Historic train shed transformed into Tasmanian School for Architecture

November 24, 2017 by  
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A stellar example of adaptive reuse is being used to house and teach students at the University of Tasmania School of Architecture & Design. Formerly a 1951 diesel locomotive workshop, this award-winning conversion project preserves parts of the building’s industrial heritage while upgrading it with energy-efficient systems. Australian architecture firm Six Degrees led the project design in collaboration with Sustainable Built Environments to achieve an environmentally friendly design on a relatively modest budget of AUS$6.2 million. Completed in 2007, the UTAS School of Architecture in Launceston was focused on ecologically sustainable design from the start. The architects kept the heritage warehouse’s sawtooth roof and airy industrial character, but also inserted an extra level to the originally single-story building to create 4,500 square meters of usable space. The arrangement of the interior were informed by passive solar studies; offices and classrooms were located on the east side while the workshop, Learning Hub, and some studio spaces were stacked on the west end. Under-floor heating, displacement ventilation, and labyrinth cooling were also used to minimize energy demands. Related: Herzog & de Meuron are upcycling a historic gasometer into a stunning residential tower Australian plantation timber plywood is installed throughout to lend warmth in a palette primarily comprised of metal, glass, and concrete. “Our intention was to maximize the use of the existing building an continue its industrial architectural language through the building by revealing its structure,” the architects wrote in a design statement. “Simplicity is the principle that characterizes the building’s materiality. Materials in the palette have been used in their natural forms with minimal finishes applied.” + Six Degrees Images by Patrick Rodriguez

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Historic train shed transformed into Tasmanian School for Architecture

Building integrated solar panels from Dubai produce clean energy and color

October 31, 2017 by  
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The United States could obtain 40 percent of its energy solely from rooftop solar (with sufficient political will). But what if solar panels could also boost architectural aesthetics? Dubai -based Emirates Insolaire hoped to do just that with their Kromatix technology, providing an alternative to the blue or black panels that adorn many roofs. Plus, their solar products aren’t limited to rooftops — they can also be integrated in balconies or facades. Emirates Insolaire, a joint venture of Dubai Investments PJSC and SwissINSO , is changing our vision of solar with their Kromatix technology, developed with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology . Emirates Insolaire offers Kromatix solar glass in gold, green, or terracotta, with an opaque finish that hides the power-generating technology inside. Solar transmittance varies among colors, but Emirates Insolaire said it is always greater than 85 percent. They also offer Kromatix modules manufactured with their solar glass that have an average efficiency of above 15 percent. Related: Discreet new SolarSkin panels completely blend in with their environment The company doesn’t use pigments to color their solar glass, but rather “a complex nano-scale multilayer deposition by plasma process,” and say the color will remain stable as time passes. According to Emirates Insolaire’s website, “The colored appearance results from the reflection of a narrow spectral band in the visible part of the solar spectrum. The rest of the solar radiation is transmitted to the solar panel to be converted into energy .” The thickness of the solar glass is between 3.2 and eight millimeters. SwissINSO says the Kromatix colored solar panels can be integrated on facades and rooftops of all sorts of structures, from private homes to high-rise buildings. Electrek also reported the Kromatix products are affordable; they estimated a 5.5 kilowatt solar system would cost between $1,300 and $1,500 per home. They said not counting tax credits or incentives, the system would cover the cost of coloring in a little over one and a half years. Emirates Insolaire’s products have been installed across Europe, including at this school in Copenhagen . + Emirates Insolaire Via Electrek Images via Emirates Insolaire

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Building integrated solar panels from Dubai produce clean energy and color

Building integrated solar panels from Dubai produce clean energy and color

October 31, 2017 by  
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The United States could obtain 40 percent of its energy solely from rooftop solar (with sufficient political will). But what if solar panels could also boost architectural aesthetics? Dubai -based Emirates Insolaire hoped to do just that with their Kromatix technology, providing an alternative to the blue or black panels that adorn many roofs. Plus, their solar products aren’t limited to rooftops — they can also be integrated in balconies or facades. Emirates Insolaire, a joint venture of Dubai Investments PJSC and SwissINSO , is changing our vision of solar with their Kromatix technology, developed with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology . Emirates Insolaire offers Kromatix solar glass in gold, green, or terracotta, with an opaque finish that hides the power-generating technology inside. Solar transmittance varies among colors, but Emirates Insolaire said it is always greater than 85 percent. They also offer Kromatix modules manufactured with their solar glass that have an average efficiency of above 15 percent. Related: Discreet new SolarSkin panels completely blend in with their environment The company doesn’t use pigments to color their solar glass, but rather “a complex nano-scale multilayer deposition by plasma process,” and say the color will remain stable as time passes. According to Emirates Insolaire’s website, “The colored appearance results from the reflection of a narrow spectral band in the visible part of the solar spectrum. The rest of the solar radiation is transmitted to the solar panel to be converted into energy .” The thickness of the solar glass is between 3.2 and eight millimeters. SwissINSO says the Kromatix colored solar panels can be integrated on facades and rooftops of all sorts of structures, from private homes to high-rise buildings. Electrek also reported the Kromatix products are affordable; they estimated a 5.5 kilowatt solar system would cost between $1,300 and $1,500 per home. They said not counting tax credits or incentives, the system would cover the cost of coloring in a little over one and a half years. Emirates Insolaire’s products have been installed across Europe, including at this school in Copenhagen . + Emirates Insolaire Via Electrek Images via Emirates Insolaire

