Worlds first car-free IKEA store to open in Austria

February 11, 2020 by  
Filed under Green

IKEA Austria has announced plans to open the world’s “most innovative and green” IKEA store — a car-free, BREEAM Excellent-targeted, mixed-use complex located in the heart of Vienna. Dubbed IKEA Westbahnhof, the ambitious store will be modeled after a public square to not only attract IKEA shoppers but also local residents and tourists with its many amenities and abundance of green space that will include approximately 160 trees planted atop the building. The ambitious project was designed in collaboration with Vienna-based architectural firm querkraft architekten .  Located at the end of the major shopping street Mariahilferstrasse, about 3 kilometers from the historic city center, IKEA Westbahnhof will be easily accessible by public transit. The shift to a car-free IKEA location was partly born from research on consumer behavior, which points to the increase of e-commerce and convenience of home delivery. Approximately two-thirds of residents in Vienna’s inner city districts do not own a car and instead prefer to take public transit, walk, bike or use a scooter to reach their destinations. Related: IKEA renewable electricity plan could save customers £300 per year In addition to its car-free concept, IKEA Westbahnhof will target BREEAM Excellent certification with sustainable materials, energy-saving systems and an abundance of greenery, such as the publicly accessible roof garden , which will help mitigate the urban heat island effect. The architects plan to plant 160 trees atop the building to help lower the temperature of the structure by at least two degrees. “The new store aims to be an iconic meeting place in Vienna,” IKEA’s press release stated. “IKEA Vienna Westbahnhof is going to be the most unique and green IKEA store. It will be inviting, human scale and standing out as a landmark.” Likened to a bookshelf, the multistory building uses a flexible, grid-like system that emphasizes transparency and openness. IKEA will occupy the first four floors of the building, while a hostel will be located on the upper two floors. Four additional retail shops will be placed along Mariahilferstrasse. + querkraft architekten Images via IKEA

