MAD: Al Rostamini HQ

from AMNP

mad-al_rostamini_hq-1.jpg

For starters – I think we can all agree that this project warrants a resounding “My ninja, please“. I mean, look at it…

Located in Dubai [I’m sure you’re shocked, as am I], the Al Rostamini Headquarters by MAD appears at first glance [from the water] to appear to be a fairly standard, boxy tower – with some elliptical holes in the facade. That is, until you notice that this ‘box’ appears to be floating at the waters edge, suspended above open public space along the coast. 9 large diagonal tubes are used to achieve this affect – pushing up and out of a tree-filled park space to hang the tower out towards the waterfront. Pretty siiick.

Report: Climate Change Already Killing 300,000 People Annually

from Green Options by Timothy B. Hurst

dry, cracked earth in draught-stricked Africa

The first-ever report exclusively focused on the global human impact of climate change indicates that more than 300 million people are seriously affected by climate change at a total economic cost of $125 billion per year.

Earlier today, former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, President of the Global Humanitarian Forum, announced the results of a report on the human impact of climate change. The study, Human Impact Report: Climate Change – The Anatomy of a Silent Crisis, emphasizes the present impacts of a changing climate, pulling the debate away from a focus on “future generations.”

Speaking at a press conference in London, Mr. Annan said, “Climate change is the greatest emerging humanitarian challenge of our time, causing suffering to hundreds of millions of people worldwide. As this report shows, the first hit and worst affected are the world’s poorest groups, and yet they have done least to cause the problem.”

Read more of this story »

RMJM architects: ‘capital gate’ tower, abu dhabi


‘capital gate’ by RMJM architects
image courtesy RMJM architects

construction has reached the half way point for ‘capital gate’ tower designed by new york
firm RMJM architects. located in abu dhabi the slanted tower will consist of a large internal
atrium including a tea lounge and swimming pool suspended 263 feet above the ground. due
to its posture, the 35-story capital gate is being constructed on top of a 7-foot-deep concrete
base with a dense mesh of reinforced steel. the steel exoskeleton known as the diagrid sits
above an extensive distribution of 490 piles that have been drilled 100 feet underground to
accommodate the gravitational, wind and seismic pressures caused by the lean of the building.

the iconic tower will be the centerpiece of the capital centre development, an 2.2 billion USD
business and residential micro city being constructed around the thriving abu dhabi national
exhibition centre.

lara calder architecture: ‘eco house’


‘eco house’ by lara calder architecture
image courtesy lara calder architecture

australian firm lara calder architecture designed ‘eco house’ which was awarded first
prize last year in the future competition 2008 held by australian green.

Air New Zealand’s Biofuel Flight Cuts Emissions By 65%

from Green Options by Jerry James Stone

At the Eco-Aviation Conference in Washington, Air New Zealand’s Chief Pilot Captain David Morgan announcedthe company’s findings on a test flight from last December. Powered by a combination of biofuel and jet fuel, the test resulted in a fuel savings of 1.2%. It also cut CO2 emissions by over 60%!

While a 1.2% fuel savings doesn’t seem like much, that is over 1 ton of fuel!

The test was conducted using a commercial 747-400 fitted with Rolls Royce engines. Rolls Royce had certified the fuel — a 50:50 blend of standard Jet A1 fuel and synthetic paraffinic kerosene derived from jatropha oil.

Read more of this story »

The Creo House: Zero-carbon and affordable – 24dash


24dash

The Creo House: Zerocarbon and affordable
24dash, UK
The aim of the building is to highlight ways in which zero carbon buildings can be affordable, not just in terms of the materials used, but equally in terms of reduced energy consumption. The Creo House will have a space-saving, air source heat pump 


One Container Ship Pollutes As Much As 50 Million Cars

from Green Options by Christopher DeMorro

Much ado and attention has been paid to the pollutants emmitted from the tail pipes of cars and trucks in recent years, both here in the U.S. and across the pond in Europe. With an estimated 250 million passenger vehicles in the U.S. alone, it would seem that cars would be a major contributor to pollution and air quality issues here and abroad. But newly released data from Europe suggests that a single container ship may cause as much pollution as 50 million cars and release as much as 5,000 tons of sulfur oxide into the air annually. And there are 90,000 such ships of varying sizes across the world at any one time.