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Building integrated solar panels from Dubai produce clean energy and color

73 million trees to be planted in largest reforestation project ever

October 31, 2017 by  
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Conservation International aims to plant 73 million trees in the Brazilian Amazon as part of the largest ever undertaking of its kind. In what is being called the “arc of deforestation” in the Brazilian states of Amazonas, Acre, Pará, and Rondônia, as well as throughout the Xingu watershed, trees will be planted as part of a project that, in the short-term, aims to restore 70,000 acres of tropical forest. “If the world is to hit the 1.2°C or 2°C [degrees of warming] target that we all agreed to in Paris, then protecting tropical forests in particular has to be a big part of that,” said M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International, in an interview with Fast Company . “It’s not just the trees that matter, but what kind of trees ,” said Sanjayan. “If you’re really thinking about getting carbon dioxide out of atmosphere, then tropical forests are the ones that end up mattering the most.” Ceasing deforestation would allow for the absorption of 37 percent of the world’s annual carbon emissions yet scientists worry that 20 percent of the Amazon may be deforested in the next two decades, in addition to the 20 percent that was deforested in the past 40 years. To combat this rapid pace of destruction, Conservation International is utilizing new, efficient planting techniques that could be applied worldwide. “This is not a stunt,” said Sanjayan. “It is a carefully controlled experiment to literally figure out how to do tropical restoration at scale, so that people can replicate it and we can drive the costs down dramatically.” Related: Hurricane Maria ravaged the only tropical rainforest in the United States The planting method used in the project is known as muvuca , which is a Portuguese word to describe many people in a small place. In  muvuca, hundreds of native tree seeds of various species are spread over every inch of deforested land. Natural selection then allows the most suited to survive and thrive. A 2014 study from the Food and Agriculture Organization and Biodiversity International found that more than 90 percent of native tree species planted using the  muvuca method germinate and are well suited to survive drought conditions for up to six months. “With plant-by-plant reforestation techniques, you get a typical density of about 160 plants per hectare,” said Rodrigo Medeiros, Conservation International’s vice president of the Brazil program and project lead, according to Fast Company . “With muvuca, the initial outcome is 2,500 species per hectare. And after 10 years, you can reach 5,000 trees per hectare. It’s much more diverse, much more dense, and less expensive than traditional techniques.” Via Fast Company Images via Depositphotos (1)

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73 million trees to be planted in largest reforestation project ever

Supersonic car reaches 210mph in 8 seconds

October 30, 2017 by  
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The Bloodhound supersonic car wowed an audience of around 3,500 people at its first public run at England’s Cornwall Airport Newquay recently. In just eight seconds in its successful test, the car hit 210 miles per hour (mph) from a standing start. The team’s ultimate goal is to reach 1,000 mph and shatter the World Land Speed Record . The Bloodhound SSC created by The Bloodhound Project completed two runs on the airport runway, with an acceleration of 1.5G. The public test took place 20 years after driver Andy Green set the World Land Speed Record that still holds today of 763.035 mph. Green said of the successful public run, “The car is already working faster and better than we expected. I cannot wait to go faster!” He also said this is the longest time they’ve run the vehicle at around 21.5 minutes. Related: A 3D Printed Part Will be at the front of Bloodhound’s 1000 MPH Supersonic Car A Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine powered the Bloodhound SSC for the test, producing the combined output of 360 family cars, according to The Bloodhound Project. Runway wheels from an English Electric Lightning fighter helped the car travel rapidly down the runway. Why build a supersonic car? According to The Bloodhound Project’s website , their primary goal is “to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.” They offer education programs, including free online resources, school visits, activities at their Technical Center, and national rocket car championships. They’ve already motivated at least one student; Rolls-Royce engineer Jess Herbert said in the statement on the public test, “I was inspired to take up a career in engineering by the Bloodhound Project after the team visited my school and I then took up an apprenticeship at Rolls-Royce. I was lucky enough to have been at the unveiling of Bloodhound back in 2015…Being a Bloodhound Ambassador has given me the chance to share the story with the engineers of tomorrow and I hope that seeing the car in action will really help to bring the whole thing to life for them too.” + The Bloodhound Project Via The Bloodhound Project Images via Stefan Marjoram/The Bloodhound Project