View post: 
Worlds first car-free IKEA store to open in Austria

Taylor Guitars and the sustainable approach to instrument-making

February 11, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Since 1974, Taylor Guitars has been a champion guitar brand, renowned for its signature sound and instrument-manufacturing innovations. In this feature, Inhabitat goes behind-the-scenes at the company’s headquarters and factory in El Cajon, California, where tour guide Ryan Merrill shares the Taylor Guitars approach to  sustainability , sourcing  wood  and making guitars.   Inhabitat:  What can you share about the process of making a Taylor Guitar? Merrill:  The very first step of building our guitars is housing them in this outdoor tent when the wood arrives. What we’re seeing here is mostly mahogany. When we bring in wood from around the world, they’re accustomed to other types of climates, places that are generally a lot more humid – Cameroon, India, Hawaii. When it gets here, we therefore need to make sure that wood acclimates to our  weather , temperature and  humidity . If we don’t, then as that wood is drying out in the factory, and we’re working on the guitar, it’s going to start bending and warping in different ways. We want all that bending and warping to happen here outside rather than during the process when we are building guitars because we have some tools in there that have high accuracy. And with that level of accuracy in cutting, if the wood is warping, it’s going to cause some problems. So we leave this wood outside here to acclimate. Water that’s sitting inside the grain of the wood, you want to bring down to about 10%. Sometimes that takes two weeks, sometimes that takes a month. Related: YouTube stars partner up in #TeamTrees campaign to plant 20 million trees Inhabitat:  What does Taylor Guitars do with any leftover wood cuttings? Merrill:  The first measure of our sustainability endeavors is that after we’ve cut wood for our guitars, the scrap wood — instead of us throwing them into the trash bin — we actually utilize it by giving them to other companies that need them, like toymakers, people who make birdhouses, even companies that turn the wood into  mulch . Inhabitat:  Forest management,  reforestation  and the sourcing of ethically harvested tonewoods — the wood used to build acoustic guitars — are important values to Taylor Guitars. Tell us more about that. Merrill: We understand that in order to make our products, we have to cut down trees. But we make sure to plant more trees  than we are taking out of forests every year, and we’ve continued to be dedicated to that goal. A pipe dream Taylor Guitars has is to plant all of the trees we use for all of our guitars on the land we own. That way, we won’t have to source our wood anywhere else in the world, but just focus on effectively using that one piece of land that is ours with all our trees on it. Of course, that’s still what we are working toward. For now, the two places we are focused on are in Cameroon, where we have our ebony, and in Hawaii, where we have our koa. Out in Hawaii, for instance, we own over 570 acres on the Big Island, where we are planting koa trees. Now, koa trees take about 40 to 60 years to grow — that’s a long wait for us to be able to use those trees for guitars. Ebony is even longer, taking 100 to 200 years to fully mature. Inhabitat:  Now, on display here in the corporate headquarters gallery are an array of signature Taylor Guitars, made from various types of wood. What’s the importance of wood type, or tonewood? And, why are certain ones chosen over others for guitar-making? Merrill:  The type of wood affects the instrument sound. First, it’s important to know that woods flavor the sounds. And, historically, there’s hundreds of years’ worth of experimentation on what types of woods are best for what is now the modern guitar . And the main ones that have been settled on are rosewood and mahogany, which are the hardest woods.  So, in a mahogany guitar, you’re going to hear a lot of mid-range sounds, not a lot of bass, not a lot of treble. In rosewood, you’re going to get a lot of bass, you’re going to get a lot of treble, but not as much of the mid-range. You’ll probably notice we’ll get more deep tones and more sparkle with rosewood. Inhabitat:  These are some exotic-sounding names of tonewoods lining this guitar gallery wall. Tell us more about them. Merrill:  Cocobolo is a South American rosewood, so it has a very similar tone to a rosewood guitar. Ovangkol is an African relative of the rosewood. Sapele is an African relative of mahogany. Most tonewoods are going to fall within those two very broad categories. There are some exceptions — we have  maple , which is a very bright wood. It’s the only wood that’s distinct from mahogany and rosewood. We have something like koa as well, which has the mid-range of mahogany and the sparkle of rosewood, but it doesn’t have the bass of rosewood.  Koa guitars have become increasingly popular amongst guitarists. And that’s because as koa wood ages, it gets more dense, which means it will start to produce a better low-end sound. So, if you buy a koa, it might sound one way, but then five years down the line, someone might pick up that same guitar and go, “Wow! This has way more bass than I ever heard out of this instrument!” And that’s one of the very unique things about koa — just the amount that it opens up over time. Inhabitat:  Taylor Guitars has been recognized as a leading guitar-making pioneer. What are some things you can share about what makes you stand out from other guitar manufacturers ? Merrill:  We’re the only company making sapele guitars. We’re the only company making ebony bodies. And we’re the pioneers of the V-bracing, whereas all other guitars elsewhere are still employing the X-bracing. Inhabitat:  What’s the difference between your V-bracing and the conventional X-bracing in guitars out there? Merrill:  One of the beautiful things about the V-brace is that it’s very forgiving of notes that aren’t quite in tune. With an X-brace, the notes start to warble — you can hear the notes bouncing back and forth. You can kind of hear the decay there — decay is just the note fading out. When you compare that with something like a V-brace, the notes just keep ringing — we call it bloom, where it almost grows into a larger chord after you first strum it. You can hear the difference, it sounds fuller, and a lot of that comes down to the sustaining, and that’s the V-bracing being a little more forgiving with those notes. It was fitting for Merrill to say the word “sustaining” to describe the V-brace and what it does to guitar notes, because it circularly tied into Taylor Guitars’ sustainability initiatives. As the tour winded down, a large plaque — entitled “Taylor’s Commitment to Sustainability” — was visible on the way out, reminding everyone of the quality the company stands for in the soundness of its products and  supply chain . Images via Mariecor Agravante

More here:
Taylor Guitars and the sustainable approach to instrument-making

Trend: Last-mile transportation inches closer to home

February 3, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Last-mile freight is a major contributor to local air pollution, often in disadvantaged communities. But there’s some good news amidst all this urban doom and gloom.

Original post:
Trend: Last-mile transportation inches closer to home

Modular homes in Sweden are specially designed for solar panels

January 22, 2020 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Modular homes in Sweden are specially designed for solar panels

Swedish firm Street Monkey Architects has unveiled new solar-powered, prefabricated modular homes in Örebro, Sweden. The row-house project was based on a similar award-winning construction project near Stockholm that was built using passive house principles but designed to complement the urban setting. The single-family structures are designed with energy efficiency in mind to promote lifestyles with smaller carbon footprints. Each home is constructed using six factory-build prefab modules that arrive to the building site already complete with finished walls, bathrooms, kitchens and finishing materials. Onsite, the facade is assembled, and the seams between the modules are finished to remove any evidence of modular prefabrication. Related: Rural, modular home in Mexico allows for a wide variety of configurations The designers heightened the roof in order to better frame the street and allow the homes to stand up against some of the neighborhood’s taller buildings. The facades — which Street Monkey builds once the modular homes arrive to the site — are made from the same combination of wood, steel and plaster as the firm’s Stockholm project but with more exposed steel. The materials used in the facades depend on the orientation, meaning the ones facing east or west have white plaster and the ones facing the north or south are made of either dark silver steel or steel with wood lattice. As a result, the row of modular houses presents three different versions of the same 150-square-meter home and provides a sense of individuality for residents without losing the overall visual cohesiveness of the row. The highlight of the Örebro homes is the utilization of solar panels , the placement of which also depended on the particular house’s orientation. As the solar panels are designed to face south, the architects had to come up with a unique roof designed for both appearance and practicality. Houses that were east-west facing have sawtooth roofs with customized ridgelines and a 45-degree angle for the panels, while homes with north-south facades and east-west ridgelines have asymmetrical, mirrored roofs. + Street Monkey Architects Photography by Mattias Hamrén via Street Monkey Architects

