Totally Tubular

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image Building a bridge of (and to) the Future. A bridge that is cheaper, quicker and easier to build. NYT

Facebook’s swanky new HQ is an old ’60s laboratory

from DVICE by Kevin Hall

Facebook's swanky new HQ is an old '60s laboratory

Facebook has consolidated the entirety of its Palo Alto operation — some 700 employees strong — into an old laboratory from the 1960s, done up all pretty by San Fransisco’s Studio O+A. What’s that do for them? Well, besides running a tighter ship, they get to enjoy all of the benefits of a pimped-out office, such as walls left blank to write on, plenty of comfy seating and a kitchen that offers “gourmet meals to staff at all hours.”

They also get to take advantage of those industrial leftovers, though, which brings us to my favorite table in the Facebook offices — it’s the first picture in the gallery below. The table only has a set of supports on one side of it. The rest of it is held up by a miniature crane, and the entire thing moves allowing the workspace to be wheeled around. Another cool detail: the head dudes are centrally located instead of in some penthouse, and they are accessible by any of the employees since the space is nice and open.

Check out the gallery below to see more of the Facebook offices, and learn more in a press release after the jump.

No Cars Allowed On The Eco-Friendly Kurilpa Bridge

from Gizmodo Australia by Rosa Golijan

At 470m, the Kurilpa Bridge in Brisbane is one of the longest footbridges of its kind and so eco-friendly that it generates more energy than it uses for its lighting system. Oh, and it’s kinda pretty. (more…)

Lifecycle Building Challenge Winners Honored

from Bustler.net News by Vanilla Hustler

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently honored six innovative green concepts designed to reduce the environmental and energy impacts of buildings. These concepts may assist the building industry in reducing more than 88 million tons of building-related construction and demolition debris sent to U.S. landfills each year.

The EPA awards recognized student and professional designs for buildings and building projects, as well as special categories, including the creation of green jobs.

“Designing buildings and building products with front-end lifecycle thinking is the key to real green building,” said Lisa Heinzerling, associate administrator for EPA’s Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation. “These innovators are great examples of how we can build sustainable structures that help meet the needs of this and future generations.”

Lifecycle building is designing structures to facilitate disassembly and material reuse to minimize waste, energy consumption, and associated greenhouse gas emissions. Also known as design for disassembly and design for deconstruction, lifecycle building describes the idea of creating high-performance buildings today that are stocks of resources for the future. EPA recently reported that doubling the reuse and recycling of construction and demolition debris would result in an emissions savings of 150 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, equal to the entire annual carbon emissions from the state of North Carolina.

EPA, along with its partners, the American Institute of Architects, West Coast Green, the Collaborative for High Performance Schools, and StopWaste.Org, invited professionals and students nationwide to submit designs and ideas that support cost-effective disassembly and anticipate future use of building materials. The competition was open to architects, reuse experts, engineers, designers, planners, contractors, builders, educators, environmental advocates and students. This year, the competition was extended to include international participants who hailed from Singapore, Taiwan, Argentina, Colombia, France, Egypt, and the United Kingdom.

These are the winners from the United States:

[Un] Modular Design for Deconstruction
David Fleming, University of Cincinnati, Richfield, MN
Category: Building—Student

Lifecycle Building Challenge Winners

Click above image to enlarge
[Un] Modular Design for Deconstruction by David Fleming, University of Cincinnati, Richfield, MN

This construction trade school design redefines “building” as a temporary resting place for materials to be traded, upgraded and reused. The project shows the potential for a building to evolve with time as materials, fashions, technologies, and uses change. The adaptable structural system can create almost any column, beam and wall configuration. Rather than attempting to find an infinitely reusable module, the project creates a framework for creative materials reuse.

