Parasitic wooden cubes slash Parisian building’s energy consumption by 75%

March 3, 2017 by  
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Stéphane Malka has designed a clever way of optimizing the energy efficiency of older urban structures while working within the restrictions of Parisian building codes. Malka’s Plug-in City 75 design envisions attaching parasitic wooden cubes to the facade of a 1970s-era building, extending the living space and significantly reducing the building’s annual energy consumption by approximately 75 percent. The innovative design is slated for a 1970s-era building in the French capital’s 16th arrondissement. Like similar buildings in the city, this one is burdened with low energy performance due to thermal bridges, poor insulation, and permeable windows. However, current building laws are quite restrictive and do not allow for the structures to be raised to make way for better, more efficient space. Related: Parasitic prefabs mounted atop buildings create affordable green housing in Paris Malka’s solution is to incorporate a type of parasitic architecture to improve the building’s energy envelope. According to the design, a series of bio-sourced wooden cubes would be mounted onto the facade, extending the apartments horizontally through openings in the exterior. Extending the apartments outwards would divide the total energy consumption of the building by four. This would significantly reduce the rehabilitated building’s annual energy consumption from its current 190KWh per square meter to 45KWh per square meter. The modular boxes , made from wood particles and chips are quite lightweight, which allows for easy transport and on-site assembly. Once mounted onto the building, the cubed extensions would not only add more living space and light to the interior, but would also create an inner garden courtyard on the first floor. The new facade would be draped in hanging greenery, greatly improving the structure’s overall aesthetic. + Malka Architecture

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Timberland transforms recycled plastic bottles into shoes, bags

March 3, 2017 by  
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For its latest collection, Timberland is turning to the bottle—the plastic bottle, that is. The outdoor-wear maker has teamed up with Thread , a Pittsburgh, Penn.-based manufacturer of sustainable fabrics, to transform plastic bottles from the streets and canals of Haiti into a dapper collection of footwear, bags, and T-shirts. The Timberland x Thread collaboration goes “beyond environmental sustainability,” according to Timberland. Not only does the partnership turn an ecological blight into a resource but it also creates social value in the form of cleaner neighborhoods and job opportunities for one of the planet’s poorest nations. “The Timberland x Thread collection is incredible proof that style and sustainability can go hand-in-hand,” Colleen Vien, director of sustainability for Timberland, said in a statement. “This collection delivers good with every fiber, not just by recycling plastic bottles that would otherwise end up littering the streets, but also by creating job opportunities and cleaner neighborhoods in Haiti. Related: Take a first look at Timberland’s new boots and bags made out of recycled plastic “Consumers can feel good about pulling on their Timberland x Thread boots or backpack, and know they are making a positive impact in someone else’s life,” she added The Timberland x Thread capsule comprises five styles of men’s shoes and boots, a duffel bag and a backpack, and one T-shirt. All incorporate Thread’s “Ground to Good” fabric, which the certified B Corp. spins in the United States using 50 percent post-consumer recycled polyethylene terephthalate , better known as PET. Thread says that every yard of fabric can be traced throughout the supply chain, from bottle collection to textile creation and delivery to the manufacturer. The “bottle to boot” process employs more than 1,300 bottle collectors, entrepreneurs, and manufacturing employees in Haiti alone. “At Thread, we believe that dignified jobs cure poverty—and our fabric creates those jobs,” said Ian Rosenberger, founder and CEO of Thread. “Our partnership with Timberland marks a seismic shift in the fashion industry, combining Timberland’s large supply chain and loyal customer base with Thread’s responsible, transparent approach to creating premium fabrics and vital jobs in the developing world. The Timberland x Thread collection is a major step towards improving the way our clothes are made.” + Timberland + Thread

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Dramatic disintegration of Canada permafrost threatens huge carbon release

