Grand green vision for S.F.’s Parkmerced

The owners of San Francisco’s Parkmerced want to add nearly 5,700 homes to the World War II-era rental housing complex, an ambitious renovation that could rank as one of the greenest in the country.

Over 20 years, the developer says, the minimum $1.2 billion project would take the 115-acre property off the power grid by employing wind turbines and other low-emission energy sources, slash water consumption through improved plumbing and recycling, and halve tenants’ automobile use by, among other things, adding public transportation options.

“I almost consider it a moral obligation in a project of this size to be responsible and do whatever we can do to help confront the problem of climate change,” said Craig Hartman, lead architect on the project and partner with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP.

Read more at Grand green vision for S.F.’s Parkmerced – SFGate.com – James Temple

Cities of the Future – Technewsworld

Part 1 by Pam Baker looking at different models of the future cities and talking about the practicalities of Hyperstructures,

Issues raised about building and maintaining Hyperstructures by the author and interviewees include:
– Fire Protection
– Waste Management
– Hydraulics and Maintenance

Baker also talks about Dongtan on Chongming Island near Shanghai and its future of 500,000 people and sustainable design

Technology News: Future Tech: Cities of the Future, Part 1: The Hyperstructure Concept.– Pam Baker

The second part of this series looks at City planning and Environment.
A good summary looks at the past and also the future of city planning and models for different continents based on population (Asia – Hypercites and America – architectural experimentation and knowledge societies)
Technology News: Future Tech: Cities of the Future, Part 2: If We Build Them, Will We Stay?.

MacWorld – VectorWorks 2008 Review

MacWorld review a program loved by many landscape architects for its intuitive design layout and ability for the trained to produce great designs with ease.

MacWorld goes through all the new changes to Vectorworks 2008 such as Heads-up display, Workgroup Management, Import Export with ACAD 2008, Streamlining of Viewports. The review also looks at Landmark with its improved plant palette and image geo-referencing with shp files.

Read more at MacWorld

SPG Solar Installs 69 Kilowatt Solar PV System

MCA Architecture Planning Interiors, Payroll Masters and vanderToolen Associates, in partnership with SPG Solar, Inc., announced today the completion of a 69 kW roof-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) powered energy system at their headquarters in Napa.

“As a landscape architectural firm that’s involved in projects which promote energy conservation and efficiency it only made sense for vTA to convert our office to take advantage of solar technology which further strengthens our commitment to minimizing vTA’s carbon footprint on the environment”, Phil vanderToolen, ASA – Principal.

SPG Solar Installs 69 Kilowatt Solar PV System for MCA Architecture Planning Interiors, Payroll Masters, and vanderToolen Associates in Napa.

Renewable Energy Powers Italian Town and Its Economy

Europeans believe that renewable energy will bring economic benefits. But in Varese, Italy that prosperity has already arrived.
by , Contributing Writer

Varese, Italy has added 140 jobs in the past ten years. That’s pretty good for a town with a population of only 2,400. The town, which is located in Liguria in the northern part of Italy, is experiencing an economic boom fueled by renewable energy.

The town has seen a six-fold increase in tourists in the last ten years, many coming just to see its renewable energy network.

Varese became the first municipality in Europe to get 100 percent of its power from renewable energy sources six years ago. It now generates three times more electricity than the people living in Varese need and there are plans in the pipeline for even more renewables.

Renewable Energy Powers Italian Town and Its Economy – renewable energyaccess.com – Jane Burgermeister

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