The Olympic House sets a new green building standard

September 16, 2020 by  
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The International Olympics Committee has a brand-new home in Lausanne, Switzerland . The stunning new Olympic House brings together 500 employees who were working at different offices scattered throughout the city. Now, these employees will work in an award-winning building that features all the latest green technology in a truly breathtaking design. Olympic House’s design centers three values: movement, flexibility and sustainability. These values show in every facet of the design. View the building from another angle, and suddenly the design looks completely different. The sweeping, elegant design sets the standard for all future buildings. The Olympic House boasts a LEED v4 Platinum building certification, with the highest score ever given (93 of 100). Minergie P. and SNBS platinum certifications further prove this building as one of the world’s most sustainable offices. Environmental concerns influence the design in more ways than one. The building connects to a beautiful park and fits perfectly with that setting. After all, this isn’t an ordinary office building. This office building houses the Olympics committee. The Olympics brings together nations and people from all around the world; that’s why the campus design allows for public enjoyment as well. As one of the most sustainable buildings ever created, the new Olympic House sets a standard for all other buildings to follow. The building even includes a green roof and multiple terraces, plus a fitness center for employees to use. Low flow taps and toilets help reduce water consumption, and rainwater capture helps provide the building with water. Meanwhile, solar panels power the Olympic House. Through green design, the Olympic House lowers carbon emissions, conserves resources, provides a healthy environment for employees and maintains green spaces. At the heart of the Olympic House, the Unity Staircase features a curving, twisting and awe-inspiring design. Hopefully, the building’s incredible design and multiple green features will inspire others to create more sustainable buildings that improve the environment, rather than damage it. + 3XN Via Architizer Images via 3XN

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The Olympic House sets a new green building standard

Policy for a Circular Economy: Part 1

September 15, 2020 by  
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Policy for a Circular Economy: Part 1 How should diverse corporate stakeholders — such as brands and packaging producers — help shape the U.S. policy landscape around plastics, recycling and solid waste management? This two part policy session, organized in collaboration with the The Recycling Partnership, will focus on the role that brand and packaging producers can play in forging a stronger policy environment in the U.S. to create more circular outcomes. The steady growth of public attention around plastics and packaging has led to a revitalized policy focus in the U.S. on recycling and solid waste management in 2020. Historically, brands and packaging producers have played an antagonistic role in the U.S. packaging policy landscape. However, the emergence of a circular economy opportunity and the urgency of science-based action are creating the conditions for value chain engagement and collective participation in the policymaking process. Speakers Dylan de Thomas, TRP Nina Butler, More Recycling Sarah Peery, Office of Senator Rob Portman This session was held at GreenBiz Group’s Circularity 20, August 25-27, 2020. Learn more about the event here: https://events.greenbiz.com/events/circularity/online/2020 Watch our other must-see talks here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDIkTxibMLM&list=PLyVZcHL_zmn6pie1MKrS3… OUR LINKS Website: https://www.greenbiz.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/greenbiz LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/greenbiz-group Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/greenbiz_group Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GreenBiz Holly Secon Mon, 09/14/2020 – 23:29 Featured Off

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Policy for a Circular Economy: Part 1

A disused factory becomes an office with a landscaped bamboo roof terrace

September 11, 2020 by  
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Located in Shenzhen, China, the If Factory utilizes a sustainable design that transforms an old and disused factory into a creative mix of office spaces. While the heart of the building contains a public stairway with an inclusive view of the inside, the landscaped bamboo roof terrace is an even more impressive token of the project’s combination of sustainability and community. Rather than demolish the original factory before rebuilding the office space, a project that would require extensive resources and environmental strain, the architects at MVRDV set out to renovate instead. The result is a celebration of old and new, with a simple focus on cleaning out the original building while reinventing the older components of the structure. Related: An old Brooklyn sugar refinery becomes creative office spaces For example, the architects chose to use new, transparent painting techniques to prevent the older spaces from further aging. This results in the important preservation of the original building’s history and exposed concrete frame while maintaining more modern principles of sustainability and the circular economy. New walls and balconies are made of glass. In an effort to promote exchanges between colleagues, the exterior walls are set back from the building’s frame to allow for circulation. The grand staircase is made of wood to separate the design from the surrounding concrete and glass, and it weaves its way artistically between each floor. MVRDV included windows built into the staircase so that workers can peek into other offices as a commitment to transparency and collaboration. The public roof terrace, known as “The Green House,” includes a green bamboo landscape that is arranged to form a natural maze. This unique design intentionally divides the rooftop into different sections that all contain different programming, including a dance room, a dining area and space for reading, aimed at relaxation and community. + MVRDV Via ArchDaily Images via MVRDV

