South Africas first Green Star museum is an eco-friendly literary treasure

June 27, 2017 by  
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One of South Africa’s literary treasures has transformed into an eco-friendly gem. Designed by Intsika Architects , the National English Literary Museum is the first five-star Green Star-certified Public & Education building in the country. Located in the university town of Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, this eco-friendly museum meets impressive energy and water-saving targets, and also met social objectives through local job creation in construction. The 10,812-square-meter National English Literary Museum was completed in June 2016 for R145 million. Set with a park within a pedestrian-friendly area, the massive building is broken down into smaller elements, while selective massing responds to human scale. As a true community resource, the new library offers numerous public gathering spots and amenities such as a mini-theater, outdoor amphitheater , exhibition area, archives, library, and museum offices. Visual displays about the building’s sustainability initiatives teach visitors about the library’s water and energy savings, as well as green roof efficiency. To meet targets of reducing potable water consumption by more than 95% below benchmark, the library harvests and reuses rainwater from the roof for irrigation, toilet and urinal flushing; features xeriscaped indigenous landscaping to reduce irrigation needs; and installed water meters to monitor water consumption. Stormwater detention ponds capture and slowly release stormwater to prevent erosion in the river system. Daylighting is maximized indoors and a low-energy heat-recovery system provides cooling and heating simultaneously to different parts of the building. Where possible, materials were recycled and sourced locally, and include recycled rubber, recycled bamboo flooring, low-VOC paints, coconut mosaic wall cladding, and recycled plastic carpets. The green roof helps insulate the interior—the green-roofed archives tucked below ground don’t need air conditioning—and gabon walls and natural stone cladding used as thermal massing stabilize indoor temperatures. + Intsika Architects Images by Rob Duker

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South Africas first Green Star museum is an eco-friendly literary treasure

Ultralight NAWA sculpture continually changes its appearance throughout the day

June 27, 2017 by  
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Bionics, art, and public space merge in NAWA, a striking sculpture designed by Oskar Zi?ta of Zieta Prozessdesign for the European Capital of Culture 2016 celebrations. Created to match the celebrations’ slogan of “metamorphoses of culture,” this ultralight mirrored installation changes it appearance, which differs depending on where viewers stand and the time of day. The unveiling of the avante-garde sculpture on Daliowa Island of Wroc?aw in western Poland will take place on June 30, 2017. Inspired by bionic shapes, the 100-square-meter NAWA comprises 35 steel arches of varying sizes to create an openwork gate through which people can walk. The polished steel arches reflect the changing surroundings, thus giving the sculpture a continually changing appearance. The choice of arches is also a reference to the nearby landmarks including the Ossolineum, the church’s tower at Piasek, Wroclaw Market Hall, and Ostrów Tumski. “NAWA opens another chapter in the history of the Daliowa Island, returning it to the dwellers of Wroclaw,” wrote Zieta Prozessdesign. “The space is currently being revitalized and very soon will serve the city, becoming a bustling, open space for meetings, concerts and artistic events. Sculpture along with planned vegetation will create a consistent organic unity, emerging naturally from the river. At the same time, the realization will fit perfectly into the architectural order of the area and its vibrant life, full of tourists and passers-by.” Related: Tiny Mirrored Cabin Reflects the Ontario Landscape NAWA is ultra-lightweight thanks to FiDU, an innovative technology developed by Zieta Prozessdesign that distorts welded steel with compressed air. Almost 52 tonnes of steel and a million cubic meters of air were used for the sculpture. In addition to the installation of NAWA, around 7,500 new plants will be seeded on Daliowa Island. + Zieta Prozessdesign

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Ultralight NAWA sculpture continually changes its appearance throughout the day

