Ole Scheeren unveils designs for a stunning sky forest in Vietnam

November 15, 2017 by  
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International architecture firm Buro Ole Scheeren just unveiled designs for Empire City, a greenery-infused skyscraper set to rise in Ho Chi Minh City . Expected to become Vietnam’s tallest building at 1,093 feet, the development softens its monolithic presence with sinuous, organic-inspired lines and abundant greenery that references the tropical environment. Empire City’s eye-catching highlight is the “Sky Forest,” an elevated garden that juts out of the building in a series of rice paddy-like terraces. Set on a peninsula in the Saigon River, Empire City comprises three towers that rise from a “ mountain-shaped ” podium. The buildings eschew hard corners for soft, organic shapes and landscaped terraces. Glazing wraps around the building and trees are planted inside and out of the mixed-use development, which will contain residences, a hotel, retail, offices, and public spaces. Related: Thailand’s tallest building opens with new green spaces for Bangkok Empire City will stand out from the skyline, not only because of its incredible height, but also due to the shape of the Sky Forest observation deck that breaks from the sleek columnar shape of the high-rise into a series of staggered amoeba-shaped terraces. The Sky Forest will be located on the upper half of the Empire 88 Tower, the development’s tallest structure at 88 stories and topped with a top-floor events space called Cloud Space. + Buro Ole Scheeren Via Dezeen

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Ole Scheeren unveils designs for a stunning sky forest in Vietnam

Historic French building stuffed with plastic bags looks ready to explode

November 15, 2017 by  
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A shockingly large number of plastic bags appeared to fill a historic stone building to near bursting in Bordeaux last month. The eye-catching installation is the most recent work of Luzinterruptus , a design collective famous for raising environmental awareness with plastic art installations. Created for the FAB Festival de Bourdeaux, the temporary artwork, titled The Plastic We Live With, turned into a light installation at night evocative of illuminated stained glass. Inspired by France’s ban of single-use plastic bags passed last year, The Plastic We Live With draws attention to the staggering amount of plastic waste in the world. “The idea was to graphically visualize, in a way that could be understood by all, the plastic excess that is around us, a recurrent subject in our work and in life, since practically everything we consume is either made with this material or it is wrapped in it or we are eating it in small particles in the meat and the fish we ingest,” Luzinterruptus wrote. Related: PlasticWaste Labyrinth is a stunning look inside our plastic waste problem The team, aided by 30 volunteers from the Asociacion Bénévoles en Action, collected thousands of plastic bags and recycled plastic for months from the city stores and warehouses. The bags were assembled in the openings of the building’s facade and lit from behind at night. The installation was on view for four days, after which the plastic was taken down and recycled with the building returned to its original condition. + Luzinterruptus Images via Lola Martínez

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Historic French building stuffed with plastic bags looks ready to explode

Spectacular bamboo domes mimic the mountains of Vietnam

November 10, 2017 by  
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Vietnamese firm Vo Trong Nghia Architects has completed a series of beautiful bamboo domes for the rural area of Son La City, Vietnam. Surrounded by dense vegetation, the five bulbous structures were built out of locally-sourced bamboo by local craftsman. The architects designed domes of differing heights and sizes that mimic the majestic mountain range in the background, creating harmony with the surrounding natural environment. Sitting at the heart of the plan, the largest dome measures 15.6 meters high with an interior area of 283 square meters. The smaller domes range from 10.5 meters to 12.5 meters high. Inspired by the traditional bamboo baskets found in the area, the curved framework is made of locally-sourced bamboo . Thatched roofs with large skylights provide natural light and ventilation for the interior spaces. Related: Posh new Vietnamese hotel with a lush green facade brings guests closer to nature The domes are the latest addition to the adjacent hospital complex, which was also designed by the Vietnamese firm . Located next to a restaurant and ceremonial hall, the new structures create a multi-purpose space for the increasing number of visitors to the area.The largest dome will be used as a cafe, and the rest will serve as reception and lounge areas. The spaces are open yet covered so that they can host year-long events such as corporate meetings, exhibitions and local festivals. The location will also serve as a pleasant meeting space for the local community. The facility is surrounded by dense vegetation, and trees will eventually grow over the buildings, providing ample shade for the area. Visitors making their way from the domes to the ceremonial hall will find a relaxing waterfall and small stream on the path, as well as a beautiful rose garden. + Vo Trong Nghia Architects Via Archdaily Photography by Hiroyuki Oki via Vo Trong Nghia Architects

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Spectacular bamboo domes mimic the mountains of Vietnam