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A disused factory becomes an office with a landscaped bamboo roof terrace

Hollandse Nieuwe crafts a vibrant, eco-friendly workspace with VR

September 10, 2020 by  
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Amsterdam-based architectural practice Hollandse Nieuwe has enlisted the help of virtual reality to create a dynamic and colorful workspace for civil servants. Commissioned by the local government as part of the city’s current policy to provide homes and semi-public workplaces for civil servants, the architects designed a flexible office space conducive to collaboration, health and creativity. The 1,650-square-meter office development was completed in 2019. To meet the government’s brief for a semi-public workspace open to all civil servants, the architects took cues from a grand cafe for the design of the ground floor. To promote social activity, the building features a plaza-like area that hosts diverse meeting places as well as a catering facility and kitchen that provides high-quality coffee. Related: Old coffee roastery to be reborn as a net-zero carbon office in London In the extended part of the plaza is the ‘superflexzone,’ an area comprising workspaces as well as flex-spaces that can be used as overflow for rentable units and civil servants interested in “hot desking,” or staying in the building for just a short period of time. The office also has a conference center for formal meetings. Although the office space follows an open-floor plan , the architects have clearly delineated the busier zones from the quieter areas while bright color schemes aid in way-finding. Proper insulation provides pleasant acoustics and indoor comfort as well. VR technology was also used to communicate the vision to the client for optimal results. The project follows the architecture firm’s goals of sustainability and recycling. Elements from the original interior, for instance, have been repurposed for the design of the new interior. The materials and finishes are all environmentally friendly. Well Standard principles have also been followed, and the existing pillars were covered with a new layer of foil to make them look fresh. Plant motifs are woven throughout the design to create a connection with nature. + Hollandse Nieuwe Images via Hollandse Nieuwe

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Hollandse Nieuwe crafts a vibrant, eco-friendly workspace with VR

This LEED Platinum office will gracefully evolve over time

September 8, 2020 by  
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New Delhi-based practice  Architecture Discipline  recently completed The East India Hotels Corporate Headquarters, a LEED Platinum-certified office space housed within the Oberoi Office Tower in Gurugram, India’s finance and technology hub. Dynamic, avant-garde and modern, the workspace design aims for functionality and comfort with full-height high-performance glass that lets in natural light and an open-plan layout conducive to flexibility. Architects engineered the office to be future-proof; it can gracefully transform and evolve without compromising its design identity.  Spanning an area of 10,000 square feet across seven floors, the East India Hotel Corporate Headquarters consolidates several  offices  into a single location within an urban regeneration district in the heart of Gurugram. The program not only includes workspaces for Arjun Oberoi, Managing Director of East India Hotels, and his Projects Development Team, but also an office for the Executive Chairman Prithvi Raj Singh ‘Biki’ Oberoi, the renowned hotelier behind the Oberoi brand. As a unique addition to the Managing Director’s office, the space includes a tabletop made from a decommissioned Cessna aircraft wing. “Today’s buildings are evolving landscapes; work, leisure and domestic activities are becoming interchangeable, leading to the creation of open-ended flexible buildings,” Akshat Bhatt, Principal Architect at Architecture Discipline, said in a press release. “ Adaptable frameworks with well-serviced and well-lit spaces that can be used for multiple activities in the short term – offer the possibility of a long-life span for the building and a variety of possible long term uses.” Related: New International WELL Building Institute HQ achieves Platinum Floor-to-ceiling glass surrounds the office to provide panoramic views of the city. For respite from the urban jungle, the architects inserted an internal glazed  courtyard  landscaped with an olive tree and geometric planters. A luxurious palette of high-end natural materials dresses the office, from Carrara marble tabletops to hardwood floors. High-performance glass and heat-reflective blinds that mitigate solar heat gain help reduce the office building’s energy footprint.  + Architecture Discipline Images via Architecture Discipline

