Prefab CLT pavilion cleverly encourages dialogue at a Vancouver TED conference

January 11, 2018 by  
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An experimental pavilion popped up by the waters of downtown Vancouver for the TED2017 conference . Selected as the winning entry in the PAUSE international design competition, this interactive prefabricated timber structure explores the concept of personal space and interaction. Competition hosts nonprofit DBR | Design Build Research and the Vancouver TED2017 conference chose Kazan State University of Architecture and Engineering student Alsu Sadrieva’s submission from over 60 submissions represented by 21 different countries. PAUSE pavilion was designed to encourage passersby and conference attendees to reflect, gather, and interact. Structurlam donated the cross-laminated timber panels used for the prefabrication of the walls, while Interfor contributed dimensional lumber for the pavilion’s roof. The pavilion was weatherproofed with shrink-wrap. Related: Twin warming huts for TED conference evoke the Great Canadian Wilderness Approximately 150 stools were constructed and made from CNC-milled birch plywood topped with cushions of either preserved moss or wool felt donated by Filzfelt. The stools are inserted in the walls, making the perforated facade look as if hundreds of rods were sticking out. “The pavilion represents the thorny, challenging problems of the world today,” wrote DBR. “Chairs adorn the walls of the structure, giving it a jarring appearance. The exterior can only be smoothed by the removal of a chair – in effect solving a problem through gathering and dialogue.” The pavilion was designed for reuse after the TED2017 conference for different events in Vancouver. + DBR | Design Build Research Via ArchDaily Images via DBR | Design Build Research , © Ema Peter

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Prefab CLT pavilion cleverly encourages dialogue at a Vancouver TED conference

Worlds tallest hybrid timber building to boast Vancouvers most expensive new apartments

December 11, 2017 by  
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New details and renderings have been released of Shigeru Ban’s Terrace House , a collection of luxury homes in what will become the world’s tallest hybrid timber building. Developed by PortLiving, Terrace House will be set at the center of Coal Harbor overlooking the waterfront with condos starting at $3 million—which makes them the most expensive new apartments in the city. The 20 homes will be constructed as “individual works of art” with energy-efficient systems and wood harvested from sustainably managed forests in southeastern B.C. Modern in appearance and in the materials used, Terrace House is poised to stand out as one of the most innovative residential buildings in the world. However, the 19-story building also relates to and complements the historic site context through triangular shapes, natural materials , and terraces that echo the design of Evergreen , a decades-old neighboring building. Landscape architect Cornelia Oberlander, who had also worked on the planting design of the Evergreen building, was hired to work on Terrace House for continuity. “Terrace House has been thoughtfully executed and planned, drawing on Shigeru Ban’s iconic design codes to ensure that each of the 20 homes are individual works of art,” said Macario (Tobi) Reyes, founder and CEO of PortLiving . “The residences each have a full suite of smart home technologies, museum-quality glazing that helps to control temperature and provides UV protection for art collections, and fully-integrated air conditioning and heating systems paired with in-floor radiant heating and cooling that extend onto enclosed balconies, creating comfort and maximizing use of indoor/outdoor living spaces all year-round.” Related: Shigeru Ban Architects unveil plans for the world’s tallest hybrid timber building Each home in the Terrace House will be optimized for views of the city, mountains, and inlet and open up to terraces through electronic-controlled glass-sliding panels. Custom fixtures and features designed by Shigeru Ban will be installed through the building. Smart home controls are equipped in every home as are 27-foot-tall ceilings, as well as in-floor radiant heating and cooling. Almost half of the units will take up entire floor plates, while others will be split over multiple levels. + Shigeru Ban Architects Via ArchDaily

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Worlds tallest hybrid timber building to boast Vancouvers most expensive new apartments

German city offers ingenious alternative to single-use coffee cups

December 5, 2017 by  
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What do you do when you arrive at a coffee shop and realize you’ve forgotten your reusable mug ? Many of us, in need of caffeine, would guiltily accept the disposable cup that may or may not be recyclable. But the city of Freiburg, Germany came up with an inventive solution. They created the Freiburg Cup , which coffee lovers can snag for one Euro and return to participating stores to be cleaned and used again – up to 400 times. In Germany, over 300,000 disposable coffee cups are consumed every single hour, according to Freiburg representatives . And the 2.8 billion disposable cups consumed a year require 43,000 trees, 320 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, 1.5 billion liters of water, and 3,000 tons of crude oil – not to mention many aren’t even recycled . And these resource-intensive cups are typically used for a mere 13 minutes before being tossed out. The city launched the Freiburg Cup around a year ago, and there are now around 107 bakeries and cafes participating. The cups are manufactured in southern Germany. Related: Vancouver on track to kill wasteful single-use packaging Coffee drinkers can obtain the plasticizer- and BPA-free cup comprised of recyclable polypropylene at participating cafes, identifiable by a green sticker in the window. When they’ve finished the beverage, they can return it to any one of those cafes, which will disinfect the containers. The city doesn’t offer a reusable lid, for financial and hygienic reasons, they said. But they seem to think the disposable lids have a good chance of being recycled – when the cup is returned for cleaning, the lids are placed in a yellow bag for recycling. So far the Freiburg Cup has been incredibly successful, according to TreeHugger , with other cities in the country expressing interest. Coffee drinkers can find the locations of participating cafes on the Freiburg Cup website . + Freiburg Cup Via TreeHugger Images via Freiburg Cup ( 1 , 2 , 3 )

