Solar-powered home embraces sustainable design in Chihuahua

January 11, 2018 by  
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Sustainability and stunning views go hand-in-hand at the Cima House, a striking residence in Chihuahua , Mexico. Garza Iga Arquitectos designed the spacious solar-powered home rising three stories to overlook panoramic city views. Built with a concrete shell, the home’s appearance is softened by the layering of textiles and timber. The architects describe the 465-square-meter Cima House as a building “of opposites” from the way it was constructed to its current appearance. “Built with concrete, steel I beams, and wood; it resembles the classic architecture styles of Louis Kahn and Mies Van der Rohe but at the same time it incorporates a range of technological systems not available in their time,” wrote the architects. “Water collection, treatment and reuse, and solar power technology are only some of those mentioned systems.” Related: Zaha Hadid Architects breaks ground on Mexico’s City tallest residential tower In addition, the street-facing facade is dramatically different from the opposite end. For privacy and security, the architects constructed a windowless exterior to face the street, whereas the north-facing side is completely open to take in panoramic city views. The giant windows are double-glazed with argon gas sandwiched in between to protect from harsh solar gain. Thick concrete walls contain high thermal mass. The residence is also equipped with home automation that can be controlled remotely via smartphone. + Garza Iga Arquitectos Via ArchDaily Images via Garza Iga Arquitectos

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Solar-powered home embraces sustainable design in Chihuahua

These entrepreneurs are democratizing data to predict flood risks

January 8, 2018 by  
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The co-founder of Cloud to Street discusses the catalyst for her venture and why she organized her venture as a business, not a nonprofit.

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These entrepreneurs are democratizing data to predict flood risks

These entrepreneurs are democratizing data to predict flood risks

January 8, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

The co-founder of Cloud to Street discusses the catalyst for her venture and why she organized her venture as a business, not a nonprofit.

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These entrepreneurs are democratizing data to predict flood risks

Renovated forever home strives to minimize its carbon footprint

January 1, 2018 by  
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Sustainable architecture doesn’t have to come at the cost of beauty. Take, for example, this lovely refurbished home in Melbourne with its elegantly exposed timber frame, modern decor, and eco-certified building materials. Foomann Architects led the redesign, titled Ballantyne Street, to meet the client’s brief for a sustainable home where they intend to live in forever. Foomann Architects preserved much of the single-story dwelling’s original structure, including the front, but replaced the 1990s extension in the rear with a more modern addition that houses an open-plan living room, dining area, and kitchen, study, as well as a new bedroom. The renovation and expansion accommodates the client’s family of five and visiting guests. In contrast to the home’s original and rather unassuming frontage, the new modern addition is wrapped in full-height glazing that lets in natural light and views of a fenced-in backyard. “The design was approached in this context; to be no bigger than required and enduring,” wrote the architects. “This resonated strongly with our practice; every decision weighing up cost, longevity and environmental impact.” The modern addition features an interior mainly made of masonry and glass broken up by beautiful exposed timber framing —made of composite laminated lumber veneer —integrated with joinery, echoed in the furnishings, and extended across rooms to the outdoor spaces. The joinery is also integrated with concealed lighting for a clean and minimalist appearance. Related: Solar-powered forever home is a modern take on the rustic farmhouse The dedication to sourcing eco-certified and durable materials as well as the design of compact room sizes earned the project a Commendation for sustainability in the ArchiTeam 2017 Awards . + Foomann Architects Via Dezeen Images by Willem-Dirk du Toit

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Renovated forever home strives to minimize its carbon footprint

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

LEED-seeking brick building in Montreal hides funky geode-like courtyard

October 6, 2017 by  
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Montreal’s ADHOC Architectes  created a beautiful residential building whose ubiquitous brick facade hides a crystalline-filled courtyard—inspired by the geode. Located in the trendy Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhood, La Géode’s many sustainable features are expected to earn the project Canada’s first LEED v4 certification for a multi-unit building. At first glance, the building looks like any other in the area. However, the brick facade – much like a geode – hides a crystalline treasure on the interior. The unique design of the five-unit residential building began with optimizing the footprint to create a layout that would be conducive to a quality living environment, based on maximum efficiency. By blending the street entry and alley space, the architects created a central entryway that leads into the inner courtyard. Related: Beekeeper built dream hexagonal house without ‘hateful’ right angles A small walkway covered in grey and white panels leads into the open-air courtyard , covered in the same facade. The space was strategically designed to create a sense of privacy for the residents as well as a pleasant outdoor space for socializing. In addition to creating a healthy communal space, the courtyard helps provide natural light and cross ventilation of the units, all of which come with private loggias that open up to the exterior. The walls were also built to have high acoustic performance, blocking out a lot of street noise, again enhancing residents’ quality of life. A large part of the design was focused on providing sufficient greenery for the tenants. Various shrub, climbing species and trees were planted to grow freely on the floor and the walls of the inner courtyard, adding to its healthy-living atmosphere. This greenery, along with the building’s high energy performance and various green features, are expected to earn the building a LEED v4 certification , a first for this kind of structure in Canada. + ADHOC Architectes Photography by Adrien Williams

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LEED-seeking brick building in Montreal hides funky geode-like courtyard