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This LEED Platinum office will gracefully evolve over time

SeaChange uses plasma arc technology to save the oceans from plastic waste

September 8, 2020 by  
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We’ve all heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and the continuing flow of oceanbound plastic. But what if something could intercept that plastic before it made it into the oceans? That’s the plan of SeaChange, a new organization that claims to have devised the technology to save our oceans from the plastic pollution crisis. The start of SeaChange SeaChange founders Carl Borgquist and Tim Nett grew up together in Paradise, California, and have been lifelong friends. They went on to have varied careers — Borgquist in renewable energy and as CEO of Absaroka Energy and Nett as a serial entrepreneur in advertising and media. But then their entire hometown burned in the infamous Camp Fire of 2018. Eighty-five people lost their lives and more than 11,000 homes burned to the ground. It was the worst fire in California history up to that point, and the future looked bleak as climate change worsened wildfires throughout the west. Related: Babylegs — the inexpensive, educational way to monitor ocean plastic   “ Climate change stops being theoretical when it destroys everything you’ve grown up with,” Nett said . “When there is no hometown to go back to. We couldn’t in clear conscience stand by and do nothing.” The two men decided to put their considerable life experience and gray matter together to work on climate change. And they’ve made a promising breakthrough. How SeaChange’s technology works SeaChange will outfit its ships with something called the Plasma Enhanced Melter (PEM). The PEM uses plasma arc technology to zap plastic and other trash before it enters the ocean. Plastic is shredded before it enters the Plasma Arc Zone. Instead of leaving harmful residues like conventional waste treatment methods, plasma arc technology uses high temperature and high electrical energy to heat waste , mostly by radiation. Organic material can be burned down into a combustible gas called syngas, which can be used as clean fuel for SeaChange’s ships. Inorganic components wind up as glassy slag. This reusable black glass is said to be nontoxic and safe for marine life. SeaChange will heat the plasma arc to temperatures up to 18,000 degrees. “That’s like dropping it on the surface of the Sun,” SeaChange said on its website. While this may sound like science fiction, the technology has been used on hazardous and medical waste since 1996. Finding the trash Of the 400 million tons of plastic produced every year, 90% is burned, buried or lost in the environment. Only 10% is recycled . Even if plastic is recycled, you could say that’s delaying the problem. Up until now, plastic has been forever-lasting, with no permanent solution to vaporize it. The SeaChange ships will seek the plastic that is lost in the environment. According to the organization’s research, about 10 million tons of plastic trash enters the oceans each year. That equals about one dump truck load per minute. Of this ocean plastic pollution, 90% flows into the sea from the 10 most polluted rivers . China’s Yangtze River gets the trophy for pollution champion, collecting 1.5 million tons of plastic trash before dumping it into the East China Sea near Shanghai. The runner-up is the Indus, which originates in Tibet before winding through Pakistan and then emptying an average 164,332 tons of plastic junk into the Arabian Sea by Karachi. The other eight rivers are the Yellow, Hai, Nile, Ganges, Pearl, Amur, Niger and Mekong Rivers. Eventually, the SeaChange ships — equipped with plasma arc technology — will travel to these polluted rivers to harvest and vaporize plastic trash before it enters the ocean. The crew can process up to 5 tons of plastic on the ship each day, melting it down to about 225 pounds of inert black glass . First stop, Indonesia SeaChange is planning to go on its first mission in 2021. Destination: Indonesia. Currently, somewhere between 0.5 and 1.4 million tons of plastic waste wind up in the ocean around Indonesia every year. SeaChange plans to remove trash to protect a sensitive Indonesian ecosystem full of coral species and mangrove forests. The organization is still sorting out what NGOs, government agencies and individuals it can partner with to make the mission happen. Since planning began, the pandemic has created additional logistical obstacles. It’s also contributing to the plastic problem. A huge surge of medical waste is landing in Indonesian waters after a six-month uptick in single-use gloves and masks. The trash that stays out of the waterways is being burned in open pits, exposing people to carcinogenic clouds of dioxins, which isn’t much better. If all goes to plan, SeaChange will start making a dent in the oceanbound plastic problem next year. This partnership between Borgquist and Nett reminds us of the oft-repeated and inspiring idea that even something terrible can bring about something positive. For example, when your hometown burns, you decide to tackle one of the world’s biggest problems. If the Indonesia mission is successful next year, maybe we’ll one day see a SeaChange ship at the mouth of every polluted river. + SeaChange Images via Kevin Krejci , M.W. and Sergei Tokmakov, Esq.