This library shows how beautiful sustainable design builds community

April 5, 2017 by  
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This gorgeous new library just an hour’s drive from downtown Toronto is a true civic center with its welcoming light-filled spaces nestled into a hillside. Canadian design firm RDHA recently completed the green-roofed Waterdown Library in Hamilton, built to replace a smaller municipal building and designed with a strong focus on sustainability. The new 23,500-square-foot building houses the traditional library functions as well as several other civic spaces including two community multipurpose rooms, the Waterdown Public Archive, a satellite municipal services outlet, a community information office, and police services. The Waterdown Library’s cantilevered form draws inspiration from its surrounding landscape of the Niagara Escarpment, a massive rock ridge that overlooks Lake Ontario. RDHA writes: “The design process for this 23,500 square foot facility began with an acknowledgement of its dramatic site on the Niagara escarpment. Taking advantage of the topography to provide expression and access to the different programmatic elements in the building, the scheme engages and responds to the site by creating an architectural promenade that culminates in elevated south-facing views to Dundas street, the escarpment and Lake Ontario beyond.” By nestling the library into the hillside, the architects disguise the library’s bulk and create a building that looks one-story from the exterior but actually contains six levels. The slab-like building cantilevers over ten feet towards the southwest to mimic the escarpment’s rocky outcrop. Floor-to-ceiling glazing wraps around the building to lessen the library’s monolithic appearance. The building is also clad in four-inch-thick locally quarried limestone panels and sixteen-foot-high solar fins. Related: Golden Gate Valley Library is a Solar-Powered LEED Gold Renovation in San Francisco The library’s focus on energy efficiency begins with reliance on natural lighting thanks to the full-height glazing and sawtooth-style skylights. Solar heat gain is mitigated by the ceramic frit pattern on the double-glazed, argon-filled, low E-glass. Douglas fir used for solar shading and for interior cladding and furnishing was sourced from the demolished Hamilton Central Library. Recycled, low-VOC , and local materials are used throughout the building. A sloping green roof tops the library, while bioswales filter and funnel stormwater runoff into an underground rainwater collection system. The Waterdown Library has become a major gathering place for the Hamilton community and the greater region, and has seen a 150 percent increase in visitor numbers compared to the old library it replaced. + RDHA Via Architectural Record Images via Tom Arban

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This library shows how beautiful sustainable design builds community

Zaha Hadid Architects designs Beijing tower with worlds tallest atrium

February 17, 2017 by  
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Beijing is one step closer to completing the world’s tallest atrium. The 190-meter-tall atrium is part of the Leeza Soho, a 46-story mixed-use tower currently under construction that recently reached level 20. Zaha Hadid Architects designed the striking light-filled building integrated with energy-efficient systems and engineered to meet LEED Gold standards. Shaped like a slim barrel, the 172,800-square-meter Leeza Soho is set within the Lize Financial District and will be well connected with the city thanks to its position above a subway interchange station and proximity to the city’s bus routes. Zaha Hadid Architects used the subway lines that run beneath the site as the basis for a diagonal axis that splits the tower into two halves connected via the central atrium . The architects write: “As the tower rises, the diagonal axis through the site defined by the subway tunnel is re-aligned by ‘twisting’ the atrium through 45 degrees to orientate the atrium’s higher floors with the east-west axis of Lize Road, one of west Beijing’s primary avenues.” Related: Zaha Hadid’s Guangzhou Infinitus Plaza focuses on environmental sustainability The twist in the atrium allows natural light to penetrate into the center of all the floors and allows for a diversity of views into the city from all directions. To maximize energy efficiency, the glass curtainwall system is constructed with double-insulated low-e glazing units. High-tech insulation, self-shading and use of an advanced 3D BIM energy management system with real-time monitoring will help create a comfortable indoor environment year-round. The tower will target LEED Gold certification and also includes heat-recovery from exhaust air, high-efficiency pumps and fans, chillers and boilers, low-flow rate fixtures, gray water flushing, high-efficient air purifiers, and low VOC materials. Leeza Soho will reach its full height of 207 meters in September this year. The tower is slated for completion in late 2018. + Zaha Hadid Architects

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Zaha Hadid Architects designs Beijing tower with worlds tallest atrium