March 3, 2017 by  
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Permafrost , or frozen soil , is rapidly collapsing across a 52,000 square mile area in northwest Canada – about the size of the entire state of Alabama. New research from the Northwest Territories Geological Survey (NTGS) finds the permafrost thaw is intensifying, a dramatic disintegration that could speed up climate change . When these slabs of Arctic permafrost collapse, they send silt and mud rich in carbon into waterways. The research shows the decay is resulting in landslides that could alter large swaths of landscape. Similar phenomenon have been noted in Scandinavia, Siberia, and Alaska. The new study sought to measure permafrost decay in Canada using satellite images and other data – and Steven Kokelj of NTGS, lead author of a paper published in February by Geology , said “things have really taken off” in the face of climate change. Scientists from universities in New Zealand and Canada also contributed to the research. Related: Alaskan permafrost could melt in the next 55 years, says world’s leading expert The scientists observed permafrost disintegrating in 40- to 60-mile stretches of the terrain, revealing “extensive landscapes [that] remain poised for climate-driven change.” Other research has suggested thawing permafrost could lead to the collapse of coastlines or creation of new lakes or valleys. All that silt and mud could affect fish and other species living in the waterways, limiting development of aquatic plants, but scientists still need to determine how exactly this added mud might impact fish. Also up for debate is how quickly the carbon in melted permafrost becomes carbon dioxide (CO2). Scientist Suzanne Tank of the University of Alberta told InsideClimate News the carbon in permafrost becomes coarse particles that don’t become CO2 right away. But Swedish researchers conducted a study suggesting soil particles are in fact converted rapidly to CO2 when the soil is carried along to the sea. Via InsideClimate News Images via Wikimedia Commons and U.S. Geological Survey on Flickr

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Dramatic disintegration of Canada permafrost threatens huge carbon release

The brickwork inside this beautiful Tehran community center will blow your mind

March 3, 2017 by  
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Kalout Architecture Studio ‘s Imam Reza Cultural and Religious Complex in Tehran, Iran is a vibrant urban space that locals of all ages and social groups enjoy. To make the building’s ethos absolutely clear, the architects built the roof in the form of interlocking fingers, symbolizing “unity and social cohesion”. The beautiful 7000-square-meter center, which is located in the cultural zone of the capital, houses a mosque , an art gallery, a bookstore coffee shop, an amphitheater and an IT center. The building’s various functional zones are organized around the central glass-paneled dome in stone-clad wings. Related: Mosque for All: BIG Wins Competition To Design Inside-Out Albanian Cultural Center The dome arches over a traditional shabestan – an underground space typically found in Iranian houses, mosques, and schools. According to the architects, the unique design was influenced by both tradition and functionality, “The main form of the shabestan, with the grandeur of a religious space, provides the opportunity for a unique experience to fulfill the immemorial ambition to connect with the creator and feel the symbolic form of the dome. Following this main form, the side wings of the building with the supplementary functions rise from and rest on the ground to create an innovative form visually.” The dome is composed of handmade glass carved with the various words for god. On the exterior walkway, bricks are laid in an intricate pattern that runs the length of the walls. According to the architects, the two materials were used to represent the “ascending movement from earth to light”. Additional traditional features found in the complex include a sunken courtyard with a small reflecting pool, and a cedar statue that symbolizes “constancy, life and freedom”. + Kalout Architecture Studio Via Dezeen Photography by Parham Taghiof

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The brickwork inside this beautiful Tehran community center will blow your mind

Studio Gang’s Solar Carve is a faceted jewel of a building in NYC’s Meatpacking District

February 27, 2017 by  
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The curtain is set to rise on Solar Carve , a glistening jewel of a building set to soar above New York City’s 10th Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets. Jeanne Gang’s Studio Gang architecture has given the tower a chiseled, gem-like exterior that almost appears to be sculpted by the rays of the sun. Caught between the High Line and the Hudson River, the 139,000-square-foot structure will have light, fresh air, and spectacular views in abundance. “All of our floors have unparalleled views of the Hudson River,” said Jared Epstein of Aurora Capital , which is developing the space in tandem with William Gottlieb Real Estate . Cushman & Wakefield will handle the leasing of Solar Carve, which is poised to open in the first quarter of 2019. The building is targeting LEED Gold certification, and according to the Post amenities will include a 10,000-square-foot planted rooftop and an 8,000-square-foot terrace on the second floor “at High Line height.” All office floors, save the seventh, will have private terraces. For two-wheeled commuters, there will also be a bike room, plus a locker room with showers. Rooms, which will feature 16-foot-tall wall-to-ceiling windows, will range in size from 13,700 to 14,200 square feet. “Each floor is slightly different because of the carve of the building,” added Epstein. The 17,000-square-foot ground floor will likely be devoted to retail. Future occupants will luxuriate in a heightened environment characterized by 17.5-foot-tall ceilings and 300 feet of glass frontage. Related: Studio Gang creates a new kind of energy as it transforms a Wisconsin power plant into an arts college facility “There is nothing like this building,” said Bruce Mosler of Cushman & Wakefield. “It will be unique to the Meatpacking [District], which is exploding with excitement.” + Solar Carve Tower + Studio Gang Via Curbed

