Educational center in Russia has a wind turbine and rooftop solar panels

July 30, 2020 by  
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Located in the Russian village of Khryug in southern Dagestan, the Luminary Inspiration Center is a welcomed educational experience in a small town of just 2,000 residents. The idea for an interactive creative center was born thanks to a local charity foundation, which delivered computers to the village schools in an effort to bring the area up to national internet communication standards. The center has been open since mid-2018 and has always remained free-of-charge for kids between the ages of 10 and 17. By 2020, there were about 120 children regularly studying in the center, half from Khryug and the rest from neighboring villages. Related: Locally crafted children’s learning center doubles as an emergency shelter in the Philippines One of the most compelling aspects of Luminary is its architecture, which is unlike anything else in the immediate region. Most of the children who frequent the center have never been outside of their villages, nor have they experienced anything outside of their own neighborhood’s common architecture. Luminary offers a chance for them to see mosaics of different styles and epochs as well as the combination of the traditional architecture of the area with contemporary black metal and glass elements. The educational center is located within a 2,500-square-meter property inside of an apple garden and includes a lecture hall designed with panoramic glass walls and an outdoor amphitheater for fresh-air learning during favorable weather. Inside, there is a wide range of educational spaces including an observatory, robotics and VR laboratories, a virtual planetarium, a cinema, a library and an artistic workshop. A peaceful, modern interior creates the perfect learning environment for studying and creative thinking. Sunlight-harvesting rooftop solar panels assist with the frequent power outages, so if the internet is lost at any time, it only takes 0.025 seconds for the solar battery to kick in. A large wind turbine in the garden powers the water fountain and provides a working example for a favorite student project — assembling a working wind turbine and solar power station in Luminary’s technological laboratory. + Archiproba Studios Photography by Alexei Kalabin via Archiproba Studios

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Educational center in Russia has a wind turbine and rooftop solar panels

Sculptural aluminum roof keeps Cal Poly building cool

July 14, 2020 by  
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California State Polytechnic University’s (Cal Poly) Pomona campus recently welcomed a new gateway building that not only consolidates academic services, but also serves as a sustainable campus landmark. Los Angeles-based firm  CO Architects  designed the 140,000-square-foot building, a two-wing structure topped with an eye-catching aluminum roof that spans two acres. The massive, undulating roof protects against California’s intense sun, while also referencing the campus’s topography, including the foothills and nearby San Gabriel Mountains.  Completed in 2018, Cal Poly’s new Student Services Building (SSB) consolidates formerly fractured departments — including enrollment, registration, financial aid, cashiering and prospective student services — into one destination. The 110,000-square-foot, three-story main building houses the service centers on the ground floor, offices for academic, student and administrative affairs on the second level and offices for the university president, provost and university advancement on the top floor. A two-story, 30,000-square-foot wing located across a shaded pedestrian breezeway contains the veteran resources center, orientation, multipurpose rooms, human resources offices and additional service centers.  The SSB draws the eye with its wavy standing-seam aluminum roof constructed with perforated metal overhangs that vary from five to 28 feet in depth. Extensive daylight, glare and solar heat-gain analysis modeling informed the roof’s orientation and design. As a result, the optimized roof serves as a primary performance driver for the building; its Energy Use Intensity rating is 31 compared to an average of 65, and it minimizes energy loads for lighting and cooling while improving thermal comfort. The  LEED Platinum -certified building enhances its energy efficiency with LEDs installed throughout. Low-E glass strategically installed also provides naturally lit workspaces for the majority of the eight-hour work period.  Related: Immense drought-tolerant green roof provides valuable teaching tool in thirsty California Spurlock Landscape Architects led the design of the building’s environmentally responsible landscape plan. This plan features drought-tolerant plantings and an on-site capture system for stormwater and roof runoff, which is used to irrigate the new landscape.  + CO Architects Images by Bill Timmerman

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Each purchase of this bag made from recycled plastic helps plant trees

