Category Archives: Design

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Secrets Of The Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House has become a symbol for Australia. It is also a sustainable building designed before sustainability became popular. Here is the story of how and why it was built.

Canada To Reduce HFC Emissions By 85% By 2036

HFC (hydrofluorocarbon) emissions contribute to climate change, and Canada and many other nations are taking a stand to reduce their emissions by 85% in the next 20 years. HFCs are commonly found in refrigerators, air conditioners, foam products, and other items world-wide. Current global HFC emissions are the equivalent of approximately 1 billion tons of carbon…

Calatrava’s Sundial Bridge Was Spawned by Salmon

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Spawned by the need to protect a seemingly insignificant patch of gravel, not many folks know that Redding’s iconic Sundial Bridge rose as a result of an eco-challenge surmountable only by architect Santiago Calatrava’s sensitive and innovative expertise. Abandoned since the long-gone days of mining in Redding, California, submerged quarry beds along the north shore…

Masdar City Launches Phase 2 Master Plan

The fascinating cleantech evolution of Masdar City continues! Pushing the limits of urban design and community building, Masdar City is pressing forward in its pioneering quest for the highest quality of life with the lowest carbon footprint. Setting a new international precedent for sustainable urban planning, Boston-based CBT is presenting its award-winning Detailed Master Plan…

Masdar City: A Test Case for Sustainable Urban Living

Sweltering in the hot desert sun, Masdar City sits under a global microscope at the nexus of rising clean technology and the development of sustainable urban life in the glaring light of climate change. Conceived on a zero-moisture stretch of barren desert sand in Abu Dhabi, UAE, the zero-carbon, zero-waste settlement of Masdar City has…

Stylish Sustainability: Trondheim’s New Student Village

Meaning more than just focusing on the environment, sustainability also means creating a sense of place and belonging. Interpreting this philosophy brilliantly, MDH Arkitekter has nearly completed Moholt 50|50, an award-winning university student village in Trondheim, Norway. Envisioned as a community-focused commercial district featuring distinctive Scandinavian aesthetics, MDH Arkitekter’s minimalist approach and stylish use of…

Meet The Men Who Put Solar Shingles On The Roof

Solar shingles are now gaining increasing traction in the renewable energy landscape. They are architecturally distinctive, more so than traditional rooftop photovoltaic panels. Solar shingles provide an integrated building product providing both roofing security and solar electricity in one package. As PV Magazine’s Charles W. Thurston has stated, “The nascent field of U.S. solar shingle manufacturers…

Brush & Wattle — The ABCs of Green Building Materials

The age-old construction techniques employed in traditional brush and wattle structures are time-tested and worthy of great respect. “Touching the Earth lightly,” these techniques are both low-impact on the natural environment and highly sustainable, employing the most natural and abundant of green building materials. Brush, referring to tree branches, twigs, leaves, and bark, has been…

Meet Einstein, a New IoT Solution for Smart Commercial Buildings

Artificial intelligence company Verdigris has just announced the debut of “Einstein,” a next-generation Internet of Things (IoT) smart energy management solution. This latest IoT energy management platform from Verdigris is designed to be “the easiest most-scalable connected sensor for complex enterprise facilities.” Using innovative smart sensor and metering technology, Einstein’s continuous stream of energy data…

Bricks – The ABCs of Green Building Materials

In terms of sustainability and green building materials, brick is probably king. The process of making fired clay bricks has been around for over 5,000 years and just keeps getting greener. Today’s brick kilns use about 70 percent less energy to fire bricks than just 50 years ago. Brick is a term usually referring to…

Cheap Off-Grid Cabin Built For Under $300

Alyssa Craft and Jesse Stafford completed a cheap off-grid cabin-add-on to the trailer they are living in while setting up their homestead in the Western US. The cabin was built to allow them to heat the air around the trailer and prevent the plumbing, and themselves, from freezing during the snowy winter months. The majority…

Urban SkyFarm Soaring With Sustainability

Revisiting an oldy-but-goody originally published on InspiredEconomist.com Inspired by the ecological system of giant trees, the Urban Skyfarm is a prototype vertical urban farm project. Designed to support local food production and distribution, it also improves environmental quality through water and air filtration and renewable energy production. Urban Skyfarm Places First in Concept Category First…

Bamboo – The ABCs of Green Building Materials

Bamboo is a truly remarkable green building material. It’s twice as strong as concrete and slightly stronger than steel. It’s also a renewable resource that needs little energy to grow, prevents soil erosion, provides biomass, offers wildlife refuge, and produces a healthy food supply for both wildlife and humans. Offering significant remediation from the effects…

Visit A Small Writer’s Shed & Haven In London

A visit to Surman Weston reveals a delightful small writer’s shed situated in the heart of London. Surman Weston has indicated their firm was “…commissioned by an author and illustrator to design & build a ‘writer’s shed’ in the borough of Hackney. Capitalizing on their multi-disciplinary backgrounds the firm acted as designers, project managers, and lead…

An Eco-Lodge “Touching the Earth Lightly”

Originally published on EdenKeeper.org Constructed with an eagle’s loft in mind, a newly renovated eco-lodge in South Africa offers a bird’s-eye view from a well-feathered nest. Overlooking lush vistas of Kruger National Park wildlife refuge, the view is so vast you might easily be inspired to sing a hymn in praise of Creation. Singita Lebombo…

Aluminum – The ABCs of Green Building Materials

Used in a wide variety of ways in the building construction market, aluminum is a very versatile green building material, especially when it’s recycled. Everything from huge external building structures to delicate window blinds can be manufactured from this lightweight, durable, and corrosion-resistant metal. Doors, windows, and awnings are popular products made from this material,…

The ABCs of Green Building Materials – Adobe (New Series!)

Green building materials are as diverse as Earth itself. Some of the most sustainable materials on the planet are modern inventions, and some are as old as the hills, like adobe. Familiarizing yourself with the best green building materials will help ensure your environmentally friendly projects enjoy sustainable success. Over the next several weeks, watch…