Tag: sustainability

ORNL and FEMP Build Smart Walls

November 01, 2020

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the Department of Energy’s Federal Emergency Management Program (FEMP) have partnered to create a prototype wall named “EMPOWER.” This “smart” wall is 3-D printed using a manufacturing system called SkyBAAM, which prints concrete. SkyBAAM constructs walls without the use of a gantry system, and it reportedly can be set […]

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hedge building

Europe’s Largest Green Façade Completed in Düsseldorf

October 01, 2020

Nearly 30,000 hornbeam hedges form the “cladding” for Kö-Bogen II, a new building in Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz (plaza), Düsseldorf, Germany. Ingenhoven Architects, the project’s designer, said they didn’t want the new structure to compete with the existing buildings in the plaza, so it had to be completely different. Beneath the greenery lies 450,000 sq. ft. of office […]

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Traditional Clay Bricks Could Store Energy

October 01, 2020

One of the biggest barriers to solar energy becoming cheap and ubiquitous as an alternative and/or supplement to “the grid” is the expense and inconvenience of installing a battery storage. A team of researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, is investigating a solution to allow traditional clay-fired bricks to store energy.  although the […]

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NYC Requires Sustainable Roofing Zones

July 01, 2020

All newly constructed buildings and all buildings undergoing a complete roof deck or roof assembly replacement in all five boroughs of New York City must now have a “sustainable roofing zone,” under Local Laws 92 and 94, which took effect in November. As part of the Climate Mobilization Act, this means a photovoltaic (PV) electricity […]

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Living Wall as Art

May 01, 2020

Urban Ecotones, an interior living wall installation in Oakland, CA, in 2019 became the first living wall to meet the requirements of public art status by a U.S. city. The wall, by David Brenner, founder and principal of Habitat Horticulture, is a 19- x 34-ft. living wall at 601 City Center that is now a […]

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Growth and Evaporation Cycle

Buildings That Breathe

February 01, 2020

Barcelona’s Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) has undertaken a project examining the benefits of hydroceramic façades as a means of cooling down buildings in hot countries. Known as “breathing” buildings, the technology uses an insoluble polymer called “hydrogel,” fabric as a water channel, and ceramics. The hydrogel, it is claimed, can expand its […]

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solar technician

California Solar Energy Mandate Soon in Effect

October 01, 2019

New homes built in California after January 1, 2020, must be equipped with a solar electric system. They must be sized to offset 100% of the home’s electricity usage, though homes can still use energy from other sources, such as gas. The size of solar arrays can be reduced if other energy efficiency improvements are […]

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Denver Replaces 2017 Green Roof Law

March 03, 2019

Denver City Council has voted to repeal and replace the green roof law it passed in 2017. The older law required rooftop greenery on reroofs or new commercial buildings larger than 25,000 sq. ft. The revised law will require light-colored, reflective cool roofs. Building developers can choose several new options for attaining environmental goals, including […]

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Ellicot City after flood

Recent Experience Questions Storm Predictability Designation Value

January 01, 2019

The National Weather Service called the rain dropped in September 2018 during Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas and Virginia a “1000-year” event. Upward of 50 inches of rain fell in some areas of the Carolinas, equivalent to 8 trillion gallons of rain. The classification of 1000 years refers to probability, not history, because it has […]

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children in front of library

Water Tank Morphs Into Library for Kenyan Kids

December 01, 2018

An abandoned rainwater collection tank was transformed into a children’s library in a small farming community in the Nyeri West region of Kenya. The project was designed by San Francisco firm Natoma Architects and bankrolled by the Nobelity Project, an Austin, Texas-based group that builds school infrastructures. The organizer’s cofounder, Turk Pipkin, conceived of the […]

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