New Orleans declares state of emergency in anticipation of Tropical Storm Nate

October 6, 2017 by  
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In the midst of one of the most active hurricane seasons in modern United States history, New Orleans braces for impact as Tropical Storm Nate barrels through Central America en route to the American Gulf Coast. Nate, which has already claimed the lives of at least 22 people in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, may make landfall in New Orleans as a hurricane after having gained strength over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Mitch Landrieu, Mayor of New Orleans, warned those living in vulnerable areas to relocate to higher ground. “There is no need to panic,” Landrieu said in a statement. “Be ready and prepare. Get a plan. Prepare to protect your personal property.” In addition to the state of emergency in New Orleans, evacuation orders have already been issued for parts of Louisiana, including St. Bernard Parish near the city, while storm surge and hurricane warnings have been issued for the neighboring Alabama and Mississippi coastal areas. As much as a foot of rain is expected in the region, with storm surges of four to eight feet. Related: New Orleans golf course transformed into city’s biggest urban farm with an Eco-Campus As of early Friday morning EST, Tropical Storm Nate was departing from Honduras and rejoining the waters of the Caribbean, with maximum sustained winds of 45 MPH. It is expected to strengthen as it crosses Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, where maximum sustained winds of 60 MPH are predicted. Although the storm is passing, parts of Central America are expected to receive up to 30 inches of rain. The storm has already delivered powerful downpours, which have caused mudslides and flash floods. 15 people in Nicaragua and 7 people in Costa Rica have been killed as a result of Tropical Storm Nate. Via ABC News Images via ABC News  and Phil Roeder

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New Orleans declares state of emergency in anticipation of Tropical Storm Nate

Ole Scheeren modular office building looks like a giant Jenga tower

October 6, 2017 by  
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Architect Ole Scheeren unveiled images of his first project in Europe- a residential tower that will offer panoramic views of Frankfurt’s skyline. The designer will overhaul an entire 1970s office block to create 200 living units on the banks of the River Main. Each apartment will consist of a modular unit that can be inserted into the framework of the building, with some recessed and others cantilevering out into space. The Riverpark Tower will be developed in cooperation with GEG, one of Germany ’s most prestigious real estate investment platforms. It will house 220 units on 23 floors, ranging in size from small apartment to four-room suites. Related: Thailand’s tallest building opens with new green spaces for Bangkok “This project is about the positive reinterpretation of an existing structure,” said the architect. “It’s quite a serious intervention, prompted by necessity not ambition,” he added. Modular , glass-fronted units will be inserted into the existing, free-spanning structural framework. They will cantilever out at some points, introducing an element of irregularity to the silhouette. New loft apartments will occupy the space at the four corners of the building which will be cut away at the top. + Buro Ole Scheeren Via Dezeen

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Ole Scheeren modular office building looks like a giant Jenga tower

Kengo Kuma unveils stunning SUTEKI house for Oregons Street of Dreams

August 2, 2017 by  
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Acclaimed architect Kengo Kuma has crafted a stunning cross-cultural home that combines the best of American modern amenities with traditional Japanese design principles. Located in Oregon’s NW Natural Street of Dreams in Portland, the sustainably built SUTEKI home promotes healthy living with its strong connection to the outdoors in both its use of natural materials and garden surroundings. The master-built home is the first of its kind constructed by Japanese homebuilder, Suteki, in the United States. As with many of Kuma’s architectural projects, nature is a big theme in the SUTEKI home. A natural materials palette used throughout the home shows off sustainably harvested wood , from the soaring Olympia wall built of timber to the regional Alaskan yellow cedar in the louvre walls. Natural stone and tile are also prominently featured. A high level of detail and craftsmanship is seen around the home, especially in the origami-inspired ceiling that creates a feeling of fluidity and movement. To deepen the connection with the outdoors and create a restorative living experience, Kuma incorporated seamless indoor and outdoor living spaces built around nature. Large openings frame views of the outdoors and every view is optimized inside and out. Portland Japanese Garden curator Sadafumi Uchiyama designed the garden and used “borrowed scenery” principles to incorporate the surrounding landscape—a giant oak and sequoia tree, and a stream that runs along the property. Related: Kengo Kuma unveils nature-filled Eco-Luxury Hotel for Paris “My collaboration with Suteki is owed to our shared view of the sublimity of nature,” said Kuma. “Embracing the surroundings, insisting on natural materials, sustainability and transparency creates a space where people can experience nature more completely and intimately.” The placement and orientation of the home contributes to its energy efficiency . The Suteki company plans to build more sustainably built homes in the Portland market in the near future. + Street of Dreams Images by Justin Krug Photography

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Kengo Kuma unveils stunning SUTEKI house for Oregons Street of Dreams

Light-filled timber home is a modern zen haven in Seattle

July 18, 2017 by  
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How do you combine countryside tranquility with urban style? MW|Works Architecture+Design strikes a thoughtful balance in Helen Street, a beautiful modern home with handsome craftsmanship and careful attention to detail. Filled with light and views of the landscape, this lovely Seattle home is built largely of wood, from the heavy reclaimed timber cladding to the naturally weathered cedar plank roof. Helen Street was commissioned by clients who had been living on a rural property east of Seattle but found themselves drawn back to the vibrancy of city life. Thus, the architects were tasked to create a home with a smaller footprint than the client’s former house that still retained the peaceful setting of the countryside as well as easy indoor/outdoor living. The new-build is located on an urban corner lot in the walkable Madison Valley neighborhood next to Washington Park Arboretum , and comfortably houses the two clients and their two dogs. Related: Shapeshifting Tent House blurs the line between indoor and outdoor spaces A courtyard is located at the heart of the home, bringing natural light and greenery deep in the interior. “Territorial view corridors helped identify where the building could be very transparent and where privacy was more important,” wrote the architects. “The material palette was simple with a largely glassy main level with solid volumes crisply detailed in cement panels.” Naturally weathered cedar planks clad the roof plane and master suite, while stacked and blackened reclaimed timber clad the exterior. + MW|Works Architecture+Design Images by Andrew Pogue

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Light-filled timber home is a modern zen haven in Seattle

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