View original post here:
Modular homes in Sweden are specially designed for solar panels

BIG plans unveiled for pedestrian paradise in Downtown Brooklyn

January 3, 2020 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on BIG plans unveiled for pedestrian paradise in Downtown Brooklyn

After nearly a year of research, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and WXY Studio have unveiled their visions for improving Downtown Brooklyn — a 370-acre urban district with updated streetscapes, plazas, and public spaces. Commissioned by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, the Downtown Brooklyn Public Realm Vision includes a comprehensive study of the urban district’s existing conditions as well as a bold, long-term design vision for making the area more inclusive, inviting, and safer for pedestrians and cyclists. The Downtown Brooklyn Public Realm Vision was created in response to Downtown Brooklyn’s unprecedented growth over the last fifteen years since its 2004 rezoning. The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership tapped WXY Studio and BIG, who worked in collaboration with Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects and Sam Schwartz Engineering, to create a comprehensive study and implementation plan. This plan is intended to help unify the growing mixed-use area and meet the needs of the diverse community, which is expected to welcome 50,000 additional residents by 2025. “The Plan draws upon the District’s existing conditions, systems, land uses and policies to create a bold design vision that is uniquely Brooklyn, provides a greener, safer pedestrian and bicycle experience, and unlocks projects, initiatives and pilots for a more vibrant public realm,” BIG explained in a project statement. “Downtown Brooklyn Public realm is re-animated into a playful environment largely focused on the pedestrian experience. A place where residents, workers and visitors can enjoy gathering outdoors, practice sports and celebrate the diverse culture of Downtown Brooklyn.” Related: Reclaimed NYC water towers are upcycled into a NEST playscape in Brooklyn To visually unify the updated streetscapes, the architects have proposed a distinct yellow-orange color palette for the mixed-use area that will be applied to the bike paths, street furniture, and planters. Greenery and public art have also been woven throughout the pedestrian-friendly design. + BIG + WXY Studio Images via BIG

Go here to read the rest:
BIG plans unveiled for pedestrian paradise in Downtown Brooklyn

Urban Earth House exemplifies off-grid living in the city

December 16, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on Urban Earth House exemplifies off-grid living in the city

When Craig Byatt Architecture was approached by eco-minded clients who wanted a home that was off-grid in an urban context and built with a combination of natural, reclaimed and locally sourced materials, the plans for the Urban Earth House were born. What’s more, because the clients’ children recently moved out, the resulting 70-square-meter structure in Melbourne, Australia was to become their “forever home.” The greatest challenge arose when the building site was examined. Privacy was an issue because access was constrained through a shared driveway. The site was also surrounded by neighbors, which worried the clients as they expressed eagerness for natural light. This, combined with a steep, small property block and a limited budget, led to a difficult time finding the right builder. After turning to four different building companies, all of which turned down the project, the clients decided to build the home themselves. Related: Phoenix Earthship features a food garden and jungle in off-grid fashion The Urban Earth House has many green design features. Double-glazed windows, recycled glass bulk insulation batts in the roof and ceiling spaces, mud bricks and recycled concrete walls help the home maintain a comfortable temperature year-round. A north-facing glasshouse was built onsite to help utilize the sunlight for winter vegetables and seed propagation for the clients’ organic farm. The skeleton of the house was constructed with recycled and reclaimed hardwood from an old road bridge, and the project used local tradespeople and suppliers as often as possible. To make the Urban Earth House even more exceptional, the clients commissioned local artisans to add unique touches. The kitchen backsplash was designed by a local painter and printed onto glass. A local metal worker crafted the door handles using tools owned by the grandfather of one of the clients. According to the architect’s statement, “This project’s recipe called for experimentation and adventure.” By “working with the laws of nature” and using “what’s already there” as much as possible, they were able to create a unique, off-grid home that respected the building site and supported the clients’ sustainable ambitions. + Craig Byatt Architecture Photography by Meredith O’Shea via Clean Energy Nillumbik

Here is the original post:
Urban Earth House exemplifies off-grid living in the city

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

December 10, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

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

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

Excerpt from: 
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  
Filed under Green

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

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

Excerpt from:
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  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Helsinki launches a sustainability app for the city

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

See the rest here: 
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  
Filed under Eco, Green

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

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

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

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 1786 access attempts in the last 7 days.