Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Sustainability

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

An aerial view of the Bullitt Center, rooftop solar array under construction, September 20...

The world of architecture figuratively doffed its cap to Earth Day on Monday with the opening of the Bullitt Center in Seattle. The Bullitt Center aims to meet the rigorous Living Building Design Challenge, which looks beyond design criteria and scrutinizes a building's green credentials, including energy self-sufficiency, over the course of a year in use. But more significantly, its developers claim that the Bullitt Center is the greenest commercial building in the world.  Read More

Splitterwerk Architects and engineering firm ARUP have unveiled the worlds first algae pow...

Splitterwerk Architects and engineering firm Arup have unveiled what is thought to be the world's first building to be powered partly by algae. Officially "unveiled" at the International Building Exhibition hosted in Hamburg, the design, dubbed the BIQ, has a "bio-adaptive" facade that is claimed to be a first for using algae within its glass louvers in order to generate energy, and provide shade, to a working building.  Read More

The Carcheticture concept uses the parked car as part of the home infrastructure

Auto manufacturers are typically thought of in terms of tangible nuts and bolts, but the auto industry as a whole does a fair amount of conceptual thinking and prognosticating. Concept cars are the most visible part of this process, but automakers also host contests, conferences and conversations about the future of mobility and the world around us. Daimler recently gathered a group of post-graduate intellectuals and visionaries in thinking about the evolving roles that vehicles could play in the future.  Read More

Surrounding native plant landscaping, including the green roof, feature select grasses and...

Where most architects talk about sustainability they tend to see a zero-scaped entrance as the critical element, or a grey water toilet made from recycled Starbucks cups. Many make the statement but very few make the statement a living reality – Vancouver’s VanDusen Botanical Gardens Visitor Center is an exception.  Read More

Equinox House's tilting south facade lines up with the noon Sun on the summer solstice (Ph...

Modern passive house it may be, but as its name suggests, the showstopper at Equinox House in Bulgaria harkens to ancient times when humans built buildings in veneration to heavenly bodies. A narrow aperture in the roof transforms the house into a solar calendar leading it's designer, Ignatov Architects, to refer to the house as a "celestial instrument."  Read More

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