Giant bamboo planters protect a Ho Chi Minh City home from the sun and rain

September 7, 2017 by  
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Vo Trong Nghia Architects worked their bamboo magic on a slender residence in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City . In a bid to add green space in the city’s increasingly dense concrete jungle, the architects installed giant bamboo-filled planters to the building’s street-facing facade. Located in the city’s colorful and bustling central urban district, the House in District 1 uses the green screens for privacy, air purification, shading, and visual appeal. From the street, the House in District 1 looks like a series of stacked and staggered planters bursting with bushy bamboo . The overgrown effect contrasts sharply with the home’s minimalist and modern design. Concrete is predominately used and is texturized to lessen its monolithic appearance. “In addition to growing bamboo on the front facade, the concrete formwork is also made by using bamboo to allow a consistent design language,” said Vo Trong Nghia Architect, according to Dezeen . “The bamboo texture also helps to reduce the intense and heavy appearance of conventional concrete wall and thus, improves the overall aesthetic quality of the house.” Related: Lush green rooftop terrace invites homeowners outdoors in the foothills of Vietnam The four-story Ho Chi Minh residence features a guest room and entry hall on the first floor with an open-plan living room, dining area, and kitchen on the floor above. The kids’ bedroom and the master bedroom with ensuite bathroom are located on the second and third floors, respectively. The top floor houses the home office that opens up to an outdoor rooftop swimming pool. The bamboo planters are on every floor and provide privacy, shade, and protection from the tropical rains. + Vo Trong Nghia Architects Via Dezeen Images via Hiroyuki Oki

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Giant bamboo planters protect a Ho Chi Minh City home from the sun and rain

Vietnam’s longest cable-stayed bridge lights up with 16.7 million colors

July 18, 2017 by  
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A prism of colors bathes the recently completed Nhat Tan Bridge in Hanoi , transforming it into an illuminated work of art. Philips Lighting partnered with Vietnamese construction company the Sun Group to install their cloud-based ActiveSite lighting management system, which can create a staggering 16.7 million different colors. The new Nhat Tan Bridge is Vietnam’s longest cable-stayed bridge . It crosses the Red River in Hanoi , connecting the city to its main airport. Its five colorful spans symbolize the five ancient gates to this capital city. This symbolic quality is further enhanced by Philips’ new lighting system, which can illuminate the bridge in special colors to commemorate events and holidays. Related: Choreographed lights to illuminate New York City bridges and tunnels The new lighting system is for more than just looks, however. Compared to conventional lighting, the new long-life LEDs can deliver up to 75 percent energy savings, significantly cutting operation and maintenance costs. + Nhat Tan Bridge + Philips + Sun Group

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Vietnam’s longest cable-stayed bridge lights up with 16.7 million colors

Elon Musk has a simple plan to power the US entirely on renewable energy

July 18, 2017 by  
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With all the talk in the US about bringing back more coal and opening more oil reserves, it can be discouraging for those of us dreaming of a sustainable energy future. But Elon Musk, who is always looking at what we can do, rather than what we can’t, has laid out a feasible plan for moving the US entirely onto renewable energy. Speaking at the National Governors Association meeting this week, Musk talked about how little real estate it would require –  just 100 square miles of solar panels – to power the country. According to Musk, the country could be powered with just 100 square miles of solar panels and one square mile for battery storage. Solar makes the most sense for large-scale deployment, he said, because the sun is essentially a giant fusion reactor in the sky. “If you wanted to power the entire United States with solar panels, it would take a fairly small corner of Nevada or Texas or Utah; you only need about 100 miles by 100 miles of solar panels to power the entire United States. The batteries you need to store the energy, so you have 24/7 power, is 1 mile by 1 mile. One square-mile,” he said. Related: Elon Musk reveals his big plan for colonizing Mars Right now, just under 15 percent of the country runs on renewable energy. But with Musk’s plan, that number could be 100 percent. His plan includes combining rooftop solar, like Tesla’s new solar roof , with utility-scale solar. During the transition, Musk says that we’d likely need to rely on transition power like wind, hydro, geothermal and nuclear energy as we make the adjustment. During that time, we’d need to focus on building up infrastructure, along with encouraging local solar power to limit the amount of transmission lines that would need to be laid. You can watch the entire speech below: Via Inverse images via Tesla and the National Governors Association

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Elon Musk has a simple plan to power the US entirely on renewable energy