Read more of this story »

160 Syrian villages deserted due to climate change: study

Damascus (AFP) June 3, 2009 – Some 160 villages in northern Syria were deserted by their residents in 2007 and 2008 because of climate change, according to a study released on Tuesday.

flynn talbot: ‘horizon’


‘horizon’ interactive light wall installation by flynn talbot
image courtesy flynn talbot

australian designer flynn talbot designed ‘horizon’, an interactive light wall installation,
as part of the smart light sydney festival 09.

‘horizon’ is a mix of sky inspired patterns and contemporary lighting effects. instead
of purely programmed effects, visitors are invited to interact and modify the patterns
of light. the installation is double sided so it affects both the street scene and the whole
interior of the gallery. it explores light vs. space and the effect that colour has on people
and their surroundings.

Energy cost of various construction materials

from Random graphic of the day: UNEP/GRID-Arendal Maps and Graphics Library by UNEP/GRID-Arendal <mapmaster@grida.no>
Energy cost of various construction materials
CO2 emissions are not directly deducible from energy costs. Concrete for instance is a very CO2-intensive material due to the emissions from chemical processes involved in its production, despite the relatively low energy costs per cubic metre.

Hurry Up and LEED

from AMNP

http://archpaper.com/e-board_rev.asp?News_ID=3524

The number of scheduled LEED exams has gone through the roof, as people are trying to pass the test before the new system goes into effect. Ninjas still think LEED is a money game, making it about the wrong kind of green [click the title of this post for more, via the Architects’ Newspaper].

yasuhiro yamashita / atelier tekuto: ‘village of beauty and health’


‘village of beauty and health’ by tekuto yasuhiro yamashita
image courtesy atelier tekuto

many precious, old japanese traditional wooden houses sit abandoned and neglected
all over japan. atelier tekuto, working together with keio university took notice of these
old traditional wooden houses in shimane, a prefecture famous for izumo taisha, japan’s
oldest shrine and the iwami ginzan silver mine, which has been designated a world
heritage site. these houses were transported and relocated to fujisawa city, a commuter
located in a suburb of tokyo, where they are in high demand. in doing so, this project
hopes to boost the value of these old houses, cut back on carbon dioxide emissions
and revitalize these two areas through this mutually beneficial arrangement. those who
move into and live in these transplanted villages will be blessed with ‘beauty’ and health.
the focus is on agriculture and how to incorporate it into one’s lifestyle, allowing one to
achieve beauty in a healthy  way. in a sense, this project is a kind of environmental village
that is not zoned according to function. instead, the location of each building is determined
by an algorithm based method that ensures the use of natural energy and the optimization
of vegetation for agricultural purposes. they believe that this represents one possible method
of urban planning for the 21st century.


concept of ‘village of beauty and health’
image courtesy atelier tekuto

a settlement based around medical facilities, food and shelter
each village is equipped with medical facilities, food and shelter, which is comprised
of 30 to 40 units. the total number of family units would be about 100. the diameter of
the entire village should be less than 200m, encouraging residents to walk around
the three villages, enabling villagers to interact and complement each other.

stefano merlo: ‘blade of grass’


‘blade of grass’ by stefano merlo
image courtesy stefano merlo

italian designer stefano merlo has created ‘blade of grass’ an outdoor lighting solution,
that imitates the form of blades of grass. the aim was to design a lighting source that
could be easily integrated in any natural environment  and become part of it.

how green is ‘green’? – 24dash


24dash

how green is ‘green’?
24dash, UK
The company, which has in the past few months attained the ISO14001 environmental standard, maintains that domestic ventilation solutions which seem ‘green’ on paper often are not when embodied energy is factored into the equation, particularly for 

Green contractors more likely to win work

Construction firms who can prove their green credentials are more likely to win work

$100 Trillion Dollar Wallpaper

from AMNP

the_zimbabwean_newspaper_faaa5_22619.gif

I hate to say that this is ‘cool’, as it reflects some very serious issues caused by Robert Mugabe and his [essentially] terrible leadership of Zimbabwe – but, this is a great idea for protesting/speaking out. We’ve all heard some thing or another about currency so worthless it’s only good for wallpaper – but where have you seen itactually used for wallpaper? And as a political statement?

trillion_dollar_campaign_zimbabwean_newspaper_yatzer_1.jpg

Zero Energy Houses Creating a New Design Vernacular:

from Green Options by Susan Kraemer

The deep Butterfly Roof

The traditional gabled roof that we are all familiar with was engineered to slough off snowfall. But in an uncertain post peak oil future of possible energy shortages and water shortages, more and more houses are showing up with roof-shapes engineered to harvest their own rainwater, and support solar power generation.

