Solar-powered Zamasport HQ produces over half of its energy needs

April 9, 2021 by  
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After 3 years of development, Italian architecture firm Frigerio Design Group has completed fabrication engineering company Zamasport’s new headquarters, a fabric-inspired building that is mostly powered with solar energy. Designed to follow the architecture firm’s philosophy of “slow architecture,” the sustainably minded headquarters prioritizes energy efficiency and worker wellness with the use of natural light, acoustic comfort and greenery incorporated throughout the building. The use of renewable energy systems, passive design principles and energy-efficient technologies has helped the Zamasport headquarters meet NZEB (Near Zero Energy Building) standards. Located at the center of Zamasport’s industrial complex, the new 3,700-square-meter headquarters serves as a “hinge” between the existing buildings and is connected to neighboring departments via glazed corridors. The 10-meter-tall multifunctional building houses offices, workshops and meeting rooms in the front with warehouse facilities in the rear. The ground floor is dedicated to production facilities, such as the cutting department, while the first floor, which frames views of two internal suspended gardens, comprises the main office spaces with meeting rooms and break areas. Related: Eco-conscious Birkenstock HQ in Melbourne targets carbon-neutral status Taking inspiration from Zamasport’s work in the fashion industry, the architects created a facade evocative of fabric. Three sides of the building are enclosed in prefabricated , colored concrete panels — engineered with thermal breaks and ventilation — that mimic the pleats and folds of clothing. The main facade is completely glazed with vertical, curvilinear sunshades meant to evoke strips of hanging fabric. To meet NZEB standards, the architects equipped the Zamasport HQ with a photovoltaic system capable of producing up to 50,000 kWh per year as well as a radiant heating and cooling system. Passive design principles and energy-efficient technologies, such as LED lights and sensors, help reduce the building’s energy usage. A Building Automation system monitors the mechanical and electrical systems at all times. + Frigerio Design Group Photography by Mario Frusca via Frigerio Design Group

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Solar-powered Zamasport HQ produces over half of its energy needs

Xin Wei Yi Technology Park reduces energy and water demands

February 4, 2021 by  
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Located along the Yangtze River about 6.5 kilometers from Nanjing’s downtown area, the Nanjing Eco Hi-Tech Island will serve as an ecological destination and sustainability resource for residents and tourists in China . The Xin Wei Yi Technology Park is the first plot to be developed from the design’s masterplan. The Xin Wei Yi Technology Park will be situated adjacent to the island’s main bridge and across from the city’s new central business district. Its campus features an exhibition hall and office research buildings for technology and environmental companies, with plans for residential buildings to come at a later phase. Related: Green-roofed theater in Shenzhen raises the bar for civic architecture Featuring a dramatic roof line, the exhibition hall is designed to inspire a lasting first impression for visitors and citizens as they approach the island from downtown. Eight rooftop peaks symbolize the area’s neighboring Zhong and Stone Mountains, each with an oculus or “light cannon” to drive natural light into the large floor plates. This concept of light cannons is magnified in the design of the eight pentagon-shaped office research buildings, complete with large interior courtyards. The plans for Xin Wei Yi Technology Park put it at 13.4 hectares, comparable to 20 city blocks of New York’s Central Park. Organized into clusters along a central spine, the campus promotes an open-park feeling while promoting visibility and interaction among building tenants. The design includes several green elements to touch on a critical conversation about design practice in China, where fast-moving development often focuses on utility and cost more so than environmental impact . The exhibition hall’s dual-layer roof helps to significantly reduce excess energy, while cantilevered eaves provide shading. A geothermal heat pump system keeps energy usage 30% lower than comparable conventional buildings. The office research buildings are lifted off of the ground by a few stories, and vertical fins are strategically placed to achieve passive cooling . Rooftop gardens on both office research buildings eliminate water runoff and provide refuge for local wildlife while also providing workers and visitors with a green oasis to take in the views. Rainwater harvesting strategies help reduce water use for irrigation by 50% compared to traditional systems, while local plants and trees cover more than 30% of the landscape. + NBBJ Via ArchDaily Images via NBBJ