Arboretum and Research Visitors’ Center
Kira Gould, William McDonough + Partners, Charlottesville, VA
Category: Building—Professional Built

Lifecycle Building Challenge Winners

Click above image to enlarge
Arboretum and Research Visitors’ Center by Kira Gould, William McDonough + Partners, Charlottesville, VA

The visitors’ center design roots the building firmly in its woodland context by blurring distinctions between the indoors and outdoors, and by incorporating the surrounding forest into the building’s lifecycle analysis. Construction emphasized safe, closed material loops of biological nutrients, which break down to safely return to forest soil; and technical nutrients, which can be remanufactured into new objects. The mechanical connections and reconfigurable modules allow for building alterations. The project performs 51% better than the ASHRAE-compliant base case used to measure the greenhouse gas reduction.

Modular Temporary Construction Wall/Barricade
Douglas Spear and Aaron Barnes, ENVY Modular Wall Systems LLC, Las Vegas, NV
Category: Product—Professional Built

Lifecycle Building Challenge Winners

Click above image to enlarge
Modular Temporary Construction Wall/Barricade by Douglas Spear and Aaron Barnes, ENVY Modular Wall Systems LLC, Las Vegas, NV

This modular temporary construction wall system consists of panels and extruded joining parts that are recyclable, reusable and can be recycled into new products with zero waste. It replaces wall systems that are used for a short period of time (1-18 months) and often end up in a landfill. Replacing conventional materials used to create temporary walls saves approximately 1 ton of material from the landfill per 70 linear feet of standard height wall. The modular temporary construction wall system is being used in the MGM Mirage City Center Project in Las Vegas, Nevada where it will conserve over 100 tons of construction debris.

Outstanding Achievement Awards:

Best Green Job Creation:
ReAnimateLA: Center for Ecological & Urban Recovery

Hayley Stewart, Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona, CA

Lifecycle Building Challenge Winners

Click above image to enlarge
ReAnimateLA: Center for Ecological & Urban Recovery by Hayley Stewart, Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona, CA

ReAnimate LA would create up to 100 green jobs maintaining the sustainable elements of the building, such as the extraction and reuse of salvaged materials in construction, photovoltaic and ground-source heat pump systems, and bioremediation planting. ReAnimate LA speaks to the changing public values on environmental policy and the urban networks that are essential in bringing back value to a localized, organic way of life in the American city.

Best Greenhouse Gas Reduction:
Arboretum and Research Visitors’ Center

Kira Gould, William McDonough + Partners, Charlottesville, VA

Lifecycle Building Challenge Winners

Click above image to enlarge
Arboretum and Research Visitors’ Center by Kira Gould, William McDonough + Partners, Charlottesville, VA

The visitors’ center design roots the building firmly in its woodland context by blurring distinctions between the indoors and outdoors, and by incorporating the surrounding forest into the building’s lifecycle analysis. Construction emphasized safe, closed material loops of biological nutrients, which break down to safely return to forest soil; and technical nutrients, which can be remanufactured into new objects. The mechanical connections and reconfigurable modules allow for building alterations. The project performs 51% better than the ASHRAE-compliant base case used to measure the greenhouse gas reduction.

Best School Design:
School M.O.D.

Yosuke Kawai and Ikue Nomura, University of Pennsylvania, Dayton, OH
Honorable Mention for Category: Building—Student

Lifecycle Building Challenge Winners

Click above image to enlarge
School M.O.D. by Yosuke Kawai and Ikue Nomura, University of Pennsylvania, Dayton, OH

This prototype school building focuses on feasibility and maximizing flexibility. The usual constraints of fixed areas are resolved by combining modular (M), open (O), and dual structural (D) systems. This construction technique allows any individual to build with locally available materials to meet immediate needs while providing the opportunity for future growth.