Google Opens New Aussie Headquarters

google hq.jpgYesterday, while I was soaring on my way to Computex, Google decided to throw a little party to celebrate the opening of their new Australian Headquarters in Pyrmont. I hope they had a drink for Gizmodo..

Strategic options for climate change mitigation Global cost curve for greenhouse gas abatement measures

from Random graphic of the day: UNEP/GRID-Arendal Maps and Graphics Library by UNEP/GRID-Arendal <mapmaster@grida.no>
Strategic options for climate change mitigation Global cost curve for greenhouse gas abatement measures
This graphic attempts to show ‘all in one’: the various measures for greenhouse gas reduction with both reduction (in CO2 equivalent) and cost (in Euros) quantified. Read from left to right it gives the whole range of strategic options ranging from low hanging fruit, such as building insulation, in green (coming with economic savings) to the increasingly higher hanging ones, such as afforestation, wind energy, in red. * Carbone Capture and Storage

DARPA HEDLight Program Saves Up to 87% with New Lights for U.S. Navy

from Green Options by Tina Casey

U.S. Navey to junk old light bulbs for high-efficiency HEDLight systems.After a year-long demonstration project, the U.S. Navy is poised add its own contribution to reducing the military’s carbon bootprint – or carbon wake, as the case may be.  The Navy stands to gain up to 87% in savings for shipboard lighting, by switching from conventional light bulbs to high efficiency LED and HID systems developed throughDARPA under the HEDLight (High Efficiency Distributed Lighting) program.  One recent retrofit has been accomplished by Ohio-based Energy Focus, Inc. Saving energy is just part of the picture: the quantum leap to HEDLight is also expected to yield significant gains in the Navy’s strategic efficiency.

Faucet Fail

fail owned pwned pictures

Submitted by Jessy R

Hilarious Infrastructure

from AMNP

inescapable-interchange.png

[original comic via xkcd]

I mean, who doesn’t like infrastructure jokes?

A few more of these over at The Infrastructurist: America Under Construction – a site that I just visited for the first time today that’s definitely worth checking out.

I also enjoyed this comic by xkcd.

Risk Management Fail

fail owned pwned pictures

Submitted by Anthony G

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LEGO Micro-Scales Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater House

I love Lego’s Frank Lloyd Wright Collection has a mini model of the Guggenheim Museum in NYC, but I’m more in love with the model of the Fallingwater house built over a waterfall.

Wind farm ‘kills Taiwanese goats’

A Taiwanese farmer says more than half of his herd of goats may have died of exhaustion because of noise from a wind farm.

Philips offers Lumiblades in first OLED lighting ‘experience kit’

Philips offers Lumiblades in first OLED lighting 'experience kit' A new way of lighting your world is coming. Organic LEDs (OLED) are getting more practical every day, and now Philips is offering its Lumiblade OLED panels for sale online. These uncommonly thin panels might find their way into a lamp someday soon, but they’re not quite ready yet — it would take about ten of these $229 fixtures for a lamp, so the price still needs to come down before they’re anywhere near being practical.

You can live the future (sorry, couldn’t resist) by ordering the panels now, but they’re marketed as an “experience kit,” so those without a modicum of patience need not apply. Beyond this experimentation phase, Philips says starting next year, there will be useful lighting products using these 10,000-hour, highly efficient OLEDs. Exciting stuff, because soon there will be entire walls made of these dimmable panels.

Philips, via OLED Info

Downsizing WTC

http://www.nypost.com/seven/05212009/news/regionalnews/new_glimpse_of_wtc_low_rise_compromise_170311.htm

Will the #2 and #3 World Trade Center towers be downsized to 6 storey retail podiums? Maybe so, if the Port Authority has it’s way. Head on over to the NY Post for more info [click the title of this post].