July 14, 2020 by  
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Just in time to celebrate National Forest Week from July 13 to July 19, fashion brand Solo New York is planting one tree per purchase for its line of affordable bags made from recycled plastic bottles . The first run of the company’s Re:cycled Collection recycled over 90,000 bottles, and this is just the beginning. The environmentally friendly manufacturing process starts with discarded plastic bottles otherwise destined for the landfill and transforms them into a high-quality and lightweight recycled PET polyester yarn. The process uses 50% less energy and 20% less water and creates 60% less air pollution than traditional fiber manufacturing, according to Solo New York. The main bodies of the Re:cycled Collection bags are made up of the re-spun plastic yarn; the tags, strings and stuffing are made entirely from other biodegradable and recycled materials . Related: Patagonia’s Black Hole Bags are made from recycled plastic bottles The Re:store Tote ($54.99) is made with a heather gray material and includes a padded compartment for laptops, an interior organizer section, a key clip, a front zippered pocket, a quick access pocket and a back panel for sliding over luggage handles. The lightweight, 0.57-pound Re:vive Mini Backpack ($24.99) also includes adjustable shoulder straps and black camo interior lining, while the Re:move Duffel ($64.99) includes shoulder straps that are both removable and adjustable. This is not the first sustainability effort for the popular New York brand — the line also features eco-friendly packaging with fully biodegradable hang tags and recycled boxes. The company also limits use of single-use plastics, and its headquarters is 100% powered by 1,400 rooftop solar panels (which is enough to power 87 homes). Catalogs are printed on paper with 30% post-consumer fiber and are manufactured using renewable energy as well. Now, every bag purchased from the collection will help plant a tree with the National Forest Foundation. + Solo New York Images via Solo New York

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Each purchase of this bag made from recycled plastic helps plant trees

UNStudio unveils future-proof energy-generating education building for TU Delft

June 29, 2020 by  
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UNStudio has unveiled designs for Echo, a new multipurpose academic building for TU Delft that will not only generate its own energy via solar panels but will also feature a highly flexible and demountable design to ensure sustainability. Created in collaboration with Arup and BBN, the building responds to the campus’ needs for greater and more versatile teaching spaces with the inclusion of seven teaching rooms, the largest of which accommodates 700 people and can be divided into three separate rooms as needed. Echo is currently under construction and is slated for completion in December 2021. Surrounded by full-height, high-performance glazing on all sides, Echo embraces the concept of transparency with the inclusion of a covered public square created by connecting the adjacent square through its glazed ground floor — flanked by two auditoria — and out to the opposite street. Conceived as a “public connector,” the building renders the oft-invisible world of learning into a visible experience and further pulls the community in with a diagonally oriented restaurant with a terrace opposite the D:Dreamhall. Related: UNStudio to transform Gyeongdo Island into a sustainable tourism destination Adaptability defines Echo, which follows the contemporary culture of “Everything Anywhere” emphasizing the importance of interstitial spaces as potential study areas and meeting spaces. For instance, the winding grand stair that forms the heart of the building is wide enough to accommodate the flow of people as well as impromptu study sessions. In addition to the inclusion of classrooms and 300-plus study spaces for group work and self-study, Echo will provide medium-sized and large teaching rooms that accommodate between 150 to 700 people.  User comfort and sustainability has also been prioritized. To protect against unwanted solar gain , the building is topped with a large roof with deep aluminum awnings, while climbing plants will be grown along cables to create a subtle green facade over time. + UNStudio Images by Plompmozes via UNStudio

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WOHA to transform polluted swamp into green university

March 20, 2020 by  
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For nearly 50 years, Bangladesh-based nonprofit  BRAC  has championed change for good, and now the NGO will take its do-gooding a big step forward with the establishment of BRAC University in Dhaka. Designed by Singaporean architecture firm  WOHA , the university will be a beacon of environmental and social sustainability as well as a catalyst for positive change in the local community. Slated for completion in 2021, the development will accommodate over 10,000 students on a site that has been remediated from polluted swampland.  In addition to serving as a place of learning, BRAC University will become a showcase of sustainable low-tech solutions for mitigating Bangladesh’s intense summers and heavy monsoons. Key to the design will be the abundance of greenery that blankets the building, which translates to over 26,000 square meters of landscaping that grows both vertically and horizontally to help cut out glare and dust and promote natural cooling to reduce dependence on air conditioning. The architects will also remediate the swamp grounds into a bio-retention pond filled with lush native landscaping that will further enhance a comfortably cool microclimate through evaporate cooling.  Due to Dhaka’s density, the roughly 88,000-square-meter university will rise to a total of 13 stories. Rooms will be based on nine-by-nine-meter structural  modules  to ensure flexibility so that classrooms can combine to former larger units or be subdivided as needed. A “single-room-thick design” also gives every classroom easy access to cross ventilation and daylighting. Gathering spaces will be open and airy yet sheltered from the elements.  Related: WOHA revamps Singapore office with lush ‘pocket parks’ A large recreational sky park known as the “University Green” will crown the roof of the university and comprise a recreational field, a swimming pool and a 200-meter running track beneath a large photovoltaic canopy. Harvested  solar  energy will be used to power giant High Volume Low Speed (HVLS) fans, common area lights and student laptops.  + WOHA Images via WOHA

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A Brisbane cottage is sustainably updated to gracefully age in place