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German city offers ingenious alternative to single-use coffee cups

3 reasons clean energy is poised to take off in developing cities

September 1, 2017 by  
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Move over, Vancouver. A full slate of cities in fast-evolving countries are ramping up renewable energy.

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3 reasons clean energy is poised to take off in developing cities

Re-manufactured bikes and beyond: Circular design in action

September 1, 2017 by  
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Three ways designing for the circular economy is getting real.

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Re-manufactured bikes and beyond: Circular design in action

Vancouver on track to kill wasteful single-use packaging

June 29, 2017 by  
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Vancouver , Canada wants to become a zero-waste city – no easy feat for an area with over 600,000 people. But as part of its Greenest City Action Plan , the city is exploring options to limit single-use packaging, like all those coffee cups, plastic bags and foam take-out containers littering our landfills . This summer they’re launching a pilot program to allow restaurants to fill take-out orders in reusable containers brought by patrons. Vancouver is teaming up with Vancouver Coastal Health to allow retailers and restaurants to fill orders in customer-brought containers. They pointed to container share programs in San Francisco, New York City, and Portland as examples of alternatives to the single-use waste issue in the past. Vancouver Coastal Health will work to ensure food safety and health for the program. Related: Insidious single-use coffee pods banned in German city Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a statement, “Vancouver is on track to be the greenest city in the world by 2020, and taking these next steps to reduce coffee cups, Styrofoam , and plastic bags from our landfills will take our environmental leadership to the next level.” He called for city residents to weigh in on reducing single-use packaging waste. If you live in Vancouver, you can find out about zero waste events or sound off on your ideas here . Even though Vancouver is taking large strides towards becoming a zero waste city, they’ve got a long way to go. According to city officials, 2.6 million coffee cups are tossed into the garbage every single week there, while around two million plastic bags end up in the trash. They also frequently find foam in Vancouver shoreline cleanup projects. But the effort to prioritize a zero waste future is a positive step, as the city encourages its citizens to shift their thinking on waste . Via the City of Vancouver ( 1 , 2 ) Images via Wikimedia Commons and Takahiro Sakamoto on Unsplash

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Vancouver on track to kill wasteful single-use packaging

We have just 3 years to ward off climate change – new report

June 29, 2017 by  
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The year 2020 could be a huge turning point for our planet. According to a new report, if we don’t limit carbon emissions by that date, we won’t meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement . That leaves just three years – but six leaders and scientists laid out a six-point plan for meeting the most pressing deadline in human history – regardless of who’s in the White House. Christiana Figueres, convener of Mission 2020 and Executive Secretary for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change between 2010 and 2016, led the group who wrote a piece for Nature outlining their vision for how we can lower emissions and meet the Paris goals. They targeted six sectors: energy , finance, land, infrastructure , transport, and industry. They said their goals may be “idealistic at best, unrealistic at worst” but they feel setting high goals will inspire people to innovate to meet them. Related: How former NYC mayor Bloomberg is filling Trump’s climate change vacuum For example, the authors said at least 30 percent of global power supply needs to be sourced from renewable energy . It’s not impossible, considering we obtained 23.7 percent of electricity from renewables in 2015. They highlight low carbon practices for the other sectors too, like reducing deforestation and increasing use of clean vehicles . The authors also laid out three steps to avoid delaying. First, base policies and action plans on science . Second, scale up existing solutions quickly. And third, be optimistic. “There will always be those who hide their heads in the sand and ignore the global risks of climate change ,” said the authors. “But there are many more of us committed to overcoming this inertia. Let us stay optimistic and act boldly together.” Numerous scientists, politicians, business leaders, analysts, and faith leaders co-signed the Nature article, such as California governor Jerry Brown and climate scientist Michael Mann . + Mission 2020 Via Nature Images via Wikimedia Commons and David Nuescheler on Unsplash

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We have just 3 years to ward off climate change – new report

Researchers discover 14,000-year-old Canadian village, one of North America’s oldest

