Living roofs, solar panels – all standard in new homes – Northampton Chronicle and Echo

A living roof, drains which lead to sunken wetland, water heated with solar panels – it sounds like something from a green home in the future but these are all standard features of a new housing development in Northampton.
The properties, which all lie just off the A45 by Sixfields, boast a ‘sustainable urban drainage system’ which offers an alternative to traditional drains.

Instead of using sewers for rainwater, the development has specially designed reed-bed ditches which create habitats for wildlife, as well as reducing the risk of flooding in heavy rains.

Read more @ the SOURCE: Northampton Chronicle and EchoLiving roofs, solar panels – all standard in new homes 

$14-million gift launches transformation of architecture education at University of Toronto — News@UofT

The University of Toronto today announced an historic $14-million gift by John and Myrna Daniels to the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, the largest ever private gift to any architecture school in Canada.

The gift will fund a major physical expansion and renovation of the faculty and will also endow a scholarship fund for outstanding architecture, landscape and design students. In recognition of the powerful impact this gift will have on the university, U of T will name the Faculty the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape & Design. John Daniels received his bachelor of architecture degree from U of T in 1950 and went on to become one of Canada’s most important developers of residential communities.

“The Faculty of Architecture, Landscape & Design has a fabulous tradition of contributing to the creation of beautiful and functional buildings and sustainable cities,” said President David Naylor. “The Daniels’ remarkable benefaction will play a pivotal role in the education of the next generation of architecture leaders in Canada.”

Read more @ the SOURCE: University of Toronto – $14-million gift launches transformation of architecture education at U of T

Olympic Park construction gets early start – London 2012

Construction officially started on the London 2012 Olympic Park today as the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) began work on the Olympic Stadium – three months earlier than originally planned.
The work to create the permanent foundations for the Stadium was witnessed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown who had an opportunity to meet workers on site. In the next few years over a thousand workers will help build the venue.

The Stadium will be the centre-piece for the London 2012 Games with over 4bn people across the world watching the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and the track and field events.

SOURCE: London2012.com – News: Olympic Park construction gets early start.

Critics say new green rating hurts affordable housing – Mlive.com

The U.S. Green Building Council’s new rating system for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design in neighborhood development, known as LEED-ND, is coming under fire for not putting a greater emphasis on affordable housing.

Critics say LEED-ND, in its current draft, discourages participating developers from alloting dollars into expensive energy-efficient affordable housing if their payback is, at most, four points out of a possible 106. They worry the point system, and any resulting developer disincentives, will get ingrained in municipal law books if local governments continue to adopt LEED standards at unprecedented rates — all at a time, they add, when the growing gap between wages and mortgages is creating an affordable housing crisis regionally and nationally. 

In a recent study by Cambridge, Mass.-based New Ecology Inc., the cost of building green affordable housing held a nearly 3 percent premium, ranging up to 9 percent on some projects.

read more @ the SOURCE: Mlive.com – Critics say new green rating hurts affordable housing.

Ed: Although an interesting article however the article doesn’t mention the savings that low-income families will gain with lower energy bills.
More education of the public in relation to LEED is needed (eg initial construction cost vs long-term running costs and reduced environmental costs). Urban Planning also becomes more important including density of housing.

Twin towers in Brissie’s French Quarter | The Courier-Mail

THE designer behind the famous sail-shaped Burj Al Arab luxury hotel in Dubai has won an international competition to design Devine’s $1 billion French Quarter precinct in Brisbane.
The design of two towers by Tom Wright of Atkins has been selected from a field of five international architectural firms which were vying for the honour.

Your say: Is Brisbane ready for a project like this?

Atkins is also the group behind the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Dubai.

Devine managing director David Devine said yesterday now that the concept for the building had been selected planning work would start with an eye to lodging a development application in the next couple of months.

Read more @ the SOURCE: The Courier-Mail Twin towers in Brissie’s French Quarter

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