March 20, 2020 by  
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In Brisbane’s leafy suburb of Paddington, Australian architectural practice Shaun Lockyer Architects has created a contemporary and sustainable addition that provides a striking contrast to the original cottage it sits beside. Dubbed Sorrel Street, the concrete-clad extension is a deliberate counterpoint to the local vernacular while respecting the scale of the neighborhood. Sustainability and the client’s desire for limited maintenance also informed the design, which features green roofs, substantial thermal mass, LED lighting and low-E glass throughout. Completed in 2016, Sorrel was commissioned by clients who wanted their suburban home reworked to better meet the needs of their children, one of whom has limited mobility. As a result, the architects altered the sloping site to create a flat lawn that opens to the northwest side. The need for flat land also led the architects to place the contemporary addition to the north of the cottage so that the main living spaces could flow out to the level garden. Related: A 1920s cottage gets a new lease on life as an urban barnyard house “The project explores the juxtaposition between historical context and contemporary architecture within a broader subtropical paradigm,” Shaun Lockyer Architects explained. “In a somewhat controversial decision, the call was made to ‘leave well enough alone’ and make a clear distinction between the small, original cottage and the new work, keeping their respective personalities distinct.” The renovated, predominately single-story home is centered on the kitchen and comprises all the main sleeping and living areas on the upper level, while only the garage, storage, offices and media room are on the lower floor. To minimize energy use, the home is equipped with deep eaves and strategically placed windows and skylights for cross-flow ventilation and natural lighting. The insulating green roof and thick concrete walls help maintain stable indoor temperatures, while timber flooring and furnishings lend a sense of warmth throughout. + Shaun Lockyer Architects Photography by Scott Burrows via Shaun Lockyer Architects

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York Universitys new green-roofed student center celebrates inclusivity

March 2, 2020 by  
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After overwhelmingly voting in favor of a second campus building devoted solely to student space, students at Toronto’s York University have welcomed a new student center with an inspiring emphasis on inclusivity and sustainability. Designed by global architecture firm CannonDesign , the student center was created not only as a hub of student life but to also improve mental health by creating a welcoming and safe space for students of all backgrounds. Centrally located at the north end of a major campus green space, the new student center is easily accessible to the university’s 50,000 students. The architects took cues from safety design principles to create a building with an abundance of natural light and maximized sight lines. The high-performance glazing that wraps around the building gives the student center a level of transparency reflective of its objective to be open and welcoming to all. Related: New BU academic tower will be 100% free from fossil fuels In addition to serving as a “living room” for student life, the 126,000-square-foot student center also includes a large multi-faith prayer space on the top floor; a food pantry on the lower level to serve students facing food insecurity; a wellness clinic that provides mental health counseling recommendations and more; bustling club spaces; and gender-neutral bathrooms. As part of the school’s commitment to sustainability, the new building also features bicycle parking, showers, green roofs and extensive use of natural lighting to minimize energy use. “This project excels at creating a campus destination where all students can feel welcome, safe, engaged and motivated to excel,” said Brad Lukanic, CEO of CannonDesign and a member of the York U Student Centre project team. “York University made an inclusive design part of this project’s mission from day one. The Second Student Centre stands as a paragon of how design can make measurable positive differences in both campus culture and students’ lives.” + CannonDesign Photography by Tom Arban, Connie Tsang and Lisa Logan via CannonDesign

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This student housing is the largest Passive House-certified building in the Southern Hemisphere

November 19, 2019 by  
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At nearly 70,000 square feet, Gillies Hall at Monash University in Australia has become the country’s largest Passive House-certified building. The school has a population of about 4,000 students, most of whom are studying subjects of early childhood education, physiotherapy and nursing. Since the building was opened, modeling has maintained indoor temperatures between 22 °C (71 °F) and 24 °C (75 °F) throughout the year. At the forefront of the project was the usage of cross-laminated timber (or CLT), which inspired much of the design for the building’s interior. CLT is a type of prefabricated , solid wood paneling that is both lightweight and strong and is widely considered to have a low environmental impact in construction projects. Aside from providing superior thermal insulation, its simple and quick installation generates minimal waste onsite. Related: LEED Platinum UCSB student housing harnesses California’s coastal climate According to Simon Topliss, project director for Jackson Clements Burrows Architects, “CLT was a wonderful, low-carbon solution and is a robust, structural product with a warmth that concrete doesn’t have.” Close to 50 percent of the entire building’s internal walls and the partition walls in each apartment were made using CLT . There are two wings of apartments on each residential floor, each joined by a connective “knuckle,” allowing the building’s circulation to integrate with the communal kitchen, lounge and study. There are glazed, open stairs with outside views connecting to other floors as well. In Australia, Passive House -certified projects typically cost 6 to 10 percent extra to construct but use about 70 percent less energy than conventional buildings. The region where Gillies Hall was built often sees a large number of extremely hot summer days, so plenty of shading and cross-ventilation methods were implemented in order to keep the building within the temperature standards of Passive House certification. The project was completed in 19 months, just in time for students to move in for the 2019 school year. Topliss said that the university’s commitment to fostering community was one of the main focuses for the design of the building. “So we wanted to take every design opportunity to create spaces for students to socialize, play and study together,” Topliss explained. “There is one resident adviser per 30 students, and floor planning was developed around this model.” + Jackson Clements Burrows Architects Via Dwell Photography by Peter Clarke via Jackson Clements Burrows Architects

