International Green Construction Code launched

Version 1.0 of the International Green Construction Code(IGCC) was launched by the International Code Council. Of interest to Landscape Architects is Chapter 4 – Site development and land use which

provides requirements for the development and maintenance of building and building sites that encourage natural resource conservation and environmentally responsible land use and development.

This chapter addresses soils, land use and conservation, storm water, irrigation, graywater, vegetation, building site management, transport, bicycle & vehicle parking, hardscape, vegetative roofs, lighting. Version 1.0 was undertaken with American Institute of Architects (AIA), ASTM International, ASHRAE, USGBC and IES with the inclusion of ASHRAE Standard 189.1 as an option for jurisdictional requirements. Version 1.0 of the code is open for public comment and then a Version 2.0 will be released in November 2010.

The IGCC aims to significantly reduce energy usage and greenhouse gasses. Enforcement of the code will improve indoor air quality and support the use of energy-efficient appliances, renewable energy systems, water resource conservation, rainwater collection and distribution systems, and the recovery of used water (greywater).

The IGCC emphasizes building performance, including features such as a requirement for building system performance verification and building owner education to ensure the best energy-efficient practices. A key feature of the new code is a section devoted to “jurisdictional electives” that will allow customization of the code beyond its baseline provisions to address local priorities and conditions.

Read more and download the IGCC (pdf or word format) at the [SOURCE: ICC] via Dexigner

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New ‘Future Cities Laboratory’ for Singapore

ETH Zurich, a Swiss University and the National Research Foundation of Singapore have signed an agreement for the “Future Cities Laboratory”. This set the seal on the structure of the new platform for urban development in Singapore.

In this project, it is collaborating closely with scientists from the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University. An agreement was signed in Singapore on 19 March 2010 forms an important link between the NRF and ETH Zurich as they build up their joint research activities. The plan is for the interdisciplinary research platform for sustainable urban development in Singapore to be staffed by September 2010.

The research focuses on three key scales: sustainable building technologies, the city as an urban system, and the relationship between urban and rural environments. The new strategy of the “Future Cities Laboratory” consists of combining these key points in an appropriate way and researching their interactions. The architects, planners and scientists see and design the city as a dynamic system in which people interact and in which resources such as energy, water, space, capital, materials or information are constantly in flux.

[SOURCE: ETH Zurich]

APA Announces Sustaining Places Initiative at World Urban Forum

American Planning Association (APA) President Bruce Knight, FAICP, at the United Nation’s Fifth World Urban Forum (WUF) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil announced the Sustaining Places Initiative will focus on the role of planning in addressing the entire set of human settlement issues relating to sustainability.

The initiative will establish a Sustaining Places Task Force that will focus on the use of the comprehensive plan as the leading policy document and tool to help communities of all sizes achieve sustainability. Work of the task force will include a survey of existing best practices, evolving needs and practices and the ways in which practices should change in the future in order for the comprehensive plan to better achieve its role as the leading policy document.

A Sustaining Places Day will be held during APA’s Federal Policy and Program Briefing in September 2010 that will include collaboration with the American Institute of Architects Challenge 2030 and the American Society of Landscape Architects Sustainable Sites.

[SOURCE: APA]

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Six teams shortlisted for Stoke bus station

Six internationally renowned teams have been short-listed to design a new bus station which will welcome visitors to a rejuvenated Stoke-on-Trent city centre.  The teams have been selected following a major competition organised by the North Staffordshire Regeneration Partnership.

More than 40 architectural practices expressed interest in designing the new bus station, which will unlock Realis Estates’ £250 million redevelopment of Stoke on Trent’s East West Centre creating a regional retail and leisure destination for the city.

The six short listed design teams are:
• Austin Smith Lord, the practice behind the proposed new €100 million Tara Street Station in Dublin, lead architect with sub consultants Curtins, Hilson Moran & JMP

• BDP, which was responsible for the new Number 1 court at Wimbledon, lead architect with sub consultants Mott MacDonald & AA Projects

• Grimshaw, the architects behind the Eden Project in Cornwall, lead architect with sub consultant Arup

• John McAslan & Partners, which is working on the masterplan for the redevelopment of Marble Arch in London, lead architect with sub consultants Mott Macdonald, AECOM & Billing Jackson

• Wilkinson Eyre, which designed the Millennium Bridge in Gateshead, lead architect with sub consultants Arup, Drivers Jonas & Buchanan

• Zaha Hadid, the practice working on the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympics, lead architect with sub consultants AKT, Savell Bird & Axon, Max Fordham.

The competition to find a multi-disciplinary team, including architects, engineers and environmental experts, was launched in the Official Journal of the European Union in December 2009. The short-listed design teams now have 40 days to prepare more detailed submissions to include proposed layouts and external designs.   Residents will be consulted about the designs and their views will form part of the selection process.

The aim is for construction is to start on site in 2011 with completion in 2012.

SOURCE: Stoke on Trent Council VIA  The Architect’s Journal

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NBBJ and Chan Krieger Sieniewicz to merge

NBBJ, a global architecture and design firm, and Chan Krieger Sieniewicz, internationally-known for urban design and architecture excellence, announced today a merger of the two firms that will create an integrated team of over 700 architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners and interior designers.

The Chan Krieger Sieniewicz team, including its five principals, will continue in their current roles. As part of the transition to the NBBJ name, the Cambridge office will operate as Chan Krieger NBBJ.

The merger gives NBBJ, which already operates a project office in Boston, a larger presence in New England. The Seattle-based firm has offices in several U.S. cities, including Columbus, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle. Overseas offices include London, Beijing, Shanghai and Dubai.

SOURCE: NBBJ.com

KCAP wins Bay of Pasaia masterplan competition

KCAP Architects & Planners have won the prestigious masterplanning competition for the development of a 70 hectare site at the Bay of Pasaia, San Sebastián, Spain. The site, currently used for harbor activity, will gradually become available for redevelopment. The project is considered as a key opportunity for the surrounding communities which are in need of regeneration and will have an important impact on the entire region.

The winning scheme was elaborated by KCAP in collaboration with sustainability advisors of ECOFYS and local consultants of LKS engineering and architect Ángel de la Hoz. It was chosen unanimously by the jury. The team will remain involved to elaborate and refine the winning masterplan concept. The final version of the masterplan will be delivered in October 2010. During the next weeks an exhibition will tour the local municipalities of the bay.

[SOURCE: KCAP]
[IMAGE SOURCE: KCAP]

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White House launches Urban Affairs website

The White House launched the Office of Urban Affairs website including a blog and Innovations and Ideas page where US citizens can submit ideas and best practices. This is a follow up to the Urban Tour which included 9 city centers and the Inter-Agency working group on urban policy.

The OUA blog states that the launch of the website is to

This effort is an important addition to our ongoing conversation on the Future of America’s Cities and Metropolitan Areas. We have already met with many urban stakeholders, elected officials, and academics; and we’ve been around the country visiting places that are on the cutting edge of urban innovation. But today we are establishing a more direct relationship with you – the American people. You are the ones that are innovating every single day – you are the innovators. You tackle government bureaucracy with creativity and leadership; you overcome a slow economy with public-private partnerships; and you turn distressed neighborhoods around with determination, hope and, above all, hard work.

The President knows that government doesn’t have all the answers. He knows that the best solutions come from you in places like Auburn Gresham in Chicago, South Lake Union in Seattle, and the small city of Flagstaff, Arizona – just to name a few. We know there are many more out there and we want you to share them with us.

Submit your idea or best practice (US Citizens)

[SOURCE: Office of Urban Affairs Blog – Announcing the White House Urban Affairs Website]

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