April 13, 2017 by  
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The discovery of a 14,000-year-old ancient village in Canada could forever alter our understanding of early civilization in North America. Researchers estimate the settlement is way older than the Giza pyramids, and have found artifacts dating all the way back to the Ice Age . The village is one of the oldest human settlements we’ve ever uncovered in North America – and lines up with the oral history of the Heiltsuk Nation. Researchers from the Hakai Institute and University of Victoria , with local First Nations members, unearthed revealing artifacts on Triquet Island, around 310 miles northwest of Victoria, Canada. They’ve found fish hooks, spears, and tools to ignite fires. Thanks to the discovery of the ancient village last year, researchers now think a massive human migration may have happened along British Columbia’s coastline. Related: World’s oldest fossils discovered in Canada – and they’re 4 billion years old According to IFL Science, archaeologists once thought humans might arrived in North America via a land bridge between Russia and Alaska, and then moved forward on foot. But the recent discovery suggests people moved down the coast possibly in boats instead; the coastal route likely came before the inland route. University of Victoria PhD student Alisha Gauvreau, who was part of the excavation, told CTV News Vancouver Island, “I remember when we get [sic] the dates back and we just kind of sat there going, holy moly, this is old. What this is doing is just changing our idea of the way in which North America was first peopled.” The find fits right in with the oral history of a First Nations government in British Columbia, the Heiltsuk Nation. For generations they’ve told stories of ancient coastal villages. William Housty of Heiltsuk Nation told CTV News Vancouver Island, “To think about how these stories survived all of that, only to be supported by this archaeological evidence is just amazing.” Via CTV News Vancouver Island , The Independent , and IFL Science Images via screenshot and Hakai Institute Twitter

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Researchers discover 14,000-year-old Canadian village, one of North America’s oldest

Green roof flows into a lush living wall on this modern Vancouver home

April 13, 2017 by  
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Texture and hand craftsmanship are king in this beautiful modern home in Vancouver . Design studio Measured Architecture completed the Rough House, a single family home and laneway project that skillfully combines a myriad of patterns, colors, and texture for visual interest without looking at all cluttered. With beautiful details to be found in every corner, the carefully constructed home is a delight for the eyes and even boasts lush green roofs and living wall. The 3,600-square-foot Rough House comprises two narrow structures, the main home and the smaller, detached laneway house, slotted into a tight urban lot in a way that still allows room for side yards and light wells. Carbonized cypress clads the primary residence while board-form concrete and repurposed white boardroom boards cover the smaller building. Large windows cut into the volumes frame views of the garden using Japanese principles of shakkei, or “borrowed view.” Related: Vancouver home built almost entirely with former building’s materials “Fundamental to the success of this project is the separation of the home from its neighbours in a tight urban condition through the narrowing of building to support increased side yard landscape edges and exterior light well circulation, displaced green space to regain connectivity to yard in an increased densification, and finally a play of textures to increase an intimacy between materials and occupant,” wrote the architects. The firm’s success can be seen in the outdoor patio, built like an extension of the indoor living space, that’s partly bookended by a lush living wall. The vertical garden appears to seamlessly connect with a green roof on the laneway house, a smaller version of the landscaped roof atop the primary residence. + Measured Architects Via Dezeen Images via Measured Architects

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Green roof flows into a lush living wall on this modern Vancouver home

Electra Meccanica reveals the all-electric 250-mile-range Tofino roadster

March 30, 2017 by  
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If you’ve never heard of the Canadian Electra Meccanica , hold on for an exciting ride. It appears the Vancouver-based automaker may finally get the attention it deserves with the debut of a new electric roadster, the Tofino. Electra Meccanica, the electric division of Intermeccanica, has turned the firm’s conventional roadster into an affordable two-seater all-electric sports car . On the outside, the Tofino looks like a retro two-seater roadster, but underneath the powertrain is anything but retro. The chassis and body are made of a lightweight aerospace-grade composite and the Tofino is capable of traveling up to 250 miles on a full charge. The Tofino’s electric motor packs enough punch to give it a top speed of 125 mph and a 0-60 time under 7 seconds. Related: Meet SOLO, an affordable electric three-wheeled commuter vehicle for one The roadster will be available in five colors including Titanium Silver, Electric Red, Raven Black, Arctic White, and Bionic Bronze with a price starting at $50,000 Canadian (~$37,000 USD). Deliveries are expected to start in 2019. While we will have to wait at least two years until the Tofino arrives, Electra Meccanica is getting ready to start deliveries of its single-seater 100-mile range SOLO electric car . To raise hype for the SOLO, Electra Meccanica has revealed a high-performance version of the SOLO, called the SOLO R. + Electra Meccanica All images @Electra Meccanica

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Electra Meccanica reveals the all-electric 250-mile-range Tofino roadster

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