Category Archives: Architecture

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Green Malls Save Shops and Consumers Money

Green malls in Singapore are saving money and creating a safer shopping experience More shopping malls in Singapore are going green in the global push to be more environmentally friendly, saving energy and water usage.  Some consultants say they also help to create a safer shopping experience for consumers. There are 32 eco-malls in Singapore…

LEED vs Green Globes Round 2: Certification Costs

Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building

A press release from the Green Building Initiative announces the results of an independent study, funded by GBI, comparing the costs for certifying the same building under Green Globes and LEED. Green Globes Certification is Less Expensive to Achieve than LEED, On Same Project, Drexel University Study Reveals Portland, OR – May 13, 2014 –…

Prefab Bioclimatic House Made Entirely of Wood

Bioclimatic prefab house exterior

Take a look at this beautiful prefab home, with wood structure and finishes, featured on ArchDaily. The commission had very clear premises: very tight budget, deadlines, and an energy-efficient construction – it inspired this prefab bioclimatic house, fashioned to Passivhaus energy demand standards. The architect, Alventosa Morell Arquitectes, decided to design a completely prefabricated wooden…

Green Parking Garage Certification Now Available

parking garage by shutterstock

Up until now, parking garages were not able to earn green building certification (LEED does not recognize them).  That has changed this week, though, with the introduction of the Green Garage Certification program by the Green Parking Council. The Green Garage Certification (GGC) program is the first of its kind, recognizing sustainable practices in designing,…

Strength and Design in Concrete Forms

There is something amazingly raw and beautiful in cast concrete forms and buildings. These forms can become any shape imaginable and all that is required is the form to hold the concrete as it dries. Panels of remarkable sizes can be placed on site in construction zones, allowing buildings to rise in record breaking time…

6 Building Materials of the Future

These futuristic building materials will change the way we construct buildings in the years to come. 1. Graphene Graphene is a one-atom thick layer of carbon.  It is thin, strong, flexible, conducts electricity, and is virtually transparent.  Researchers won the 2010 Nobel Prize for Physics for developing graphene.  It’s potential uses include solar cells, touchscreens,…

Biomimicry Inspires Squid-like Building

Biotic Tech Skyscraper by GPT Architecture

Biomimicry is the practice of using nature to inspire design.  It has become more popular as the green building movement has grown.  The Biotic-Tech Skyscraper City by GPT Architecture in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, is inspired by squid, using the qualities of transparency, flexibility, movement and protective pigmentation.  The design was the Jury Winner in the Architizer A+ awards for…

The Role of Architectural History in the Development of Solar Passive Architect David Wright

The evolution of pioneer solar passive architect David Wright’s career demonstrates the importance of exposure to the solar works of the ancients, as provided in this guest column by John Perlin based on his new book, Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy. This is the first of five articles. David Wright was…

Companies of Interest: Transwall’s Movable Wall Systems

Floor-to-ceiling movable wall systems have been developed to accompany changing design requirements In an era where modular and reconfigurable components drive business design decisions, the development of moveable wall systems seems entirely appropriate and timely. Meet Philadelphia-based Transwall, the developer of beautiful and reconfigurable architectural walls that are moveable. As the company aptly stated on its…

LEED Versus Green Globes

LEED vs Green Globes

Last week Greenwash Action released its answer to critics of the LEED green building certification program, administered by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) and the US Green Building Council (USGBC).  LEED has been under attack by proponents of the Green Globes certification program, which is administered by the Green Building Initiative. “LEED Exposed” claims…

Earthbag Buildings – Functional to Beautiful

Divine Nectar retreat cabin

In homage to our previous post on all natural building products, here is a photo collection of earthbag buildings – built from bags of dirt or sand, stacked brick-like, and covered with mud mixed with straw. Divine Nectar retreat cabin – This stunning earthbag cabin was built as part of a retreat center in the desert…

3D Printed Buildings Speed Up Construction

3D printed house assembly

Will the buildings of the future be printed? Chinese construction materials company Winsun New Materials says it has printed 10 houses on its new 3-D printer that cost them about $3.2 million to develop and took 12 years to build. Winsun’s 3D printer is 6.6 meters (22 feet) tall, 10 meters wide and 150 meters…

Shigeru Ban is Awarded The 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize

Everyone has their heroes, their role-models, their if-I-could-be-like-anyone-it-would-be persons and I am no different. I wrote about his past accomplishments, including his cardboard cathedral and paper tube relief houses on GBE a couple of years ago and now my career hero was given the ultimate award in architecture this past month. He is Shigeru Ban…

Putting the Scrap Pile to Good Use

I hate to see a scrap pile go to waste when it can be put to good use somewhere else. Saving a pile of wood cutoffs about to be tossed in the trash can This red oak coffee table is an example of what can be done with scrap wood cutoffs from another project. Like…

AIA Top 10 Housing Awards – Part II

AIA Top 10 Continues – Multifamily Housing & Specialized Housing The American Institute of Architects has selected 10 top new American homes for the 2014 Housing Awards. Yesterday we focused on single-family homes. Today the awards we feature the multifamily and specialized housing categories. These brief descriptions from AIA provide a view of the projects….

Plan Sampler for Small Houses Under 1000 Square Feet

A lengthening list of people are interested in building small houses, not big ones.  With today’s world population at 7.221,475,940 people  there are abundant reasons for building smaller. Economics enter into the planning, as well, as does the notion of simplifying lifestyles. For people leaning this way, here are some resource companies that provide plans that…

Bulgarian Syngas Project Launches Construction

Karlovo Power Plant Will Turn Syngas Derived from Straw and Wood Wastes into Cleaner, More Reliable and Economic Electricity Bulgarian plans to use alternative fuels for generating sustainable electricity are now taking shape, following the start of construction of the Karlovo integrated gasified biomass power plant. When completed the plant will distribute cleaner electricity, using…

Honda Smart Home is Built for Your Green Lifestyle

Built in collaboration with UC Davis in California, the Honda Smart Home is a three-year green building project that will monitor typical energy use needs for average Americans and their families.