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SeaChange uses plasma arc technology to save the oceans from plastic waste

CRA unveils designs for Biotic, a high-tech district in Brazil

September 8, 2020 by  
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After two years of development, international design firm Carlo Ratti Associati and consultancy firm Ernst & Young have unveiled their masterplan designs for Biotic, a high-tech innovation district in Brasilia, Brazil. Inspired by the Brazilian capital’s modernist masterplan engineered by urban planner Lucio Costa and architect Oscar Niemeyer, Biotic was conceived as an extension of the city’s historic layout as well as a reinterpretation of the city’s iconic superblocks to create a more nature-centric community with greater mixed-use programming.  Developed for public real estate company TerraCap, the 10-million-square-foot Biotic would be located between the UNESCO World Heritage “Plano Piloto” — the foundation of Brasilia in 1960 — and the 42,000-hectare Brasilia National Park in the northwest of the Federal District. The proposed technology and innovation district focuses on “domesticating nature” to allow residents, workers and visitors closer contact with nature in both public and private areas. Related: How Barcelona “superblocks” return city streets to the people The Biotic project expands on Brasilia’s iconic Superquadra (or superblock ) modules by subdividing each into pedestrian blocks with street fronts. These internal neighborhoods would not only be protected from traffic and pollution, but the inward-facing spaces would also promote social cohesion and community. The masterplan also champions mixed-use programming — a feature that was typically avoided in Brazil’s modernist urban planning in the mid-century. The architects intend to take advantage of Brasilia’s year-round mild climate to cultivate stronger connections with nature. For example, outdoor offices would be designed with curtain walls that could open like real curtains. Digital technologies embedded into plazas , pedestrian zones, shared vegetable gardens and other spaces would be used to monitor sunlight, wind and temperature and create comfortable working environments while allowing close contact with nature. “The office buildings, hovering above the ground level, are designed for sun and wind to come in,” said James Schrader, project manager at CRA. “Thanks to a system of openable wooden facades that can slide along the building like a curtain, the interior spaces will open to the exterior, allowing users to enjoy Brasilia’s weather. This project merges the interior and exterior into one space.” + Carlo Ratti Associati Images via Carlo Ratti Associati

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Community First! provides affordable, permanent micro-housing

August 28, 2020 by  
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Community First! Village in Austin, a 51-acre sustainable development, provides  affordable housing  to Central Texas’ chronically homeless. McKinney York Architects recently designed two new micro-house concepts inside the community. These tiny homes are changing lives by providing homes for hundreds of locals who have fallen on hard times. The program, developed by Austin-based non-profit  Mobile Loaves & Fishes , consists of 120 total units. The organization is a social outreach ministry that has worked with the local Austin  homeless  community since 1998 through prepared feeding programs, community gardening and more. Related: Modular, affordable housing project opens in Portland McKinney York Architects founder Heath McKinney and her team chose to design two pro-bono micro-houses inside the community. These homes showcase the firm’s creativity and attention to detail while contributing to a  sustainable  cause. “Being a good neighbor to our local community is an important part of our office culture,” said Aaron Taylor, project manager for the first micro-home . “This, coupled with the firm’s mission to provide quality design for everyone, really made working at CommunityFirst! Village a fulfilling experience.” This first  tiny home  features what McKinney York Architects’ website describes as “humble modular materials” that “lend dignity to the dwelling through a straightforward, logical aesthetic expression.” The home also includes a screen porch positioned to take advantage of summer breezes while providing shelter from winter winds. Openings encourage cross-ventilation, and a double roof creates shaded heat gain reduction during the warmer months. “We try to find opportunities for great design, despite the inevitable constraints, whether it’s the size and orientation of an existing concrete slab or the available construction budget,” said Navvab Taylor, leader of the second home design team. The second home includes a butterfly roof to catch breezes and  collect rainwater  for the garden. Pine paneling accents the interior, and a screened porch keeps mosquitoes away while creating an open public space for socializing. + McKinney York Images © Thomas McConnell

