Architects must encourage real progress on green building, not ‘greenwash’

Buildings are the biggest source of emissions and energy consumption in Canada.

They play a major role in the environmentally unfriendly trends projecting energy consumption to increase by 37 per cent and greenhouses gases by 36 per cent over the next 20 years in North America alone. Add to that that these buildings are interconnected by a series of roads and highways and you begin to see the magnitude of the issue.

There was an estimated $30-billion worth of building-construction plans in architects’ offices in cities across Canada as 2007 began. Once completed, these more than three million new buildings will have a lifespan of between 50 to 100 years – during which time they will consume energy in the form of electricity, and generate greenhouse gases by burning fuel oil, natural gas or liquid propane. Enter the role of the architect

Read more @ the Source:  Daily Commercial NewsArchitects must encourage real progress on green building, not ‘greenwash’ by Kiyoshi Matsuzaki, FRAIC

OMA reveals Copenhagen waterfront project

The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) today revealed the design for the Bryghusgrunden Project at the historic waterfront in Copenhagen. The 27,000 square meter building will include new facilities for the Danish Architecture Center (DAC), the headquarters of the Realdania Foundation, along with a distinctive mix of residential units, public program and playground facilities.

The Bryghusgrunden Project is located on the harbor on the site of an old brewery, the Bryghusgrunden, one of the few remaining areas with the potential to link the city to the waterfront. The building itself will straddle the busy Christians Brygge ring road, creating new urban connections for pedestrians and cyclists between the waterfront and Denmark’s houses of government.

The mix of program within the building is unique – for the first time an architecture center will be embedded within its own key subjects of study and research – housing, offices, public space and parking. The DAC will include several exhibition areas, research facilities, an auditorium, conference rooms, a bookstore and a cafĂ©.

The project is led by OMA partners Ellen van Loon and Rem Koolhaas in collaboration with project managers Chris van Duijn and Dirk Peters. Van Loon and Koolhaas’s previous collaborations include the design of the new aquarium and science center in Hamburg, the headquarters of NM Rothschild & Sons in London, the redevelopment of Mercati Generali in Rome and the completion of Porto’s Casa da Musica and the Netherlands Embassy in Berlin.

Source : Office of Metropolitan Architecture

Playing with different spaces

An abandoned municipal area, alongside a neglected backyard in Bat Yam, has been turned into a blossoming garden over the past three weeks, serving dozens of the city’s residents: pensioners, new immigrants, solitary people and families.

“We decided to do some recycling in an unused area of the city, to expand the concept of the shared living space and to enable residents to enjoy resources that actually belong to them,” explains the garden’s architect, Kerem Halbrecht, 29. The project, which was also planned by Halbrecht’s father, industrial designer Zvi Halbrecht, was included in the first International Biennale for Landscape Urbanism, which will open next Sunday in Bat Yam.

Source: Haaretz – Israel NewsPlaying with different spaces –

Sustainable Urbanization in the Information Age

The Sustainable Urbanization in conference addresses the global challenges posed by rapid urbanization and its impact on global warming and the natural environment – from poverty and inequality to natural and manmade disasters – by calling for better sustainable planning for urban growth.

The conference will be held during Earth Week and start on April 23
United Nations Headquarters
First Avenue at 46th Street ECOSOC Chamber
New York, NY, 10017 United States

Sustainable Urbanization in the Information Age

Source: Dexigner

Urban agriculture exploding in Vancouver

As our cities grew and our housing settlements changed, we began to separate the places where we live from the places where food is grown. The average North American food item now travels 1,500 kilometres to reach the grocery store shelves.

The quest for a more sustainable way of living is taking aim at this separation of people and food with a commitment to urban agriculture. There are few places in North America where urban agriculture is exploding as fast as it is in the Vancouver area.

The urban agricultural movement promises a new vision where people are living in harmony with the lands and ecosystems around them. Urban agriculture invites food production back into our communities through innovative planning and design.

Source – Vancouver Sun – Urban agriculture exploding in Vancouver by Bob Ransford

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