Honorable Mention for Reclamation of Materials:
Reclaimed Space: Sustainable, Modern

Zak Hardage, Tracen Gardner, and Kimber Reed-Barber, Reclaimed Space, Austin, TX
Category: Building—Professional Built

Lifecycle Building Challenge Winners

Click above image to enlarge
Reclaimed Space: Sustainable, Modern by Zak Hardage, Tracen Gardner, and Kimber Reed-Barber, Reclaimed Space, Austin, TX

This modern, sustainable designed home values reclaimed materials that are the product of disassembly. The average home generates 8,000 pounds of waste, 80% of which is recyclable while Reclaimed Space homes create less than 300 pounds of waste, nearly all of which is recycled. These energy sipping homes feature solar and rain catchment systems, recycled newspaper insulation and reclaimed 100-year old hardwood oak flooring.

Honorable Mention for Innovative Reuse:
Political Ply – An Arid Zone Shade Structure

Jason Griffiths, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Category: Product—Student

Lifecycle Building Challenge Winners

Click above image to enlarge
Political Ply – An Arid Zone Shade Structure by Jason Griffiths, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Political Ply explores methods of re-purposing existing political campaign signs to form a temporary arid-zone shade structure. The structure is composed of hexagons and each cell has a self contained cooling structure. The project is designed for disassembly, and each hexagonal cell is tapered to allow cells to stack together for convenient transportation.

And here are the International Winners:

The Worm Bar
Miaoling Li, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Category: Building—Student

Lifecycle Building Challenge Winners

Click above image to enlarge
The Worm Bar by Miaoling Li, National University of Singapore, Singapore

The Worm Bar integrates a worm farm, salad bar, and educational gallery into a temporary pavilion structure. More than 90% of the pavilion components come from the adaptation of an existing scaffolding system that can be easily disassembled for use in other projects. Highlighting the processing of our waste by humble earthworms, the pavilion aims to increase the awareness of consumption patterns, and provoke discussion on alternative methods of waste management. The project even envisions visitors leaving with a souvenir bag of vermicompost!
Political Ply explores methods of re-purposing existing political campaign signs to form a temporary arid-zone shade structure. The structure is composed of hexagons and each cell has a self contained cooling structure. The project is designed for disassembly, and each hexagonal cell is tapered to allow cells to stack together for convenient transportation.

Honorable Mention:
Carapace Communion

Rhys Owen, University Of Westminster, United Kingdom
Category: Building—Student

Lifecycle Building Challenge Winners

Click above image to enlarge
Carapace Communion by Rhys Owen, University Of Westminster, United Kingdom

The Carapace Communion project celebrates disassembly by investigating the relationships created when a community’s need for a sheltered meeting space results in the creation of a stronger and more environmentally aware society. Each communion member owns a construction component, but only when multiple elements are assembled (through use of removable fasteners) can a functioning structure be created. These structures can be disassembled to give each member their element back and the structure can be assembled, disassembled or adapted very quickly.

Honorable Mention:
CLOTHed PAVILLION

Hui Ying Lim, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Category: Building—Student

Lifecycle Building Challenge Winners

Click above image to enlarge
CLOTHed PAVILLION by Hui Ying Lim, National University of Singapore, Singapore

This temporary pavilion of recycled compressed clothing challenges the limitations of an abundant source of recyclable cloth, by converting it into architectural components. Fabrics currently have very low recycling rate—12% in Singapore. Re-purposing fabric heightens environmental awareness and would result in 169,000 sets of clothes (230 tonnes) being reused. The cloth bales are starched hard and treated for additional strength, and can be de-starched without damaging the material. The pavilion uses standard wall modules to create partitions and furniture that can be easily reconfigured.

Honorable Mention:
Garden Toilet

Caijin Huang, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Category: Building—Student

Lifecycle Building Challenge Winners

Click above image to enlarge
Garden Toilet by Caijin Huang, National University of Singapore, Singapore

This is a small project designed as a temporary “public convenience” structure to provide the public with bathrooms and showers at on-site events. The walls are tall enough to provide basic privacy. The structure’s hollow walls can be filled with natural materials (fallen leaves, pebbles, stone) or reclaimed materials (bottles and cans). The shower screens are made of layers of overlapping of bamboo to maximize privacy while creating openness and ventilation. The building can be taken down easily and some of the materials can be returned to nature.

