Photokina 2014 highlights

Sustainability

The One Wybelenna home (Photo: Scott Burrows)

Located in Brisbane, Australia, One Wybelenna is a luxurious property designed to achieve a high level of sustainability – as evidenced by its turf roof which not only provides insulation but also serves as home for a local species of bird.  Read More

Tighthouse is a refit of an existing NYC row house (Photo: Hai Zhang)

Architectural design firm Fabrica718 recently completed the very first Passive House Institute (PHI) certified house to be located in New York City. Dubbed Tighthouse, the property is based on an existing row house which is over a hundred years old and has been extensively retrofitted to meet the exacting Passive House standard.  Read More

The Change Initiative building (Photo: Gundeep Singh)

The Change Initiative is Dubai's first retail store to focus its efforts solely on selling sustainable products and services, so it's not too surprising that its owners asked architectural firm HOK to make the premises as green as possible. However, what's remarkable, is that The Change Initiative is reportedly being hailed as the world's most sustainable building, when assessed according to the LEED standard.  Read More

With a bubble-like urban design, the i3 includes copious amounts of glass and light-weight...

When the i3 concept was unveiled alongside the i8 coupe concept back in 2011, it was the i8 that hogged the spotlight in commercials and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. But BMW engineers were hard at work in Germany developing real world production plans for the i3 and BMW is now set to put its first fully electric vehicle into mass production by the end of 2013. But the wee urban EV plays only a small part in BMW’s overall sustainability program.  Read More

Nike's Making app gives users access to its Materials Sustainability Index

Nike has launched an app to make sustainability data more readily available to apparel makers. Called Making, the app is targeted at designers to provide them with information on the environmental implications of the materials they work with.  Read More

Could Berg C.F. Møller's vision prove a blueprint for getting the wooden skyscraper right?...

Skyscrapers dominate the skylines of our major cities, offering more urban density and greater flexibility than smaller buildings. However, concrete- and steel-based tall structures require huge amounts of energy for their construction, which comes at a significant environmental cost. This can be mitigated by incorporating technologies such as solar power, passive cooling systems and efficient lighting into the design, but what if we could go even further and build skyscrapers using sustainable materials? Herein lies the impetus behind recent research into the efficacy of wooden skyscrapers.  Read More

FOUNDhouse will provide shelter for Patrick Beseda and Lacy Graham while they help build a...

Architecture students Patrick Beseda and Lacy Graham have launched the FOUNDhouse project, which aims to raise funds, via Kickstarter, to build a micro-house. FOUNDhouse bucks the trend of big-money crowd-funding schemes, and instead aims to generate a relatively low US$1,100 for the project to go ahead.  Read More

The Helix cork boasts the benefits of a traditional cork, but can be removed with a twist

What could be nicer than a picnic in a pleasant country field, a rotisserie chicken, a loaf of oven-hot bread and a nice bottle of wine? That is, provided you don't forget the corkscrew. This week, Amorim, the world’s largest manufacturer of cork stoppers, and O-I, the world's largest glass container manufacturer, made this nightmare scenario a little less likely by unveiling their Helix cork and bottle that are designed so that the cork can be removed with a simple twist of the wrist.  Read More

SEED Collaborative's SEEDclassroom

SEED Collaborative has teamed up with Method Homes for the construction of what it hopes will become the first modular building to pass the Living Building Challenge. The SEEDclassroom is designed to be a portable teaching space available at short notice, and yet one which meets its own energy and water needs.  Read More

The JF-Kit House (Photo: Miguel de Guzmán)

The JF-Kit House, by Spanish-based Elii Architecture, is an off-grid home concept which envisions occupants using exercise to offset their energy needs. To its credit, Elii Architecture makes it clear right off the bat that the JF-Kit House isn’t intended to be considered as suitable for human habitation yet. Rather, the architects did some brainstorming and imagined how our homes may evolve in a future of rapidly decreasing fossil-fuel resources. This was then used this as a jumping-off point to let imaginations run wild.  Read More

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