Solar-powered drone Skystation sits atop Trump World Tower in New York

April 17, 2017 by  
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Kayak architects  wants to change the way we get around urban environments, so they’ve envisioned an innovative way to integrate air transport with existing urban environments. The project would turn skyscraper rooftops into solar-powered drone stations called Skystations. To illustrate how it would work, the designers put a drone skystation on Trump World Tower in New York City. The Skystation project aims to convert skyscraper rooftops into air transport hubs with a low ecological footprint . This futuristic transportation network should reduce pollution by eliminating rush-hour traffic and decreasing number of land vehicles, enabling us to turn unused roads into walkable, green spaces. Related: Dubai plans to launch autonomous flying drone taxis by mid-2017 Drone robots programmed or operated by humans would build these lightweight structures out of prefabricated and 3d-printed elements, using materials and components produced by local companies. A layer of sprayed Perovskite Solar Cells covers the outer shell, providing clean energy for the entire station. Related: Titan Aerospace Developing World’s First Solar-Powered Atmospheric Satellite Drones Arched roofs are meant to allow easier and more convenient landing for drones, simultaneously creating distinct architecture that dominates the city skyline. An existing art gallery, located underneath the drone platform, is transformed and integrated with the new lobby to give users the opportunity to experience art while waiting for the transport. This space can also function as a restaurant, entertainment area or lounge. Kayak Architects designed the project as a proposal for the Lafarge Holcim Competition. + kayak architects Images by ELEMENT

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Solar-powered drone Skystation sits atop Trump World Tower in New York

17 states challenge Trump’s climate policy in court

April 6, 2017 by  
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17 American states are pushing back after President Donald Trump ‘s executive order targeting the environment last week. The New York -led coalition is legally challenging the Trump administration after the president’s attempts to undo Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan . They say it’s the administration’s legal duty to regulate climate change -causing emissions . Trump’s executive order called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend, rescind, or revise the Clean Power Plan, a law that would have required states to cut carbon dioxide emissions at power plants but which was challenged by 26 states led by Republicans. After the recent executive order, the EPA asked the United States court of appeals for the District of Columbia to delay proceedings over the law to give them time to review it. The 17 states say this move could delay litigation for years – time we need to spend acting on climate change. They asked the court to toss out the EPA’s request. Related: 75 American mayors affirm climate goals even after Trump executive order New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement: “The law is clear: the EPA must limit carbon pollution from power plants. In order to repeal Obama-era protections, the Trump administration must replace those protections, as well – and we know how well repeal-and-replace went the first time around. My office will continue to defend the Clean Power Plan and aggressively oppose any effort to stand down from our shared responsibility to protect our environment and our climate.” The 17 states – New York, California, Connecticut, Virginia, Delaware, Vermont, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Illinois, Oregon, Iowa, New Mexico, Maine, Minnesota, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Washington – were also joined by seven localities: the District of Columbia; New York City; Boulder, Colorado; Chicago, Illinois; South Miami, Florida; Broward County, Florida; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. According to New York’s press release, the Clean Power Plan could eliminate as much pollution as more than 160 million cars – 70 percent of America’s passenger cars – yearly could emit. Via The Guardian Images via Gage Skidmore on Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

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17 states challenge Trump’s climate policy in court

Trump properties rank among worst polluters in NYC

April 3, 2017 by  
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Nobody expected President Donald Trump , a man who once declared climate change a “hoax” by the Chinese government, to be a champion of the environment. Indeed, with proposed budget cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a plan to reverse his predecessor’s pro-planet policies, the opposite  has been true. So it should come as a surprise to no one that properties owned by Trump, as well as his consigliere son-in-law Jared Kusher , rate among the least energy-efficient in New York City, according to a new report by ALIGN , a coalition of labor and community organizations with an environmental bent. Trump International Hotel on Columbus Circle and Trump SoHo, the analysis found, use more energy than 70 to 79 percent of large hotels in the city, respectively. Even more egregious, Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue uses more energy than 93 percent of the city’s largest residential complexes. The Mayfair, a hotel-to-condo conversion owned by the Trumps, uses more energy than 98 percent of comparable multifamily buildings. The Kushner family–owned tower at 666 Fifth Avenue , living up to its numerically ominous address, uses more energy than 85 percent of large office buildings, the study noted. Related: Jared Kushner’s 666 tower by Zaha Hadid gets reimagined as the Eye of Sauron “Those folks are the biggest polluters of our city—we need to take them on and actually make sure that they reduce their emissions,” Maritza Silva-Farrell, executive director of ALIGN, told the Daily News . The bulk of the city’s carbon footprint stems from heating, cooling, and powering its soaring skyscrapers. While New York City has voluntary programs designed to reduce its emissions, Silva-Farrell thinks it’s time to administer mandatory rules. “We think that it is really important to require these kinds of owners to reduce their emissions and create clean air for our communities,” she said. “We believe that’s the only way they will do it.” Via the Daily News Photos by jcwillia1 and Michael Vadon

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Trump properties rank among worst polluters in NYC

Giant "Lily Pads" will capture stormwater at Brooklyn’s largest public-housing complex

