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UniCube Green Dorm Concept Takes Competition Prize

UniCube

I just noticed this interesting building designed by a college student in Australia and had to mention it.  Andrew Southwood-Jones conceived and rendered the building, actually a green dormitory, for an Autodesk competition and he took the prize in the architecture category.  Called UniCube, it was designed to maximize space, be sustainable, and look good.  Andrew designed the conceptual structure to use a number of sustainable strategies: drought-tolerant plant wall in checkerboard pattern on exterior; exterior "gabion walls" filled with rubble and stone; inner walls made from straw bales; a copper roof that catches wind for ventilation and air circulation (without requiring air conditioning); rotating solar panels generating power for the building’s lights; and rainwater collection for use in irrigation, toilets, and laundry. 

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Blue Ridge Parkway Center a Model of Ecological Design

Blue Ridge Destination Center

This is Blue Ridge Parkway Destination Center, a $9.8 million visitor’s center near Ashville, North Carolina.  As a modern structure seeking LEED Gold certification, it’s garnered significant press for its ecological design.  Designed by Lord, Aeck, & Sargent, Blue Ridge was modeled to use 75% less energy than a comparable, conventionally designed building.  That’s due, at least in part, to its incredible green features, such as the sawtooth Trombe walls on the southerly face, 10,000 sf green roof, natural daylighting, high-efficiency mechanical system, natural ventilation, radiant heating, rainwater reclamation system for on-site use, etc. 

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5ive Home Secures LEED Platinum

5ive

A little over a year ago, we featured Shelter Architecture’s 5ive and later placed it on our Top Five Super Green Modern Homes list.  In a year, a lot has happened.  The home is now complete.  It’s going to be honored with a 2008 AIA-MN Rave Award.  And now, the USGBC has officially certified it as a LEED Platinum home.  Congratulations on the noteworthy accomplishments!

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