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Supersonic car reaches 210mph in 8 seconds

Greenery will engulf this pair of metal prefab offices in Madrid

October 30, 2017 by  
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Nature is encouraged to take over this pair of prefabricated metal buildings in a leafy corner of Madrid . Designed by BETA.ø architecture office for a tennis and padel school, these two small buildings use simple pitched-roof geometry to recede into the landscape, so as not to disrupt the existing tree-lined environment. To further blend the architecture into the landscape, a metal mesh is overlaid atop steel cladding to allow vines to surround the building over time. The pair of weathered steel buildings comprises an office, a customer service area, and storage space for sporting equipment. The buildings, prefabricated in an off-site factory, were discreetly placed atop small concrete slabs as foundation to minimize site impact and pressure on tree roots. A metal mesh wraps around the rusty-brown facade, constructed of insulation sandwiched between phenolic panels and sheets of weathered steel. The interior is lined with varnished pine plywood paneling in the office, while waterproof plasterboard and embossed steel is used in the storage unit. Related: Green roof-ready Backyard Room pops up in six short weeks The void between the two steel structures is turned into a new rest space framed by large deciduous trees. The architects write: “Their outward appearance and formal rotundity, together with leisurely contemplation, carry the user’s imagination to the dream of a simple life, in harmony with nature, to the shelter of a solid structure that protects and caresses its occupants, breathing naturalism, balance and peace.” + BETA.ø architecture office Via ArchDaily Images via BETA.ø architecture office

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Greenery will engulf this pair of metal prefab offices in Madrid

Natural light floods this solar-powered business school in Frankfurt

October 26, 2017 by  
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According to the World Green Building Council , students score higher on tests and learn up to 26% faster when placed in rooms lit by natural light. Danish practice Henning Larsen Architects took this report to heart when they designed the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, a light-filled academic building that officially opens today. Powered by solar and wind energy, this sustainability-minded business school takes cues from its urban surroundings while setting “new standards for transparent and open learning in the world of business and finance.” Transparency, community, and visibility are key to the design of the 32,790-square-meter Frankfurt School of Finance & Management . To open the school up the urban setting, the architects centered the development around the Street of Knowledge, a long public atrium that echoes The Zeil, one of Frankfurt’s oldest commercial streets. A wide variety of glass-fronted rooms branch off on either side of the Street of Knowledge in two north-south facing volumes that reinforce the atrium’s likeness to a real city street. Above the third floor terrace, these two parallel buildings turn into five offset towers of flexible 400-square-meter office units. Designed to the DGNB Platinum standard, the school reduces demands of primary energy by 60 percent as compared to the German energy saving ordinance (EnEV) standards. Computer simulations and calculations led the architects to optimize the building shape and facade, constructed with a mix of opaque and transparent elements, early on in the design process to minimize energy needs, solar radiation, noise pollution, and wind. Rooftop photovoltaics and a wind turbine supplement energy needs, while rainwater retention systems slow the effects of intense rainfall. The skylight and careful building orientation maximize access to natural light . Related: Frankfurt named the most sustainable city on the planet “As architects we know that light is one of the most important factors for learning,” said Partner and Design Principal at Henning Larsen, Louis Becker. “It helps improving our focus and performance. My hope and ambition is that the varied daylight-filled spaces we have created for Frankfurt School of Finance & Management will contribute to the important task of educating students that will excel within their field and give something back to the city of Frankfurt.” + Henning Larsen Images by Henning Larsen/Karsten Thormaehlen

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Natural light floods this solar-powered business school in Frankfurt

