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Popular Architecture's Mile High Eco Tower [S2]

Popular Architecture Super Tower

This is a concept tower by Popular Architecture envisioned for Tower Hamlets in East London.  The design is a reaction, at least in part, to sprawl issues.  London is expected to need housing for 100,000 new people per year until 2016, and currently, most of housing that’s being built is low-density projects in commuter towns.  Popular Architecture’s Super Tower could house up to about 100,000 people with a seriously low site requirement (considering the number of people within the structure). 

The 1,500 meter tall tower would have about 500 floors.  You’d find floors or sections for needs such as a university, farmer’s market, pubs, a town hall, sky gardens, etc.  Anything and everything would be in the building.  There’s even a fire station on the 419th floor!  Which raises the question: what do you do if there is a fire above or below the 419th floor? 

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Nissan's $100 M HQ Goes Green, *Snubs* LEED

Nissan HQ Wetland

It’s a story that I’m seeing more and more, although I’m not too sure we’re seeing a good thing.  Nissan USA spends $100 M to build a brand new office building and plans for LEED Silver certification, but in the end, they decide to spend certification cash on the wetland "rather than have a plaque on the wall."#  Certification gets dropped, but we should ask ourselves a serious question:  Is LEED certification merely about the plaque?  Is that the only benefit we see from LEED?  Spending money to get a plaque?

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Anti-Smog Design with Solar Drop + Wind Tower [S2]

Antismogparis

Anti-Smog is a prototype project envisioned for a post-industrial area of Paris that aims to invent a new architecture — auto-sufficient, depolluting architecture, reactive to its environment.  The Vincent Callebaut Architectures prototype relies heavily on building-integrated, green innovation such as vertical axis wind turbines, rooftop solar panels, and living walls and greenery.  The result is a design that not only borders on positive energy as a self-sufficient structure, but one that moves into a refreshing realm of natural architecture that can clean and replenish the surrounding air.

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Project Green, Cluster Subdivisions, Sustainable Schools, + LEED-EB + Lodging [WIR]

Week in Review

BONUS: Newsweek Project Green

*WIR = Week in Review; a Saturday showcase of excellent links.

Schaar's Bluff Gathering Center, a Living Building

Schaar's Bluff

I’m not going to write too much about this project because it’s under construction and we’ll end up doing more when it comes to life.  Here, though, is the design for a living building — one that gives something back.  It’s the kind of building that goes beyond LEED (although I think it will also get LEED certification, too).  Schaar’s Bluff Gathering Center ranks within the top 1% of all sustainable structures, as compared to the USGBC’s registered buildings.  How?  The structure will generate its own power, react to weather conditions, reuse rainwater, and feed the animals with a trellis planted specifically with fruit vines.  Located in Nininger Township, Minnesota, the 3,500 sf Gathering Center will also have an on-site wind turbine, operable windows linked to the HVAC system, a high performance building envelope, automated shading devices, in-floor radiant heating, and rainwater capture and treatment. 

The Gathering Center will be a model of sustainable building for the future: living buildings. 

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Huangbaiyu, Tough Combo of Sustainability + Urbanism

Huangbaiyu China

In January of this year, Frontline/World reporter Timothy Lesle published a three-part, video documentary on Huangbaiyu called "China: Green Dreams – A NOT SO model village."  Here’s a teaser intro to the report: "The village of Huangbaiyu in rural northeast China was supposed to be a model for energy-conscious design.  The initial project was to build 400 sustainable homes, a collaboration between U.S. architect William McDonough and the Chinese.  But something went awry.  [Timothy Lesle] traveled to the region to investigate."  I’m not going to tell the whole story — the series is quite compelling, and Mr. Lesle presents an honest perspective of Chinese urbanization. 

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