Pakistan mosque installs country’s first urban rainwater harvesting system

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.

[SOURCE: Circle of Blue Water News]

UK Sustainable Community to appear in TV show

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.

Read more @ the [SOURCE: 24dash.com – Willmott Dixon to build Kevin McCloud’s sustainable community for new TV show]

Harvard changing the profession

Karen Weintraub recently wrote an article for the Boston Globe – At Harvard, landscape architects reinvent roles, link disciplines in which Weintraub interviews Charles Waldheim on how the profession of landscape architecture is changing by winning and managing development projects as the chief consultant.

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.

Read the full article by Karen Weintraub article at the [SOURCE: Boston Globe – At Harvard, landscape architects reinvent roles, link disciplines]

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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]

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