The largest green wall in Europe will absorb 8 tons of air pollution per year

December 10, 2019 by  
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Located in London, U.K., the Citicape House by Sheppard Robson will feature a 40,000-square-foot green wall , the largest in Europe, that sets the standard for urban green development in the city. Not only is Citicape House designed to become a five-star hotel, but its living wall will also absorb a projected 8 tons of air pollution annually. The hotel, projected to be finished in 2024, will house 382 rooms, 40,000 square feet of workspace, a sky bar, meeting and event spaces, a spa and a restaurant on the ground floor. On the 11th floor, a public green space will be available as well, with an unobstructed rooftop view of St. Paul’s Cathedral. From there, the green wall, consisting of 400,000 plants, will wrap around the exterior of the building and contain designated spaces for threatened species of plants to grow undisturbed. Related: Retrofitted “green” living lamp posts in London reclaim water and run on solar power In addition to the 8 tons of air pollution that will be captured by the Citicape House each year, the building is also projected to produce 6 tons of oxygen and lower the surrounding temperature by between 3 and 5 degrees Celsius. Furthermore, the wall will trap about 500 kilograms of hazardous airborne particulate matter each year. Apart from the obvious air quality advantages, the building will take measures to function sustainably with features like air-source heat pumps and rainwater collection systems to provide irrigation to the living wall. This project sets an example for the Urban Greening Policy developed by the New London Plan, aimed toward encouraging businesses to prioritize urban greening with a mandated “Urban Greening Factor” (UGF). The Citicape House will exceed the required UGF by more than 45 times. With the massive, striking green wall located within London’s bustling Culture Mile, it is sure to inspire those who see it while addressing environmental issues and positively affecting the region. + Sheppard Robson Via Dezeen Images via Sheppard Robson

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The largest green wall in Europe will absorb 8 tons of air pollution per year

WOHA unveils a lush, net-zero Singapore Pavilion for the 2020 World Expo

September 5, 2019 by  
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Singapore-based architecture firm WOHA has unveiled plans to create a net-zero energy green oasis for 2020 World Expo Singapore Pavilion in the Dubai desert. Dubbed “Nature. Nurture. Future.,” the self-sufficient Singapore Pavilion will run entirely on solar energy and solar desalination systems. The temporary structure will symbolize a “forward-looking Singapore” emphasizing livability and sustainability. Appointed to the project by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Singapore’s land use planning and conservation agency, WOHA will integrate the 1,550-square-meter pavilion with greenery, renewable energy systems, a food market, interactive multimedia stations and informative displays on Singaporean culture and industries. Plants will grow on all levels of the multi-story structure: tropical trees, shrubbery and orchids on the ground plane; a hanging garden suspended from the solar canopy; and vertical gardens that grow along the three structural “cones” anchoring the building. Related: New images show greenery engulfing Singapore’s tropical skyscraper Visitors will be guided through the pavilion on a meandering canopy walk that weaves through the cones and leads to the open sky market platform with panoramic views of the surroundings, a gathering area and an eatery serving Singaporean cuisine. A variety of exhibits and programs are embedded into the walk, which concludes at the Ground Galleria with a display on Singapore’s design culture and a retail area. The interior is kept comfortably cool thanks to shade from the solar canopy, fine mist fans and the evapotranspiration from the abundant vegetation. “The uniqueness of the Singapore Pavilion is that despite its location in the desert, it is green, soft and alive, demonstrating the great potential of the respectful, seamless integration and co-existence of nature and architecture,” the architects said. “It represents a captivating and forward-looking Singapore, one that is sociable, sustainable and livable, and shows a way architecture can make a meaningful contribution to the fight against the effects of climate change .” + WOHA Architects Images via WOHA

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WOHA unveils a lush, net-zero Singapore Pavilion for the 2020 World Expo

Helsinki launches a sustainability app for the city

August 15, 2019 by  
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Finland’s capital city of Helsinki launched a sustainability app this summer that lets residents, tourists and business owners make smarter daily choices that contribute to the metropolis’ goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2035. Think Sustainably launched in June 2019 and helps users decide on activities, transportation options and shops by toggling specific sustainability filters to find choices that best suit their preferences and meet environmental metrics. “Individual choices matter,” said Kaisa-Reeta Koskinen, the director of the Carbon Neutral Helsinki Initiative. “If one person in each of the 2.6 million households existing in Finland would reduce their carbon footprint by 20 percent, we would reach 38 percent of the goals set for Finland in the Paris climate agreement for reducing emissions.” Related: 14 apps to help you live a more sustainable lifestyle Helsinki is already recognized as one of the most environmentally friendly cities. After New York City led the charge, Helsinki was the second urban metropolis to report directly to the United Nations about its progress on the Sustainable Development Goals . According to a citywide survey from 2018, more than two-thirds of all Helsinki residents reported concern about climate change and the future of their city. In response, city officials teamed up with community groups and sustainability experts to develop an app that helps people make more eco-friendly decisions at the individual level. The Think Sustainably app touches on every major aspect of sustainable living, including transportation, food options, waste practices, biodiversity , green jobs, energy and environmental justice. There is also a checklist of ways that business owners can become more sustainable, and the city certifies shops only if they complete a majority of the recommended measures. The sustainable living app relies on self-reporting from businesses instead of a laborious auditing system, and the businesses are held accountable by customers’ reviews. “ Helsinki is the perfect test-bed for solutions that can later be scaled-up for the world’s megacities,” said Laura Aalto, CEO at Helsinki Marketing. “Operating like a city-scale laboratory, Helsinki is eager to experiment with policies and initiatives that would not be possible elsewhere … we hope that others can also learn from our experiments.” + Think Sustainably Via Dezeen Images via Think Sustainably