March 29, 2017 by  
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When Hurricane Sandy made landfall in October 2012, the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook didn’t stand a chance. Surrounded by the waters of the  Gowanus Canal , Upper New York Bay, and Buttermilk Channel, the coastal community was ripped apart by the tidal surge. More than four years on, Red Hook is slowly but surely returning to form. New development is under way, and Red Hook Houses , Brooklyn’s largest public housing complex, is getting a new, more resilient makeover complete with giant, green-roofed “Lily Pads” that will capture stormwater and keep it from overflowing the city’s sewage system. To help it weather the brunt of Mother Nature’s wrath, if and when she decided to call again, the New York City Housing Authority commissioned Kohn Pedersen Fox and landscape architecture firm OLIN to devise a “resiliency and renewal program.” Related: New renderings reveal resilient and revitalizing Red Hook waterfront creative complex After extensive research, including community surveys and workshops, KPF is proposing to build 14 “utility pods”—all above ground—to not only deliver heat and electricity to each of the 28 buildings but also to provide a space where residents can convene. There will also be a “Lily Pad” scheme: permanent flood barriers in the form of raised earth in the middle of internal courtyards. For extra security, Red Hook Houses will get an active flood wall bolstered with passive barriers. “These elements transform the experience of residents and guests by providing vibrant, social spaces in conjunction with the area’s infrastructural needs,” KPF wrote in a press release . Related: Red Hook Housing Project’s new urban farm grows fresh produce and jobs for the community And KPF and OLIN’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. The New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects has named NYCHA Red Hook Houses one of its 2017 Design Awards winners . You’ll be able to view the project, and the other winning designs, at an exhibition at the Center for Architecture in Manhattan from April 21 through June 20. + Kohn Pedersen Fox Via the Architect’s Newspaper

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Giant "Lily Pads" will capture stormwater at Brooklyn’s largest public-housing complex

High-rise condos with 10 floors of indoor farming terraces proposed near NY’s High Line park

August 11, 2016 by  
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The Rem Koolhaas parcel along the High Line is envisioned to hold the concrete-based structure, reports 6sqft , that would funnel upward to support the massive glass enclosure. The architects describe how sunlight is key: “As the sun comes across the sky to the west, the building twists to evenly distribute daylight throughout the day.” Observers can gaze upon the indoor farming terraces, accessible to the high-rise’s residents, as well as visit the top floor observation garden and second floor art gallery. Related: Wild Walk is upstate New York’s answer to the High Line, 40 feet above the forest floor Permits have yet to be filed to begin the project, yet the conceptual design has gained the attention of hopefuls. The project’s striking facade and reverence for lush greenery would fit in well with the surroundings of the High Line park. Whether or not the so-called Hybrid Farm apartment concept comes to life there, whatever is built will surely be something truly eye-catching. + Weston Baker Creative Group Via 6sqft , City Realty Images via 6sqft, Weston Baker Creative Group

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High-rise condos with 10 floors of indoor farming terraces proposed near NY’s High Line park

Beautiful converted barn hides a secret library in Oxfordshire

August 11, 2016 by  
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Bestowed with the Historic Interest Building Status, the Albion Barn is the Old Belchers Farm’s main barn building located just out of view from the street. The barn’s facade is mostly clad in blackened weatherboarding save for a few small sections of red brick . The dark exterior provides a sharp contrast to the interior, accessible through restored sliding barn doors , that feature mostly white walls and light timber floors. Related: Branching addition cuts through existing Swiss farmhouse to increase structural integrity The white walls serve as an appropriate backdrop to the exhibition spaces and are also used in the office spaces and dining room. Natural light streams through multiple skylights. At the heart of the barn lies a cozy library hidden behind four doors that double as bookshelves. Books line all four sides of the two-story room and, thanks to an optical illusion created by the polished steel ceiling, appears to be larger than its actual size. + Studio Seilern Architects Via Dezeen Images via Studio Seilern Architects

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Beautiful converted barn hides a secret library in Oxfordshire

Hamptons home built with salvaged materials marries luxury and sustainability

August 9, 2016 by  
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The 3,800-square-foot residence sits on a 160-acre reserve located in between Gardiner’s Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Part of one of the seaside communities of the Hamptons, the house draws from the region’s rural architecture, but accommodates all the needs of the 21st century homeowner. Related: Resolution 4’s gorgeous Swingline home brings sophisticated prefab to the Hamptons It features foot vaulted ceilings incorporating wooden beams made from salvaged pine, and large glass doors opening towards a swimming pool with a pool house and 2,500 square feet of decking. The folding doors connect the swimming pool with the kitchen and dining area nestled under a vaulted ceiling . The rest of the ground floor accommodates the living room and a pair of bedrooms, while the master and two other bedrooms occupy the first floor. One of the most noticeable features of the house is the luxury finishing-white oak flooring and grey marble in the bathrooms and kitchen countertops. + Studio Zung

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Hamptons home built with salvaged materials marries luxury and sustainability

Resilience is key in new climate reality

July 8, 2016 by  
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No one is exempt from the effects of climate change, so energy planners must anticipate climate impacts as to plan wisely.

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Resilience is key in new climate reality

Lessons from Cole Haan on making sustainability fit

July 8, 2016 by  
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An energy efficiency overhaul started with a store walk-through.

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Lessons from Cole Haan on making sustainability fit

How the U.N. is taking action on flight emissions

July 8, 2016 by  
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Greenhouse gas emissions from international flights currently don’t exist in terms of carbon accounting. That’s about to change.

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How the U.N. is taking action on flight emissions

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