UNStudio/ Ben van Berkel’s Design Selected for New Hotel Tower in Frankfurt

Yesterday, UNStudio was selected in the competition for a 110 meter tall hotel tower in Frankfurt, Germany.

From the six projects presented, the jury, chaired by Prof. Johann Eisele, chose the designs by UNStudio – Ben van Berkel (Amsterdam), and Kohn, Pedersen, Fox (New York) and recommended proceeding with the UNStudio design for further development.

image

Melbourne’s Roof Top Garden Competition Awards Botanical Traditions

The ‘Growing Up Competition’ was recently held and run by the Committee for Melbourne ‘Future Focus Group’.

The competition called for a design for a roof top garden for one of 3 buildings in the Melbourne CBD. The competition was open to all registered Architects, Members of AILA (Australian Institute of Landscape Architects) and AILDM (Australian Institute of Landscape Designers and Managers) members.

In our current climate, green roofs are proven to provide significant reductions to the urban heat island effect, aid storm water management, provide important habitat links, reduce the energy demands of buildings as well as providing social and amenity value to buildings. However, there are very few roof top gardens in Australia.

The ‘Growing Up Competition’ encouraged designers to demonstrate innovative and cost effective ways to retrofit roof gardens in Melbourne.

image

Energized about our first Google PowerMeter partners

Earlier this year I blogged about energy information and a tool our engineers developed called Google PowerMeter, a Google gadget that can show consumers their personal electricity consumption right on a home computer. Our software relies on “smart meters” (or other metering devices) as a data source. Over the past several months we’ve been looking to partner with utilities that are installing (or have already installed) this equipment in their customers’ homes. We’re energized by our very first Google PowerMeter partners:

Our initial partners include utilities with millions of customers as well as smaller ones. They are rural and urban, privately held and municipally run. Some are in the United States, others in Canada and India. They all have one thing in common — a desire to serve their customers by providing access to detailed information that helps save energy and money. For now, Google PowerMeter is only available to a limited group of customers, but we plan to expand our roll out later this year. Our utility partners are leading the charge to make the electricity grid smarter and we look forward to working with them and others.

In addition to utilities, we’re also seeking partnerships with companies that can enable the implementation of our software. Our first such partner is Itron, a leading meter and data management company that serves over 8,000 utilities and is helping some of their customers, including San Diego Gas & Electric, integrate with Google PowerMeter. If you’re a utility or company with a smart meter project that might be interested in plugging in to our efforts, visit our website for more information.

Posted by Ed Lu, Engineering team

St. Louis Pulls Plug on Pilot Recycling Program

The City of St. Louis has pulled the dozens of 300-gallon recycling dumpsters it had placed in alleyways last March out of commission. Jill Hamilton, the city’s recycling program manager, said the program was never intended to be permanent.

Rather, it was considered a pilot program, serving about 3,200 of the city’s 147,000 households, to see if the economics could make a full, permanent effort viable. The answer is: apparently not. Or, at least, not right now.

Read more of this story »

Metropolis Next Generation Prize for French Wind Turbine Design

Metropolis Magazine today officially unveiled the winning proposal of its 2009 Metropolis Next Generation Design Competition. French-designed project “Wind-it” by Nicola Delon, Julien Choppin, and Raphael Menard seeks to install wind turbines in existing electrical transmission towers.

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Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects’ Malmö Courthouse Completes

Construction has finished on schmidt hammer lassen architects’ striking design for a new District Court inMalmö, Sweden. The completed scheme includes a new 10,000 sq m courthouse adjacent to the existing 3,000 sq m listed court building.

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Energy Efficiency Is Good For Business

Why bother improving energy efficiency? We know we should, but how do you articulate why? Of course, if there is an ROI case to be made then the analysis is easy. But really, it seems to beg a larger issue. Is there a reason beyond ROI?

Whatever the industry, managing costs is good for business, and increasing energy efficiency and reducing energy costs does just that. Given rising energy prices and a growing awareness of the importance of energy conservation, a carefully conceived energy management strategy may well be one of the most important steps a business can take to sustain and grow business.