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Old coffee roastery to be reborn as a net-zero carbon office in London

August 20, 2020 by  
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The local planning council for London’s Vauxhall district has recently given the green light for an adaptive reuse scheme to transform a disused Costa Coffee roastery into a six-story, net-zero carbon office development. Designed by British architectural design firm Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBStudios), the project — named Paradise — will replace a neglected site with 60,000 square feet of work and maker space housed within a landmark cross-laminated timber structure. The sustainably minded building will follow WELL standards, passive design principles and quality place-making values to benefit both the local and citywide community. Located on Old Paradise Street, the Paradise project aims to catalyze job creation in Lambeth and attract creative industries in this part of London. The timber-framed office development will feature a flexible, open-plan layout with tall ceilings and large windows that not only maximize natural light and ventilation but also frame views of the passing trains and the neighboring Old Paradise Gardens. In a nod to the site’s location as a “key link” in the “green chain” that joins Waterloo to Vauxhall, the architects plan to wrap the building in a green, extruded terracotta facade that takes cues from the former Royal Doulton Headquarters. Related: Gensler upcycles an old warehouse into creative offices in Austin “Paradise was born of a collective approach to sustainable design, humanistic values and quality place-making, but also the desire to make a healthy and innovative workplace that people would love to use,” said Alex Whitbread, partner at FCBStudios. “Paradise is designed to be part of its local and citywide community and to make a responsible contribution globally. With this scheme receiving planning permission, we hope it will set the standard for office design that is net-carbon-zero and has the wellbeing of the user at the fore. We are looking forward to bringing it to fruition.” Bywater Properties has proposed allocating up to 13% of the total floor area for non-office use, such as light industrial and maker spaces, 68% of which will be made affordable with priority given to local businesses. The adaptive reuse proposal is also on target for almost 60 years of a negative carbon footprint. + Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios Images via Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

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Old coffee roastery to be reborn as a net-zero carbon office in London

PriestmanGoode designs sustainable, plastic-free takeout containers

August 13, 2020 by  
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London-based design studio PriestmanGoode, as part of the Wallpaper* Re-Made project, has imagined a new, sustainable option for restaurant takeaway containers that is reusable and plastic foam-free. As the desire for convenience and takeout food options increases in the world, so does the single-use plastic and other waste. Now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many restaurants that didn’t originally offer takeout are turning to the option in order to keep their businesses afloat, making environmentally friendly to-go options more important than ever. Related: Designers aim to reduce the waste and impact of airlines Jo Rowan, Associate Director of Strategy at PriestmanGoode explained, “We wanted to re-think food delivery and takeaway in a bid to minimize the environmental impact of convenience culture.” Called ZERO, the takeaway packaging checks many boxes when it comes to eco-friendliness. For one, it reintroduces the idea of reusable containers. Not that long ago, reusable was the norm, but at some point we became a disposable society, endangering the planet with material production and disposal. ZERO also provides an alternative to the standard plastic foam containers that typically can’t be recycled. To achieve zero waste , the idea is to charge the customer an upfront fee for the containers that is then reimbursed when the containers are returned for the next order. In addition to its usefulness as a takeaway alternative, the packaging offers a universal design that is transferable between restaurants. Plus, the containers offer temperature control during transport and delivery. These containers are also versatile and great to use at home, take on a picnic or carry lunch to the office. The bioplastic for the containers, made from a byproduct of the cacao industry, is created by designer Paula Nerlich. Another notable material used for the insulation, designed by Ty Syml, is mycelium . For the food container and bag handles, Lexcell by Yulex provides a 100% plant-based, neoprene-free specialty natural rubber material. In addition, the outer bag comes from Nuatan by Crafting Plastics and is made from 100% raw, renewable resources, is biodegradable and can withstand high temperatures. Finally, Piñatex is used for the bag lid; Piñatex is a natural leather alternative made from cellulose fibers extracted from pineapple leaves. + PriestmanGoode Via Dezeen Images via PriestmanGoode and Carolyn Brown

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