Category Archives: Design

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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…

Brownfield Development Web Site Links Project Team Members

Brownfield developments, sites or buildings that have environmental contamination, are not usually the most desirable projects. However, a web site called Brownfield Listings is giving these projects a new lease on life. A small town in Missouri wanted to convert an abandoned school into a community center and emergency shelter. It put out three requests…

New York City’s Lowline To Be World’s First Underground Park

Instead of talking about the marvelous skyscrapers in New York City, they may soon be able to marvel at the Lowline, the world’s first underground park. New York City is now considering building the world’s first underground park in an abandoned trolley terminal. “The Lowline is a plan to use innovative solar technology to illuminate…

On The Smaller Side Of Houses, Meet GreenPod

A recent visit to treehugger has provided us with a great resource for the smaller side of the housing spectrum: GreenPod. It appears modular and prefab homes are finally gaining some mainstream traction, states treehugger author Kimberley Mok. For people interested in getting an eco-friendly home relatively quick, going prefab can be an easier route with less headaches….

Concrete Brise Soleil Cools Sustainable Building In Ghana

sustainable building in Ghana

One Airport Square in Accra, Ghana uses an innovative brise soleil of concrete to let light in while keeping heat out, which greatly reduces the cost of cooling.

Thermoslate Solar Thermal System Integrates Unseen Into Slate Roof

The Thermoslate solar thermal system from Spanish slate company Cupa Pizarras is worth observing. Here’s why:  a structure’s slate roof can absorb a massive amount of heat and because of this stone, it has good thermal mass and holds it for some time, reports treehugger. In the Thermoslate system, slate roof tiles are integrated with thermal cells…

Seattle’s Bullitt Center Stands As The Greenest Model

At the headquarters of the Seattle-based Bullitt Foundation, author Mary Adam Thomas documents the building of the Bullitt Center, a structure she regards as the world’s greenest building in her recently released book, “The Greenest Building: How The Bullitt Center Changes The Urban Landscape.” The Bullitt Center stands as an eye-catching model of environmental design. Using…

Minneapolis City Center NFL Showcase: Finishing Touches Take Place On US Bank Stadium

We have enjoyed following the vision and ensuing work leading to the development of US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, now scheduled to open this August. Here is the most important item to keep in mind about this project: we’re not just looking at a new Minnesota Vikings football stadium replacing the old Hubert Humphrey Metrodome. Here…

Top 10 Green Projects 2016

AIA’s Committee on the Environment (COTE) has announced its list of the top 10 green projects for 2016. Biosciences Research Building, Galway Ireland The design of the BRB embraces the moderate climate of Ireland. By locating low-load spaces along the perimeter of the building, the project is able to take advantage of natural ventilation as…

Masdar City Sets The Bar For Sustainable Urban Development

Masdar City, near Abu Dhabi, has set its sights on being the most sustainable city on the planet, and it is well on the way to meeting that goal. Development started in 2008 and is expected to continue for at least the next five years, with 40,000 people expected to live within its boundaries, and…

Net-Zero Home Kits Available From Acre

For those ready to build a net-zero home, Acre, might be a good place to start looking. The Acre website states this company addresses architecture and construction from an entirely new perspective. “We want to replace today’s out-of-date houses with innovative, attainable, high-quality homes that are better for people and the planet. Our goal is to give families…

Sustainability Drove Design Behind US Bank Stadium

When I joined a group of journalists to visit US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, not only was I impressed with what I saw, I had the pleasure of interviewing Brian Wolfe, HKS sustainable design manager and a key member of the architectural team for the stadium. Our interview began with my question on the destruction of the former Hubert…

Chicago Tiny House Design Competition Winners

Winner of the tiny house competition

The winners of the Chicago AIA’s tiny house design competition were announced recently. Launched in November 2015, the competition solicited entries to address young adult homelessness in Chicago as part of the Tiny Homes Summit. The winning entry, “A House for Living In,” is composed of 11 336-square-foot units and one interior community space gathered around…

World’s Largest Solar Glass Envelope To Supply Electricity At Copenhagen International School

Dubai-based Emirates Insolaire will supply about 12,000 solar glass panels to the Copenhagen International School in Denmark, boosting the facility’s production of clean electricity. Emirates Insolaire produces and distributes colored solar glass and colored PV modules using what is called Kromatix technology. This technology allows solar PV to be integrated into the architectural design of all types…

Remarkable $20K Houses From Rural Studio

Auburn University’s design team at Rural Studio has achieved the lofty goal of building affordable houses for somebody living below the poverty line. Here’s how: The team did so by completing two pilot project houses priced at $20,000 apiece. Materials for the homes totaled $14,000 each. The Design Challenge For over a decade, architecture students at…

Study Shows LEED-ND Fails To Provide Affordable Housing

A study recently published in the Journal of the American Planning Association (JAPA) by Nicola Szibbo, PhD, a planner with the City and County of Honolulu, found that only 40 percent of LEED-ND certified projects included affordable housing. With very little incentive in the credit structure, many developers choose not to include affordable housing, and there…

Try This Greenhouse With Legs For Flood Control

Greenhouse with legs

For those having a proclivity for flooding paranoia, this greenhouse with legs might arrest some of those fears. Conceived and developed by BAT Studio, we are told this UK structure has been constructed in an area which experiences frequent flooding. The Greenhouse That Grows Legs incorporates a novel approach to flood protection. “The building is…

Analyzing Exterior Deck Options

When asked what is a highly desired feature outside of the house, a good number of people will first select an exterior deck or porch. Here’s why: if done well, it makes an inviting place to visit with family or friends to enjoy summer cookouts, or simply as a great place to sit back, relax,…