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Helsinki launches a sustainability app for the city

Sustainable Central Park with energy-producing trees unveiled for Ho Chi Minh City

August 8, 2019 by  
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Laboratory for Vision Architecture (LAVA) and Australian design practice Aspect Studios have won an international competition to design the new Central Park for Ho Chi Minh City. Located on the site where southeast Asia’s first train station was located, the 16-hectare linear park will pay homage to its industrial heritage with walkways overlaid atop 19th-century railway tracks. In addition to historical references, the visionary public space will also integrate sustainable and futuristic “tree” structures engineered to provide shelter, harvest water and generate solar energy. Located in District 1, the central urban district of Ho Chi Minh City , the proposed Central Park will replace and expand the existing September 23 Park. The new design will retain its predecessor’s lush appearance while adding greater functionality to include sculpture gardens, outdoor art galleries, water features, music and theater performance pavilions, a skate park, sport zones and playgrounds. ”The site has always been about transportation,” said Chris Bosse, director of LAVA. “It was the first train station in southeast Asia, it’s currently a bus terminal and in the near future it will be Vietnam’s first metro station. Our design references this history and future mobility. Known locally as ‘September 23 Park’, it also hosts the important annual spring festival.” The designers plan to link the redesigned park to the new Ben Thanh Metro Station and memorialize the transport history with a dramatic twisting steel sculpture at one end of the park. Related: A “green veil” of plants protects this home from Ho Chi Minh City’s heat To improve the energy efficiency of Central Park, three types of eco-friendly structures will be installed, and each one will be created in the image of “artificial plants” and “trees.” The “water purification trees” will collect rainwater for reuse for irrigation, drinking fountains and fire hydrants. “Ventilation trees” will reduce the urban heat island effect and generate fresh air, and the “solar trees” feature angled solar panels to generate renewable energy used for powering the charging docks, information screens and the park’s Wi-Fi system. Construction on Central Park is slated to begin in 2020. + LAVA + Aspect Studios Images via LAVA

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Sustainable Central Park with energy-producing trees unveiled for Ho Chi Minh City

The Lightyear One electric car uses solar panels for a boost of energy

August 7, 2019 by  
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The new generation of electric cars is on its way with the Lightyear One, a vehicle capable of using solar energy to charge while on the road. Currently in the prototype phase, the solar panel-covered vehicle is due to hit the streets in 2021. The Lightyear One was developed by a group of designers deeply entrenched in the field of solar vehicles. The prior University of Eindhoven students won the World Solar Challenge race three times with their “Stella” solar cars before focusing on a retail, road-worthy version. Related: Toyota is testing a new Prius model that runs on solar power The sleek Italian design is sure to draw attention, especially with the 5 square meters of solar panels mounted to the roof and hood, an addition that draws enough power for 12kmh per hour, or about 7.5 miles per hour of additional charge. It doesn’t sound like much, and in travel terms, it’s not, but it’s a step toward a completely solar car. In reality, the solar panel boost isn’t going to be the main source of power, so it can be charged like a regular electric car, except a lot faster. The Lightyear One can handle 60kW of fast charging, providing it 507 km or 315 miles of charge per hour. Perhaps the area where the Lightyear One is really making headlines is the total range of around 450 miles without recharging. That well exceeds Tesla’s current record of around 370 miles with the Model S. Like the Tesla, the Lightyear One hopes to appeal to the sports car enthusiast with a lightweight and sleek design. Then, there’s the fact that it jumps from 0 to 60 in around 10 seconds. The high-performance and efficient qualities mean that any charging station can provide a faster charge in less time compared to the competition. Unlike Tesla and other electric car manufacturers, the price for the Lightyear One is out of reach for many consumers. The initial models are available for pre-sale now at a cost of around $135,000. If you’re not ready to commit, you can expect a $170,000 price tag when it hits the mainstream retail market. + Lightyear One Via The Verge Images via Lightyear One

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The Lightyear One electric car uses solar panels for a boost of energy