Images: Lifecycle Building Challenge

REX architecture/ joshua prince-ramus – designboom interview

from Designboom – Weblog


museum plaza, louisville, kentucky, 2009
image courtesy REX architecture

was born in in 1969,
received a bachelor of arts in philosophy with distinction
from yale university in 1991and a master of architecture from
harvard university in 1996. joshua prince-ramus is president
of REX and principal in charge of all projects.

asymptote: the yas hotel – nears completion

from Designboom – Weblog


construction of the yas hotel by asymptote
image courtesy asymptote

the yas hotel by asymptote in abu dhabi, UAE is nearing completion.
the project is a 500 room, 85 000 square meter now under construction
by aldar properties pjsc. asymptote was awarded the commission to design
the building two years ago, targeting an open date of october 30, 2009 to
coincide with the formula 1 etihad airways, abu dhabi grand prix.

the main feature of the project’s design is a 217-meter expanse of sweeping,
curvilinear forms constructed of steel and 5,800 pivoting diamond-shaped glass
panels. this grid shell component affords the building an architecture comprised
of an atmospheric like veil that contains two hotel towers and a link bridge
constructed as a monocoque sculpted steel object passing above the formula 1
track that makes its way through the building complex.


aerial view of the yas hotel
image courtesy asymptote


construction of the interior
image courtesy asymptote


the yas hotel main entrance under construction
image courtesy asymptote


the final stretch of construction. the balconies glass and doors are now being put in place for all the hotel suites. the formula 1 race will
be seen from every room.
image courtesy asymptote


the completed gridshell
image courtesy asymptote


the interiors are now near completion – this is a view of the cafes and access areas to ballrooms
image courtesy asymptote


the lobby
image courtesy asymptote


entry area a view looking up towards the building’s facade
image courtesy asymptote


the abu dhabi f1 circuit is now online and ready for race day
image courtesy asymptote

Comfort Inn Partners with Pursol Solar Systems to Push Green Energy into the Mainstream

from Green Options by Tina Casey

Comfort Inn La Estancia will get 100% of its electricity from a photovoltaic installation.From the outside, theComfort Inn La Estancia near San Diego looks like your garden variety mainstream hotel, complete with free parking for truckers and RV’s. But soon it will share something sustainable that many boutique “green” hotels boast, 100% solar power for its electricity usage.

The greening of Comfort Inn is thanks to a partnership with Pursol Solar Systems, which will install an 83 kilowatt photovoltaic system under its Solarize financing program, basically guaranteeing the hotel a 20% savings on its electricity bill without any up-front costs.

Read more of this story »

A New Ecology for the City

from Design Under Sky by Adam E. Anderson

Great article on the Design Observer discussing urban ecology and its role in landscape architecture. I was going to summarize, but thought it better if you just read the whole thing.

Metaphor Remediation: A New Ecology for the City

nord architecture: healing architecture

from Designboom – Weblog


healing architecture by nord architecture
all image courtesy nord architecture

danish firm nord architecture have won the competition for a new healthcare center
for cancer patients.

the design is based on the recognizable contour and scale of type ‘A’ houses.
small individual houses are interconnected by a sculptural roof structure. the building
will consist of an inner courtyard, several terraces and themed gardens.

the design will be realised in collaboration with hellerup byg, bravida danmark,
wessberg ingeniører and metopos landscape.

A Plan To Knit Together The US Electric Grid

from INFRASTRUCTURIST

It has now become conventional wisdom that America’s electrical grid sucks. Except America doesn’t really have an electrical grid per se — it has three big separate grids. One serves the Midwest and East, one serves the West, and one serves the Republic of Texas (most of it anyway). That’s not …

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