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Xin Wei Yi Technology Park reduces energy and water demands

Xin Wei Yi Technology Park reduces energy and water demands

February 4, 2021 by  
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Located along the Yangtze River about 6.5 kilometers from Nanjing’s downtown area, the Nanjing Eco Hi-Tech Island will serve as an ecological destination and sustainability resource for residents and tourists in China . The Xin Wei Yi Technology Park is the first plot to be developed from the design’s masterplan. The Xin Wei Yi Technology Park will be situated adjacent to the island’s main bridge and across from the city’s new central business district. Its campus features an exhibition hall and office research buildings for technology and environmental companies, with plans for residential buildings to come at a later phase. Related: Green-roofed theater in Shenzhen raises the bar for civic architecture Featuring a dramatic roof line, the exhibition hall is designed to inspire a lasting first impression for visitors and citizens as they approach the island from downtown. Eight rooftop peaks symbolize the area’s neighboring Zhong and Stone Mountains, each with an oculus or “light cannon” to drive natural light into the large floor plates. This concept of light cannons is magnified in the design of the eight pentagon-shaped office research buildings, complete with large interior courtyards. The plans for Xin Wei Yi Technology Park put it at 13.4 hectares, comparable to 20 city blocks of New York’s Central Park. Organized into clusters along a central spine, the campus promotes an open-park feeling while promoting visibility and interaction among building tenants. The design includes several green elements to touch on a critical conversation about design practice in China, where fast-moving development often focuses on utility and cost more so than environmental impact . The exhibition hall’s dual-layer roof helps to significantly reduce excess energy, while cantilevered eaves provide shading. A geothermal heat pump system keeps energy usage 30% lower than comparable conventional buildings. The office research buildings are lifted off of the ground by a few stories, and vertical fins are strategically placed to achieve passive cooling . Rooftop gardens on both office research buildings eliminate water runoff and provide refuge for local wildlife while also providing workers and visitors with a green oasis to take in the views. Rainwater harvesting strategies help reduce water use for irrigation by 50% compared to traditional systems, while local plants and trees cover more than 30% of the landscape. + NBBJ Via ArchDaily Images via NBBJ

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Xin Wei Yi Technology Park reduces energy and water demands

Xin Wei Yi Technology Park reduces energy and water demands

February 4, 2021 by  
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Located along the Yangtze River about 6.5 kilometers from Nanjing’s downtown area, the Nanjing Eco Hi-Tech Island will serve as an ecological destination and sustainability resource for residents and tourists in China . The Xin Wei Yi Technology Park is the first plot to be developed from the design’s masterplan. The Xin Wei Yi Technology Park will be situated adjacent to the island’s main bridge and across from the city’s new central business district. Its campus features an exhibition hall and office research buildings for technology and environmental companies, with plans for residential buildings to come at a later phase. Related: Green-roofed theater in Shenzhen raises the bar for civic architecture Featuring a dramatic roof line, the exhibition hall is designed to inspire a lasting first impression for visitors and citizens as they approach the island from downtown. Eight rooftop peaks symbolize the area’s neighboring Zhong and Stone Mountains, each with an oculus or “light cannon” to drive natural light into the large floor plates. This concept of light cannons is magnified in the design of the eight pentagon-shaped office research buildings, complete with large interior courtyards. The plans for Xin Wei Yi Technology Park put it at 13.4 hectares, comparable to 20 city blocks of New York’s Central Park. Organized into clusters along a central spine, the campus promotes an open-park feeling while promoting visibility and interaction among building tenants. The design includes several green elements to touch on a critical conversation about design practice in China, where fast-moving development often focuses on utility and cost more so than environmental impact . The exhibition hall’s dual-layer roof helps to significantly reduce excess energy, while cantilevered eaves provide shading. A geothermal heat pump system keeps energy usage 30% lower than comparable conventional buildings. The office research buildings are lifted off of the ground by a few stories, and vertical fins are strategically placed to achieve passive cooling . Rooftop gardens on both office research buildings eliminate water runoff and provide refuge for local wildlife while also providing workers and visitors with a green oasis to take in the views. Rainwater harvesting strategies help reduce water use for irrigation by 50% compared to traditional systems, while local plants and trees cover more than 30% of the landscape. + NBBJ Via ArchDaily Images via NBBJ

