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Sustainability

For most of human history, we've lived in groups a lot larger than our family unit, and reaped considerable benefits from it. Modern urban life, on the other hand, has moved in a different direction; privacy, disconnection, self sufficiency. Eco-village communities are aiming to buck that trend, and to that end Smart Urban Villages is planning to create medium-density, sustainably designed housing communities with optional shared meals, mortgage-free long term leases and pools of shared vehicles to cut down on car ownership costs.

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There was more than a touch of irony about the University of Melbourne's old architecture building. As the breeding ground for generations of Australia's designers and builders, the plain brick building had come to be known as one of the campus' most drab and uninspiring structures. But a simmering discontent boiled over in 2009, when the university announced plans to knock it down and start again. Now standing in its place is a multi award-winning building that's as visually arresting as it is environmentally-friendly. The Melbourne School of Design places a premium on sustainability and collaborative education, and through an inventive architectural approach it has married the two to produce a truly unique learning environment.

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NASA has launched a public challenge with the aim of innovating technologies vital for the establishment of a colony on Mars. The agency is focused on a mission to the Red Planet, and has already taken the first vital steps. However, whilst simply reaching Mars with a cargo of healthy astronauts would be a monumental triumph, maintaining a permanent presence on so inhospitable a planet could prove to be a much greater technological challenge.

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Next month, Gothenburg's public transport will get a little bit greener. The Swedish city will see the introduction of its first fully electric buses. According to Volvo, which makes the vehicles, they use 80 percent less energy than diesel equivalents.

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At Stanford University in California, it’s normally the Nobel-winning researchers who make the news. But with the commissioning of a novel renewable energy system, the campus’s humble heating and cooling system has grabbed some headlines. Using a first-of-its-kind heat recovery system, and drawing a substantial percentage of its electricity from solar, the university is greening up its operations in a move that will see greenhouse gas emissions cut by 68 percent and fossil fuel use cut by 65 percent. Read More
Earlier this month saw the official opening for Buenos Aires' new city hall. Buenos Aires Ciudad Casa de Gobierno is the first office development in Argentina to have been designed by Foster + Partners. It is also the first LEED Silver certified public building in the country. Read More
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was recently awarded Living Building certification for its Center for Sustainable Landscapes facility. Now, the organization is hoping to follow suit with a new on-site classroom. The SEEDclassroom is only one of two of its kind in the US. Read More
Guinness, the Irish stout, is famously dark with a creamy head. It is also increasingly green. A newly-opened Guinness brewhouse has been awarded LEED Platinum certification. Brewhouse No. 4 at St. James’s Gate in Ireland was also awarded BREEAM Outstanding certification last year. Read More
Since opening in 2013, Seattle's Bullitt Center has been claimed to be the world's greenest commercial building. Now, it's been awarded Living Building certification, a mark that's regarded as the highest standard of building sustainability. Read More
For many people, the idea of green living might give the impression of needing to make big changes to their lifestyle and home. A new house in Toronto, Canada, however, shows that needn't be the case. LGA's Bedford Park House is a modern home with green design embedded throughout. Read More
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