Permeable hardscapes let the water soak in

San Franciso Chronicle has published a practical artile on permeable pavement – sort of a Sustainable Landscape Design 101

Does your driveway look like a patchwork quilt, with raised and sunken surfaces; chipped, off-color mortar stuffed into jagged cracks; and a generation’s worth of oil, paint and mold stains? Has the time come to replace it? Or, if your driveway is fine, is this the year to install the new patio you’ve been dreaming of, or some garden walkways?

Whether you’re replacing your existing driveway, patio and walks or installing new ones, you have an opportunity to turn them into water management and conservation features by building them so water can drain through them – in landscaping terms, making them “permeable hardscape.”

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle (SFgate.com) – Permeable hardscapes let the water soak in.

Where’s our Central Park? – Los Angeles Times

Great cities have great urban parks. Central Park in New York, Millennium Park in Chicago, Washington’s Mall. They are magnets for the key ingredients that make a successful city center: housing and hotels, shops and cafes, museums and concert halls, public festivals and recreation from active sports to leisurely strolling. They provide breathing room amid the civic bustle; they open up the densest cityscapes; they signify the heart of the heart of their hometowns.

Unfortunately, Los Angeles — a great city by most definitions — has no important downtown park. Griffith Park meets many needs, but it’s not in the center of the city. The Cornfield, north of Chinatown, is also removed from the action (and mostly not off the drawing board). The public space that links downtown’s civic center buildings may get a polish as part of the Grand Avenue project, but it’s tucked away, hemmed in by government buildings. None of these alone is the great, open-air city gathering place that L.A. needs.

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times – Where’s our Central Park?

Target Center roof going green

Another major “green roof” project is set to move forward atop a high-profile building in downtown Minneapolis.

City officials are putting together construction documents for a green roof over Target Center, even as the city – with help from a project team led by RSP Architects – continues the job of planting 40 varieties of mostly native plants on a portion of Minneapolis City Hall.

The Target Center project was first reported by Finance and Commerce in March 2007.

By putting vegetation on top of the 18-year-old city-owned arena, the city hopes to protect the membrane and extend the roof’s life. Green roofs typically last 40 to 50 years, compared to 20 to 25 years for a conventional roof, Guild said.

Read more @ the Source: Finance and Commerce – Target Center roof going green

World-Class Design and Sustainable Development Take the Spotlight at 38th Los Angeles Architectural Awards

Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) honored the region’s finest architecture design projects, including the new Los Angeles Green Building Award, at the 38th Annual Los Angeles Architectural Awards. The Awards Program, which recognizes entire project teams (architects, developers and contractors), spotlighted the abundance of world-class architecture and sustainable development being built in Los Angeles today.

SUNCAL COMPANIES
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE AWARD

Civic

Project: Santa Monica Airport Park
Architect: ah’be landscape architects
Contractor: L.A. Engineering
Owner: City of Santa Monica

Residential

Project: South Park Streetscape
Architect: ah’be landscape architects
Contractor: Kato Landscape
Developer: The South Group Partnership
Owner: City of Los Angeles

For the full list of winners go to the SOURCE: StreetInsider.com – World-Class Design and Sustainable Development Take the Spotlight at 38th Los Angeles Architectural Awards.

Explore Design ’08: The Design Education Fair for Youth

Explore Design (ED) is North America’s first Education Expo dedicated to the design discipline. Explore Design is a structured two-day event where students are provided with the information required to pursue an education, and ultimately a career in the world of design. Students interested in design will be presented with all the information needed to make an educated decision about their future in a contemporary, interactive, and experimental environment. Educational institutions, associations and professional groups will all be accessible to student attendees.

Explore Design takes place on Wednesday and Thursday, October 1 and 2, 2008 in Constitution Hall at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, located at 255 Front Street West. For more information, please visit www.exploredesign.ca.

SOURCE: canadianarchitect.com – Canadian Architect – 6/18/2008.

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