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Xin Wei Yi Technology Park reduces energy and water demands

Mint Tiny Homes Loft Edition model is full of natural light

January 13, 2021 by  
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For those who love the idea of a tiny home but hate the thought of feeling cramped inside a small space, the Loft Edition model from Mint Tiny Homes should definitely be on the radar. With three layout options and two sizes to choose from, this tiny home is super customizable. Best of all, there is a huge amount of natural light built into the design. The Loft Edition comes on either a 30-foot-long or 34-foot-long trailer with turnkey prices starting at $83,270 and $88,051, respectively. The 30-foot model spans 350 square feet, while the 34-foot model has an additional 36 square feet. Both options sleep four to six people comfortably. Related: Tiny House Sustainable Living blog documents life in an off-grid tiny home The Loft Edition tiny home kitchen comes with an oven and cooktop under a stainless steel hood fan as well as a full-sized, 24-inch-wide refrigerator and freezer. The kitchen also features a lovely ceramic apron front sink, cabinets, a butcher-block countertop, chrome faucets and laminate flooring. There is a full laundry hookup and a large shower with glass doors in the bathroom along with a 12,000 BTU mini split air conditioner and electric heating. The tiny house has plenty of storage in the cupboard staircase, and the full-sized loft allows for ample space in the downstairs lounge. Our favorite parts of this home are the windows, which line the upper part of the walls as well as the bottom to bring light into every corner. Customers can choose to install a skylight in the loft, giving the space even more natural light. A massive window opens from the living room, which helps to extend the sightline out toward the natural environment while also bringing in fresh air. French doors in the front give the Loft Edition tiny home a rustic yet elegant feel. The company also offers off-grid and sustainable features such as composting toilets and LED lighting. + Mint Tiny Homes Images via Mint Tiny Homes

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Mint Tiny Homes Loft Edition model is full of natural light

LEED Gold-targeted Knight Campus advances scientific innovation

January 13, 2021 by  
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The University of Oregon recently welcomed the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, a 160,000-square-foot campus built to accelerate groundbreaking scientific discovery and development in a collaborative multidisciplinary environment. Designed by New York-based  Ennead Architects  and Portland-based Bora Architecture & Interiors, the Knight Campus raises the bar for research facilities with its human-centered design that prioritizes wellness and socialization as well as energy efficiency. The eco-conscious campus features high-performance glazing as well as cross-laminated timber materials and is on track to achieve LEED Gold certification.  Named after benefactors Penny and Phil Knight who contributed a $500 million lead gift, the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact comprises a pair of L-shaped towers that frame an elevated terrace and courtyard at the heart of the campus. Transparency is emphasized throughout the design from the glass bridge that connects the two towers to the large expanses of glazing that make up the buildings’ unique  double-skin facade  and put the interior lab and office spaces on display. “So much of research is about improving the human condition,” said Todd Schliemann, Design Partner at Ennead Architects. “Our goal for the Knight Campus was the creation of a humanistic research machine – one that supports practical needs and aesthetic aspirations, but more importantly, one that inspires the people who work in it, those that move through it and those that simply pass by, and that contributes to the  university  community and the greater context.” Related: Oregon Ducks hit a home run with über-green Jane Sanders Stadium The campus was designed with input from University of Oregon faculty and staff, who helped inform the building’s open workspaces of varied sizes and highly adaptive spaces that give researchers the freedom to change their lab spaces to nimbly work across fields as needed. The new labs also boast cutting-edge technologies, such as  3D-printing  and rapid prototyping, to speed up the process of taking scientific discovery to market.  + Ennead Architects Images via Ennead Architects