Award-winning Geographies of Urban Filth rethinks waste in cities

August 1, 2019 by  
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Developed cities around the world go to great lengths to hide their waste and sewage systems from view by hiding treatment plants in the urban periphery. In a bid to break down boundaries between “clean” and “dirty” spaces, New York City-based Canadian designer Liyang Zhang created Geographies of Urban Filth, a thesis project that proposes the transformation of the North Toronto Wastewater Treatment Plant into an unconventional urban destination with public baths. Winner of Azure Magazine’s 2019 A+ Student Award, the Geographies of Urban Filth is the thesis project Zhang worked on while pursuing a Master of Architecture at Ontario’s University of Waterloo. Related: This LEED Gold wastewater treatment center is helping a community rethink poo “The thesis studies how our cultural understanding of dirt and cleanliness are bound to issues of class and race and how they are manifested within urban and spatial design,” Zhang said in a project statement. “Boundaries are formed between clean and dirty, familiar and foreign, us and them, through the rejection of matter that is disturbing or threatening to us. The design proposes the breaking down of boundaries between perceived ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’ spatial and social constructs with the insertion of a public space and bath within the wastewater treatment facility.” Located near three physically and socially disconnected neighborhoods of mixed income levels and ethnic groups, the North Toronto Wastewater treatment plant served as the perfect vehicle for Zhang’s thesis. The treatment plant’s hidden location within the Don Valley ravine and connection to the sewers evoke a “dirty” image that seems at odds with Toronto’s “clean” image. The unusual insertion of a public bath inside the treatment plant would help bring “us in touch with the rejected ‘other’ within the city and within ourselves,” Zhang said. Zhang envisioned the wastewater treatment plant as a multifunctional venue with space not only for bathing but for swimming and events as well. The designer embraced the existing brutalist architecture and proposed few modifications, from the adaptive reuse of decommissioned digester tanks into an arts and performance venue to the concrete volumes that house the changing rooms and showering facilities. Filtered wastewater would be used for showering and cycled back into the treatment plant for re-filtering before entering the wetland swimming pools and a subterranean pool. + Liyang Zhang Images via Liyang Zhang

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Award-winning Geographies of Urban Filth rethinks waste in cities

EMF’s Ashima Sukhdev on building circular cities

July 31, 2019 by  
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Achieving circularity in the urban context needs governments to play a bigger role than just regulators.

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EMF’s Ashima Sukhdev on building circular cities

John Lanier: Rewriting Ray Anderson’s sustainability vision in the 21st century

July 31, 2019 by  
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The Ray C. Anderson Foundation encourages innovation in biomimicry to solve sustainability challenges in today’s businesses.

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John Lanier: Rewriting Ray Anderson’s sustainability vision in the 21st century

WWF’s Erin Simon on helping global food brands reduce their plastics footprints

July 31, 2019 by  
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The World Wildlife Fund provides resources to help businesses turn sustainability commitments into action.

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WWF’s Erin Simon on helping global food brands reduce their plastics footprints

Zero-carbon masterplan on the water aims to revitalize Bergens urban growth

July 22, 2019 by  
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In a bid to revitalize the Norwegian city of Bergen, London-based architectural practice Waugh Thistleton Architects has proposed Trenezia, a masterplan that would transform the coastal city into a shining example of zero-carbon urban development. The mixed-use development would consist of over 1,600 homes and be built on the waters of Store Lungegårdsvann, a bay that separates the city center from the southern boroughs of the city. Energy demands and the carbon footprint would be minimized through site-specific, environmentally responsible design and the use of carbon-sequestering timber as a primary construction material for all of the houses. Created in collaboration with local architects Artec, Urban System Design, Degree of Freedom and landscape design firm East, the zero-carbon Trenezia masterplan was created for the BOB, a Norwegian housing association with a goal of building sustainably in urban areas. In addition to promoting sustainable ideals, Trenezia aims to revitalize the city center, which the architects said is currently suffering from depopulation as people move to the outskirts to live in suburban family homes. Related: Industrial building is reimagined as a zero-carbon paragon for Paris 2024 Olympics Edged in by mountains and water, Bergen’s city center has little land left for development. As a result, the architects decided to build on the lake. “Perfectly placed between the historic town and the new cultural arts hub to the east, the Store Lungegårdsvannet Lake is the ideal site for a new cultural and residential center,” the team explained in a press release. A new boardwalk would span the lake and serve as a ‘central spine’ that connects the public-facing elements, which includes a swimming pool and sailing club, retail, performance spaces and cafes. More than 1,600 homes would be placed behind the boardwalk . The new homes would stress intergenerational interaction and offer a range of accommodation from family houses to co-living to student flats to sheltered housing both for private sale and rent. The homes, which will be built from timber, echo the gabled rooflines of Bergen’s iconic wooden houses that helped earn the city a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. “The masterplan, by virtue of its form, responds to the local climate through the creation of solar corridors through the site to maximize sunlight and daylight into every home,” the architects said. “Residential fingers are separated by canals with individual and communal boat moorings and pontoons for residents, creating a comfortable environment where people can be healthy, happy and productive.” + Waugh Thistleton Architects Images by Darc Studio and Artec via Waugh Thistleton Architects

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Zero-carbon masterplan on the water aims to revitalize Bergens urban growth

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