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New York City unveils massive green-roofed film and fashion hub in Brooklyn

February 23, 2017 by  
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Two warehouses in Brooklyn ‘s Sunset Park will soon be transformed into state-of-the-art, affordable production spaces for film, television production and garment manufacturing. The green-roofed Made in NY Campus, designed by WXY architecture + urban design , will modernize the industrial waterfront site and create several pedestrian-friendly spaces and public plazas. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the City’s commitment to the $136 million overhaul expected to create 1,500 jobs. Conceived by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), the project will include a comprehensive planning and investment strategy aiming to renovate the site’s aging infrastructure and introduce quality manufacturing and public spaces . WXY architecture + urban design re-envisioned two existing warehouses and public spaces at Sunset Park as a new green-roofed film and fashion hub with 300,000 square feet of new production spaces. Related: New photos reveal Domino Sugar Refinery’s terraced form rising on the East River The Made in NY Campus will offset the city’s lack of filming spaces and provide high-ceiling sound spaces and various other production areas, along with new facilities for fashion and garment manufacturing industry. It will be one of three business campuses in the new Sunset Park District Plan, including the renovated Brooklyn Army Terminal to be completed this fall. + WXY architecture + urban design Renderings by nightnurse images

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China plans its first "Forest City" to fight air pollution

February 22, 2017 by  
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Just weeks after Stefano Boeri announced plans for China’s first vertical forest, the Italian architect unveiled an even more ambitious vision: Forest Cities. Scaling up from his tree-clad Bosco Verticale skyscraper, Boeri created a blueprint for new cities in China that will be blanketed in greenery to fight air pollution. The first implementation of the nature-filled city will start in the city of Liuzhou, with construction expected to begin later this year. Stefano Boeri’s Forest City masterplans are envisioned as models of sustainable growth in China , a country choked with smog and undergoing rapid urbanization as millions of farmers migrate to cities every year. “We have been asked to design an entire city where you don’t only have one tall building but you have 100 or 200 buildings of different sizes, all with trees and plants on the facades,” Boeri told the Guardian . “We are working very seriously on designing all the different buildings. I think they will start to build at the end of this year. By 2020 we could imagine having the first forest city in China.” The Forest City was created as a scalable development following a petal formation. Each petal, which caters to a population of 20,000, can be scaled to include five petals in a single region, forming a flower-like formation centered on communal green space . All buildings would be covered in trees and greenery to help suck tons of carbon out of the atmosphere, pump oxygen into the air, and provide soothing habitat to both humans and native fauna. Related: China’s first vertical forest is rising in Nanjing The first Forest City settlement is planned for Liuzhou, home to around 1.5 million residents in the southern province of Guangxi. Boeri has high hopes to build the second Forest City in Shijiazhuang, a northern city in Hebei province that ranks among China’s worst for air quality . + Stefano Boeri Via The Guardian Images via Stefano Boeri

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Rolling green ‘ribbons’ proposed for new urban park in downtown LA