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This modular prefab office space offers sustainable solutions

December 30, 2020 by  
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London studio Boano Prišmontas is no stranger to projects that highlight sustainable  workspaces . Once the pandemic hit, the need for affordable, easy-to-assemble remote work solutions became even more urgent. Enter “My Room in The Garden,” a low-cost prefab home office that can fit a yard of any size and takes less than a day to install. Although many countries around the world have already eased  COVID-19  lockdown restrictions, there are still a huge number of people working from home without a clear idea of when they’ll be returning to the office. Spouses are sharing spaces with their children, setting up makeshift desks in the living room or on the couch (not the best way to stay productive or comfortable during times of uncertainty). “My Room in The Garden” offers a great solution to workers who might not have the time or money to invest in long term changes to the home. Related: Work from home in this minimalist, modular 15-sided cabin Boano Prišmontas believes that the solution can be found outside the home rather than inside since many London houses have backyard gardens, courtyards, shared amenity spaces, pocket parks and even rooftops that provide additional space. The idea isn’t just for individuals, either, but for  businesses  wishing to reduce rent costs for big offices by purchasing home office pods for their employees instead. Basic modules start at £5K for 1.8×2.4 meters of space and can be customized according to need. All versions come at a fixed height of 2.5 meters — the max height of a structure that doesn’t require planning permission. The standard finish for the pods includes corrugated clear polycarbonate cladding to protect the interior from the elements while still allowing  natural light  to flood the space. Thanks to the modular design, the wall options range from peg wall finishes and mirrors to plain or decorated  wood , all according to the customer’s taste. Higher spec modules can include energy-efficient insulated walls, roofs or floor panels as well as glass doors or windows for an extra cost. Even better, each component of the home office is created with minimal material waste through geometrically efficient design. + My Room in the Garden Via Dwell Images via Boano Prišmontas

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This modular prefab office space offers sustainable solutions

Luxury timber home mimics a rocky outcropping for minimal site impact

December 18, 2020 by  
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As part of an ongoing series to promote the eco-friendly use of renewable materials, Montreal-based studio Natalie Dionne Architecture has completed the Forest House I, a low-impact luxury home that celebrates timber inside and out. Set atop an outcrop of the Canadian Shield in the forested Eastern Townships, roughly 100 kilometers southeast of Montreal , the recently completed dwelling was commissioned by a couple who had long dreamed of a home in the heart of nature. In addition to a predominately timber palette, the architects inserted large glazing and outdoor living spaces to achieve a seamless transition between the indoors and out. Though rich in natural beauty, the client’s 3-acre property posed major siting challenges in the beginning due to suboptimal orientation and the presence of many rocky outcrops. Rather than fill in the landscape with concrete, the architects took inspiration from a “particularly impractical” 3-meter-tall rock formation to devise an elevated design solution that would not only minimize site impact to the existing terrain but would also improve the home’s access to views and natural light. Related: This timber-clad cabin appears to hover over an idyllic lake landscape Wrapped in low-maintenance eastern white cedar pretreated to encourage a silvery gray patina , the linear, 215-square-meter home rises out of the landscape like a rocky outcropping that is anchored on one end atop a base where a rock once stood. The other end, which is supported by slim columns, appears to hover over the rocky cleft and culminates in a partially sheltered terrace pointing toward a moss-covered escarpment. Glazed sliding doors allow for an uninterrupted transition between the outdoor living area and indoor kitchen, dining room and living room. The couple’s bedroom suite is tucked away on the southern end of the house. A staircase leads down to the smaller ground floor, where the entrance hall and a bunkroom — capable of accommodating up to 10 guests — are located.  Views of the forest are pulled indoors by floor-to-ceiling glazing, and a variety of timber surfaces reinforce the design’s connection with nature. Solid maple was used for the kitchen islands as well as for the vanities and stairs. The built-in cabinetry is constructed from Russian plywood. The timber palette is harmoniously integrated with polished concrete floors, white gypsum walls and natural aluminum windows. + Natalie Dionne Architecture Photography by Raphaël Thibodeau via Natalie Dionne Architecture

