• Category Archives: Architecture

    Portable Igloo Satellite Cabins for eco-tourism

    Eskimos have a difficult life living in the igloos and dealing with the extreme weather. An sure they wuill happily trade their ice igloos for the Igloo Satellite Cabin. Manufactured by an Australian company, these igloos are designed to withstand extreme weather. They suitable as exploration and research stations, but they have also opened avenues for eco-tourism due to its portability.

    Posted in Architecture on August 3, 2009
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    The Citadel floating complex to tackle Holland’s flooding problem

    Most part of Holland is under sea level and most houses constantly face the problem of flooding. The Citadel residential concept seems like the perfect solution to this problem. This concept embraces this water problem instead of struggling with it. It is a residential floating complex, which is a part of the “New Water” complex. The floating design enables the complex to rise, along with the rising water levels and thus avoiding flooding the houses. It even has a floating road with a boat dock to anchor up to 60 units. The Citadel will also turn out to be energy efficient as the water around the complex will help to keep the houses cool and reduce the power used for cooling. It’s a very interesting concept and it may work really well in cities with constant flooding problems.

    Posted in Architecture on July 31, 2009
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    Germany gets the world’s first platinum rated data centre

    Germany is not behind the rest of the world with regard to eco-friendliness. Citi’s new Data Canter in Frankfurt has been awarded the first LEED accreditation ever in Germany and the first ever for a data center building. We all know that the energy used in data center buildings is much higher compared to other commercial buildings. This eco-friendly building has a sustainable design that brings a significant change in this buildings data consumption without compromising on operations.

    Posted in Architecture on July 29, 2009
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    Blue Crystal – Solar powered ice hotel in the middle of the desert

    There are temporary ice hotels in the freezing northern towns of Russia to Canada that melt back to the Earth when spring sets in. But Dubai is poised to have an all round ice hotel Blue Crystal. However you will need enormous energy to keep this in solid state especially in the Middle East where temperatures reach as high as 60 degrees and it is also amusing to hear that the Blue Crystal will be sustainable. The German design duo Frank and Sven Sauer claim that Blue Crystal will harness the world’s natural energy sources, keeping it self-sufficient. It will supposedly be powered by solar cells embedded in the icy facade and employ an energy recycling system. So far no one has told us how much energy it will be able to produce and how it will be distributed amongst lounges, cafes, and also the massive task of keeping the iceberg frozen. Somehow I am not convinced on the eco-friendliness of this project. Could be total hoax or just putting dust in the environmentalists’ eyes.

    Posted in Architecture on July 24, 2009
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    Hillary Clinton skips the Taj Mahal to visit India’s greenest building

    During her second visit to India, Hillary Clinton chose to skip a visit to the Taj Mahal and India Gate to visit the greenest building in India. She visited the ITC Green Center in Gurgaon which she described as a monument of the future. She also added “The monument is a building to the future. The Green Centre not only represents the promise of a green economy but also demonstrates the partnership of India and the US in the 21st century”.

    Posted in Architecture on July 22, 2009
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    Maine Hannaford Supermarket gets major environmental recognition

    Supermarkets are probably the biggest crowd pullers in present day than any other store or organization. And when they go out of their way to make efforts to do something useful for the environment, it is encouraging. The Hannaford Supermarket, which first opened in 1883, has become the first supermarket in the US to be Platinum LEED certified owing to reasons including using solar array on their rooftop to use about half of the energy of a normal supermarket. It seems even the history of the building shows that it was an old school that was renovated and about 99% of the construction debris and garbage was recycled. On the rooftop, they incorporated a green roof. Water usage was reduced by 38% by installing waterless urinals, and ice-free display cases in the seafood department.

    Posted in Architecture on July 14, 2009
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    Milan to get World’s Largest Rooftop Solar Array

    Milan, the fashion capital of the world will soon be home to the world’s largest rooftop solar array. This structure will be build for the Milan Trade Center and is reported to stretch across 2.9 million-square-foot. This 18-MW solar array is expected to surpass the current record holder, the 12-MW array on the General Motors factory in Zaragoza, Spain.

    Posted in Architecture on July 10, 2009
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    Almeisan Tower Design is Triple Zero at Zero Emissions, Energy requirements and wastage

    Almeisan is the Arabic name for one of the brightest stars in the sky, located in the constellation Gemini; its name derives from Al Maisan, or “the shining one”. The Almeisan Tower combines a delicate, soaring structure with a 600kW solar tower and passive cooling systems claimed to be almost “triple zero”, which means it has zero emissions, zero energy requirements and zero waste. Sadly, the tower may never see the light of day. It was submitted by architect Robert Ferry in a recent competition to design a tall emblem structure for Za’abeel Park in Dubai, but the entry was unsuccessful. The 165 meter Almeisan Tower would generate both its own energy and the energy required to run the rest of Za’abeel Park, by means of a 600kW solar power tower. 224 large heliostatic polished mirrors track the sun and reflect a concentrated beam of light into a central collector where a furnace containing liquid sodium is heated to a constant 500 degrees Celsius, and in turn powers a steam turbine. Hopefully in the near future we will see buildings that are more eco-friendly in Dubai and the UAE as a whole.

    Posted in Architecture on July 10, 2009
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    Portable Homestead House made of recycled steel for a grid-free living

    Imagine that you make a perfect home setting and so very cozy but every time you have to leave it and go, your heart just aches. Now, you can celebrate. This is the Homestead House, an off-grid prefab concept made from recycled steel by designer Michael Jantzen. It uses prefabricated, commercially available steel which is cheap and also extremely modular. The best news? It is fully recyclable as it can be easily dismantled and resurrected back in another location.

    Posted in Architecture on July 3, 2009
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    The most eco-friendly solar powered barn build with raw materials

    The architects, Gray Organschi Architecture have found an awesome way to make raw material look good. They converted a site, once home to a scrap lumber yard to a fully functional solar powered barn. The structure has rectangular cube holes to store lumber in an organized manner and it creates a beautiful mosaic with the stone structure. The structure looks breath taking from the outside and offers functionality on the inside. The architects have used translucent polycarbonate panels for the walls to facilitate day-lighting. The roof also has solar panels to power the lighting and ground source pumps to heat the building geo-thermally. The solar panels generate excess electricity for the barn and the owner sells this electricity to a local utility company.

    Posted in Architecture on July 2, 2009
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