brick that match the existing low garden walls to the large white limestone lettering that announces the building’s presence and matches the style of the nearby St. Giles Church. Related: IKEA teams up with London artists to upcycle old furniture into funky abodes for birds, bees and bats Because the two-story building would be the first purpose-built, new-build community center in central London for generations, the client, the Phoenix Garden Trust, thought it especially important that the building promote the garden’s values of sustainability. To that end, the architects created a “super-insulating” envelope made from durable materials and topped the structure with a green roof that increases the landscaped area of the garden by 90 square meters. In addition to air-source heat pumps, the building reuses collected rainwater for irrigation. “The design was developed from an early concept of ‘garden walls’ as a metaphor for ideas of enclosure, secrecy and boundaries,” the architects explained. Glazed timber-framed doors fold open to merge the indoor spaces with the outdoor garden. Brick was also used to line the interior floors to blur the boundary between indoors and out. + OFFICE SIAN Architecture + Design Photography by Richard Chivers via OFFICE SIAN Architecture + Design

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Green-roofed community center champions sustainable design in London

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