Rammed earth school in Vietnam blooms like a colorful jungle flower

March 20, 2017 by  
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The far reaches of northern Vietnam are beautiful but heartbreakingly poor. Children of the Hmong ethnic minority who live in the villages routinely suffer from lack of access to healthcare and education. Vietnamese architecture firm 1+1> 2 has provided a ray of hope for those in Lung Luong village in the remote Thai Nguyen Province with the construction of a beautiful new school made from local materials including rammed earth and bamboo. The school’s beautiful swooping and colorful form is an inspiration to the village and serves as a welcoming haven protected from the harsh elements. The Lung Luong elementary school is sited on a mountain peak and constructed to replace a poorly insulated structure that was piercingly cold in days of heavy rain and draught. Under the leadership of architect Hoang Thuc Hao, the villagers excavated part of the peak to create an even foundation. The excavated soil was recycled into rammed earth bricks used to build the school’s structure. The soil bricks’ thermal properties help maintain a temperate indoor climate year round. Locally sourced timber and bamboo were also used in construction and existing trees were protected during the building process. The elementary school is spread out across the mountaintop, covering an area of over 1,400 square meters. The orientation and placement of the buildings and the swooping colorful bamboo canopy above optimize natural lighting, ventilation, and sound insulation. The school comprises classrooms, playgrounds, gardens, multipurpose rooms, a medical room, library, kitchen, toilets, and dormitory. Related: Rammed earth house blends traditional materials with modern techniques in Vietnam’s last frontier “The goal of this project is to create a school with conveniences striving against the harsh nature,” write the architects. “The classrooms are compatible with the mountain, spaces between them are slots which makes everything appears like an architectural picture pasted on the terrain. The corridor connects all functional areas. The foundation of the buildings respects the natural terrain which means that they wind up and down as the mountain path.” + 1+1> 2 Via ArchDaily Images © Son Vu

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Rammed earth school in Vietnam blooms like a colorful jungle flower

Diapers, sanitary products could provide alternative fuel source

March 20, 2017 by  
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A waste-management company has developed a new, patented process that turns sanitary products, baby diapers, incontinence pads, and other so-called “absorbent hygiene products” into power. PHS Group , which serves 90,000 households, schools, offices, and retirement homes across the United Kingdom and Ireland, says that it handles about 45,000 tons of the stuff a year. A plant in the Midlands is currently converting 15 percent of that waste into compressed bales that can be burned to provide fuel for power stations. Refuse-derived fuel is neither an untested concept in Europe, where the practice is par for the course, nor in the U.K., where it’s gaining ground. But diapers, tampons, and their ilk have proved trickier because their dampness makes incineration most costly. But neither is dumping them in the landfill, where they’ll take decades to degrade, a sustainable solution. “Hygiene products are an essential part of many of our everyday lives but disposing of them has always been an issue,” Justin Tydeman, CEO of the PHS Group, told Guardian . PHS Group’s system, which is being evaluated by the University of Birmingham for its effectiveness, not to mention its impact on the environment, sounds simple in principle. Related: How Sweden diverts 99 percent of its waste from the landfill The company begins by shredding and squeezing the material, then disposing of any waste liquid as sewage. The remaining dry material is packed into bales, ripe for tossing into the fire. “Whether or not it turns out to be a major source of energy in itself, the key thing is we find a good way to handle what is a complex and growing waste stream,” Tydeman said. “We don’t want this stuff just going into the ground.” An aging population makes PHS Group’s tack even more vital than ever, Tydeman added. “The great thing about life today is people are living longer, but what comes with that is often incontinence issues,” he said. We want this to be a growing issue, because we want people to live longer.” Via the Guardian Photos by Unsplash , Pixabay

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A lush curtain of greenery provides privacy for this sprawling home in Vietnam

January 4, 2017 by  
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A curtain of lush greenery  flows along the main hallway of this gorgeous residence in Vietnam. MIA Design Studio designed the Drawer House for a family of nature lovers looking for a home that would integrate nature with the interior, all while providing privacy. The architects came up with a solution which protects the residents from noise, maintains privacy, and creates a harmonious environment dominated by greenery. The main concept behind the design of the Drawer House is rooted in the need for individual privacy and direct contact with nature. In order to reconcile all the requirements, the design team created a layout that divides all the functional spaces into “drawers” separated by courtyards . These patches of greenery, conceived as “drawers of landscape”, are connected by an elongated hallway running the entire length of the building and lined with a layer of Bridal Veil Creepers. Related: Solar-powered Elevate Structure is wrapped in a living, breathing wall of green In-between gardens offer privacy while creating a smooth transition to the next space. By opening and closing parts of the partitions, users can ensure better natural ventilation which helps cool down the entire residence. The presence of natural light , breeze and greenery maximize the connection between interior and exterior spaces while preserving privacy for each individual room. + MIA Design Studio Via Archdaily Photos by Hirouyki Oki

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Sustainability reporting in stock exchanges ‘comes of age’

December 7, 2016 by  
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Soon 38 exchanges in London, Qatar, Vietnam and beyond will offer companies environmental and social guidance. Guess who’s missing?

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Sustainability reporting in stock exchanges ‘comes of age’

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