Furthermore, research by Innovest Strategic Value Advisors suggests that companies with a clear energy management strategy have a competitive advantage. Companies that lead in energy management achieved superior stock and financial performance over “laggards.” They even achieved significant financial premiums in stock prices over competitors. This from the National Environmental Education Foundation:

Companies have been engaging in energy-efficiency strategies for years as a means to control costs. Increasingly, a body of evidence suggests that companies that take a systematic and strategic approach to energy management can enjoy a broad array of tangible and intangible benefits of interest to investors. As financial analysts and institutional investors come to understand this energy-value connection, energy management is becoming another measure by which they assess companies.

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Household Energy Use to Triple by 2030, Due to Power-Hungry Electronics

myuibe, via flickr.Experts call energy efficiency the low-hanging fruit, because it’s cheaper to cut power use than create new energy from fossil fuels like coal.

But our creature comforts — like iPods, cell phones, PCs and plasma TVs — are sucking the life out of advances in energy efficiency around the world, the International Energy Agency says.

In other words, too much fruit is rotting on the vine.

The IEA says in a new “Gigawatts and Gadgets” report that electricity consumption from power-hungry electronics could cause household energy use to triple by 2030. That means increased greenhouse gases from electric generation, and increased electric bills for creating that power.

Read more of this story »

0-14 tower progress

http://www.archdaily.com/22200/in-progress-0-14-tower-by-reiser-umemoto/

Arch Daily features photos of the construction progress of the 0-14 Tower in Dubai by Reiser + Umemoto [click the title of this post to follow the link].

‘Dragonfly’ vertical farm towers over NYC with plants, livestock and labs

'Dragonfly' vertical farm towers over NYC with plants, livestock and labsLast week’s Canadian resort-style vertical farm has nothing on the insane, Belgium-designed “Dragonfly” for New York City. The architects at Vincent Callebaut envision a structure that resembles the wing of the insect it’s named after, and it’s designed to contain residential, office, farming and research spaces — and everything in-between. Really, it’s more like an arcology than a vertical farm, though most of it will be dedicated to growing and studying produce and livestock, with solar and wind power supplying the structure.

Will something like the Dragonfly ever be built? Probably not, though if it was it’d dramatically change the New York skyline from its seat on Roosevelt Island. With 132 floors it’d be a monster, standing almost 2,000 feet tall. Check out the gallery below for more of the Dragonfly.

David Attenborough: Our planet is overcrowded

The veteran TV naturalist tells New Scientist he loves humans as much as other wildlife – but not when global populations are out of control

3 Steps To Recycling Buy-In

question on a LinkedIn hotel group was asked the other day: How does your housekeeping team encourage guests to recycle? Do you place separate bins in the guest rooms for paper, glass etc.? How can you do this while maintaining a 4 and 5 diamond look? And it made me think about what advice to give about getting buy-in for recycling programs. In this case, from both staff and consumers.

It seems to me that the topic of how to effectively implement recycling programs is essentially the same regardless of business size. At its most basic, there are three components to implementing a successful recycling program:

  1. Make it easy.
  2. Communicate the expectation of recycling.
  3. Communicate the how and why of the program to employees.

Starting with making it easy, it may seem self-evident, making recycling easy for patrons and staff is the number one action you can take to facilitate a recycling program.You can do this by providing clearly marked containers throughout the room and locating them in places where people need them, such as near sinks, kitchens and minibars. As to the issue of matching the aesthetics of the facility, as long as the recycling bins are just as aesthetically pleasing as your existing trash cans (or hidden in cabinets) I do not see how they detract from the ambiance. That brings me to the second point.

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Top five new green technologies – Building Sustainable Design

Top five new green technologies
Building Sustainable Design, UK
As well as saving raw materials, thin-film is easier to mass-produce and contains less embodied energybecause it is made at lower temperatures. The drawback is that it is less efficient at converting sunlight into electricity. 

Zero-carbon eco home is light years ahead – guardian.co.uk


guardian.co.uk

Zerocarbon eco home is light years ahead
guardian.co.uk, UK
The dream of zerocarbon living is being realised on an estate in Denmark. Andrew Purcell takes a tour of the world’s first Active House Active House: an ultra efficient house in Denmark that captures more energy than an average family needs to heat 

The FIM supports World’s 1st Zero Carbon, Clean Emission GP – Examiner.com


Examiner.com

The FIM supports World’s 1st Zero Carbon, Clean Emission GP
Examiner.com
It aims to drive low-carbon technological innovation forward, proving that clean-emission transport technologies have matured and can be fun, fast and exciting. A number of independent teams from all over the world have already confirmed their entries 

Australia delays emissions plan

The Australian government says it will push back a planned carbon emissions trading scheme by a year until 2011.