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This student housing is the largest Passive House-certified building in the Southern Hemisphere

Archstorming announces winning proposals for a school made of recycled plastic in Mexico

October 11, 2019 by  
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Architectural competitions platform Archstorming recently presented the winners of its “Tulum Plastic School” competition that sought proposals for a school built of plastic for the NGO’s MOM I’M FINE Project and Los Amigos de la Esquina in Tulum, Mexico. From 230 submissions, an international jury selected three winning projects that draw attention to the problem of plastic waste in Mexico and found imaginative ways to reuse common plastic objects. First prize was awarded to Daniel Garcia and William Smith from Harvard University. The duo used the international plastic pallet as the building block for their proposed school . Instead of melting down plastic and reforming the material, the designers took advantage of the stability of pallets to create the school’s exterior walls and its very steep roof. The transparent, recyclable and corrugated plastic facade not only allows light into the school, but it also protects the school from the elements and can glow like a beacon when illuminated at night. Related: Passive solar school in Indonesia celebrates the natural landscape Malaysian designer David Nee Zhi Kang was awarded second place for his proposal of a school scaled and designed for children. The multifunctional school could also be opened up for community use. Rather than use processed plastic materials, the conceptual building is constructed from common plastic waste materials, such as recycled plastic bottles, and assembled with simple tools without the need of heavy machinery. The vision is for a building that can inspire the residents of Tulum to adopt similar recycling and building practices. In third place, Argentinian designers Iván Elías Barczuk, Matías Raúl Falero, Agustín Flamig and Adrián Eduardo Mendez proposed a modular design to reduce waste and for quick assembly with non-specialized labor. Each modular panel would be built from recycled, shredded-plastic liners and reconstituted wood. To further reduce the environmental footprint, the school can be equipped with vertical gardens, a rainwater collection system and photovoltaic panels. “The result of this contest shows that there are new, very attractive ways of designing a school using recycled plastic and that it is possible to introduce this material into architecture,” Archstorming said. + Tulum Plastic School Images via Archstorming

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Archstorming announces winning proposals for a school made of recycled plastic in Mexico

Ecosistema Urbano designs a digitally integrated eco-campus for the University of Malaga

October 7, 2019 by  
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The University of Malaga in Spain will soon be home to a high-tech campus that will redefine the urban fabric with digital connectivity and renewable energy systems. Designed by Ecosistema Urbano to regenerate the underused Louis Pasteur Boulevard area, the project will not only enhance the city’s infrastructure, but it will also create new spaces where everyday university activities, including classes, can take place in public areas. Spanning a total surface area of 52 acres, the Malaga University Campus planning project will improve the climatic comfort and digital connectivity of currently underused public spaces. The plan targets four main strategies: a Connected Campus strategy for opening the university to its urban surroundings; a Green Campus strategy that seeks to create, restore and enhance existing green space; an Interactive Campus strategy that will allow users to visualize real-time information and manipulate physical aspects of public space with technology; and an Open Campus strategy to make educational meeting spaces and devices in the public areas available for use by both students and local citizens. Using a network of sensors and interactive technologies, the outdoor spaces can be manipulated to support both educational and playful programming, as well as improved outdoor comfort that can be enhanced with solar-powered climate conditioning systems. Related: Ecosistema Urbano’s amazing LED Energy Carousel is powered by play “One of the key aspects of this project is its commitment to using technology as a way of improving the interaction between people and the environment,” explained the architects, who were inspired by the smart cities approach. “It will be the first public space that users can control through an application. In parallel with the construction of the project, the official UMA app will be extended with open source modules that will allow access to an augmented environment of interactivity and information.” To reduce the environmental footprint of the project, the architects have proposed installing photovoltaic panels to power the campus’ bioclimatic conditioning systems, such as evaporative cooling and geothermal air circulation. Passive bioclimatic strategies will also be used, including shading elements like green walls and sculptural canopies. The first construction phase, which covers 17 acres, is planned for December 2020. + Ecosistema Urbano Images via Ecosistema Urbano

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