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Sustainability

London's skyline appears to reach ever higher to the sky. Earlier this year it was claimed that 230 new towers were being planned in the city. That figure includes the Leadenhall Building, which sits close to the Gherkin and has a tapering profile so as not to impede views of St. Paul's Cathedral. Read More
It may not come as a surprise that a papier-mâché-like building technique using an inflatable membrane and concrete dome is yet to really take hold. It was in the 1960s that architect Dr Dante Bini pioneered the Binishell as a cheaper and more eco-friendly way of construction. While this led to the building of more than a thousand domes, the practice was largely abandoned, due in part to concerns surrounding their stability. Dante's son Nicolo, also an architect, is now looking to revive the Binishell method, with a view to providing low-cost housing solutions around the world. Read More
With corporate showmanship and architectural one-upmanship being what they are, newly-built company headquarters are often lavish affairs. The Edge in Amsterdam is no different. Not only is it good looking sustainably-designed, but its lighting does more than just brighten up a room. Read More
The urban heat island effect, whereby the high concentration of heat-retaining concrete and bitumen causes metropolitan centers to be significantly warmer than the rural areas surrounding them, is a common problem around the world. The phenomenon is particularly prevalent in Tokyo, Japan, but among the sea of towering structures stands one beacon of hope. The BioSkin that coats the NBF Osaki Building integrates evaporative cooling to keep its surface temperature down and could inspire new solutions to rising city temperatures across the globe. Read More
Unsustainable fishing in Belize has placed growing pressure on local anglers and the country's celebrated coral reef systems. Decades of decline has led to the introduction of catch limits and even the European Union blacklisting seafood imports from Belize for a perceived lack of action against illegal fishing. In an effort to better regulate the industry, the Belize Fisheries Department has begun using drones to monitor coastal areas for unlicensed and unlawful activity. Read More
Brazil spent around US$4 billion renovating and constructing its stadiums for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. But with the excitement of hosting the globe's biggest sporting event now having passed, one awkward, but important question remains. What to do with all that infrastructure? Drawing inspiration from the social issues plaguing much of the publicity around the event, a pair of French architects have developed a proposal to re-invent the structures as complexes for low-cost housing. Read More
Braving a harsh winter with snow-covered solar panels, the Net-Zero Energy Residential Test Facility (NZERTF) in Washington DC has come up trumps in a year-long study of its energy harvesting capabilities. Located on campus at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), researchers used computer simulation to replicate the energy consumption of a family of four. At the end of its first 12 months, there was a large enough surplus to power an electric car for 1,440 miles (2,317 km). Read More
A house built in the demanding environment of Alice Springs, Australia, has been honored by the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA). Dunn and Hillam's Desert House was designed to withstand the extreme desert conditions while remaining energy efficient. The AIA cited the project's "genuine sensibility to environmental management in this specific climate." Read More
Green structures and buildings are a growing trend. Vertical gardens like the Clearpoint Residencies apartment block in Sri Lanka and The Living's Hy-Fi organic sculpture in New York are two examples. Now, Chartier-Corbasson has designed a concept for a skyscraper that would be built from the recycled waste of its occupants. Read More
A number of parks in the Boston area will soon receive solar-powered smart benches, courtesy of Changing Environments, an MIT Media Lab spin-off company. Dubbed Soofa, the benches sport a solar panel, a pair of charging points for smartphones (or similar devices), and they monitor environmental data such as local air quality and noise pollution. Read More
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