Mark+Vivi convert a tire shop into an artsy, energy-efficient live/work studio

December 9, 2016 by  
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Look inside Mark+Vivi’s live/work studio and it’s hard to imagine that this beautiful light-filled space used to be a 1920s tire shop. The dramatic transformation from industrial roots to a new chic appearance is a testament to the skills of Mark+Vivi, an interdisciplinary design/build studio based on Montreal, Canada. Located in the transitioning city of Verdun, Quebec, the studio, named the Tire Shop Project, consumes 35 to 50% less energy than similar sized homes in the city thanks to energy-efficient retrofits like double-glazed windows and an inverter ducted heating and cooling system. The Tire Shop was Mark+Vivi’s inaugural project that functioned as the designers’ live/work studio and the home to La Façade Art + Architecture, a storefront gallery dedicated to the exhibition of local contemporary art and experimental architecture. Sustainability was at the heart of the 800-square-foot renovation , from the reuse of the building to the designers’ focus on passive energy design. “One of the greatest sustainable aspects of our building is not what was used to revitalise it but rather how we live because of it,” said designers Mark Fekete and Viviana de Loera. Related: JZA+D transforms a defunct Princeton gas station into a pumping pizza joint Mark+Vivi preserved the original building footprint but replaced all of the windows with double-glazed, low-E units. A shop window with commercial-grade storefront glazing was added in the front to show off the art on the display. All the internal floors, shelving, and cabinetry were built from locally sourced Canadian plywood , and the painted and exposed surfaces were finished in low-VOC treatments. An energy-efficient 12,000-btu interior wall-mounted inverter ducted system provides all the heating and cooling. Natural light floods the interior, which further minimized energy use. The Tire Shop project was completed at a cost of $150 per square foot, a considerable savings from the typical $200-$350 per square foot for new construction of projects of comparable size in Montreal. + Mark+Vivi Via v2com Images by Adrien Williams

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Mark+Vivi convert a tire shop into an artsy, energy-efficient live/work studio

Eco-conscious Port Melbourne Football Club building shows off the beauty of sustainably sourced timber

July 29, 2016 by  
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The Port Melbourne Football Club Sporting and Community Facility is a contemporary building sensitive to its surroundings. The building’s location was informed by the requirement to preserve and protect all healthy trees on-site. Low-grade contaminated soil was reused and relocated to avoid landfill impacts. Its modern facade is reflective of its raw industrial surroundings and is constructed from double-glazed thermally broken glazing and sustainably and locally sourced timber. To minimize the building’s energy footprint, the architects installed highly efficient insulation, low-energy lighting, underground rainwater tanks for toilet cisterns and landscape irrigation, solar hot water units, exhaust systems with makeup air, and high performance mechanical supply air conditioning units. The health of the occupants was also taken into consideration. CRI Green Label Plus-certified modular carpet tiles with 90% post-consumer content backing line the rooms and is complemented with low VOC-coated timber flooring. Related: Solar-powered civic center in Australia repurposes over 80% of its original building materials “Since the completion of the Port Melbourne Football Club Sporting and Community Facility there have been many positive social, economic and environmental benefits for PMFC and its community,” write the architects. “The future is bright with the hope that this important piece of architecture will support the longevity of the club and inspire future generations to incorporate the highest in sustainable design initiatives.” + k20 Architecture Images via k20 Architecture

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Eco-conscious Port Melbourne Football Club building shows off the beauty of sustainably sourced timber

Tips for Greening Up Your Graphic Design Practice

August 5, 2014 by  
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Print-based graphic design is an essential service that’s utilized by just about every company out there. From simple business cards to complete corporate identity packages, fashion lookbooks, posters, and brochures, there are always items to be printed and passed around. Most people are now trying to adhere to the most eco-friendly business practices possible, but it can be tricky to balance cost-effective measures with environmental ethics . Read on to learn how to make your own graphic design business (or experience) as green as possible . Read the rest of Tips for Greening Up Your Graphic Design Practice Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: brochures , Design , Graphic Design , graphics , green graphic design , Greening Graphic Design , ink , Institute of Sustainable Communication , low VOC , Paper , posters , press , print , Printing , printing business , printing company , printing house , promotional materials , recycled paper , Rolling Press , VOC-free ink

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Tips for Greening Up Your Graphic Design Practice

Canada’s Sustainable Superkül Designs Modern COR-TEN Addition Near Niagara Falls

May 9, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Canada’s Sustainable Superkül Designs Modern COR-TEN Addition Near Niagara Falls Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: addition , canada , geothermal , low VOC , Mineral springs , niagra falls , Ontario , radiant flooring , residence , Superkül Inc , Sustainable , toronto

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Canada’s Sustainable Superkül Designs Modern COR-TEN Addition Near Niagara Falls

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