Self-Mending Concrete Bends Like Rubber, Heals Like Flesh

It can be bent into a U-shape, “heals” cracks with nothing more than rainwater, and is strong enough to build bridges from. Is Victor Li’scomposite building material really even concrete anymore?

Wave Power Electricity from Swell Fuel Could Help Revive Coral Reefs

Swell Fuel ocean wave power device could help save coral reefs.

An unlikely savior may be coming to the rescue of the planet’s beleaguered coral reefs: Chris Olson, the founder and inventor of Swell Fuelwave powered electricity generators.  Olson has been building and testing small-scale floatable energy converters for a number of years, and they may prove ideal providers of the the low-voltage charge that seems to help coral reefs regenerate.

Read more of this story »

The Hills Have Eyes

[Image: An installation of work by photographer JR on the walls of a Rio favela].

“Undercover photographer” JR – who makes “photo galleries out of our streets” by exhibiting his work in public, as posters – has taken his exhibition strategy a step further. “What is at stake here,” he writes, referring to this change in tactic, “is the assessment of the possibilities of intervention in different environments.”
Amongst these environments are the favelas of Rio de Janeiro – however, here, these “possibilities of intervention” clearly include more opportunities for his work to gain greater exposure.

[Image: Work by JR in Rio].

I have a variety of reactions to this.
My first thought upon seeing these photos was actually that it was quite an interesting visual transformation of the favela. The realization that the Cubist surfaces of a mountain subcity might be transformed, through fragmentary glimpses of representational art – these shard-like pieces of larger works that only add up from certain angles, as if in parallax – seems to be a discovery worth taking further.
However, at least two problems open up here: are you visually transforming the ghetto so that those who live in the city below no longer have to look up and see themselves surrounded by blight? They will see, instead, a hot new contemporary artist on display?
Or could you visually augment the favela in a way that positively impacts both the self-image of, and the quality of life for, the people living there while not erasing the presence of that ghetto from the visual awareness of the central city dwellers? Perhaps there could even be something that looks, I might say, just as bad from the outside, but that nonetheless benefits the people living within.
So the question is: who is this art really for?
Because there’s actually a third player involved in all of this: the international art market, where these sorts of guerrilla exhibition strategies now increase one’s chances of canonization (and coverage on blogs).
Less critically, though, I’m also curious here about the use of representational art.
So often we’ve seen the walls of favelas repainted with primary colors and such like, in an attempt to beautify or, to be more sinister about it, visually correct an otherwise offensive built environment. However, using the faceted hillsides of a favela as a kind of gemlike canvas for representational art actually seems to open up more interesting possibilities.
Could you paint, or glue a poster of, all 200,000+ frames from a new film onto the surfaces of distant buildings? And treat the city as a kind of cinematic installation, a cubist filmography in which walking around is a form of experiential editing? You could live inside a fight scene, or in the closing credits.
Or perhaps you could hike to the top of Buena Vista Park here in San Francisco and look out toward the high-rises of downtown – and see a photograph, installed anamorphically across the rooftops of different buildings, only correctly visible from this precise location (but what if that photo… is a Coke ad?).
Perhaps the future of Cubism is not in some painter’s studio somewhere but in the ten million unexplored, minor surfaces of the city.
I’m reminded here of the (admittedly abstract) work of Felice Varini – and wondering what he might do, given a hillside with ten thousand surfaces all visible from multiple angles.
Finally, though, there are the eyes: in these images, you are being looked at in return. But who is meant to identify with this? Are these the eyes of the favela dwellers looking out upon a city they cannot access, as if to shame those more privileged residents? Or, as the poor wander home at night up steep streets, are these the eyes of the world looking down at them in judgmental scrutiny?
Again, though, there is a third class of people involved here. Perhaps these eyes aren’t looking at the favela at all, and they aren’t looking down at the city below.
They are looking out at the international art market, hoping for coverage in magazines and blogs, looking for their real, intended audience: the people who will see these photographs, at home, around the world. The city is merely their blank wall and host.

(Thanks to Adrian Giddings for the tip!)