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Biophilic campus provides a safe haven for children with autism

November 30, 2020 by  
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Austin-based architecture and interior design firm Runa Workshop has recently completed One of the Kids, a nature-inspired campus for children who have autism. In preparing for the project, the architects first needed to educate themselves on how to best suit the needs of the children. Then, the team had to decide how to create a welcoming, comfortable campus within a tight budget of just $800,000 for an approximately 8,000-square-foot space. Cost-effective materials, an emphasis on natural lighting and the incorporation of biophilic and green elements tie the campus together. Created as a local family’s passion project located just north of Austin , One of the Kids provides a safe haven for children with autism to learn and play. The clients sought a campus that would encourage the children to explore their surroundings without overstimulating them. As a result, the designers used biophilic design to create a calming yet inspiring atmosphere. Related: HIVE Project proposes biophilic, self-sufficient homes of the future “Nature has been proven to promote healing, so we incorporated biophilic design to help us achieve this connection,” the designers at Runa Workshop explained. “We maximized the amount of natural light in each therapy room and incorporated a view of nature or green space to tie back into the concept. The design allowed for a large space where children can interact with water and ‘grass’ in a well-lit space while burning off excess energy so they can better focus in their therapy sessions.” Cost-effective oriented strand board , large windows and green paint are used throughout to strengthen a connection to nature, from the green “mountains” painted on the walls to the turf in the play area. In addition to the creation of active social spaces, such as the large indoor/outdoor play area and an indoor pool, the designers also carved out “chill rooms” with low lighting and dark-colored walls to provide children a comfortable place to go calm down when they feel overwhelmed. + Runa Workshop Images via Runa Workshop

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Biophilic campus provides a safe haven for children with autism

A lakeside, prefab home in Quebec aims for LEED Gold

November 24, 2020 by  
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After purchasing a humble country home 25 years ago in the village of Ivry-sur-le-Lac, architect-owner Richard Rubin of Canadian firm Figurr Architects Collective wanted to treat himself and his family to a new second home with an extremely low environmental impact. Key to the creation of this low-impact holiday home was the use of prefabrication. The residence consists of five custom, prefabricated modules, each approximately 50 feet in length. With a reduced environmental footprint achieved through an airtight envelope, use of sustainable and local materials, and large, insulated glazing, the modern, energy-efficient home is currently being submitted by Rubin for LEED Gold certification. To ensure that his family wouldn’t lose more than one season of enjoying the country, the architect began construction on the new house in late summer, before the demolition of the existing home. Prefabrication not only helped to speed up the construction process, but the modular design also allowed for indoor construction without fear of inclement weather conditions. The five custom prefab modules were assembled with insulation, windows and flooring intact before they were transported to the site — a challenging undertaking due to the size of the giant, factory-built modules and winding country roads. Related: Work from home in this minimalist, modular 15-sided cabin Conceived as a nature retreat, the new country home is punctuated with floor-to-ceiling glazing that brings in views of the forest as well as direct sunshine, which helps reduce the heating and lighting costs. A natural materials palette blends the building into the landscape, while the warm timbers used indoors create a welcoming feel. The home brings the family together with an open-plan kitchen and dining room along with a cozy living room and a three-season, screened-in porch that looks out to the lake and woods. The architect has also carved out more intimate spaces for each of the family members, such as the ground-floor atelier for painting and carpentry. + Figurr Architects Collective Photography by David Boyer via Figurr Architects Collective

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