Dartmouth, NS – A living, breathing example of innovation is growing at Nova Scotia Community College’s (NSCC) Centre for the Built Environment at the Waterfront Campus in Dartmouth.
Earlier today, NSCC president Dr. Joan McArthur-Blair helped students complete the first, permanent, exterior “living wall” east of Vancouver. “This living wall demonstrates the capacity of the Centre for the Built Environment to help Nova Scotians study the renewable energy and green technologies that are essential to our sustainable future,” said Dr. McArthur-Blair.
Living walls combine the natural and built environments. They filter the air, create habitats and add vitality to a building’s design. In 2007, Centre for the Built Environment architects, Barrie & Langille, hired Sue Sirrs, owner of Outside! Planning and Design Studio, to study the feasibility of an exterior living wall that would thrive in a cold climate. Horticulture students and faculty from NSCC’s Kingstec Campus in Kentville helped to plan then design and build the living wall.
The 7,000 plants that make up NSCC’s living wall offer a variety of colours, textures, flowers and berries, providing a living piece of art that will change with the seasons.
The Faisal Mosque complex installed Pakistan’s first urban rainwater harvesting system has been installed in the capital city Islamabad. The system was funded by the city’s Capital Development Authority, and will provide clean drinking water while recharging the local water table for the city’s nearly 1 million residents.
Known as the Pilot Rainwater Harvesting Project, the initiative was developed in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program and the Pakistan Council of Research for Water Resource.
24dash.com recently reported that Willmott Dixon Housing will appear in a TV show documenting the development of the community over one year. The community was designed by Glenn Howells Architects, and landscape architects Studio Engleback, the Triangle is part of Kevin McCloud’s vision to create housing supports sustainable lifestyles, with open public spaces, rainwater recycling and kitchen garden areas where residents can grow their own vegetables.
Waldheim is cited making some great statements about the profession and its future
“There’s an increasing sense that landscape architects are really able to better manage complex urban change over time’’ than people in other professions, he said. Landscape architecture “now ends up being a place where the arts, questions of urbanism, and questions of ecology can connect.’’
Waldhiem also cites work by department member Michael Van Valkenburgh and his role in changing the profession.
Van Valkenburgh’s development of Brooklyn Bridge Park, along the East River waterfront, for instance, reclaims previously industrialized land, knits together development and nature, and provides public space.
The article also cites other staff at Harvard and the role of landscape architecture.
I find the article interesting although stating most of what most in the field know it is great to see and article in the Business section of the major newspaper website discussing the role of landscape architecture in relation to development and climate change.
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.
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.
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.