Study Shows Camelina-Derived Renewable Jet Fuel Reduces Carbon Emissions 84%

Renewable fuels company Sustainable Oils shared the results of a life-cycle analysis of jet fuel created from proprietary Camelina seeds. According to the study, renewable jet-fuel made from Camelina reduces carbon emissions by 84% percent compared to the petroleum-based counterpart.

A team at Michigan Tech University based their research on Camelina grown in Montana and then processed into bio-jet fuel using “UOP hydroprocessing technology”. Next generation biofuels are true hydrocarbons and in the molecular aspect are indistinguishable from fossil fuels, which makes Camelina oil a good candidate to quickly reduce carbon emissions produced by aviation.

Read more of this story »

New for Green Buildings: City Parks in the Sky

New for Green Buildings: City Parks in the Sky May 5, San Francisco

The Shanghai Center, due to open in 2014, won’t just be the world’s second tallest building at 632 meters. It will also be a set of neighborhoods stacked on top of each other. The building will contain eight separate neighborhoods each 14 stories tall, says Dan Winey, managing principal for the Asia Pacific office of the architectural firm Gensler, which designed the building. These neighborhoods will contain retail outlets, office space and residences…more

Ken Yeang to design Shanghai eco-city in the sea

Ken Yeang to design Shanghai eco-city in the sea May 1, Shanghai

Architect Ken Yeang has been commissioned to design a 4,000-acre eco-city in the sea off the Shanghai coast. TR Hamzah and Yeang, the Malaysian sister company of Llewelyn Davies Yeang, is leading the design of the Shanghai Beach master plan for an unnamed Malaysian client. The scheme, which is to be sited on reclaimed tidal flats, aims to create a “green community”, with offices, housing, theme parks, visitor attractions and hotels…more

New Tamayo Museum: Rojkind + BIG

tamayo_museum_01.jpg

Rojkind Arquitectos and BIG have teamed up to win a competition to design the New Tamayo Museum, to be built outside of Mexico City.

Sure, the project is a little bit weird in it’s crucifix-like plan / aerial view – but otherwise I’ really feelin’ it. Embedding simple volumes in the hillside like this, then cantilevering out over the slope makes for some pretty dramatic covered exterior spaces [they’ve actually used the gallery space, in the ‘box’, to shade the ‘public’ space below]. That, and I like that there’s no ’stepping’ with the hillside – that the project is instead jutting out and hanging, emphasizing it being a foreign object in the landscape. And the views from the roof look pretty sick, too. But hey – Rojkind Arquitectos and BIG? How could you expect anything but the dopeness?

tamayo_museum_02.jpg

Some info from the designers:

Set upon a steep hillside in Atizapan on the outskirts of Mexico’s largest metropolis will soon sit the New Tamayo Museum which will serve as a nucleus of education and culture, locally, regionally, and internationally. Named after the Oaxacan born artist Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991) The very strong and symbolic shape of the cross is a direct interpretation of the client’s preliminary program studies that defined the museums optimal functionality.

tamayo_museum_03.jpg

Michel Rojkind:

Understanding that contemporary art spaces pretend to be more important than the art they contain, our proposal arises from the scheme of requirements previously studied by our clients, assuring maximum functionality in each area while focusing on the development of art projects. By enhancing the program and understanding the topography, a balance between form, function and visual impact for this important space was created. Once the functional part was improved, we could give attention to details that make the space not only a culture enclosure, but also a building that understands its surroundings to distinguish itself and transform from a simple form to a powerful symbol, controversial, but ideal to lodge this new space.

tamayo_museum_07.jpg

Bjarke Ingels:

…museum design is often caught in a dilemma between the artists demand for functional simplicity and the museum’s (and architect’s) desire to create a landmark. The cantilevering cross is the literal materialization of the cruciform functional diagram – devoid of any artistic interpretation. MUSEO TAMAYO EX-TENSION ATIZAPAN becomes the embodiment of pure function and pure symbol at the same time.

.:images + info -> via Bustler

CBD offices need green upgrade – WA Business News (subscription)


WA Business News (subscription)

CBD offices need green upgrade
WA Business News (subscription), Australia
“We’ve been talking to the City of Perth and the government about a green building tune-ups program where the state government and councils provide incentives to property owners required to bring buildings up to green star ratings,” Mr Lenzo said.