Natural light floods this solar-powered business school in Frankfurt

October 26, 2017 by  
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According to the World Green Building Council , students score higher on tests and learn up to 26% faster when placed in rooms lit by natural light. Danish practice Henning Larsen Architects took this report to heart when they designed the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, a light-filled academic building that officially opens today. Powered by solar and wind energy, this sustainability-minded business school takes cues from its urban surroundings while setting “new standards for transparent and open learning in the world of business and finance.” Transparency, community, and visibility are key to the design of the 32,790-square-meter Frankfurt School of Finance & Management . To open the school up the urban setting, the architects centered the development around the Street of Knowledge, a long public atrium that echoes The Zeil, one of Frankfurt’s oldest commercial streets. A wide variety of glass-fronted rooms branch off on either side of the Street of Knowledge in two north-south facing volumes that reinforce the atrium’s likeness to a real city street. Above the third floor terrace, these two parallel buildings turn into five offset towers of flexible 400-square-meter office units. Designed to the DGNB Platinum standard, the school reduces demands of primary energy by 60 percent as compared to the German energy saving ordinance (EnEV) standards. Computer simulations and calculations led the architects to optimize the building shape and facade, constructed with a mix of opaque and transparent elements, early on in the design process to minimize energy needs, solar radiation, noise pollution, and wind. Rooftop photovoltaics and a wind turbine supplement energy needs, while rainwater retention systems slow the effects of intense rainfall. The skylight and careful building orientation maximize access to natural light . Related: Frankfurt named the most sustainable city on the planet “As architects we know that light is one of the most important factors for learning,” said Partner and Design Principal at Henning Larsen, Louis Becker. “It helps improving our focus and performance. My hope and ambition is that the varied daylight-filled spaces we have created for Frankfurt School of Finance & Management will contribute to the important task of educating students that will excel within their field and give something back to the city of Frankfurt.” + Henning Larsen Images by Henning Larsen/Karsten Thormaehlen

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Natural light floods this solar-powered business school in Frankfurt

Spectacular origami pavilion made of recycled plastic pops up in Columbus, Indiana

October 18, 2017 by  
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This gorgeous origami-inspired building in Columbus, Indiana is made entirely from recycled plastic – and it lights up at night with a beautiful LED display. Students at the IU School of Art, Architecture + Design in Bloomington , led by Professor Jiangmei Wu , designed the Synergia pavilion as an experiment in building complex structures inspired by biological forms, soap bubbles, and crystal patterns. The temporary pavilion sits on the site of Eero Saarinen’s North Christian Church in Columbus, and it references the famous architect’s mid-century modernist architecture. Its design stems from a single element– a bisymmetric polyhedron tessellated into interlocking layers. Over 500 polyhedrons, measuring about two to three feet each, work together to form the elongated hexagonal shape. Related: The Folkets House is an inclusive space where refugees can learn skills and find jobs Translucent corrugated plastic sheets made from recycled plastic were laser cut at Noblitt Fabricating in Columbus Indiana and then hand folded like origami to form each of the structural units. The plastic corrugated boards are extremely lightweight and can be easily bent along the flutes. When connected together, the folded hinges produce an interlocking self-supporting lattice that is light and yet structurally efficient. This eliminates the need for additional framing and assemblage and reduces waste. + IU School of Art, Architectuare + Design Photos by Tony Vasquez

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Spectacular origami pavilion made of recycled plastic pops up in Columbus, Indiana

New super concrete makes buildings strong enough to withstand magnitude 9 earthquakes

October 12, 2017 by  
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Recent natural disasters such as hurricanes in the Caribbean and earthquakes in Mexico have laid bare the need for more resilient buildings. Fortunately, researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) have developed a sprayable, eco-friendly concrete that makes the exterior of buildings as strong as steel and able to withstand unforeseen disasters . The material is called Eco-friendly Ductile Cementitious Composite, or EDCC – and it’s is predominantly comprised of an industrial by-product called fly ash. Said UBC Professor Nemy Banthia, “The cement industry produces close to seven percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. By replacing nearly 70 percent of cement with fly ash, we can reduce the amount of cement used. This is quite an urgent requirement, as one tonne of cement production releases almost a tonne of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.” The final product is very similar to steel. It is durable, malleable and much more ductile than ordinary concrete. To test the invention, researchers sprayed EDCC on concrete block walls about 10 mm (one-half inch) thick. They then simulated a magnitude 9 earthquake — the same strength of the earthquake that rocked Tohoku, Japan, in 2011. “The results of these tests have been amazing,” said UBC engineering Ph.D. candidate Salman Soleimani-Dashtaki. “We can shake the wall extensively without it failing.” The video above shows that the unreinforced wall collapsed at about 65 percent intensity. In contrast, the reinforced wall withstood full intensity shaking and flexing. “A 10 millimeter-thick layer of EDCC … is sufficient to reinforce most interior walls against seismic shocks ,” said Soleimani-Dashtaki. EDCC is already on the market – in British Columbia, Canada , the product has been designated as “an official retrofit option.” The product is growing in popularity, as it is more cost-effective than major structural renovations or the steel bracings often required for earthquake protection. Plans are already in motion to reinforce the walls of an elementary school in Vancouver, B.C., and to upgrade a school in the seismically active area of northern India . With this technology, the costs of retrofitting buildings is cut in half. Said Banthia, “This can be very easily scaled to other projects. It costs about half of what other retrofit strategies would cost.” Via Metro News Canada , Engadget Images via UBC Civil Engineering Department, Pixabay, YouTube

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New super concrete makes buildings strong enough to withstand magnitude 9 earthquakes

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