February 2, 2017 by  
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Anyone who has been to Los Angeles knows the city could use more green space , and now it seems Brooks + Scarpa agrees. The urban design firm has unveiled their vision for the city’s future FAB (First and Broadway) Civic Center Park, which includes a two-acre tree-filled expanse and an events center covered with undulating strips of green turf. The competition, which is part of the city’s 50 Parks Initiative , encouraged proposals for the FAB Civic Center Park, a $12 million public park slated for First and Broadway in Downtown LA, across the street from Los Angeles City Hall. In addition to Brooks + Scarpa, AECOM, Eric Owen Moss, and Mia Lehrer + Associates submitted designs. Related: Dallas is building one of America’s biggest urban nature parks According to Brooks + Scarpa, their design could energize the surrounding neighborhood: “the city has a unique opportunity to design and construct an iconic park project in the Los Angeles Civic Center, that will augment the adjacent Grand Park, incorporate uses that bring life to the area (such as restaurant and public art installation).” + Brooks + Scarpa Via Archdaily Images via Brooks + Scarpa

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London’s first floating park slated to open this spring

February 2, 2017 by  
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London is about to get its first floating pocket park as part of a citywide greening initiative. Thanks to recent approval from the local city council, a floating 730-square-meter green-covered platform, designed by garden designer Tony Woods of The Garden Club, is now slated to open this spring at Merchant Square on the Grand Union Canal. The large green platform, which will be the first of its kind for the City, will have a lush green lawn surrounded by nectar-rich mixed raised borders. Various textural herbaceous plants and grasses will decorate the space year-round, but the color scheme will change with the seasons, stem color in autumn, scented winter flowers, spring bulbs, and an abundance of colorful flowers in summer Related: Floating urban greenhouse produces clean energy and organic food The park will also contain a “bespoke planting” scheme aimed at encouraging local wildlife to inhabitat the space, even adding a separate pontoon area for ground-nesting birds . Apart from the feathered friends, the pavilion, which will have its own canal boat mooring, will have a capacity of up to 120 visitors and offer free Wi-Fi for those looking for outdoor work space. The pocket park will have plenty of communal seating as well as a series of decked platforms and walkways where people can walk over water. The park is part of the Greater London Authority’s green infrastructure initiative, which aims to improve local infrastructure, as well as green parks and water canal and riverside spaces across the city. Andrew Scrivener, Chief Executive at European Land hailed the planning approval, “Outdoor spaces are a key ingredient in any successful neighbourhood. At Merchant Square this incredible Floating Pocket Park – the first in London – will not only provide green space for our residents and unique outside workplace for our occupiers, but creates an oasis in the West End, offering Londoners a way to actively reconnect with the canal.” + Tony Woods Via Hyperallergic

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London’s first floating park slated to open this spring

Iceland building biodome community to be fully sustainable oasis

February 2, 2017 by  
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Iceland’s weather extremes poses unique challenges for residents and travelers – but the country’s capital Reykjavik is planning a series of new eco biodomes that will welcome Icelanders with warmth and style. Designed by Spor i Sandinn , Aldin is a fully sustainable biodome community powered by geothermal energy. Located in the Elliðaárdalur Valley of Reykjavik, the biodome community will feature a central plaza surrounded by ample public spaces for social functions and public activities – as well as a marketplace and various cafes. Inside the biodome, the interior temp will be kept at a balmy 25°C – an optimal temperature for tropical plantings and a working urban farm . Related: Stunning geodesic domes from Romania can handle earthquakes up to 8.5 on the Richter scale According to Hjördís Sigurðardóttir, the founder and CEO of Spor i Sandinn , the project will show the world a new side of Icelandic agriculture: ” This glazed landmark Biodome will seek to reconnect people to nature in new and exciting ways, combining the experience of tropical temperatures, with a farmers’ market and an agricultural laboratory. Aldin will be a hub for minds and thoughts, a space for a healthy community to meet, shop, relax and socialize, as well as an authentic attraction for tourists.” Aldin will rent out spaces to green-minded tenants such as farm-to-table restaurants, green product retail stores, and health-related businesses. Sigurðardóttir contends that the biodome project could also serve as an example of how to create and build new and meaningful infrastructure, “The Biodome represents this. It is a statement of change, highlighting the benefits of another way of thinking and of energy-efficient buildings.” The Aldin project is currently waiting for approval, but it’s expected to open late 2018 or early 2019. + Spor i Sandinn

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